We had a little discipline issue here yesterday.
With a three- and five-year-old in the house, nary a 4-hour span passes in which I'm not time-outting, hissing and white-knuckling my coffee cup to keep from pinching a chubby preschooler's thigh (a form of entertainment I haven't indulged in, by the way).
But yesterday. Yesterday was a doozie.
Just after I picked up Fruit Bat from Pre-K, it started--a titching sort of whine caused by my failure to pack a decent snack. An allergen-free granola bar and box of raisins, as it turned out, were wholly unsatisfactory. Awful, in fact. Crappy. The whine then progressed into a full-blown, screeching, writhing hell the resolution of which I couldn't, beyond driving in crazy circles around Mt. Rainier until he conked out, imagine.
It, sadly, ended with my carrying/dragging his 52-pound flailing body up the stairs and depositing him (and depositing is a euphemism) in his bedroom.
The list of infractions:
• Mouthing off like a pimply, haughty teenager in need of a rigorous, same-sex boarding school
• Making kicking gestures aimed directly between my eyes with his be-Crocked foot
• Whapping me in the face as I carried him to his room
• Emerging from his room before he was allowed
• Generally disrespecting and treating me like a skanky used Pull Up that hadn't yet been taken to the trash can
I feel I should mention that this type of shitty behavior is not Fruit Bat's usual M.O. He has his ups and downs of course, but, if anything, often wavers toward the gentler side.
I do think something is going on, emotionally, with him. Perhaps having to do with a few big advances he's making at the moment. But add to any psychological turmoil percolating up there in his head, a pinch of something like, oh, HUNGER (whisk until frothy and serve), and you've got a recipe for an explosive meltdown.
One thing that can assuage, or even, if you're on the ball enough, PREVENT such a catastrophe, is the glorious, magical protein. Nuts and eggs are out, due to a little thing called anaphylactic reaction. So I, a recovering Vegetarian and still fairly reluctant carnivore, operating in the survival mode that is parenting-young-children, have begun patronizing the meat counters of Greater Seattle, looking for as much natural, nitrite-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free animal foodstuff that I can load into one shopping cart.
I'm always searching for something he hasn't tried yet, some new way marketers have devised to package beef, pork or chicken. Because A) Fruit Bat gets easily bored with the old stand-bys of nuggets and hot dogs and B) If there is no meat in him, he is not fit for any sort of interaction. And, hence, neither am I.
Meat sticks, jerky, deli slices, breaded, cubed, sliced, balled, frozen. I don't care. Give me steak in a sugar cone with chocolate sauce on top and, if it will placate Fruit Bat, keep his scanty social skills somewhat intact, I'll take it and even eat some myself.
I can't say I think buying meat from a grocery store with no real idea of how it came it be there is right. I can't say I feel great about eating cows and pigs and chickens.
I'm just too raked over to care much right now.