Has anyone seen my cool? It seems I lost it yesterday.
After a good first three days of first grade, Bud had a three-day holiday weekend. By Tuesday morning, he had decided that he wouldn't be returning to school. It started slow - "I'm not going to school today" - and then, over the course of 90 minutes, it built to a loud and emotional crescendo: "I AM NOT GOING! I AM GOING TO EAT YOU! I DON'T WANT TO GO! NO MORE SCHOOL!" Bud resisted physically, digging in his heels, hiding behind the couch, and pulling away forcefully as we tried to pry him out, as the clock ticked and we got later and later for school.
Enter Monster Mom.
I loaded our bags into the car, then marched back into the house and bellowed loud enough to be heard several states away, "BUD-NOS! GET IN THE CAR!"
He stopped in mid-screech and walked to the car with me, dazed and rattled, then dissolved into tears of abject misery. "You're mad at me! You yelled at me!" he wailed, as my anger was quickly replaced by guilt. His tears flowed, his nose ran, and his anguish grew. "You took my iPod! Give it back, Mama! Give it BACK to me!"
Though we were already late, I slunk back into the house to retrieve his iPod, thinking that it might help him get regulated on the drive to school. I grabbed an orange juice box on my way back out as well, hoping that perhaps a little bribery might assuage my guilt.
We drove to school in silence while Bud sulked, listening to his music and drinking his juice, and I silently beat myself up for reacting so ferociously. We arrived late and I delivered him to an already-settled classroom with a murmured "we had a hard morning..."
I spent the day at work wondering if Bud would be speaking to me by the time I got home, and was relieved when I walked in at dinner time and he said, "Hi, Mom! What's up?"
I held my breath this morning wondering if now Bud would now see tantrum-throwing as a regular part of his morning routine. He tested the waters half-heartedly as he got dressed: "I'm not going to school today."
"You need to try again, Bud. We don't want to do that again."
Bud considered his options for a minute, then decided not to risk a re-reun of yesterday. He finished getting ready for school and climbed into the car right on schedule.
I guess sometimes a little crazy goes a long way.