Putting myself in time out

Yesterday morning, Lane and I meditated together.  Margo was squealing on her play mat, Zuko was barking wildly at a cat outside, and Lane and I were sitting on the couch, our legs overlapping and our eyes closed, breathing to a guided meditation.  He was fidgeting and most of the concepts went right over his head and I was cracking up because I was really trying to meditate in the midst of all.that.chaos, but occasionally he'd take a big deep breath in and I'd feel his tiny lungs expand beside me, and then he'd take a big deep breath out and I'd feel him relax.  And I was so thankful for the moments of peace.  He is a healthy, VERY happy kid who is in love with his sister and secure in his wildness.  And in that moment I could truly appreciate it too.

Because we have been struggling lately.  He's four and a half.  He's always been a boundary pusher, but it's as if something has shifted the last few months in the way he pushes.  He talks back.  He disagrees without actually disagreeing.  If I say, "Hey that guy has a blue hat on" he'll say "NO HE DOESN'T MOM!  HE DOESN'T!  I'm telling you, he has a BLUE HAT ON."  It's cute at 9am, but by 4pm I'm like, Lane can you just be nice to me, please?  

We try to talk to him about the power of his words, how the WAY you say things matters just as much as what you say, and I know he's hearing me only because that's what people say: Kids hear everything you say. But do they?

He's full of abundant, joyful energy, he's the most loving kid to his sister and his friends, and he's (mostly) respectful to his teachers and his dad.  But with ME right now he's like a teenager pushing to get out of the house every single second of the day.  You want me to put on shoes, mom?  I'm going to not do that until you ask me 10 times and the whole time I'm disobeying you, I'm going to yell "I'M PUTTING ON MY SHOES, MOM"  No you aren't, kid.  You're under my covers pretending it's a fort.

I received a whole bunch of old VHS tapes my dad recorded over Christmas.  One of them has a 4 year old me running naked around the house as my dad and step-mom say "Put on clothes Amanda.  Put on those clothes right there.  Stop.  Turn around.  Put on those clothes now please."  and I'm throwing a mini body-tantrum, twirling my hands around in ruffle underwear saying, "But I don't WANT to wear that, I want to wear...."  and they say "Put on those pants please, right there in front of you."  I watched them with my jaw dropped.

Karma, momma.  Karma.

I wonder if he, too, will try to leave home at 14.  I wonder if he, too, will hear everything I say and choose to not follow any of the advice, ever.

Also - what patience it takes to raise kids!!  I have to meet him with patience and persistence, two things I'm not exactly expert at.

This morning I'm thankful that there's two of us - a 'dad' to my 'mom'.  So I can pass him off when I need my own time out.


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