In which Boy develops autonomy by making me crazy

Boy has been given a sheet of words, letters and numbers that incorporate our letter and number of the day. He’s then supposed to trace the things that are traceable, then practice writing them himself on the blank lines. This is something we do every day, so it’s not like it’s new activity. So, he’s got his sheets, and I’ve gone into another room to put ice on the foot where I heard something go SNAP. Ouchies. (Yes, the foot that’s been broken since February…will this thing never heal?)

Boy comes in 2 minutes later: Mom, will you get my pen, I accidentally threw it.
Me: Accidentally?
Boy: Yes, it was an accident, ok? (Crosses arms, knits brow, pouts)
Me: Yeah….ya know, that’s a fairly dangerous attitude problem you got going there, kiddo.
Boy: It is not. Will you please just get my pen?
Me: In a minute. And it’s a pencil.
Boy: It is NOT!
Me: Bud, it’s wooden, it has a lead, it has an eraser, and it says pencil on the side. It’s a pencil.
Boy: No it’s not!
Me: Dude, do you have any idea how annoying it is that you argue with me about everything?
Boy: No. And I don’t argue about everything. Just some things.
Me: Ah…and which things are those?
Boy: The things that I feel like arguing about, ok?
Me: Aaaaaaaaagh! My mother’s curse is coming true!
Boy: No it’s not.

You know, they never warn you about this stuff in parenting classes. Oh sure, you learn how to fold a diaper…like there have been diaper services since the 60s, and you get to watch disgusting films about childbirth that make defensive driving films look like great entertainment…but do they tell you about things like the development of the ego, the drive for autonomy, the discovery of self, the years between the adorable cuteness and the snarky teenager? No. No, they don’t. Because they are rat bastards.

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