So, whenever one of us is frustrated with our little people, particularly the older little person, we’ll usually say something like ‘he was really trying to como se dice me.’ ‘Como se dice’ being our adapted euphemism inspired by this Anne Lamott essay:
[Random] Highlights from ‘Mother Anger: Theory and Practice’ by Anne Lamott
He is an unusually good boy at other people’s houses…At other people’s homes, my child does not suck the energy and air out of the room. He does not do the same annoying thing over and over and over until his friends’ parents need to ask him through clenched teeth to stop doing this.
But at our house, he – comment se dit? – f*cks with me. He can provoke me into a state of something similar to road rage.
A few mothers seem happy with their children all the time, as if they’re sailing through motherhood, entranced. However, up close and personal, you find that these moms tend to have tiny little unresolved issues: They exercise three hours a day or check their husband’s pockets every night looking for motel receipts.
One reason I think we get so angry at our children is because we can. Who else can you talk to like this? Can you imagine hissing at your partner, ‘You get off the phone now! No, not in five minutes..’? Or saying to a friend, ‘You get over here right this second! And the longer you make me wait, the worse it’s going to be for you.’
At the same time, if you need to yell, children are going to give you something to yell about. There’s no reasoning with them. If you get into a disagreement with a regular person, you slog through it; listen to the other person’s position, needs, problems; and somehow you arrive at something that is maybe not perfect, but you don’t actually feel like smacking them.
They can be like rats. I mean this in the nicest possible way. They may still be drooling, covered with effluvia, trying to wrestle underpants on over their heads because they think they’re shirts, but in the miniature war room of their heads, they still know where your nuclear button is.