As I'm writing this, coffee cup next to me half empty, Nixon is upstairs in the spare bedroom watching a Dinosaur Train DVD. Turns out parenting is just like any other relationship I've ever been in and sometimes, you just need a little space from each other.
We've been having a battle of the wills all weekend, over everything and nothing at all. I say the sky is blue Nixon will scream that the sky is purple. I'm exaggerating here, but you catch my drift. He's hellbent on being independent but at the same time will demand I help him do something like clean up his toys or wipe his butt. It's total madness!
This morning was the final straw. I know he's tired, he was up until almost 11pm last night because we did a movie night in my bed together. Then he woke up around his usual time of 7:30am, losing at least 2 hours of sleep from the get-go. He started demands for candy as soon as my feet hit carpet, not going to happen. Let the scream of displeasure begin. Breakfast distracted him for a little while.
Then he started throwing toys into the front door and at the wall! ARE YOU INSANE?!?! That's never been okay! He stomps upstairs because I take those toys away! He comes back downstairs calm, sweet and all apologies....and asks for candy. Promptly gets denied, since this was less than 30 minutes from the last time I had told him "no". An offering of water distracts him this time.
The final straw, the one that led to the realization that we need some alone time...or at least a little space from each other, was his screaming in my face because his lunchable didn't include a piece of candy. Oh the horror! He had crackers, turkey and 4 slices of cheese, plus a pouch of applesauce, which he knows he likes. If he'd eaten all of that without a fight, he'd have gotten a piece of candy, since I still have some leftover Valentine's Day candy hidden. But no, he has to throw a fit and try to wake up his sleeping father. Not okay.
It ends with him in tears, me very close to losing my temper and us in the spare room barely holding it all together. And then...he sees it. The Dinosaur Train DVD. And he asks to watch it, upstairs, in the spare room, by himself. And I say....sure. Did he deserve it? No. But the TV is small and we both need some time apart, to regroup and decompress from the events of the entire weekend. It's only 1:15pm and I feel like it should be the end of the day I've been butting heads with him so much my head hurts.
Sometimes, to be a good parent, I've learned its best to take a break. I can't leave right now because Mac is sleeping (he's not lazy, he's working midnights this weekend and still has to work tonight). So setting Nixon up in the spare room with a DVD while I get to read a book on my kindle while drinking a cup of coffee...well, that's the closest thing to a break as I'll get. It's not perfect, but we're not screaming at each other and my tension headache is going away. It's good when you know your limits and accept them. I'm not the world's most perfect mother. But I'm trying to be a good one.