As you may or may not know, I tweet a lot. Most of my tweets are at my son’s expense, some are at my expense, and a handful are at my wife’s expense, much to her chagrin. Some are true, some are pure fiction, and some – perhaps most – are true-ish.
Like this one, which is among my most retweeted:
“The fact that I just angrily yelled ‘You’re not the boss of me!’ at my two-year-old is a pretty clear indication that he definitely is.”
I don’t believe I’ve ever yelled that at my son; at least not out loud. But it’s 100% true, just the same.
Among the many orders my son gives me throughout the day are:
“Don’t say hi to me!”
“Go get my milk!”
“Go over there!”
“Don’t talk to Mommy!”
Sometimes they are accompanied by his hands on my legs, pushing me in the direction he wants me to go. Sometimes they are accompanied hy his hands on my head, turning it in the direction he wants me to look.
The balls on this guy! Sometimes parenting a two-year-old is like being abused by a vicious warden.
The last person to boss me around like this was my wife earlier today and last night and yesterday and the day before that and last week and last month and every day last year.
Nobody likes being bossed around, particularly by a person you actually created and who you can hold over your head with one arm. I mean, physically, there’s no way this kid should be getting away with this stuff. Emotionally, he’s a terrorist, and legally, I have little recourse. There are no vacations from being a parent, no raises for a job well done, and the only promotion comes in thirty years when you maybe get a grandkid or two. They don’t even let you spank a kid these days!
From what I understand, toddlers – particularly two-year-olds – often tend to be a bit bossy. From what I understand, he’s just testing his boundaries, and, unwittingly, testing our patience. From what I understand, I wish I’d actually understood all of this before I had a kid! I knew about the terrible twos, I just didn’t know how colorful the tapestry of shitty behavior could be.
It’s not all bad. Occasionally when my son barks orders at me or Mom and Buried, it makes us laugh. It’s cute! A pint-sized, curly-headed moppet yelling at my wife to stop talking? I can get behind that one! But it gets old fast, as does most of his behavior of late, and as a parent I’ve gone from trying to use his outbursts as “teaching moments” to simply biting my tongue and hoping that he will grow out of it sooner rather than later.
Nobody wants to raise a bossy, selfish kid. Especially when you see him telling other kids at the playground to stay off of his slide. We wonder sometimes if the fact that he’s an only child – the star of the family, without an understudy waiting in the wings to steal his lines – makes it harder to nip this behavior in the bud. But having another child just to stop the older one from being a pain in the ass seems like the worst – and most expensive – kind of logic, so he may stay that way.
I’m sure there are rules somewhere out there; guidelines for how to solve this problem without needing to spawn another soon-to-be CEO. But I don’t buy most of that junk. So we’re just gonna weather this storm – storm 342 in approximately 800,000 – attempting to hold our tempers and restrain ourselves from going off on our little baby boss man, much as we often must do when dealing with our actual bosses.
Unfortunately, this is one job we’re not able to quit. But if this keeps up I may ask for a transfer.