How my 4-year-old Tries to Torture Me

“Give me rules

I will break them

Give me lines

I will cross them”

I paid attention to the words of the song “More like Falling in Love” by Jason Gray today.  This is my Noah:  “Oh, I’m sorry, Mom – did I just walk right over your line?”  “Did you really mean ‘no’ or was that just a little suggestion?” “You’re kidding? You’ve told me a 100 times not to touch your dental floss…that stuff that goes on and on forever?”

I was out of town last week for an overnight. I struggled with going away. I miss the boys. I know that I will miss the boys. I also know that it is delicious to have a night away – I slept until 7:20 – and could have gone back to sleep if I didn’t have a meeting to get to.

So Micah was on strict orders to “be good for Grandma” as he is the one who often gets off-kilter when the schedule changes up in any way. In fact, I told him that if he did behave, I would reward (read “bribe”) him with a Nerf gun to play with our good friends that we were going to visit for the 4th. As Nerf toys generally “disappear” in a household where we “don’t shoot people” (why is that such a hard concept for little boys to understand?!?!), this “reward” seemed quite enticing to him.

In fact, when I returned on Tuesday, Gammie reported that “Micah was an angel”….. “your Noah, on the other hand, was a terror.” Oh, so I had this confused. Apparently (I learned from my mother), Noah has decided that the fact that “everybody loves my curly hair” now gives him total and complete leeway to “break the rules and cross the lines.” He really is stinkin’ cute, but….

Now I hate to start invoking the “second child” phenomenon as I am one (and thereby close to perfect!)….but this little 4-year-old is certainly working on creativity.

Not only does he talk nonstop – as evidenced in last week’s “bonus post” (which makes up for this week’s late post?) – but he is the most frequently occurring name on the House Damage List, particularly in the broken glass domain.

He is the sneak who drops candy wrappers behind the couch.

He is the voice in Kenny’s ear telling him to “push that button,” “pull that string,” touch the forbidden fruit.

He is the whine of “Micah hit me, pushed me, pulled my hair, did something to me that I don’t even know but seems like a good way to get a bit of attention.”

He is also becoming nightmarish at bedtime:

Me: “Pee, wash hands, brush teeth” – my nightly mantra (trying to reinforce this proper order)
Read books, Say prayers, Tuck in
N: bounce up, jump out of bed, walk out the door
Me: Tuck in
N: jump out of bed
Me: Threaten time-out
N: jump out of bed
Me: Ignore
N: wake up Seth and Micah
Me: (face red) threaten anything that pops into my brain
N: follow me down the stairs
Me: close door to the upstairs and fume
N: pound on door

Repeat the cycle until I wise up and walk away. I usually just ignore bumps and bangs and groans, unless followed by blood-curdling noises. An hour or two later, I get up and go try to find him. I’m developing a nice photo album called “Noah Sleeps” – on the floor, on the stairs, on his bed, on Micah’s bed, on my bed, did I mention on the stairs?IMG_9066

Last night I heard him sobbing and I went up to find out what was wrong.  He stood naked at the top of the stairs (why?!?) and sobbed, “I fell down the stairs.”  Unfortunately, I was not really in a very sympathetic mood as we had just had 3 or 4 rounds of the above chorus, but he was clearly traumatized by an unknown number of tumbles and melted my heart when he said “I need a hug.”

For he is also the little guy who when I call to check in the night I’m out of town says, “Mommy, I still love you.” The one who plays with me back-and-forth a little game of who loves who more (but not in the creepy pathological way of Disney’s Tangled movie!). The one who tries really hard to get his fingers into the “I love you” sign position and then calls out, “look, Mommy.” The one who demands that I sit next to him every morning for his cup of milk and a good snuggle.

My incredibly sweet torturer. Wonder what tomorrow holds?

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