Operation Caffeination

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Little Boy

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I try everything with you.

I instruct. I demonstrate. I remind. I reprimand. I cajole. I scold. 

I take you for daily romps outdoors, cut gluten out of your diet, take you to therapists, argue with your pediatrician, you preschool teacher, your father.

I advocate for you, explain for you, apologize for you. 

And finally, when I’m at the end of my rope…

I shame you. 

I feel sick when I think about the look you gave me, your hot, angry little face flushed with emotion, your eyes shining with tears you refuse to shed because god knows you won’t let anyone see you cry in a moment of vulnerability. 

You are so much like your dad, so silent, so difficult to draw into conversation, so difficult to read. He feels for you, identifies with you on a visceral, primitive level, and defends you fiercely when I tell him how our day really went in whispers, after everyone else is fast asleep. 

Right now, our days aren’t going very well. I am angry. I am tired. I am frustrated. And you are endlessly stubborn. 

But you know what, kid? I’m going to win this. You could save us both a lot of trouble by caving now, complying with my one single demand: do not harm others. It’s not a hard rule to remember, and you will see that someday because you are going to learn this lesson, you are going to learn it from me and you are going to learn it as a child, not at the hands of a teacher or policeman in your teen years. I can say that with complete confidence, even after days like this one when I know I’ve screwed up and hurt you and made my job as your mother even harder. 

Do you know how I know that I’m going to win this battle, little son?

Because every shred of that stubbornness you throw at me is just returning to its source. You can exasperate me, annoy me, frustrate me, scare me, shock me, injure me, worry me, crush me, but you will never be able to out-stubborn me. 

Just ask your granddad about this sometime, kid. This is our family legacy, generation after obnoxious generation of ridiculously difficult people getting their rear-ends handed to them by their equally ridiculous parents. 

Mark my words, son: you will be a cherished member of our loving family…whether you like it or not.   


Written by GRSeim

March 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. ALL the empathy. All of it.

    It’s so hard with Libra, who reminds me of no one so much as myself, and peeling back my own projections to see him for his own tiny unique person who just so happens to have inherited a great deal of my stubbornness and defiance is one more thing that complicates our relationship. But then, I’ve got a good twenty-odd years of practice at stubbornness and defiance. There’s no way he’s better at it than me.

    Here’s to the journey.


    March 29, 2012 at 7:14 am

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