Monday, May 10, 2010

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, meet my son...

I had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday, but it's the night that was a real killer. Is there something about a seven-year-old boy that I don’t know about but that I should know about, at least for my sanity's sake? I think I read somewhere that little boys are harder to raise than little girls, and that mothers of sons age faster than mothers of daughters, but I didn't believe this-but after the week I’ve had, I’m a believer now!

First some background knowledge and the “good” about my son.
  • He is certainly a unique soul, unlike no other little boy that I have ever known, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom. 
  • He’s quick, taking in all the facts about every situation-it’s hard to pull a fast one on him.
  • He is very ritualistic-he still tells me goodnight the same way he did when he was two, and gives me a hug when I leave for work in the morning.
  • And he is creative-he can spend hours writing and illustrating stories that actually involve a plot, although his latest depicts me as the bad guy and this has got me thinking…
But like everything in this world, there is also another side of my son.
  • If I want him to explode, all I have to do is tell him to stop what he is doing right away. I have tried to counteract this by setting the kitchen timer and saying that when it goes off he needs to stop, and this has helped a lot.
  • Sometimes his conversations about various topics seem never ending, especially when he hits me with a barrage of questions concerning said topic, and then follows me around the house until I can answer him-sometimes I can’t!
  • He doesn’t respect boundaries, especially when it comes to his sister’s chapter books. What’s hers is his and he barges in her room without asking so that he can rummage through her bookshelves, and he then leaves her books all over the house. And speaking of books, he is never reading just one book, but a minimum of three, and he reads each at different times during the day.
  • His creative mind causes him to come up with all sorts of night (and day) terrors, so getting him to sleep and keeping him asleep is next to impossible.
His latest fear is of spiders, and we’re talking a full-blown screaming/crying sort of fear, and unfortunately his room has been the place for several spider sightings this week. Here's how the latest went down when I was cooking dinner the other night:

“M O M! There’s a spider on my ceiling! Come and get him because I can’t read when it’s here!”

“I can’t do anything about it right now, so just come into the kitchen.”

He rushes in to describe the intruder. “He’s this big,” he makes a circle about the size of a quarter with his thumb and pointer finger, “and I could see his fangs.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t this big,” and I made my fingers look as if they were holding a speck. Sure enough, my son’s sizing estimate may have been a bit off, and I tried to focus on how little the spider is and how big my son is-it didn’t work.

“Look, if it’s up on your ceiling it’s not going anywhere soon, so go back to your reading and I will get it when I can.” Famous last words...

He seemed satisfied for a time, maybe for five minutes or so, and then I heard another blood curdling scream.

“MOM! He’s coming down from the ceiling!”

Now why couldn’t this thing stay up there until my husband got home? I headed into my son’s bedroom and he was crying uncontrollably-it seems that that Mr. Spider could shimmy down his web pretty fast because he was nowhere to be found! I had to strip my son’s bed to make sure the spider wasn’t hiding in there, and I offered to move his bed to search even further, but my Mother’s Day present was underneath, so I said daddy would move it when he came home.

My poor husband wasn’t even in the door before he got hit with the spider story, and he promised to move the bed and deliver a final blow to the fanged little fellow before dinner, but the bed is heavy… At dinner, my son started the inquiry.

“Daddy, did you find the spider?”

“Yep, yep I did.”

My daughter and I looked at each other and then at my husband speculatively (I didn't hear him moving any furniture), but it was my daughter who yelled foul. “No you didn’t dad.”

“Yes, I did. Why doesn’t anyone believe me?”

My son, quiet for a few minutes, asked, “What color was the spider daddy?”

My husband didn’t lose a beat, “It was brown. Yep, I killed it with one of your old comics lying under there.”

Um, yea, they’re like almost always brown but that appeased my son, at least for the time being. He kept asking me all evening if I was sure daddy got the spider, and although I tried to reassure him, in the end he didn’t believe either of us and we were up with him a few times that night. Heck, I can’t believe I am still up now because my son was up at 11:40, 12:15, 12:30, 1:00, and 1:30 this morning.   First we consoled him, and then we got angry and  threatened him-he would lose all that was good, action figures included. In the end, you could still hear him, letting out a sob every five minutes or so until just a little after 2-my husband was snoring beside me, but I just lay there, waiting, hoping… And since my alarm goes off at 5:30 weekday mornings, I could barely function today, but my son? He actually seems chipper, while I on the other hand feel as if I have aged another two years in the past 24 hours.


