Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Year "six" strikes again!

We never really experienced "terrible two's" - two was a great year for both kids. Year number three? That was when it all kicked in and it was a time of deep breathing for Mike and I. But we got through it. Forward to when Maddie was six - another draining time for us. If we told her "no" - tears. If we asked her to do something, then repeated it, then repeated it LOUDER - tears. Tears for no reason. Tears with pouts and without pouts. Everyday presented a new "challenge" to get through. We joked that she must be going through an early PMS. But then we talked to some people we knew and they agreed - year number six wasn't so fun.

So, in December when Jake turned six, I took a deep breath and prayed hard that a boy couldn't be as emotional as Maddie had been. Turns out PMS is a co-ed thing at the age of six. Jake has whatever it is that hits a kid at six. It's been getting worse the last couple weeks and today - good grief! Today we stopped at Sam's club. I'm sure security was watching us closely thinking I was going to lose it. The kids were acting up around the cart and fighting over it so I took over and said I would push. Not good enough. Jake literally wouldn't let go of it; I had to PRY his fingers off the cart. Then he literally tilted his head back, opened his mouth, squeezed his eyes shut tight and, "WAHHHH!!!" I looked at him wide-eyed. Seriously?? I told him he could act his age (forgetting that "six" meant "cry like a baby at everything as loud as possible"). Then he started to foot stomp and all downhill from there. We hadn't even been in the store for 3 minutes and I was ready to leave them there. So, I grabbed on to Jake, pulled him close and told him, "Act however you want, but YOU are the one everyone walking by is going to be looking at."

And you know when you say words and immediately know it was a really bad idea? I can't be the only mom in America that has these conversations with myself in my head at warp speed saying, "that was a bad idea - now he's going to think people's opinions are all that matters." But, it was out and hopefully he missed it.

He didn't. Later in the store he hopped on the cart to get a ride. I stopped it in the middle of the aisle and told him to get off it - he wasn't going to get to have fun in a store when he acted like he had. He decided he was going to stay there until I moved and I decided I was going to stay there until he moved. After about 15 seconds of staring at each other with our game faces he said to me, "People are going to be looking at you when they walk by." Yes, my mind reeled with a million comebacks, including a few not so choice words, but I kept the gameface, tried desperately to make steam come out of my ears - and he got off.

The rest of the day has gone about as smoothly as that store trip. To the point that Jake was sent to his room, I left him there for awhile - a LONG while - then told him he could leave the room when he figured he was ready to act like a six year old is supposed to act. He didn't come out of his room for a good 30 minutes.

In the meantime I was so mad I cleaned - it's what I do when I'm furious. It makes me wonder if Mike is paying Jake off to act like this???

I just have to keep in mind that this too shall pass. Maddie - or rather, Mike and I - got through Maddie's sixth year phase. But that brings up the next question: This happened at age three, and age six - a pattern of every three years. Does that mean it all starts again at age nine?

I'll let you know. Maddie turns nine July 10th.

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