It was epic man, freaking epic. I'm talking good enough to make dogs howl. They write Greek tragedies about this level of shit. It was a meltdown to put all meltdowns to shame.
And it was Bubba Hoss. My almost 2 year old. Who would have figured that?
He's a good kid, an easy kid. He's usually the kind of kid that other parents look at and hate me for having it so easy with him. He doesn't piss and moan, he hardly ever screams. Since he was 4 months old he has slept through the night. I can count on one hand the number of times he's given me a problem with naps. The one knock on him is that he loves my pants leg like it's a life preserver. But other than that, an easy kid. Until now. If you gave his sister, Little Hoss, a screwdriver she would take apart your car and put it piece by piece in your room. But not Bubba Hoss. He would hold on to your screwdriver and give it back to you cleaner than it was.
We were out for a walk, the whole family. It was a regular Little House on the Prairie type of thing. We headed back to the house and that is when Bubba Hoss decided that he wasn't going to have any of that. He was pushing his own stroller, which he loves more than my pants leg and wasn't letting go of it.
We told him that it was time to go inside and then he lost it. He ran away as fast as his little legs could go. Him and his stroller. Now I realize that there are a lot of people out there that don't speak munchkin. But I do, so allow me to translate for you.
I said it's time to go in Bubba Hoss.
"Fuck You old man" although it came out more in a scream like fashion.
Seriously little dude, turn your butt around and let's go inside for a bath.
"I'm blowing this Popsicle stand pops, suck it."
At this point I realize that I have to go after him. Surprising how fast he was.
I told him to give me the stroller and let's turn it around.
"You can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands."
We have a little hiking path by our house. It's paved and he heads off to a little stream. It's where the teenagers go to have unprotected sex while using dirty needles to do thier drugs. Vagabonds!
"Boy, you better turn around right now." I call my son "boy" when he's in trouble. I have no idea why. I suppose it's because it's what my dad used to do to me. However we also used to raise pigs. Only for a short while though. My wife won't let me have pigs.
He still ignored me. They also ignored Hossmom. But no real surprise there, they always ignore her with the discipline. Yup, I'm gonna get in trouble for that. But I write the truth. Mom is for curing a bo-bos and loving you when you are sick. Dad is for whipping ass and getting respect out of you. You're god damn right yes sir no sir.
I called him boy again and still he ignored me. "Suck it grandpa, I'm going for a joy ride to hang with some teenagers. I'm cool, unlike you. You listen to NPR!"
Hossmom went after him and he should thank her for that. Sometimes she's that buffer and takes a little more mercy on the children than I do. I can sense a lifelong pattern here.
Not that I'm an monster, but Hossmom can certainly tell when I'm about to lose it. Generally I'm a pretty fun dad to hang out with and the kids are really well behaved most times. But I attribute that to the countless hours that we have worked on that behavior in the seclusion of a corner at the local grocery store because when they lose it, that's the place they are going to do it in.
Hossmom tracks him down, he gives her the finger and she turns him around. Now he starts hopping. Swear to god, the kid was actually hopping. He was hopping mad. I have never ever seen someone actually be hopping mad. I thought it was just a figure of speech. Apparently not.
She lets him push the stroller but in the right direction. He keeps trying to turn it around. They go on like this for a little bit and I remain in our front yard. It's very hard for me not to run over there and quell this little rebellion. I'm so used to it and do it more often than not. But I also know that Hossmom is a parent too and I shouldn't try to interfere with the way she handles things. I'm home with them all day so I feel we have an understanding between us. The understanding is that I will end the world you live in if you give me any trouble. They understand that I am really a big pussy and they will get there way no matter what anyway. Fine, let's watch snow white for the 100th time. I hope she doesn't wake up this time. They shoot bambi's mom. Just letting you know kids. Now let's watch old yeller.
My first instinct is to go over there and pick him up by his shirt and just haul his 20 pound butt to where I want him to be. Hossmom tries to be more encouraging. She says I take the meltdowns to personally. No way, it's not personal as long as they recognize my god like authority in this house. If they do that, we have no problem. She especially hates it when I lecture which I gotta admit, I have no idea why I do it. They are 3 and almost 2 and can't really understand any concept beyond icecream and poop. But I lecture.
Hossmom caught me giving a lecture about loyalty and respect and about fell out of the chair laughing. I wasn't even aware that I was doing it but now I catch myself doing it all the time.
While this whole thing is going on I'm already planning my lecture on minding your parents, that we have your best interests at heart and how this is going to hurt me more than you. We all know that last one's a lie but every parent says it. It never hurts as bad as it hurts you. I'm not the one in time out locked in my room like Repunzille. I'm downstairs eating cookies watching the Simpsons and that doesn't hurt at all. But I'm out of this one, Hossmom's got it. Sort of.
Now he's turned around again. "Bubba Hoss!" Hossmom exclaims.
"You can't contain me lady!" his screams say. He's really going all out.
Now Hossmom is trying to explain to him. She explains that it's bath time and it's bedtime and we need to go inside. Another big difference. My usual explaination is "because I said so" followed by a 10 minute lecture on family honor.
And he's still hopping. The kid is pissed.
They finally make it to the front door but he won't go up the stairs. This is where it ends for me. The time was 6:45. That's about the time of day, every day, that I can't take it anymore. I grab him by his pants waist and pick him up. There's some kicking and screaming. He says that he's going to report me to the police. He calls me a demagogue. He claims that I am a power hungry tyrant that oppresses the little folk. He tries to kick me in the shin.
Our next lecture will be entitled "Don't take on dad until you are at least 16 and I'm 50."