When Mini Me was a toddler, our relationship was volatile at best. We both wanted to make the rules. No matter how much of a fight I put up, he just would not back down. He was, and continues to be, one of the most stubborn children on the planet. Hell, I would bet all the money I could get my hands on that he is among the most stubborn children on any planet. I am not supposed to call him stubborn–I am supposed to say that he is strong-willed. Whatever. Mini Me did not and does not like rules of any kind that do not suit him. I tried to discipline him. I really did. I tried “Time Out”. A lot of damn good that did. He would just get up out of the “Time Out Chair” and go back to whatever he was doing! I tried holding him on my lap and crossing his arms in front of his body and holding him. He was so big that he could wrestle me to the ground. He would also scream and spit and turn beet red. I resorted to making him go to his room. Since he would not stay in his room, I went to Home Depot and bought a lock and put it on the outside of his door, and that way, when it was absolutely necessary, I could send Mini Me to his room and lock his little ass in there. Ta Da. Problem solved.
Mini Me had great balance. Not as in of body, mind and spirit, but as in the physical kind of balance. He could roller blade quite well at the very young age of almost three years old. He had a nifty Buzz Lightyear roller blade set with a helmet and matching pads, and he absolutely loved to get all decked out and go roller blading in our driveway. I cannot even remember what he did on this particular day to warrant my taking his roller blades away from him, but whatever it was must have been pretty bad because I took them away and sent him to his room and locked him in it. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t that bad. It was probably more like I was about 30 years old at the time, and he had probably pushed me over the edge, which was something he liked to do, and was quite good at! The older I get, the more I realize how very impatient I was with Mini Me. I do feel guilty about it a lot. But this is not the time for psychoanalysis.
Mini Me was locked in his bedroom and liking it. He was very quiet. He wanted me to know that he did not mind being sent to his room and this was not a real punishment. I let him stay in there for about 5 minutes. Oh alright. Who am I kidding? It was probably 10 minutes. I went to the door and sweetly said, “Jack, are you ready to come out now?” “Yes,” he answered back. I unlocked the door and opened it, and he was waiting right there. “Mommy, ” he said, “come over here with me, I wote (remember he was almost 3) you a note”. He took me by the hand and led me over to his little chalkboard, where I could see the lines of scribble drawn out as neatly as scribbly lines can be drawn. “Lean down, Mommy, so you can see it,” he said. I knelt down on one knee. I was sure it was going to be an apology. It was going to say something sweet like “I’m so sorry I did whatever…blah blah….I will never do it again…blah blah”….He looked at me with his big blue eyes and he said, “Do you know what it says?” I said, “Why don’t you read it to me.” “Okay. Come cwoser”. So I leaned in closer. Mini Me got right in my face and started to read it to me. “It says, DON’T YOU EVER TAKE MY ROWER BWADES AWAY FWOM ME AGAIN!”
I didn’t. Because seriously? What was the point?