Aiden: Why'd you make me waffles instead of pancakes?!!
Me: Umm... I'm not sure. That's just the first thing I thought of.
Aiden: That's not the correct answer!!!! (He's clearly being a brat right now.)
Me: Aiden, you know, I wake up extra early to make you something to eat. How about a "thank you"?
Aiden: *Whines until I tune him out.*Sigh.
Aiden's in this really, uh, interesting phase where nothing I do is "right." He's been cranky, he's been whiny, he's been really trying to assert his independence in inappropriate ways. He's questioning all of my choices and challenging all of the rules. I've been called "mean" no less than five times per day. It's been like this for about three weeks. But it feels like it's been much, much longer, and truth be told, it's more than a little annoying.
But... this too shall pass, right?
I try to combat this by creating rules together with him. (Some of them, not all of them.) I give him a time frame to let him know how much time we have left with an activity. I give him two choices to help him feel empowered. I let him do things that I know he's capable of doing because I want him to feel independent. I feel like I'm doing everything to make this phase go as smoothly -- and quickly! -- as possible, but I'm tired. And sick of being called "mean." And annoyed that Aiden has his ungrateful moments where he's being unpleasant and downright bratty. Because it's not his best and it's not who I' raising him to be.
Then this morning happened.
As I was walking him into the school building, one of the class parents stopped me. She wanted to tell me that Aiden's a really pleasant boy. That he always says "good morning," when he walks into the building. That he's well-mannered and kind. That he's caring. That he's helpful to his teacher and his friends. That, during reading time, he helps one of his classmates -- who's reading on a Level A -- sound out words. That he's, essentially, a really good kid.
Yes, even in the midst of this
And then I remembered this one thing...
So yeah... this too shall pass.