Thursday, January 13, 2011

life really is unfair

Anna had a kid-related meeting yesterday morning, so I got to drive J to school for the first time. (I do very little caretaking at the moment: J and I mostly interact in trying to live together with Anna in a small apartment, negotiating when and how I'm involved in playing with him, or not, depending on what he wants to do and how I'm feeling. But, yes, my car has a carseat, and yes, it's weird.) It's a good 30 minutes up to his school, and normally he would play games on Anna's iPhone. This time, I'd told her she should hang onto it so she had phone, and we couldn't find her old one, so J just had books. This worked until he asked for Anna's iPhone so he could play games. I explained that I didn't have it, because Anna had hers and we couldn't find the old one.

Rage and anger! He growled, and I said, "Okay, now's a good time to use words," and he was so good about stating how angry he was, and bringing his voice down when I asked. But, so angry! It was startling. At one point he even punched the back of my seat, which was a pretty solid punch even from the passenger side of the back seat, which gave me some new information on why it's such a problem when he drastically mis-reads another kid's social cues and goes all Angry Hands on them: J is a big kid and apparently he can put more force into a punch than several adults at the dojo.
"I am so angry at you! I'm never going to snuggle you and Mama again! Except for the morning snuggle."
(The morning snuggle is pretty important around here.) We talked a bit about how threats weren't really okay, but mostly I was happy he was talking it out instead of having a tantrum seizure in his carseat. I was also trying to explain that there was no conspiracy to deprive him of computer time, it's just what happened, and maybe before taking his revenge on us he should talk to Mama about what happened. Finally I took a step back.
"So, J? I feel like you're not listening to me. I keep telling you that no one meant to keep you from having your computer time, and you keep threatening to withhold snuggles, and I don't feel very good that you're threatening me when I don't feel like I've actually done anything wrong."
There was a few minutes of silence, and then I heard him laugh: he'd picked up one of his books and started giggling at whatever he was reading. And everything was fine for the rest of the dropoff.

No more snuggles, ever! Except for the morning snuggle. SO CUTE.


  1. I don't envy your ride - no one enjoys an angry kid moment - but J's so adorable. I'm sure you'll get your snuggles back soon enough.

  2. snuggle-withholding threats only last as long as the active angry lasts, which is rarely more than 15 minutes. thank goodness, since I count on the snuggles to get me through the rockier parts!

    sometimes he takes away my stored snuggle credits as punishment. but then later, when he's not angry anymore, he makes up ways for me to earn them all back, and more.