I’m starting to believe that I must have budding musicians/artists/actors on my hands. Because if I don’t, I’m a little…worried. See, my children have what some may call a flair for the dramatic. EVERYTHING in my home has a taste of drama.
“What’s drama?” asked my almost-five year old. “When you take something that’s a little deal, and make it into a great big deal,” I replied. And for my children, the time it takes to go from “little” to “big” is no time at all.
Take putting on their jackets. Both are adept at this seemingly mundane task. Particularly at holding the sleeve of their shirt in their hand, putting one arm in the jacket sleeve, reaching behind them, and repeating with the other arm. Little deal, right?
Not in my house. As soon as the idea of putting on the jacket has been planted in their heads, the drama begins. “But I don’t know where my jacket IS!” It’s in the same place it always is – either where you left it last, or hanging in the closet. Look for it. “Uhh, ohh, eww, ohh, ohhh, ummm…..I NEED HELP!” Doing what? We do this multiple times a day. Maybe if you weren’t leaned over the couch and actually standing up, the process of getting the jacket on would be easier. And all that moaning and groaning you are doing is wasting energy. *Now in almost perfect unison, but not quite so it’s really just noise* “Mommy, can you zip me up?” Sure. I start with one. Then the other asks the same exact question, standing right next to me. Do they need glasses? Can’t they see that I’m still zipping the other up? “But Mommy, I didn’t want you to zip it ALL THE WAY! Ohhh…..!”
The head teacher at the preschool has something new to tell me every week about my almost-five year old, something we need to work on. He sings to himself constantly; he always has a little ditty going. I tell him to be quiet, and he acknowledges he hears me, but the ditty is so unconscious, he’s right back at in in no time flat. He appears to be in his own world, but a world of drama in which other people exist, but as props for him. He wanders aimlessly, bumping into things and people. He touches everyone, leaning his whole body weight into them. “But Mommy…” is his favorite phrase as his head leads his body into my body. A sense of helplessness has overcome him lately.
My three year old yells. And yells. And when put in time out for yelling, she yells, “But I won’t do it anymore!” And when she’s not yelling, she’s expressing her undying love for you. Back and forth it goes with this child, who at one moment is crying because she didn’t get to say goodbye to Daddy before he left for work, but at the next moment is yelling about how I shouldn’t tell her to sit and eat her food because she doesn’t like when I say that to her. And after the time out that comes from that, she’s crawling all over me so she can kiss me and say, “Mommy, I love you.”
The crazy thing is that a lot of this drama, other people don’t see. I ask their other caregivers if the dramatics are as deep as they are at home, and other people say not quite. It seems the drama is saved for home, for me, and I don’t know what to make of it. Is home where the social experiment of raising children happens, and the only way you know if you are doing right is how they act on the “outside”? Are children supposed to act crazy at home, getting it out of their systems, abusing the ones they know love them most, and putting their best sides forward when out in the street? I certainly hope so, for that’s the only way I will survive this. At least 15 more years? Talk about needing help…