Since Boogie has turned three I have programmed a shortcut into my phone that allows me to quickly fire off the text, “Sorry my kid is an asshole©,” as we are pulling out of the driveway or parking lot of wherever she has just embarrassed the hell out of me. I am likely gripping my steering wheel, knuckles white, Boogie in back screaming like a detoxing crack addict, when I get the “hehe, it’s okay,” reply from whomever has had the pleasure of of our recent departure. A reply likely sent while they are on hold to make an appointment discussing permanent birth control options.
I’m really not certain when she figured it out, but somewhere in the last few months she has discovered that having an epic, Glenn-Beck-style meltdown in front of people is acceptable because I can do absolutely nothing to stop her. Even when we find a time-out corner I have to stand there with her lest she darts away, out the door, and into traffic to avoid standing still for 30 seconds and getting herself together. So let’s call a duck a duck, I’m the one being punished because she’s being an ass. And when we leave because she’s completely lost it, I wrestle her as calmly as I can into the car seat, and as I struggle to avoid flailing limbs while strapping her in, naturally she screams, “Ow, Mom, you’re hurting me,” loud enough for the family services agency in the next county to hear. As a policy, you never negotiate with children, especially when that child is a tiny terrorist who is clearly smarter than you are.
The other day I had to just sink into my mother in-law’s couch and admit, “I am clearly doing this wrong.” I mean, I know I’m not doing it right, but this is turning into an epic mess that will require I accompany her on a visit to therapy to do some reverse role playing technique that will only earn me a disapproving glare from her therapist as I throw myself on the ground when she won’t let me eat her ink pen. While the thought of getting the stink eye from a therapist is certainly disheartening, no one wants to admit to their in-laws that they are screwing up their grandchildren. Ever.
So here we are slowly developing child-induced agoraphobia, and slapping out like a tag team at family dinners taking turns trying to talk the tiny drama queen down from her tree. I won’t spank her, I can’t yell at her, and I certainly can’t reason with her. I suppose I’m just going to be a hostage until she turns back into a human being. I hear I still have about 20 years, but I it is also my understanding that, with a good lock, I’ll occasionally get conjugal visits.