A Fine Day … for a Fight

It was a fine day today. Except this time, I’m being facetious. It was fine up until about 3:15 or 3:30 when Lucas completely lost his mind. You see, I wanted to put Asher down for a nap, but Lucas wanted to play with Asher instead. So, naturally, Lucas started hitting and kicking me. Of course. That’s what you would do if I tried to put your little brother down for a nap.

I took Lucas by the arm and led him to his bedroom, saying something to the effect of “It is not OK for you to hit and kick me. Now you may go to your room. I will be putting Asher down for a nap now.” Lucas tried to punch me nearly all the way to his room, until he went limp and collapsed on the floor. So I bodily pulled him into his room and repeated my message. Then I closed his door.

Much screaming and gnashing of teeth ensued. In and out of his room he went; every time he came out, I put him back in his room. At one point I held him really close so he couldn’t deck me. That’s when he spit at me.

And that’s when I lost my temper. I shouted. I even said “fucking,” as in “YOU WILL STAY IN YOUR ROOM FOR THE REST OF THE FUCKING AFTERNOON!”

I left, went to soothe Asher, and quickly realized that Lucas had won. There was no way in hell Asher was going to relax enough to go to sleep now. He was crying and fussy and confused about all the drama. Of course. That’s how you would feel if I tried to put your big brother into his room for being a shit.

So, I just lied there beside the baby, listening to Lucas’s tantrum run through its predictible phases and thinking how pissed off I was that he took us to this place and, damn it, I should have handled it better. Somehow. See, there’s really not all that much you can do to a child when he decides to be an ass—that is, there is not much you can do if you’ve already decided that spanking isn’t right. Lucas may not be a big kid yet, but he’s plenty powerful and when one of his blows connects—damn! It hurts. I thought about how convenient it would be if there were a lock on his bedroom door so I could ensure that he stayed put, but then I remembered a friend’s story about how her parents used to regularly lock her in her room.

The screaming changed from “You’re a mean mommy! I hate you!” to “I forgive you, mommy!” to “Do you forgive me now, mommy?” Eventually he got quiet and miraculously he did not leave his bedroom. I peeped in after a while and saw that he had turned off the light and gotten into bed. Another time I noticed the door open a bit, but saw him still inside.

He stayed in his room for an hour and a half. That’s the longest time out ever. I felt I had to make a lasting impression—it is unacceptable for him to hit and kick and spit at me. If it happens again, he will stay the rest of the day in his room, until 5 o’clock comes and he can apologize to me and then explain the day’s events to his father, who doesn’t take kindly to news of Lucas beating on me.

When I finally let Lucas out at 5 p.m., he was all sweetness and roses. He apologized profusely and clearly explained to me what behavior was unacceptable and why he was in trouble. He seems to have gotten the message. 

It’s been a long time since he pulled this type of shit with me.* Somehow, turning 6 has made him insane. Fortunately, the book (Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant) says it will pass in about six months.

* Since he was 4, I think.

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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