What do YOU do when your three-year-old shouts, "Open the damn door!"
Do you cower in horror that your child has just said a swear word? Do you look left and right for the evil, evil person who could have poisoned your sweet, sweet boy's mind?
Or do you calmly evaluate at which point today you lost your temper and MAYBE let a bad word slip out in your frustration?
If you are in the first camp, you are wonderful. I imagine you with perfectly coiffed hair and a lipsticked smile and an even-toned voice and eyes that are so sparkly they look a little crazy. I have to imagine that last one, or I will go crazy.
If you are like me, you are cemented into the second camp. You are actually a part of the foundation for the second camp. You quite possibly can think of THREE possible moments you let loose a curse word.
In fact, it may be possible that I used the exact phrase, "Open the damn door" at some point or another in the last few days. Not because there has been an explosion of door issues in our house, but because the last few days have just been THOSE kinds of days.
Yesterday, Noah threw the worst temper tantrum in the history of temper tantrums. The Guinness Book of World Records showed up at my door afterward with a clipboard and said, "We heard," and I said, "Who told you?" and they said, "No. Literally. We HEARD the whole thing. We were checking out a broken record at the center of the earth in boiling, molten lava" (or whatever is at the center of the earth) "and we HEARD your son screaming and came straight away."
Okay, so THAT didn't happen, but Noah's tantrum was so bad that it seemed entirely plausible.
Oh, Mary Pat, you say. Surely you are exaggerating.
Sure, I am. I won't get into the details of it. I'll just say that by the time I got Noah to preschool, we realized he wasn't wearing shoes. Or pants.
Tonight when I tucked Noah into bed, I said, "Guess what, buddy? Regular little boys say good-night to their moms and then don't see them again until awake time in the morning. That's what we are going to do tonight, okay? I'm not mad at you, I love you more than regular moms love regular boys, but I am not coming back to see you again until morning."
I walked out, went down the steps, and got as far as the kitchen before I heard, "But MAAAWWWWWM!"
Determined. Persevering. Strong. Genuine. Tired.
These were the words I repeated in my mind as I did NOT turn back to the stairs.
"MAAAWWWWM! I need you! Now OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!"
Really. What would YOU do?