I yelled at my son last week for the first time ever.  He’s four months shy of 3 years old and I held out for as long as I could.  The event was exasperatingly awful.  It was not at all how I pictured what being on the ‘other’ side would be like.  I don’t like to raise my voice (unless I’m arguing with my wife…because that’s a contest to see who can be the loudest!), but I felt that Worm needed to hear me (which doesn’t always equate to listening.)

I’m usually pretty relaxed as long as the kids are orderly.  (Read:  I haven’t been relaxed in over 2 and a half years.)  I don’t get rattled real easily.  But when I’ve had enough, I will overreact to certain situations.  This time warranted a little extra vocalization on my part.  (I channeled the “stern dad” voice!)

The day started out with breakfast for Worm.  That meant pouring milky cereal onto his tray and pants.  Ok, no problem.  When I tried to clean up, he cried and screamed for me to stop, as if I was ruining his ‘Mona Lisa’.  (If Worm is the next Jackson Pollock, I’ll be kicking myself later for stunting his artistic fervor.)  When the kid and floor were 80% clean, I offered Worm a refill.  He refused.  And found a way to whine about it.  An hour later, Worm stated that he was hungry and casually left off the part about being grumpy.  (It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when you don’t eat, you get irritable until fed.  But the idea looks like it takes more than the mind of my toddler to grasp.)  I gave Worm some cheddar goldfish to satiate his belly only for him to decide that the dogs were more deserving than he.  I promptly took the remaining goldfish away from him and forced the dogs to vomit up their share.  (Just kidding.  I wanted to see if you were still paying attention.)  That situation didn’t go over well.  Apparently, I was interrupting Wormie’s reenactment of Jesus feeding his disciples with a few fish and bread.  I screwed up the miracle, the dogs were going to starve to death, and I would become the devil.  He cried for them…as loud as he could.  For the next 10 minutes.  (Does anyone else think that toddlers should have a mute button?  Add a reset and sleep button to them and I’d be happy.)

Lots of whining, crying, and horseplay (as my dad would say) happened between snack and lunch time, which was surprising since it had been about 15 hours since Worm’s last meal.  At any point, I thought his energy would fizzle and he would barely have strength to sit upright in a chair let alone gallop around the living room.  So when noon rolled around, I made a nice (and tasty, I might add) sandwich and cut it into perfectly ideal sized morsels.  I placed the food in front of him and even turned on the TV to ingrain mindless eating habits at an early, impressionable age.  Three episodes later, not a crumb had moved.  I asked Worm if he wanted to eat.  He said no.  I repeated the question two more times.  I got the same answer.  (No means no after the third time.  It’s one of my new parenting techniques…)

“F#*k it.” I said to myself for the 9th time that day, which had barely concluded the morning.  It’s time for nap.

I scooped Worm up from the play area, put him into his crib, closed the door, and left.

I was called back in multiple times over the course of an hour for: one ice in my water bottle; get me big ‘Mater; I need tissue for boogies; turn light on;  ‘what are you doing, daddy?’; I want to brush teeth; get me my train with blue wheels;  and a few other things that I can’t remember at the moment (because anger causes the brain to block out negative memories so that I will most likely repeat the same parenting mistakes again at a later time…sorry, I digress.)

I was pushed over the line.  The last request, unbeknownst to him at the time, had me fuming.  I began screaming from the hallway, before I entered his room, hurling my words through the door at him.  I was so pissed about all the whining, crying, and misery of the morning that my voice was reverberating off the walls.  When I saw him looking at me as he never had before, his eyes pasted open and jaw dropped I said one last thing “GO TO SLEEP NOW!”  He said nothing.  Immediately he turned and huddled himself into the corner of his bed and cried himself to sleep.  I walked out feeling like the biggest asshole in the world.  Sometimes I love parenting more than other times.

Worm, You're So Dramatic!

Worm, You’re So Dramatic!

Gavin – 29; Honeydaddy – 17 (Worm, what sucks is me getting to a place where I have to yell at you to stop doing what you’re doing.  But, it’s still my fault for getting so heated.)