Monday, January 16, 2012

One of those posts...about kids and stress...

Look at this face.  You would never know that under this angelic face is a master criminal in the making.  This is your future Lex Luther.  He's a genius.  He's stubborn as a mule.  He will not listen to reason (and yes, I realize that he's only 5-years old, but seriously).  It's going to take every thing I have and everything that I've learned over the course of my psychology degree with emphasis on child development and applied behavior analysis, to ensure that he harness' his powers for good instead of evil.

Today, this cute brilliant so-smart-he's-actually-dangerous child managed to get through the child-safe toddler knob on the bathroom door, and climb onto the toilet seat to reach my makeup bag (which he smeared all over the bathroom floor, and drew on his chest with liquid eyeliner, but I digress...) and his brother's ADHD medication.  He took one of Dante's pills.  My 50lb, 5-year old swallowed a little green 10mg Ritalin pill...because.  This results in my freaking out and running down the stairs with a pill bottle in my hand to call the pediatrician, which then resulted in a call to poison control.  He will be fine.  I'm less fine.

This is only the latest stunt that my cat-burglar son has pulled.  He wakes up anywhere between 4 am and 7 am, so getting up before him is not an option.  He knows how to open the locking toddler gate at the top of the stairs, so there's no keeping him on the top floor.  He can now apparently open the toddler-knob-protected doors and reach items placed on 6 foot shelves.  I now have to replace those knobs with ones that lock and require keys to open, because the current locks can be opened by pushing something into the little hole from the outside and he figured those out last year.  Five-year olds have no idea what dangers lie around the corner and just can't comprehend when you try to explain, and this one in particular is just determined to do what he wants to do.  He's compelled to do it.  Punishment is not an effective deterrent, and rewarding good behavior doesn't work either, when he really really wants to do something.  So now my only option is to try to prevent (which I thought I'd already done) until he's old enough to understand what I'm saying to him.

Want to know how bad it gets?  My little genius (and I don't mean that sarcastically) looked at a box of Safety 1st latches (which I'd planned to use on my kitchen cabinets to lock up the cleaners) and figured out how to open them from the picture on the cover of the box.  This resulted in my freaking out, yelling at him about how he isn't taking this seriously and he could have died, bursting into tears, and going up to my room to cry for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, he started to cry downstairs because I'd yelled at him and left the room crying.  After my husband calmed him down, he came upstairs to calm me down.  I'm usually the level-headed one but today I'd had all I could handle.  Then Alex came upstairs to apologize to me for getting into "stuff that doesn't belong to me", promised to clean up the mess he'd made, and came over to hug me.  That cause me to cry more, and hug my sweet little boy who just doesn't realize that he's taking his life into this hands every time he does something like this.  I feel like Clark Kent, who constantly tries to talk Lois Lane out of doing something stupid which inevitably leads to her being in peril, and his having to go save her as Superman.  There's only so much "child proofing" a parent can do!

So, that being said, I appreciate you sticking with me as I rant to the internet about my stress.  I'm gonna go have something fattening and loaded with chocolate, since I can't go have a drink.


Debra said...

Wow! I am the other of a college student but I vividly remember what I called the "danger years." Visiting my sister who had a pool, when he was three I asked someone to watch him because I knew he would jump in, insisting he could swim. He could not, he jumped in.
You probably already know physical activity helps and I don't mean exercise. I had him cooking, dusting and cleaning floors at five, the point being to keep him moving. He grew up to be a great young man and your son will too.

Cambria said...

Thank you so much Debra! I needed to hear that. And I think I'm going to take a page out of your book and keep him busy cleaning and helping me in the kitchen. But for right now, we've swapped our original door knob out with one that locks with a key. If that doesn't work, nothing will!

Monika said...

Wow! My two kids must have been angels. I've never child proofed anything, since I didn't even know that it was possible or necessary to do so. The only thing they ever did, was cut a lock of hair off each other. You sure don't have it easy with you boy. I hope all will be well in the future.

Debra said...

"Mother" not "Other"
You are welcome, Cambria. Sometimes we all need to hear that it gets better.