mommy attitude

Today I decided it was high time I clean the windows in the back doors and the mirror in the living room that used to be one of Seb?s favorite play-things. And I decided to do it while Seb was not napping because lately he?s been into ?wiping? things up with towels or shirts or whatever is in his hand at the time, and I thought it would be fun for him to ?help? me. So I gave him a towel and took for myself the paper towels and Windex and began to clean. Spray spray spray. Wipe wipe wipe. Soon I realize that Seb is far more interested in my paper towel and placing his hand in the Windex on the window. ?No, no, no,? I say, ?use the towel. Wipe with the towel,? and he continues to use his hand while I get more and more frustrated.

A big black furry spider distracts him for a minute, and I am able to finish cleaning the back doors before senselessly murdering this nasty spider. And I say to Seb, ?It?s okay. I killed it. It?s dead.? Now, what does that mean to Seb, these words, ?killed? and ?dead?? Probably nothing more than he saw me smash the spider after he saw it scurrying only moments before. I don?t think this will scar him for life, but thinking about it has made me feel sort of careless and scary. But back to the windex.

We move on to the mirror in the living room, and while I?m cleaning it, Seb places his finger on it. Not his hand. His finger. And he does it while he?s looking at me in a sort of defiance which really makes me angry and sort of disappointed. And he keeps doing it every time I pull his finger away from the glass. ?It?s clean,? I explain, ?keep your fingers off.? Then the whole situation dissolves into both of us being angry, Seb biting the coffee table, and me grabbing him and taking him up to his room for a nap. I didn?t even leave his room with my characteristic, ?See you when you wake up, Bud,? but with silence. Ugh. I realize that I?m going to have to discipline Seb occasionally and maybe even a lot, but sometimes I truly forget to maintain realistic perspective: he?s 16 months old, and more than likely his misbehavior at this point is in response to my own inability to control my reaction to something silly that I don?t like. Like finger prints on the mirror. Was it worth the fight? No way.