Friday, February 12, 2010

His Majesty the Toddler

Westley likes to bark orders at me. He's not trying to be bossy (at least, I don't think he is). Instead, he's realizing that as his vocabulary and articulation grow and develop, so does his ability to express in no uncertain terms exactly what he wants.

I'm trying to think of it as a positive thing. For one, I do almost no guessing now when it comes to his requests/demands (request-demands? requesdemands?). Not having to guess means that I can often get it right the first time, something that felt virtually impossible in Westley's pre-verbal days. But I do get bossed around. Often.

"Mommy!" (Sometimes he actually stamps his foot, too.)

And then it's: "I need," "I want," "do that," "hold this," and his new go-to phrase, "You wanna...?"

It sounds very sweet--"Mommy, you wanna go inna pway-room wit me?"--but it's a question built on a demand foundation. It has much more to do with telling you what you want, than it does with asking you if you do. It's a weird kind of two-year-old passive aggression.

On good days, when I feel vaguely rested and like my vitamin regimen is maybe doing its job, I can laugh it off. "Wow, Westley, you really like to be in charge!" So funny, bossing his mother around! What a knee-slapper! Ha ha ha!

But on the not-so-good days, and even occasionally on the mostly-okay days, I start to feel tight in my chest and throat when that sweet, lovely, "please"-, "thank-you"-, and "my-pleasure"-saying little boy brings out the tiny tyrant.

You are so not in charge, I tell him in my head, getting angrier by the demand. And if you're asking what I want--which you're not, but if you were--I'd really like to sprawl out on the couch with a warm, full-fat beverage and something in the DVD player other than fucking "Yo Gabba Gabba"!

I mean, really. If an adult treated me this way, I'd end the relationship!

Or, at least, that's what I tell myself, while also trying desperately to remember that he's not an adult, not even close. He's two, and part of being two is being the boss. Or trying to be, at any rate. And I remind myself that while yes, he is my kid, and it's my job to love him like crazy, nowhere is it written that I have to like him every minute of the day--especially when his undeniable two-ness makes me feel more like a slave than a mother.