In the span of 30 seconds I can see four different moods in one kid. Laughter turns to frustration turns to screaming and stomping turns back to happy again. It happened just this morning over a pair of socks.
Bang woke up after a restless sleep (he’s not feeling well and has been running a low grade fever for four days now). He came downstairs to the kitchen to greet us then headed back upstairs to change out of his pajamas. He returned fully dressed then realized he had forgotten socks. He laughed about it then headed back up the stairs.
From the kitchen, and probably within a three mile radius, we suddenly heard him stomping and crying. Knowing he wasn’t hurt, I went up to see what was wrong. Any guesses? Did you guess he couldn’t find his grey socks? Yep. He had the basket of socks dumped all over the hallway floor looking for his grey socks. The black and red ones just wouldn’t do. This frustration prompted the stomping and crying complete with crocodile tears.
He turned the tears off upon my arrival. We’ve been trying to teach him to ask for help nicely instead of this stomping and crying. It’s a work in progress. Mostly work, not much progress. Anyway, after a quick look in the laundry basket (instead of the sock basket – we get a little lazy when it comes to putting socks away) I located his grey socks. He put them on himself (naturally inside out because that’s how he rolls) and the crises was averted.
Crash can do the same thing. Except, now that he’s eight he doesn’t use the tears anymore (usually). Like when it comes to chores he can growl and complain that he doesn’t want to do them. Hell, he’ll even go as far as ignoring me. This morning I asked him to round up the garbage cans from upstairs so we could take the garbage to the curb this morning. Instead he sat himself in the living room chair to watch TV with his brother. HA! Nice try chach (after reading this definition we realized it fit Crash and Bang perfectly).
So my kids are two faced. Not so much bipolar, because they can change their mood like a light switch. I know it’s mostly all for show. It’s how they put up their fight. It’s how they let us know that something is bothering them. Unfortunately, their form of communication leaves a bit to be desired.
I’ve explained to Crash, often several times a day, that he has to do chores. He needs to help out around the house. Yesterday, I went as far as telling him that any mess, any garbage, anything of his that I have to clean up, I’m going to put in his bed. I’ve explained to Bang that he needs to use his words, not his feet and scream, to let me know he needs help. I’ve even praised him for doing so. Hence, it’s a work in progress.
Much like the soft clay of pottery needs to be shaped and fired so too do our kids. We form them with gentle hands to create gentle humans. We hold them in the figurative fire, temper them with strict rules to make them respectful humans. We drink
heavily after they’re in bed.