The Taming Of the Stewie

Posted by: , February 14, 2009 in 9:01 am

Our household had a Supernanny-type meeting recently.  Sans Jo Frost.  I am not sure how it came to this point, or when…but, if we didn’t do something soon, I fear I would be writing this blog from my jail cell.

I created a monster, you see.

He is about three feet tall, with big brown eyes, and a peaches and cream complexion.  He has always been my precious little Stepford Child.  No Terrible Twos.  No Tantrum-filled Threes.  He does not disobey.  He does not talk back.  He does not break toys or write on walls or run through shopping malls.

His crime?  He exhibits the self-assured arrogance of Humphrey Bogart.  Or…Stewie from Family Guy.

“I don’t have a cold drink,” he chants from the dining room while I balance a pot full of steamed broccoli in one hand and a skewered pork chop in the other.  “You forgot to turn off the light upstairs,” he chirps, echoing my own words.  “Did you move Bunny away from the white ambulance?” he barks, discovering Dad, in an early-morning stupor, tripped over his ornate mini town setup.  Need I mention Dad kicked the ambulance into another room and used enough profanity to make up for the four years we’ve been profane-free?

The morning of our Supernanny meeting, I was met with a frustrated four-year-old looking for a specific flatbed truck.  No, not that one.  No, not the police one.  No…that one has a red cab.  It turns out, the one he was looking for has a white cab and a black flatbed.  After searching for it—and being unsuccessful—I finally muttered, “I don’t know where it is…I don’t even know which one you are looking for!”  I felt a bit dismayed.  I’m the one who locates toys—no matter how big or small, no matter what floor of the house—I have a toy GPS imbedded in my brain.  On this particular day, it was he who gleefully explained, “Here it is!”

That afternoon was more of the same:  “I need a fresh drink.”  “You didn’t put a napkin on my lap!”  “You forgot to give me yogurt!”  “I’m not wearing socks.”  Picture all of this said in a condescending, arrogant tone…yes, now you’ve got it.

Why has he taken on this attitude?  I’ll tell you.  I created it.  Since he was a year old, he has drunk from a real cup—no sippy—a real cup.  Thus, I made sure the real cup experience was always pleasant.  Ice cold water, always fresh.  Now, if I give him a cup of tap water, I brace for:  This isn’t cold?!?!  What four-year-old needs a napkin on his lap?  Mine.  Yes, like an idiot, I taught him table manners from infanthood.  Now, I catch hell if he doesn’t have his “lapkin.”  Oh, and yogurt.  Mr. Regimented is devastated if his morning cereal arrives sans vanilla yogurt.  And his wardrobe?  Yes, Regimented Mama has always bathed and groomed him daily and dressed him in specific outfits depending on the season.  In winter, it’s socks everyday—whether we are leaving the house or not—hardwood floors prove quite chilly on little piggy toes.  Well, God forbid I stray and forget to pick out socks…he goes to the drawer, gets them himself and thrusts them at me as if to say, “Do your job, Woman!”

So, Dad and I laid down the law on Wednesday.  No more bossing us around.  No more politeness sheathed in sarcasm.  And vice versa—‘cause that is known to happen, too.  No more ornate cityscapes outside our bedroom door, where Dad is liable to fall over them not only causing self-injury but also putting him in the dreaded position of having to explain the whereabouts of Bunny and/or Green Alien (after kicking one or the other in any number of directions).

The days since our Supernanny-esque meeting have gone well.  Our household is peaceful again.  We are careful to point out any transgressions—such as bossiness or lack of patience—and I must say…I am starting to feel less like Lois Griffen.


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