  1. You must have been so tired. I like the kitchen timer idea. I'm going to remember that in case I ever need it when my son is older, lol!

  2. I can't even imagine how drained you must feel after being awakened so frequently. Your hubs gave it the old college try, didn't he?

  3. Oh this is what I have to look forward to.
    I hope you get a full night of sleep soon!!

  4. You must be wiped out! My oldest son (13) is still very afraid of spiders. He'll kill one once in a while, but he calls us for the big ones. He does the same questioning of my husband when the "execution" is supposedly done.

    I do think that sons age their mothers. My sons are taking turns helping me get grayer every minute.

  5. Mommy is green and Blueviolet, I'm better (thank goodness!)My husband and I were both up, but I took care of the last two times my son woke up alone-hubby is pretty loud when he is upset and I didn't want to wake my daughter...

    Lyndsey, time will tell right?

    Septembermom, I have been seeing some stray grays creeping up too...

  6. oh no. Isn't there some sort of torture that involves sleep depravation? or being woken up during the night way too many times? ugh. sorry chickie.

    on a brighter got your sneaks!!! I remember you being curious about them back at Christmastime...I'm curious to know how they work out for you!!

    please post a photo of you wearing them. Please???

  7. Oh gosh, I hope you get to bed early tonight. He sounds a lot like my youngest daughter. She was terrified of spiders too. If she didn't see the body she didn't buy it. We get A Lot of spiders where we live. A couple of times I got up in the morning and found her sleeping on the couch. She decided to sleep in there rather than disturb us when she got up in the night and saw one. Would he go for something like that?

  8. What a night! Hopefully you've recovered some since then and so has your son. That must be so hard for all of you, when he gets so frightened.

    I've always been told I have a very active imagination and I had terrible fears and nightmares as a child. I think while it has gotten me into trouble, it allows me to be a writer. Maybe your son will be too!

  9. Molly, I don't know, but he is still trying to stay up past bedtime with calls about the bathroom and a drink, etc. I don't know who will win this one...

    Tesa, I was hoping this would be something he would grow out of (the spider fear that is). But you may be right-his imagination might lead somewhere in his future.

  10. OhMy Susan, what a night! My son doesn't care spiders this year. He saw one on the wall and said that;'mom let's keep it until Halloween:)'

  11. I was also afraid of spiders at his age. Um, actually, I'm still terrified of spiders. I can't even look at a picture of one. And you are scaring me saying that mothers of boys age faster than mothers of girls - I already have one boy and I am pregnant with my second! But, I can see how it would be true. I'm exhausted and stressed at the end of everyday because I am chasing and cleaning up after a boy constantly!

  12. My daughter was like that too until I gave a spider a name one day and then she wouldn't kill him because his name was Tom and he was nice!

    And I hope the next day was better!

  13. Yonca, I'm hoping mine grows out of this fear too...

  14. MOPG, I will try this with him and see if it works. Thanks!

  15. Amo, I'm no fan either but his fear is extreme. And yes, I believe this theory too because my son is always knocking things down, tripping, running into things and people...

    Girl, LOL! I don't know if I want to name one, but it might be worth it.

  16. Fears are so real to children, even when they make absolutely no sense to us. I can truly empathize...when it's your son...When it's my daughter? And I'm losing sleep???

  17. Kids never seem to notice their own lack of sleep, but we do! I'm not a big fan of spiders either. I don't know if you remember the movie Arachnophobia, but after I watched it (I was a young teen) I was totally freaked out. Well, one day I was in the shower trying to convince myself that there were no spiders in the shower (like in the movie) when my smart alec sister snuck in and started creeping her hand into the shower like a spider. Well, I totally freaked out and screamed at her.

    I hope your son overcomes his fears soon!

  18. Dear Susan,

    Thank You for entering the Bake Up Summer Sweets Contest. I hope you are given the opportunity to own a new KitchenAid mixer so you can whip up your strawberry glace pie recipe with ease.
    Thank You and Good Luck!
    The Beso Team


Please make my day and leave a comment.