Monday, September 28, 2009

My Crazy Kid

I've heard people say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think it's usually attributed to Albert Einstein or Winston Churchill or Zach Morris or some other famous genius. And if I'm to accept this statement as true, then my son is insane. Because no matter what we tell him about his little sister, he thinks eventually it will be acceptable to tackle, push, pull, throw, shove, or dislocate some part of her. I assure you that it's not his intention to hurt her. He doesn't punch or kick her. He doesn't bite or slap her. But he does make her cry. I think his sense of curiosity gets the better of him. So he tries to see what will happen if he pulls her leg down while I pick her up. Or he wants to find out (for his research, I assume) if she falls the same way he does when pushed from behind. I'm sure it's all in the name of science.

But, the part that confuses me is that no matter what we do to him to make him stop (spanking, tasering, waterboarding) he continues to use her as a step, a shield, a chair, and a personal push tester. I've actually witnessed him "help" her walk by pulling her to the ground, then receive punishment, cry loudly, and then walk directly back over to her and pull her down again. And then he has the audacity to looked surprised when he gets in trouble again. Like somehow the rules have changed in the last 12 seconds. As if we, his parents, will realize the merit of making babies cry and apologize for not seeing the genius in his methods. And that's the single most confusing thing about parenting. Ignorance is easy. (You didn't know it was wrong, now you do.) Defiance is easy. (You're not gonna do it? Oh yes you are.) But he knows it's wrong. He can go from punishment to repeat offender in 3 seconds. It's like walking out of prison after getting paroled and breaking into the warden's car as you're being escorted out.

And usually, the only response I can muster is "Seriously?!" followed by a quick succession of exasperated sighs. Then I ask him why he did it again and all he can say is "I'nt know" which is his adorable little way of saying "I don't know." And when he says that, what he's really saying is, "This is why Mom's gonna live longer than you." Because the one thing that hurts my brain the most and inevitably drains years off of my life is people ignoring basic logic. So every time my son does something monumentally stupid (like his injury-inducing leaps from the coffee table), my life expectancy shortens. And since I have a death-defying stuntman toddler at my house, I expect I won't live past 30.

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