It’s All Worth It

Yesterday was an…err… “trying” day with the DragonMonkey.

From the moment he woke up he knew exactly what he wanted out of life – he wanted whatever it was we, the parents, didn’t want.

Don’t jump on the couch? What’s that we just said?  He’d look slyly over at us from over his shoulder and then….. Jump.  JUMP.  JUMP JUMP JUMPJUMPJUMPJUMPJUMPJUMPJU—

When he is accidentally bad, he gets a stern talking to.  When he is just plain bad, he gets time in the corner.  When he’s really bad, he gets time out in his crib until he is finished with whatever tantrum he’s currently throwing.

When he looks at us with that angry little smirk and deliberately does whatever it is we just told him not to do, he gets three spanks (sorry, Internet, but them’s the breaks – I hate people who hit children, but I do believe in spanking.  If you don’t understand the difference, then you should probably stick with time outs.) followed by time out in his crib until he’s in a better mood.

Yesterday was chock-full of spank-then-cribs.

He fed the fish a big bowl of peanut butter.

He deliberately jumped on every piece of furniture we had – even going so far as to holler out, “Mama! Yook!  Yook at me!  Yook!” when I didn’t notice he was being bad.

He colored on furniture.

He smeared food on the ground.

He screamed and chased and hit at the dog with his blankie, until we finally locked poor Bad Max up in the kennel to save him from the monstrosity that is my three year old.

He ripped apart his train table and scattered the pieces around the living room.

When we bought the train table the pieces were all screwed down into the board to prevent him from destroying the track.  He has managed to do it anyways.  The buildings are lopsided and threadbare from his rough handling, and the tracks are misaligned and missing sections from where he spent days on end using his fingertips to pry them up from the table.  Instead of the cheerful, happy train table we had when we bought it,the whole thing has a desolate, desperate, half-abandoned air. The Bean calls it Chernobyl Station.

He threw fits every time we denied him anything.

No, DragonMonkey, you may not touch the kitchen butcher knife.


No, Dragonmonkey, you leave poor Bad Max alone!


No, DragonMonkey, you be nice to your brother! Don’t you dare rip that toy out of his hands!


No, DragonMonkey, stay out of the toilet!  No, DragonMonkey, get off the kitchen table!  No, DragonMonkey, no coloring on the furniture!  Quit kicking the cats!  Don’t pinch the dog!  Don’t throw your toys!  Leave the DVD player alone!  Get off the furniture!  No hitting your dad!  Don’t jump on me!

Etc, etc, ad nauseum.

When I took him out to go splash in rain puddles and play along the riverbed in hopes of improving his mood, he threw a fit when I took Max’s leash from him for a brief moment.

I don’t know if I mention this before, but about once a week he throws a pass-out kind of a fit.  He’ll silently cry/scream until he runs out of breath and turns blue.  Then, before he can suck in a huge lungful of air to turn his silent crying into a loud shriek, he’ll completely run out of air and crash to the ground and pass out.

It scared the crap out of me the first few times it happened.  Then, on the third time, I decided to employ my grandma’s technique.  Apparently I used to do something similar – whenever I would get angry enough, I would deliberately hold my breath until I passed out, simply because I knew it bothered my mom.

Yes, yes, I know.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Anyways, the next time the Dragonmonkey initiated his pass-out-tantrum mode, I did what my Grandma did to cure me:  I gave him a firm, no-nonsense swat on the behind, designed to startle him into a normal crying sequence.

It worked on me.

Unfortunately, it did not work on the DragonMonkey.  Instead of startling him into breathing, the air whooshed out of him in surprised shock, turning him from kind a purplish-blue to a completely brilliant shade of cyan, and he dropped like a stone and stayed unconscious for about 10 full seconds.

When someone suggested I try water (spraying him with a water bottle), I got the same extremely stressful reaction.

Needless to say, when he wants to cry-to-passing-out nowadays, I just kind of let him do his thing.  I stay close by to so I can catch him and lower him to the ground when his legs give out, but I just kind of ignore the theatrics in hopes he’ll grow out of it.

So, yesterday, when I took Max’s leash from him as we passed a jogger, to make sure Max didn’t escape and go make a new friend, the DragonMonkey threw a fit.  Once I lowered him to the ground and watched him begin waking up, I decided I might as well capture it on film, so I can torture him when he gets older.  Man, I just really can’t wait until he’s a teenager.

