Monday, October 13, 2008

Will Someone Find the Off Switch?

Greyson has been a whirlwind of terror for the last few days... well, more like the last week.  Especially when it comes to interactions between himself and *me*, specifically.  Everything has to become an argument, even if I suggest something that he himself brought up mere seconds ago, asking him not to do something either results in him stamping his feet and giving a resounding shriek of unfounded rage or agreeing - simply to return to the unwanted behavior IMMEDIATELY.

I was finally reduced to tears today, by the simple stubbornness and complete BRAT-like behavior that has overtaken my typically easy-going, lovable child.  He's discovered a new amplitude to his voice, as well - one that breaks the sound barrier at record speeds, most likely throwing off the flight of birds outside our home and sending the little forest creatures behind the house running in sheer terror.  Because, honestly?  That's what it makes *me* want to do.

I have tried being patient.  I have tried to accept that, hey!  He's almost three!  He's just pushing his limits and seeing just what he can get away with while struggling for independence.  He's way above norm on his verbal skills, as well as just general comprehension (we have now determined that he can honestly READ 25+ words, and those are only the ones I could RECALL to write down and test him on), and I'm sure that his brain is battling the limits of his still-small body.  But, OH. MY. GOD.  I desperately need to find the power button on his attitude.  Or at least a friggin' volume knob.

He hasn't taken a nap for at LEAST the past week, either... he would rather fill that time, when I am trying to comfort him into resting for a while, into moments of telling me not to touch him, look at him, speak to him, or tell him to do *anything*, and also has resulted to him telling me such things like, "How many times do I have to tell you to leave me alone?" and "I'm tired if listening to you.  Go talk to Daddy instead."  I've nearly lost my ENTIRE reserve of patience for this normally complacent child.

Like last night!  When we decided that he actually HAD done decently at dinner (I figured 1/4 of a filet mignon, 1/2 a small baked potato, and 1/2 of a small salad was GOOD for him), we'd venture out for ice cream on what could be one of the last "nice" nights to sit outside the local place and enjoy it.  And he wasan ANGEL.  We arrived, and he went right up to the counter and tried to get the counter-girl's attention with, "Hi!  I want a vanilla ice cream cone, PLEASE," - which of course attracted the attention of this 32lb, 3'3" munchkin speaking so clearly what he wanted with perfect grammar and diction.  And so began a cute conversation with a man that was waiting for his order, all about how he was "still only two, but in November, he will be three!" and a gracious "Thank you!" when the man joked that since he asked so nicely, HE would even give up his OWN ice cream to Grey.  He continued to chat about the pumpkins and witches and ghosts decorating the place for Halloween, and how he was going to be Jack Sparrow, because he likes Pirates of the Carribean, and on... and on... all with a pleasant little dimpled grin on his face.

And then!?!  He sat perfectly still while eating his cone (Pumpkin ice cream - YUM!), got up to throw away his napkin after wiping his OWN hands and face, and returned to the table with a simple, "I will sit here until the two of you finish YOUR ice cream, too, okay?"

Wha huh?  Just a mere hour or so before, I was struggling to get him to even keep his butt on his chair while eating his OWN dinner, and here he was offering to sit still while WE finished?

Again, we were struck by "Public Behavior Syndrome," which Greyson has had since he was BORN.  The child, honestly, has NEVER once acted up in public... even as an infant, he just kinda... hung out.  Restaurant?  He'd either be silent or simply baby-chatty.  Grocery store?  He makes requests, but there are no tantrums involved when it comes to me making the final decision.  Target?  It took us almost an entire YEAR to convince him that when we were there to actually purchase things FOR HIM, that it was okay for him to keep more than one item, instead of mentally weighing out which he wanted more, and trying to give the less-desired item BACK to be restored to the shelf or rack.  Honestly, most people, when I try to explain to them the sheer HORRORS that he can unleash on me behind closed doors... they look at me as I am slowly turning into the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka - something created by my own demands and selfishness.

*Am* I selfish for wanting my son to behave at home as well (or at least even HALF as well) as he does while parading in the eyes of the public?  I personally wouldn't think so, but here I am, stuck with a raving lunatic of a child, only made worse by his absolute refusal to take a nap until *he* requests one... at dinnertime, which is an OBVIOUS no-go... unless I want to deal with him being wired until 2am or later before he falls asleep for the night.

