We get home from the park only to realize Finn forgot his backpack. Or I forgot it since I was the one sitting closest. Either way, the backpack is not in the car. So we drive back to the park, scoop it up and head home again.
We gather up our things (again) and start into the house. Only Finn is empty handed. "Where's all your stuff, dude?"
"I left it in the car."
He shrugs. "Cause I don't want to carry it."
This type of thing has been happening a lot lately and it's driving me nuts. He decides he isn't going to do something and then that's it. He just doesn't do it. I've mentioned before that he's head-strong, right? Yeah. This kid can hold his ground like nothing I've ever seen.
Every time he starts to dig his heels in, I panic. Literally panic. I scan my brain for anything I can do to get him to comply, quickly come up with a big fat goose egg, then silently freak out, knowing I'm mere moments away from a not-so-silent freak out.
His stubbornness typically comes with unrelenting noise that pushes all my buttons at the very same time. And he won't stop until he gets what he wants. How do I know this? Because I usually give in to him. After the not-so-silent freak out. It's like a terrible parenting double-whammy.
So, anyway, back to the coming in from the car saga.
We're in a stand off. Finn is standing on the sidewalk screaming at me while I'm just in the house banging my head against the wall and trying to decide if I should yell or cry. Then he starts coming up the steps like he's just going to walk into the house empty handed. So I do the only thing I can think to do. I lock him out.
He screams louder of course. And I no longer have to wonder if I'm going to cry. The whole thing is capital R Ridiculous. Liam stares at me like he honestly can't believe this is his family.
"All this over a backpack," he says, shaking his head. He's smirking at us and I get it. The whole scene is perfectly insane. Especially the part where the GROWN UP is banging her head against a locked door muttering about how she has NO IDEA what else to do.
After a minute he can't take it anymore. "I'm going out," he says confidently and walks out the door. I hide like a scared puppy and peek out the door to see what's going to happen.
"Finn," Liam yells with excitement. "Look out! The van's about to blow! I can hear the bomb counting down. Ten, nine, eight... you better get your stuff before it blows to smithereens!" Finn runs to the car laughing, grabs all his stuff in a matter of seconds, shuts the door and tromps up the front steps like a four star General.
They come into the house laughing, hang up their stuff and run off to play. I'm speechless. My mind is blown. And one thing is perfectly clear:
I have to learn to be more fun.