What I Said vs. What I Wanted to Say

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Have you ever wanted to let loose on your kid? I mean really let loose? I almost went there today. Neither my son or I are morning people. If he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, like he did today, it can make for some pretty explosive breakfasts.

Today, he started in with the half whine, half cry as soon as his feet hit the floor. And I was NOT in the mood. There were two conversations going on, what I said out loud and what I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying.

After he got dressed I made him sit on the floor and take some deep breaths and calm down.

What I said:

"Why don't you have a seat, take some deep breaths and calm yourself."

What I wanted to say:

"Holy hell, you haven't even been awake for 5 effing minutes, what could possibly be wrong!?"

He took a seat (More like flopped to the floor. How do kids manage to add defiance to the act of sitting?) and I told him we needed to run to the store this morning and he had two choices: either calm down enough to say what's going on and still have enough time to eat, or sit in the floor pouting and not be able to have time finish eating let alone have seconds.

"I don't wanna sit here, I'm hungry!"

What I said:

"Don't raise your voice at me. 'Mom, I'm grumpy this morning, but can we please go have breakfast?' would work a lot better than being nasty."

What I wanted to say:

"Change your effing tone of voice and lose the attitude or so help me I will find a way to bend you over my knee!"

Over breakfast, I explained why we needed to stop at the store (teacher appreciation flower), that he had a limited time to eat and when I said it was time to get ready to leave, he needed to do it quickly. Que whining.

This is where the internal and external conversations collided.
What I said:

"You know, I don't like to say this, but SHUT UP! Stop your whining and eat. When I say it's time to get up, you will do so with no whining, eye rolling, stomping, or backtalk. If you do, you're grounded for the rest of the week with no TV and no martial arts, and the next time I get invited To Disney(land) you can stay with Auntie J and Daddy and I will go and have a grown up day."

That got his attention.

Mornings are such a challenge. I feel like a broken record. I'm tired of bribing, threatening and yelling. Sometimes I have to stand over him and watch him brush his teeth. One of the ongoing conversations in our house is that he needs to behave better in the mornings: get up on time, eat, wash his face and brush his teeth and hair without the detours to the Legos.

I've told him the next time I get a call from school asking why he was late he's going to have to speak to his principal and explain his behavior himself. I don't like starting my day out like this. There are so many ways he's such a sweet, amazing kid.

I can't figure out why his behavior with me is so different than with Phil. I shouldn't have to give my kid an allowance to get him to be respectful and completing basic grooming habits, right? What am I doing wrong?!


  1. OMG do we live in the same house. I had the same issue this morning. I told my son, when you go to big kid school, you cannot be late. You will get in trouble if you are late. Do you want to get into trouble. He said, noooo. I said than let's go.

    I hate to say it. But he's just like me. I did the same thing he's doing. I wish my mom was a little more strict sometimes.

    It's such a struggle daily..

  2. I would give him some choices about how he wants the morning to go--sleep in as late as possible, get ready in 5 and eat a granola bar in the car or wake up earlier and take his sweet time--including playing with legos.

    You shouldn't be getting him up, let the alarm clock be the bad guy. Make sure all clothes, etc. are all ready to go in the morning.

    If it still is a problem, take him to school in his pj's with stinky breath. It's all about the natural consequences. I guarantee it will only happen once.

  3. I wanted to comment when I read this on my blackberry yesterday! It sounds just like my house every morning. I've got 3 kids to get up and out the door (10, 6 & 16 months!) And each one of them is a pain in my rear every freakin day. My daughter (the oldest) is the absolute worst. She is not a morning person, (nor am I), so it makes for a very cranky household in the AM. It's hard, but I find that having as much done the night before and making sure the kids get to bed at a decent hour helps make the morning a little smoother!


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