Right now I am (obviously) sitting at the computer in my basement office. Moses is screaming himself silly upstairs on the top bunk. Everyone else is at mid-week classes at church.
It's been a long afternoon. Mo had a field trip today, which I think wore him out. He was upset at dinner because he didn't get the chair he wanted. Why not? Because he got mad a week ago and threw that chair down and knocked a screw out so the seat fell off. I haven't fixed it yet. He says the other chairs hurt his back. No one else seems to mind them, but he does, and threw a fit over it.
And then I wouldn't give him his dinner plate because he hadn't unpacked his lunchbox. On Tuesday morning when Easter break was over I went to pack his lunch and found the left overs from THURSDAY'S lunch. Gross. Initially the rule was you don't get snack after school until you've emptied the lunch box. But after school is such a chaotic rush that I always froget to enforce it--so now it's no dinner. He freaked out. He told me I was being mean. He said I didn't seem very sorry that he was crying. I told him I wasn't sorry I was sticking to my rules, but I was sorry he was so sad about it. Of course emptying his lunch box took about 30 seconds and then he got his dinner--but he cried for 20 minutes about it.
Then it was time to leave for church. Moses had a book in his hand and I asked him to put it down. He said he wanted to bring it. When I told him no he launched into another fit. I told him, "We don't take anything to class with us. It's one more thing to keeep track of AND your teacher already has your class all planned. You won't have time for that book." It's another sort of standard rule. You don't take stuff to class. You don't bring toys in the store. Not something crazy I just made up. He looked at me like I had personally insulted him.
The fit continued as we crossed the street. Oliver and Phoebe skipped off to class Moses skulked in the hallway. I said I wasn't leaving until he went into his class room. He skulked. I stood there. He skulked. I heard his class starting up. I tried to coax him in. I tried to make small talk to distract him. He skulked. I offered hugs and kisses. I cracked jokes. Skulked. I finally said, "you can go to class or go to bed." He skulked. I repeated myself. He skulked. I said , "you can choose or I will choose for you. which do you want to do?" Skulked. I said, "I'm counting to three. You choose by three or I will choose for you." I counted. He skulked. I calmly took him by the hand and marched him back across the street.
He's now in his bed screaming. Still. It's been twenty-five minutes. I'm starting to feel like an ogre. I'm doing the right thing here, right? (Now is the time where you affirm me. If you think I'm crazy, save it for another day. I am in need of affirmation here, people.)