I don’t know what happened to the sweet little boy that we left in SC two weeks ago. The boy that we picked up is taller, has a more mature face, and talks with a smart mouth. My mother warned me on Thursday evening. She called to say that Jay had left a 4-inch scratch in his big sister’s back, and that when she told him she was going to tell me and Hubby, he said “Soooo.”
Nonny said that he had been fighting and picking at Mae all week. Mae was complaining that he had spit on her several times during the week (which means that he blew raspberries at her), including on this particular day. For Jay, that’s a pretty contemptuous act, and he knows how much it aggravates Mae.
My first thought was that he was acting out fatigue. His nap schedule lapsed during this two week vacation. As much as he argues that he doesn’t need a nap, he can be quite the grump when he’s tired.
He was sleeping when Nonny called me, so I figured that I’d see what was going on with him myself once we arrived to get him and Mae this weekend.
For sure, Saturday morning, it was clear: he looked different and he had an attitude! I couldn’t believe it then, and I’m having trouble believing it now as we head back up to MD. He flat out refused to brush his teeth and have his face washed on Saturday morning. I had to put him behind a closed door until he agreed to cooperate. Before, a warning alone would have worked nine and a half times out of ten.
And, I heard him say “so.” I don’t even think his sister, Queen Smart-mouth, says that. We went out for lunch on Saturday afternoon, and I had to speak to him more firmly than usual to keep him from putting trash on the floor and pulling tape off the tears in the fake leather seats (worn furniture aside, the food was great and I like supporting locally owned businesses at home).
Yep, Jay’s been salty. When I ask him what happened to my little boy, he laughs and says, “It’s me!” I don’t even remember him having the terrible twos. He’s been so easy, especially compared to Mae. I think it would be a real uncool trick on me and Hubby to get thrown back into the twos when Jay is a mere five days from four and Mae is a whopping seven years. And, she, by the way, did a great job of tolerating Jay’s taunting. Nonny said that Mae wouldn’t hit him back and she didn’t cry when he scratched her.
Vacation is a perfect time for less structure and more freedom. I’m grateful that my mother was able and willing to provide that break for Jay and Mae. I’m hoping that once we get back into a regular routine at home, including more rest and a diet with less sugar and artificial things, Jay will come around.