Clash of the Titans: Butting Heads with Your Child

jack snuggle

When I originally thought of writing this blog I almost titled it:  My Son is an A**hole.  There are times when my son literally pushes me to the edge.  He makes me feel like I am living with a ten-year-old Donald Trump.  He’s a pushy, demanding, entitled, know-it-all.  He’s loud and relentless.  He drives me to my breaking point.

Truth be told I’m sure that much of my frustration stems from the fact that all his worse qualities are mirrors of my own.  They are not his alone, they are my bad habits thrown in my face.  My husband always jokingly says my son “is my fault” and laughingly I agree.  These are the qualities I’ve spent years trying to refine or eradicate – that I’ve tried to mold into something socially acceptable or hide away completely.  When I see them reflected in my son’s actions it’s painful because it’s a reminder of my own ugly side – and who likes to be shown their flaws?  I can’t even stand bad lighting in department store dressing rooms (in my own mind I’m a Brazilian supermodel and being shown otherwise just bums me out).  But it’s also deeply heartbreaking because I can already see all the painful lessons he’ll have to learn before he gets himself in check.

But for every time my son drives me to drink there are dozens of other times that his capacity to be sweet and his vulnerability touch me so deeply that I want to weep. Like when he crawls into bed with me at 3 a.m. and snuggles into me perfectly like a baby kangaroo.  Or when he flashes me his big toothy smile after cracking a joke that has us rolling with laughter.  Or every morning when he walks me to my car, opens my door for me, and kisses me.  There’s no better way to start my day.  None.  And it’s those purely beautiful moments that I force myself to conjure up when we are locked in a battle of wills.

So if you have a strong-willed, mini-me at home please know you are not alone, that the tough times are far outweighed by the beautiful ones, and that too soon we’ll be wishing we could turn back the clock ad do it all over again.

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