The day didn’t go much better from there. While I escaped off to the library to see if I could catch up a bit on my NaNoWriMo wordcount, The Bean accidentally grabbed the baby snacks (I bought some wheat puffed snacks to test The Squid’s allergies…looks like he might be okay!  Woohoo!) and fed them to the DragonMonkey.  Oh, boy.  GLUTEN.  And loads of it.

By the time I came home, I no longer had a three year old child running around the house – I had a skittery, screamy, anger-filled, gluten-infested monstrosity of a child.

Unfortunately for me, The Bean had some work he had to catch up on, so I was on my own.  Moping about the house by myself, I decided to head out to the local mall to let the DragonMonkey run around and burn off some of his gluteny energy.  Frustrated, lonely, and vaguely depressed, I decided to try and curl my hair in hopes of making myself a little better before heading out into the world of carefree teenagers and gorgeous young 20-somethings.  The end result was really pretty, but the fact that I had nobody around to show off to just made me feel even worse.  I couldn’t get grumpy at The Bean – the poor guy was working on a Saturday night.

Still.  Poor me.  Poor, poor Becky.  All alone. Again.  Nobody to share things with.  Again.  All by herself…. with only two whiny, angry babies to keep her company. Again.  Poor, poor Becky.

With a trample of toddler hooves, the DragonMonkey screeched around the corner, and skidded to a halt in front of me.  He stared at me for a moment, with wide eyes, pointed at my hair, and then petted his own head for emphasis, so I could know exactly what he was talking about.

“Mama!”  he sounded breathlessly surprised, and he smiled widely.  “You yook so cute!”  It came out clear as day – this entire sentence from a kid who still speaks mostly in mumbles and two or three word sentences.

I stared at him in amazement…. had I just heard what I thought I heard?

“What’d you say?”

He pet his head, and then pointed at my hair.  “Mama.  You yook so cute!”  He smiled at me in admiration for a moment longer then tore down the hallway and skittered around the corner.

So worth it.  All of it.  All the screaming, and the tantrums, and the stretch marks, and the bigger hips, and the sleepless nights, and the projectile puking, and the diaper blowouts and the lack of freedom, and the toys I step on in the middle of the night – all of it so worth it, just for that one moment.


8 thoughts on “It’s All Worth It

  1. I know just what you mean. I have a little boy, too. Mine is eleven now. It does get easier. But the perfect moments keep coming along. Despite all the grief and frustration, having a child is the greatest joy I've ever experienced. (And yes, I still love my horses, but the kid tops them–something I didn't understand before I had a child.) Great post.


  2. Wait. Is the DM standing in a mud puddle ??!!!!

    Where in your entire state did you find one of those?!!!

    Ahhhh. I get it: trying to acclimate him before the Great Escape, huh? You might want to try wrapping him in semi-transparent grey plastic for 9 months of the year as well. I think that simulates our current outdoor experience very nicely, especially if you drop a quart of water on him at random intervals. He won't grow up warped and twisted hardly at all. He'll be normal like us in the Swamp!

    WV: luvsm

    “Stories about the DragonMonkey, I luvsm.”


  3. Hey, if you'd locked me (or any of us, I daresay) in the BARN as a kid, I would have been delighted.

    Same thing with the dog kennel + DM, I think.

    Actually, if you locked me in the barn today, it would be fine. There are no dirty dishes in my barn, no vacuuming needed, and nobody hogging the wireless bandwidth…


  4. On one of the parenting sites I go to often, there have been a few articles about over sharing of kid's lives via the Internet. This post is timely.
    That said, pretty much every post about the DragonMonkey makes me snorgle Kaeden close & thank him a thousand times over for how easy going and just plain easy a baby he is.
    Then of course he does something like pull a dish out of the dishwasher & promptly throw it on the ground, breaking it as I dived for him in soooooooooo slow mo.
    I second AareneX. Also teach everyone the turtle neck, which is where you try to tuck your neck between your shoulder blades so as to leave nothing left for rain to get into. It is an essential Portland/Northwestern survival mechanism. Also, only out of towners use umbrellas (just a hint!)


  5. 3 is the new 2. There was no such thing in our house, as the 'terrible twos' – threes oh my god the threes. My youngest is 3.5 as of last month. He is pushing ever button on both hubby and I. NO! FINE! I WON'T! Are never far from his vocabulary. Then when we insist on something, there are instant tears and flailing and dropping to the ground (like a bad actor in a stage drama). I am looking forward to four.


  6. I'm with Laura Becky, it does get better.

    MacLeod House: yep. Threes were the worst by FAR!!!!

    AareneX: I'm with you, my barn is cleaner than my house by far, sigh…and it's quiet, so very very quiet…..


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