Parenting low


This picture represents a new parenting low. 

In the middle you notice a dark spot.  That’s an ant.  It’s the ant that almost made us miss our flight home from Chicago last week.  And it totally wasn’t the ant’s fault.

Lately, Vincenzo has gotten very attached to little things in nature and to garbage.  He collects leaves, sticks, rocks, shells, feathers, potato bugs, et al.  So far so normal.  He’s a four-year-old boy.

But is it normal for a boy to throw an hour-long temper tantrum because Mom and Dad wouldn’t drive back downtown to get a leaf he had seen in the middle of the road?  An HOUR of screaming.  Is it normal for that boy to sit in the bathtub screaming for another hour one morning because he wanted Dad to come home from work RIGHT THEN to see a specific bubble?  An HOUR.  Is it normal for a boy to spend an entire bath rescuing pieces of the sticker from his soap bottle that had flaked into the water and storing them in a tupperware?  Most of which were no bigger than a pencil dot?

Back to the ant.  In Chicago Vincenzo had started a collection of slugs and potato bugs, and as we were loading up the car to return home he spied this ant.  He couldn’t catch it.  He asked us to catch it.  We wouldn’t.  He started in on one of his raging temper tantrums and, in desperation to make it to the airport in time, I ended up taking a picture of the ant that I then walked back to the potato bug home to hold up to the potato bugs so they could see the ant that could have joined them.

I nearly plucked my own eyeballs out.  And Vincenzo skipped merrily to the car. 

Fortunately, thanks to the wondrous miracle of DVDs and Cheetos, we had a nice plane ride home,

…until we debarked the airplane and he spied a mud puddle outside that he fell irreversibly in love with and there was much screaming and rending of clothes because his parents were not willing to spend the night at boarding gate A8 so that our son could gaze lovingly at Puddle.  Call me Cruella.

We have an old camera and an old Flip we let Vincenzo use so he can take pictures of all these things he falls in love with.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes he’ll be videotaping the clouds and ask us to take over for him so he can play.  (We say no.)  Sometimes he still cries because it’s not the same having a picture of a particular water formation on the bottom of his bathtub as actually having it IRL.

Should I mention now or later that *certain* family members (ahem*not me*ahem) seem to have some OCD tendencies and a stubborn streak that would put a herd of wild mules to shame?  And that I have box after box of every note and letter anyone has ever sent me from the seventh grade on?

Who knows?!

2 thoughts on “Parenting low

  1. OMG YES! James is getting so single minded about EVERYTHING! He obsesses about bugs, has fits when his dragon/ostrich egg (rock) that he has been dutifully sitting on doesn’t hatch. He wants to bring in every slug he finds. The list is endless, and I’m going bald from ripping my hair out.

    I have no idea where he gets it from – it couldn’t possibly be either one of us; we are flipping perfect.

  2. You really should be more careful about how those traits are passed on. I will fully admit that both Erik and I both carry several varieties of the OCD gene but we have chosen to manifest that in our girls by making them clean freaks. Lexa comes running to get me if she finds that there is a green mark on the cover paper of her purple crayon, Madison asks to put Clorox disinfecting wipes on the grocery list when she runs out from sanitizing the soles of every shoe in the house, etc. Better luck with Rocco.

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