Confession: I may be raising the next great super villain. A bold statement straight out of the gates, I know, but read on and I think you may agree with me.
Lloyd is the runt of the litter. He actually holds the record for biggest/heaviest baby at birth, but his weight took a nose-dive at around 9 months and he is now the puniest of our crew. But don’t let his bony knees and pointy elbows fool you, this kid is not the cute little mascot-in-training that he looks like.
This past week I took Melanie (16), Angela (13), Lloyd (5) and Dory (1) to Six Flags while the others were still in school. (For those of you thinking “Well that’s not fair,” please read my post Life’s Not Fair 😉 ) Lloyd is actually a really good sport about going to Six Flags considering he doesn’t like rides. There are exactly 3 rides he is willing to ride, and he is most happy when we let him play at the playground in Bugs Bunny Boomtown. I openly acknowledge that walking around and waiting for other people to ride roller coasters isn’t the most exciting way to spend a day, so I try to cut the little man some slack.
We had only been at the park for an hour when Lloyd decided to amuse himself by messing with Dory – always a mom-pleaser! Dory was in her stroller, chilling like she does. Lloyd shoved his face right in hers and made some obnoxious noise. Some days she thinks this is funny, but not this day. She yelled “No!” and shoved him away. Obviously encouragement to do it again right? He sticks his face back in hers and she smacks him. I’m letting it play out because she seems to be getting her point across. Or so I thought.
Lloyd makes an annoying noise and sticks his face in hers. Again.
She screams again and this time she scratches his face. He comes unhinged. “DON’T SCRATCH ME DORY!! DON’T EVER SCRATCH MEEEE!!!” And he starts advancing on the stroller like he is going to hit her.
I intercept and explain, “Buddy, she’s told you no and pushed you away, and slapped you and you still put your face in hers. When you are little, you use the tools you have to make people stop. For Dory that is her nails and her teeth. If you don’t want her to scratch you, stop getting in her face.” Lloyd looks like he’s going to burst a blood vessel while I’m talking. As soon as I stop, he dodges past me and does it again. He. Does. It. AGAIN.
Dory is mad at this point, so she takes her game to the next level and tries to bite him. She misses, but he is flabbergasted that she would even think of taking a bite out of his schnozzle. “SHE TRIED TO BITE ME!! SHE IS THE MEANEST BABY IN THE WOOOOOORRRRLLLD.”
This was one of those moments where I had 3 choices – I could yell back at my little tyrant, I could throttle him (alas not a true option, but one that I often think of fondly), or I could laugh.
“Bud, I’ve explained it to you. You are doing something that she doesn’t like, and she’s told you that she doesn’t like it. If you don’t want to get scratched and bitten, for the love!, leave her alone.” And then I burst out laughing.
At this point I notice a dad standing off to the side trying very hard not to look in our direction. I can’t tell if he is trying not to laugh, too, or just hiding his judgement. But the way he is angling his head away, I know he is hearing every word. No big, if people aren’t staring at us because there are 9 million of us, then hopefully my parenting can get me some attention. (My sarcasm is on full blast, just in case you weren’t picking up on that.)
Apparently laughing was not the right choice to calm Lloyd down. He goes nuts.
“Stop laughing at MEEEEE!!!” As he says “me” he climbs on top of the bench next to him, and starts raising his hands that are tensed so that each finger looks like a claw.
All I could think of was a certain musclebound green monster saying “Hulk SMASH!!!” which made me laugh harder. And that made him scream ever more shrilly to stop laughing at him.
“I’m sorry, buddy, I’m not laughing to make you mad. You are just being so ridiculous I can’t help it. I’ll try to stop-“
He interrupts “IT’S NOT FUNNY!!! NEVER laugh at MEEEEEE!” Now his hands are clenched in fists that his is holding above his head.
I start snorting.
He jumps off the bench and starts coming at me with his fist raised like he wants to hit me.
Game over. Now I know how to cure a giggle fit.
“Don’t come at me, little man. Put your fist down. I’m sorry I laughed, but you don’t ever raise your first to Mama.” I was very calm and didn’t raise my voice, which is unusual (keeping it real) and is probably why it worked.
I made him apologize and I apologized again for laughing at him. End of scene, right?
The dad who had been listening turned to me once the storm was over:
Random Dad: I have one of those too.
Me: Oh boy. How old? Do they grow out of this??
Random Dad: She’s almost 5.
Me: Ahhh, he just turned 5. I’m pretty sure he is destined to be a super villain someday. Lately my mantra to get through the day is ‘Kin-der-gar-ten Kin-der-gar-ten.’”
Random Dad (laughing): I get it.
It must be true that misery loves company, because the fact that a stranger, who witnessed my son evil-monologuing right before he tried to hit me, would acknowledged that he, too, has a difficult child completely made my day. Thank you, Random Dad, for letting me know that there are other littles out who seem destined for global domination.