Everybody has that one friend for whom they’re constantly making excuses.
“He’s not normally like this” or “He’s cool once you get to know him” or “He’s got a weird sense of humor.”
After a while, though, it starts to become apparent that despite your friendship, that’s an awful lot of caveats. Maybe it’s time for the guy to start taking some of the blame for his own behavior.
Lately, that’s how I feel about my son.
I’m not going to lie: he can be pretty miserable to be around sometimes. It definitely comes and goes; he’s often his usual, happy-go-lucky self! But the past few months have been tougher than usual.
At first, if we went out to see some friends and he started acting like a monster, I’d get embarrassed and quickly qualify his behavior:
“He didn’t get his nap today.”
“He doesn’t like the bright lights .”
“We fed him after midnight. Big mistake.”
But nowadays, I find myself just outright blaming him.
Obviously you can’t really blame a two-year-old for being a two-year-old. (That’s like blaming a gay person for being gay. It’s INSANITY!) But you can stop making excuses for him. And several months into the carnival of horrors that is my son’s terrible twos, I’m done taking the blame for his bad behavior.
Sorry, son, but sometimes it’s not me; it’s you.
Yesterday, I was at a bar with some friends. My wife arrived a little later, Detective Munch by her side, and joined us for a drink or two. My son hadn’t met everyone at the table, but he usually warms up to people pretty quickly. Unfortunately, he’s milking this “terrible” stuff, so after spending the first few minutes with his face tucked into Mom and Buried’s neck, he started screaming every time someone so much as glanced in his direction. As a hardened veteran of these outbursts, and one who is quite sick of this phase of my son’s life, I’ve stopped sugarcoating it. Instead of offering some half-assed explanation for my kid’s bad attitude, I just told everyone he was an asshole.
“Don’t mind him; screaming is his default mode these days. It’s nothing personal, he’s just being a dick.”
I’m done protecting him from himself. Now that he’s almost three, it’s time for him to take personal responsibility for his behavior. Not everything he does is a result of something Mommy or his Daddy has done wrong. He’s an individual, he makes his own choices. This is America! Right now, he’s choosing to be a massive pain in the ass, and I’m going to let him dig his own grave.
“Yeah, I’m his dad, but he’s his own man. He’s the one who threw the menu at you, so spit in his food, not mine.”
It’s quite liberating, this new outlook!
Of course, there’s a difference between no longer making excuses for my son’s bad behavior and letting that behavior go unchecked, and I’m certainly not advocating the latter. (I literally check the kid into the wall nearly every time I walk past him.) We still discipline, and we’ll still take a fair amount of responsibility for the person he eventually becomes, but the terrible twos are different. It’s something every parent goes through, regardless of how lenient or strict they are, and we just need to weather the storm.
And while we do, we’re going to stop letting him off the hook when his behavior is going off the chain. In a bad way.
It’s his own reputation he’s ruining and, if he keeps this up, he’ll be persona non grata at every watering hole in town!
12 thoughts on “It’s Not Me, It’s You”
My son Henry will be two in August and I’ve already noticed a change in him. Right now we’ve been blaming it on the nap and teething but I am also starting to realize that he’s just been a little a**hole.
Wow… that was liberating to say.
Wait til he turns 3……
I like this. I’m much more forgiving of parents who will say that’s just the way their kid is, than those who make excuses for them. Because if I can plainly see your child is a monster, you should man up and admit that you see it too.
I’m sure my visit will fix everything!!
wait til he’s 16, you’ll look back at this age and laugh.
snort laughed on this one!
LMAO. He’s fucking three. You should completely take 100% responsibility for his behavior YOU made him. Don’t want a miserable life? Be responsible with your fucking dick or get more blowjobs, dummy.
This is a ridiculous comment. You must not have kids. As the mother of a 3 year old, I understand where he is coming from! There are plenty of times he acts out and we just tell people 1) he is 3, no kid is a perfect angel at 3, 2) if they don’t like it, look away. What I cant stand are the people who try to “other-mother” me or my kid. He is mine, I birthed him, I care for him, I provide for him. if that means I occasionally spank him in public or let him scream up and down the aisles for that publix bakery cookie beacuse he was too bad to get it then so be it because he is MINE!
I agree with just saying, “he’s cranky today or he just has a bad attitude” but calling him an asshole is hardly gonna help him become a man. I’m not saying never call him a name or insult him by calling out his actual behavior, but using profanity on him is gonna give him trigger words later in life. By triggers I mean a word that instantly pisses him off by the mere thought of the word. My stepdad used to call me dickhead all the time. That was hardly the case- he was the actual dickhead and still is. Anytime someone calls me one, I instantly get pissed off and the hulk somehow arrives to destroy things. If I truly was
Being a dickhead then I own up to it, but the use of insults at a child will just piss them off. I like the fact that you’re no longer making excuses for the little guy, but why did you start making excuses on the first place? My wife and I have 5 daughters. Not once have we made an excuse for their behavior. We have questioned the medical stuff, teething, amount of sleep, or a full diaper. Calling their behavior what it actually is, is admirable. Well played dad and mom buried.
Let me preface this by saying I do not have children yet, I just babysit them but I love this! Any child psychology or parenting book will tell you that at this young age children are just now learning how to express their emotions and at two it’s rarely ever appropriate! Kudos to you for letting the blame go and just living life through this time and being honest and real about it. You and Mom and Buried sound like some awesome parents!
Hi! I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. You can checkout the post here: http://nowimmommy.com/one-lovely-blog-award/
I really love your blog. It’s absolutely hilarious! Keep up the good work. Your kids are precious and the comic relief you provide is priceless.
I LOVE THIS~Mom of three and Grandmother of four-you bet your sweet ass that I stopped blaming myself for every bad thing my kids have done, they are all grown and out except for one and when they play the blame card I tell them to get over it! I said my sorry’s yrs ago and I am not going to keep letting
them use me as an excuse for their bad choices.