“You grabbed that when I specifically told you not to, that’s naughty!” I snapped at my defiant son.
“Yeah, I’m naughty, it’s kinda my thing” He deadpanned.
Needless to say I was taken aback by his reply. My son is the proverbial James Dean, a rebel without pause. His defiance is not what I find so surprising; I’ve become well acquainted with his rebellious nature as of late. What surprises me most is his own calm acceptance of the fact that he is indeed a rule-breaker and has thus—at the ripe old age of three—embraced this defiant spirit. Dear god a penchant for rebellion paired with an impish grin, and dimples no less; my husband and I have some rocky years ahead indeed.
I have come to realize that I too need to make peace with that fact that his strong-willed nature is simply an unflinching aspect of his character. It is my job to channel this defiant energy into something positive. Yes, I realize I need to stop with the negative labeling and quit threatening that Santa will be bringing him a lump of coal or a stocking full of sticks if he keeps it up–don’t judge, I am very pregnant and quite desperate these days! My son has little fear of such consequences anyway. If I threaten him with the possibility of a Christmas of coal and sticks he sees this as a challenge. Yep, I have reason to believe that my cunning little man is attempting to call my bluff. He knows all too well that Santa is weak and will thusly cave come Christmas morning.
What kind of sadist would I be if I tried to win this battle and prove him wrong by filling his stocking with sticks and lump of carcinogenic rock? So rather than attempt to impel the idea that the fat man is a cruel and unforgiving persecutor I will man up and take hold of the reins. It is my job to be the fat cruel oppressor so to speak. I make the rules and I deliver the immediate consequences. It sounds so simple, but sometimes immediacy is difficult to deliver, especially when I am in the throes of the third trimester. Lithe, I am not; my physique these days could give Santa a run for his money. Waddling after two wily three-year olds is exhausting and my inner lazy parent would much rather rule from the comfort of my couch, spouting idle threats of a Christmas without presents. Instead I must uproot myself from the comfort of my couch and waddle after my sons, delivering my bag of resplendent consequences, ho, ho, ho…
I am doing the best I can these days. I still have fears that my son will grow up defying every rule and wind up in prison one day (a tad extreme, I know). I try to exhume comfort from the idea that some of the greatest men in history were considered rebels—men who defied conformity and stood up for justice despite the consequences. Rebelliousness does not have to be something indelibly negative and perhaps my little man’s defiant nature can one day be channeled into acts of integrity. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, inarguably both great men, men of integrity and men who flouted the general rule and stood up for peace, tolerance, and justice…
Oh crap, both of these great men were assassinated.