time to regroup

Poor Chicken.

I imagine he feels like Woody from Toy Story. There he is, gliding along, cuddled up with his favorite people who love him with their full focus. And all of a sudden... BOOM. A little pink chubby Buzz Lightyear lands on his head. His world is knocked off its orbit. Pictures of Buzz, newer, still glossy, start to crowd pictures of Woody.

What's he supposed to do? Sit quietly and wait his turn? He's two for fuck's sake. His version of sit quietly and wait his turn looks like Will Ferrell trapped in a glass case of emotion meets a bipolar circus monkey on speed.

He's clearing shelves with karate-chop action. He's piling pointy things on Buster's face. He's trying to put stuffed animals in the diaper genie. Any time we attempt to prevent him from doing any of these things he goes glass case of emotion on us.

And I have precisely zero spare energy to dedicate to creative problem solving or trying to empathize with his emotional turmoil.

So when a month ago I would have made up a silly song about how stuffed animals don't like to frolic in shitty diapers (it's a work in progress), today I say "CHICKEN. NO. Chicken! Look at me! No! I said NO!" (God, I hate the sound of my voice when I'm saying this crap to my kid.)

The worst part is that "no" doesn't even fucking work.

He cares about me saying "no" exactly as much as I care about him saying "no" when I am prying his spider monkey fingers off of my iPhone as he stands over the toilet.  

"I hear that you're saying 'no,' and I'm sorry you don't like this, but I HAVE TO DO IT," we both seem to be saying to each other.

Because he does HAVE to do these things.

He has a voice in his head all day long screaming, "try that! Taste this! Throw all the things! The iPad belongs in the sink take it there now! Stuff washcloths in the potty! Hit! Throw! Run! Rinse! Repeat! Fall to the floor and howl like a Civil War amputee!"

I love, love, love that voice. Truly. It makes him the pony every kid wants to ride- the spirited one with flinty eyes and a heart of gold. The one whose nuzzles are rare, precious, hard-won. That's my boy. He's tough and focused and a little cray cray. 

I love my Chicken. I LOVE my Chicken. I love him so much I cannot let him become a hitter. I love him so much I refuse to permit him to play in his own shit. 

I just have to figure out how to say that in Chickenese.


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