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8:49 a.m. - 2012-11-11
For sale: One 3-year-old
You know how the youngest child in a family tends to be a bit of a brat?

Conventional wisdom says that that's because the youngest gets spoiled. But I'm not sure that's correct.

Perhaps it's just that, after you have a child like my youngest child, you don't have any more children.

I used to think I was patient and really good with kids. I used to think I was a pretty good mom. This was based on a) years of babysitting my brothers and dozens of other kids, and b) my experience with my loving, sweet-tempered, obedient, eager-to-please daughter.

Mar made me want to have more kids. That's how she ended up with a little brother. One is great, two is even better, right? Wrong.

My No. 2 is a nightmare.

My No. 2 is the best birth control on the planet.

My No. 2 makes me want to hand in my resignation on a daily basis, if only I could find someone to take it.

My No. 2 makes me fantasize about making him ride on the roof rack instead of in his car seat -- and "forgetting" to tie him down.

My No. 2 makes me wonder if it is legal to sell kids on Craig's List.

Or give them away.

Or pay someone to take them.

My No. 2 makes me not really care all that much whether it's legal or not, so long as it works.

I don't write about my kids very much on here, and it is always a rant when I do -- so anyone reading this probably thinks I hate my kids, or they're not that important to me, or both. So let me explain here that the good stuff, I post on Facebook. In fact, almost everything I post on Facebook is about my kids, and all of my friends and relatives and former co-workers and elementary school classmates know how cute my kids are.

But there are things I don't post on Facebook, ie "My son is the devil's spawn."

I don't need to rehash the past 24 hours on here, or the past 18 months, but suffice to say my patience and understanding for a 30-pound bundle of complete contrariness, destructiveness and general unpleasantness is absolutely exhausted. Yesterday he spent two hours -- I am not exaggerating -- tantruming and screaming that there was no snow in the back yard because he wanted to play in the (unfenced) front yard, next to the road. (Should I have let him? Let's not go there...) He draws on my walls and takes apart my plumbing fixtures. Yesterday, after I'd gotten all of us dressed, packed and ready to go to Andi's, I took a two minute break to smoke a cigarette ... and in that two-minute break he locked me out of the house, took off his shoes and half his clothes, unplugged the computer, and lost or hid part of the power cord.

He spends the entire time he is in his car seat trying to unbuckle himself, wiggle out of his straps, roll down the window, and open the car door. This morning he managed to unbuckle the belt that attaches the carseat to the seat of the car, and when I hit the breaks he and his carseat almost ended up in my lap.

It was 7:30 in the morning and I was already beyond out of patience (he'd been up and quarrelsome since 6). I pulled over and buckled the seat back in and then screamed in his face, "DO NOT UNBUCKLE YOUR CAR SEAT!!! DO YOU HEAR ME? DO NOT UNBUCKLE IT! DO NOT TRY TO UNLOCK THE DOOR. DO NOT TRY TO PUT DOWN THE WINDOW. DO NOT TRY TO WIGGLE OUT OF YOUR STRAPS. DO NOT TRY TO UNBUCKLE ANYTHING FOR ONCE IN YOUR G-D LIFE, DO YOU HEAR ME?"

And I knew I was losing it. I got back in the car and I was shaking all over. Yes, I know I am a terrible parent.

It isn't so much that he's contrary and destructive as that some of the things he does are really, really scary. He tries to run out in traffic every chance he gets, to get lost in stores, to unlock and open the car door while we're driving down the highway, and I'm terrified that someday I am not going to be paying attention for half a millisecond and I'm not going to be able to protect him from himself.

I really love my son and I can't imagine my world without him, even if most of the time right now he drives me crazy. He turned 3 in August and I know he will have to outgrow the terrible twos eventually. I really want us both to be around to see that.



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