If you read my last post, you will see a picture of my then 4 year old son sticking out his tongue. I’m re-posting it here for your viewing pleasure. The afternoon of the evening this photo was taken is still etched in my mind some ten years later. Whenever you combine an active little boy, a shopping mall and a dressing room, you are asking for trouble. Throw in a handful of clothes for your son to try on and you probably are operating with brain cells in the single digits. I just want to say that I’m not proud of my behavior that day in the mall. I had a huge parental fail. It is never wise to make threats involving a stapler and a tie regardless of the humiliation you suffered.
Coming home from that exhausting afternoon (and I won’t even go into the temper tantrum he entertained fellow customers with when I dared to visit the Clinique counter) I managed to
throw peacefully tuck my child into his bed for an afternoon nap when I went on the computer to read some mindless emails. My mother happened to be online, and well, this is how our chat went, a conversation my mother saved and later mailed to me.
SGat: Hi! How are things?
TJKR (Me): Just got back from the mall with Sean trying on pants and a tie for the recital tonight. He refused to wear the tie, wouldn’t put it on, tried to pull it off his neck. It was a wrestling match. You know when a child twists and turns into positions you didn’t think possible? Well, take my word for it, they are possible. He finally looked at me and cried: ”Oh s*%#! Just take me home.” Needless to say, I was stunned.
SGat: LOL. I have never laughed this hard in years.
TJKR: Yes mother. It’s hysterical. So funny when you are in a crowded dressing room.
SGat: What did you do?
TJKR: I whispered in a not so nice tone: ”What did you say?” He looked at me like a deer in headlights. Finally he uttered, “You know.” Then he did this wicked laugh he does when he knows he’s in trouble.
SGat: You are in for it.
TJKR: So I walk out of the dressing room, completely exhausted from this tug of war and he is following several steps behind me. The sales lady looks at me then glances at Sean and says, “He’s a character isn’t he?” I turn around and he has wrapped the tie around his head.
SGat: Oh no.
TJKR: So who knows if she heard him in the dressing room. I just paid and left. When we got outside he said to me, “I’m not wearing that stupid, stinkin’ tie!” And I politely turn to him and said, “You are wearing that tie even if I have to staple it to your neck!”
SGat: Staple to his neck? Oh my.
TJKR: I know. Therapy will be in his future.
SGat: Is he wearing the tie tonight?
TJKR: He will go ballistic tonight when I put the tie on him. He just hates it. And yes he’s wearing it. Too bad I’m the boss.
SGat: I’m going to print this and show it to him one day. Staple to neck?
TJKR: Yeah, not one of my better parenting moments. And don’t worry, I won’t show up with a stapler when I attempt to put it on him later. Gosh, just thinking about that struggle in the next few hours makes me nauseous.
SGat: If he needs a therapist at some point, we’ll pretend this conversation never happened.
TJKR: Yeah, we’ll blame it on his dad’s side of the family.
1. He doesn’t seem to harbor any post traumatic stress disorder regarding my threat.
2. He wore the tie as the above picture indicates which was taken that evening at the recital.
3. When I asked him to smile, this is what I got. He hates to lose.
4. Choose your battles.
5. I know I’m not the only one who has made over-the-top, in the-heat-of-moment, blame-it-on-PMS, threats.