In his defense, I know that there has been *something* going on with him as of late.  He is experiencing some apparent tooth discomfort, which hopefully, can get looked at and taken care of by week's end.  Also, after a handful of days of very-random, off and on low-grade fevers (which honestly, have had NO other symptoms to tie into them), tonight before bed he was HOT.  Until now, I couldn't honestly interpret whether it was even a technical *fever* for him, simply because, since birth, he has run warm.  His normal temp honestly lies around 99.2 or so, and I really don't go running for the thermometer unless I KNOW he is hot enough to be an actual fever... which wasn't until today.  When it read 101 and some tenths.  And then I felt bad... a little.  I just still couldn't bring myself to allow that number to explain an entire week's worth of somewhat SELECTIVE rebellion against me more than anyone else in the household.  But you're damn right I will be on the phone in the morning trying to get him in to see the doctor... because as he was falling asleep, he, for the first time EVER, was playing with his right ears a bit.

I almost wish that he had actually HAD a known ear infection before now (if it is indeed what this is), because I don't know what to look for *in him*.  I have seen children go until the eardrum has ruptured without one word about pain in their ears, and it is simply stumbled upon at a routine visit.  And then I've seen those who SCREAM at the merest hint of fluid behind the eardrum.  I even cleaned his ears last night, and not once did he mention discomfort of any sort.  So, well... huh.  We'll see... I wish he had done the ear thing BEFORE falling asleep, so I could have pulled out the otoscope and taken a look.  (YES, we actually DO have one in the house, along with a stethoscope, an pulseoximeter, and numerous blood pressure cuffs... all of which I, luckily, know how to use correctly!) (No, they aren't the result of hypochondria... just a father who was in nursing for umpteen years and my ever-present knowledge seeking in the field, so THERE.)

So, here's to hoping *something* is discovered at the doctor tomorrow - IF we can get in tomorrow.  Otherwise Wednesday is going to be filled with personal self-destruction as I have to spend 9am-1pm at the pain clinic, then HIS doctor's visit, followed by my first Criminal Justice BA seminar that night.  I'm wiped out just THINKING about it all!

On a lighter (stranger?) note, Grey informed me today when coming across the (TOTALY EMPTY) BB gun tucked behind a dresser in the computer room that it was "for killing scary people when they come in the house."  Huh?  The child's brain works on overload, and I am ETERNALLY glad that the *real* guns in the house (also unloaded) are safely tucked away in my parents' room.  Of course, it brings a future note to myself to my attention that when I am done with this degree and wind up with a police-issued firearm??  OH, the education I will have to DRILL into his head.  Much like what my own father did with me, actually at the age Grey is NOW, because (I know, I know) there have ALWAYS been rifles in my home... and I, to this very day, have never laid a hand on them, and never would, except in a case of dire emergency.  I do not fear handling a gun, however - no matter my father's condition, those are HIS... and *still* not mine to ever touch.

Greyson also declared his love for pickled okra...stems.  He is showing more and more of the same "texture issues" I have with food as time passes.  Once he hit the seeds inside, the okra was a no-go... just as applesauce makes him gag, as well as the inside of a tomato (though the "meaty" part is all fine and good).  It's amazing the odd things that apparently ARE passed down genetically...  too bad he didn't get my abhorrance for anything grape-flavored.  Kid loves him some grape juice.  Heh.

Now that I have scrambled YOUR brain almost to the consistency of MINE... I'm going to do some blog-stalking and see if I can make anyone laugh in spite of the spiraling day *I* had!

Good night, and remember... Halloween is only 17 days, 1 hour, and 30 minutes away!  =P

2 Harmonizations:

Your Pal Pinki said...

My girlfriend has 5 kids, 3 of them are 4-9 years old and 2 of them are older. The 3 younger kids argue and fight a lot. A LOT. They also don't always want to do what they're supposed to when their mom says to. She got tired of yelling at them and started doing this thing with stones. She has a jar of stones (marbles, whatever) and each kid has their own jar or mug and every day they start off with 5 stones in their jar. If they are non argumentative, extra helpful, whatever, they get another stone in their jar. The opposite behavior gets one taken away. It's crazy, but the threat of losing a stone really works on their attitudes because they want whatever treat will come with having lots of stones in their jar at the end of the day. Might be helpful for you and Greyson.

Larissa said...

Thanks, Pinki! I'm reaching for straws with him, obviously, and willing to try just about anything!! =)