The Meanest Kid I Know

A friendly face on Christmas morning.

There are some parenting tasks that are less desirable than others, like cleaning up puke, dealing with potty training accidents, breaking up the multiple daily fights, or even just having to say "no" when it breaks your heart to say it. Another dreaded chore that I really don't like doing at all is waking up my 3-year-old son from his afternoon naps. 

The kid is not a morning person.

You can imagine my surprise one day last week when he was actually happy to see me when I woke him from his slumber.
"Bubba... hey little bubba, it's time to wake up," I very cautiously whispered as I rubbed his adorable little round belly, bracing myself for the tornado of anger that was sure to follow.
"Mama?," He whispered back as he opened his eyes, yawned, and rolled over toward me. "Hi mama," he said smiling.
Breathe, don't mess this up... what is going on? Why isn't he yelling at you and pushing you away? I thought, not sure what to say.
"Are you happy?" I asked him, trying to mask my surprise.
"Yes mama. I had a happy dream." 
I smiled back. "What did you dream about little man?" 
"You mama. I dreamed about you."
Oh, my heart melted. These are the moments that make the puke, pee, fights and the constant use of the word "no" worth it. These are the moments that make a mom forget how much it hurts to push a baby out of her body. These are the moments that make eating supper while standing at the counter and feeding your kids like a short-order cook okay. These are the moments that we dream about.

This moment was particularly special because it came from my 3-year-old.

Of my three children, he has the most volatile of moods. He is hard to describe because he can be such a loving kid sometimes, but such a mean one too. He uses these manipulative cute little voices and bats his big, beautiful brown eyes at you, leaving your heart with no choice but to fill to the brim with love. He is also very tactile and absolutely needs to touch you, rub or be rubbed, hang onto your hand, and feel your skin close to him. He thrives on touch and constantly tries to be physically close to the people he trusts, which makes me love him even more. His need to be physically close to me reminds of those amazing intimate emotions felt when nursing a child, and I feel such a strong connection to him because of that.

On the other hand...

He is also the meanest kid I know. He can throw out unkind, hurtful statements like its no ones business. If he doesn't want to talk to you when you greet him he will simply glare at you and growl.

He will literally growl.

He is not afraid to say, "I don't like you," to his aunt when she lovingly asks, "Hi little buddy, how are you doing?" He doesn't hesitate to tell his sister that, "You will never be my best friend," when she interrupts his eating by simply asking him to pass her the milk at supper. He is the first to blatantly tell me, "This food looks gross," when he sees nothing he likes on his plate at lunch. He refused to open his Santa presents for quite awhile Christmas morning because he didn't see one of the toys he wanted. You can imagine his reaction when friendly random adults at the grocery store try to interact with him. Oh man, and don't try to take his iPad away mid game... whew.... a world of hurt will come down on you.

Yes, you definitely need thick skin when you are around my littlest man. It doesn't hurt to have an open mind too.

Kids are all different, just like adults are so it isn't surprising that his personality isn't the same as his siblings. Teaching him social awareness and restraint are a little challenging at this age but we are working at it. Sometimes I wonder what kind of person he will become and how much of what I see in him now will still be visible when he is grown. I'm not worried, it takes all types of people in this world, but I do want him to be a happy, kind person some day.

From his loving need for physical affection to his angry spouts of immediate feelings, this kid keeps me riding on an emotional roller coaster, never knowing what twist or turn to expect next.

It's a good thing I love him. And amusement parks.

My little hurricane and his sissy sleeping the other night.

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