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October 9, 2014

My Terrible Son - Who I Adore

My obsession with figuring out why Dylan acts the way he does is pointless. Not just because I can come up with 12 worthless situational/transitional theories attributable to his sketchy antics at any given moment, but because I don't need to. Yet there I go, chalking up his attitude problem on a case by case basis, isolating each incident of absolute fuckery from the next, when the cause is and has been clear as day: TERRIBLE TWO'S.

When it comes to Dylan growing up, there’s a theme I play into called resistance. I resisted giving up onesies, transitioning him to solid foods, giving him sippy cups, and I’ve clung to bottles, formula, and the swaddling practice as if it would add extra hours to each day. I can’t help myself!!! I pretend, deny, plant my feet into the ground and get dragged through time instead of admitting that he's getting older...too fast. LIKE SUPER FAST. Blink-an-eye-and-he's-filing-taxes, fast. So when the "uh oh, early case of terrible two's" suggestions began surfacing in response to Dylan's snubbing, screaming, and downright freaky behavior, I ruled it out. NO WAY. Terrible Two's? He's only 1. See, that’s another thing I do. When you count your child’s age in months, they get older each month. But when you count age in years, they're 1 for a good while.1 See how sophisticated and logical my denial is? 

Unfortunately, I can no longer resist the terribles…it’s gotten really bad guys. The other day, Dylan nabbed a fistful of my hair as I carried him home from the park, shrilling "NOOO!!!" in my ear, and jerked his hand back, hair and all. That's when I realized I needed a pixie cut, stat. And later, I realized that this has become my new normal. EVERYTHING cues a "no" from that boy. And not just a single "no," six or seven of them. Even the things he asks for and wants get no’d. And there’s nothing casual about it, he shrieks 'em like a nasty pre-teen girl who just got told she isn't allowed to shave her legs like all the cool girls do.2 And speaking of legs, Dylan's are weapons. He kicks, he pushes- he even shoves his feet in my eyes. 

So assuming Dylan doesn't poke my eyes out, it's time to see him in a different light. He's not a baby. He's a little human that wants to grow up like all the other mean children do to their mothers. He’s aching for independence and there’s no sense in resisting the inevitable. Plus, if I don't stop trying and carrying him everywhere, I'll be bald by next Spring. So FINE. Grow...but preferably just out of this stage. Yeah?

1 OKAY! I admit, he's 20 months now. *sniff*
2 Random analogy, I know.