It’s 7:08 am on a Wednesday morning and two year old Henry is crying hysterical, hitting me, and yelling he wants his mommy. I’ve lived in Montana now for 47 days. This is the first time I’ve considered spanking the little guy. My usual threats include “do you want your dad to spank you?” I’ve never laid a hand on him or his brother. But as I sit in the living room of our tiny home while their dad is at work, I think, “now is as good a time as any for the kid to learn that I can spank him for his asshole like behavior too.” It all started just as anything normally does with a two year old. I wake him up and he hates all the clothes in his drawers. He is sprawled on the floor face down to prevent me from putting on his shirt. Screaming bloody murder as if his dog had been run over by a car in front of his very eyes. His older brother is behind me, clearly amused by my “what the f*** do I do now” face. He is dressed and eating his breakfast. He normally watches TV, but the entertainment that I am providing is much more rich and exciting.
I finally have Henry dressed, but the Nile River is still flowing from his eyes. We have moved on from the clothes though. It is now about breakfast. Cereal was OK every other morning, but today, it is like eating a snail. We are at the bartering stage now. I explain that if he eats his cereal, he can have a piece of candy and watch whatever show he wants when he gets home. The kid is clearly not buying it. No breakfast for Henry today. (He gets breakfast at daycare too…don’t judge me.) I am now 17 minutes late for work, one kid laughing at me, and one screaming like a banshee. This is the moment I realize I’ve had enough. I raise my hand and begin the count. “ONE!” Nothing. He stands there staring at me, now screaming louder. “TWO!” Not a blink. It’s as if he’s tempting me with the words “Do it Isha. I dare you.” (The kids call me Isha.) “THREE!” I drop everything in my hands, grab his shoulder to spin him around, and wind up. The momentum slowed down mid way as I immediately regret my decision. I give him a stern love tap and he screams louder. The neighbors believe a massacre is happening in our house. I give up realizing this isn’t going anywhere and I decide getting in the car to go to school/daycare is the best option. I may have two kids that are not taking me seriously, but I will not have my boss look at me negatively for coming in late. I’m determined to at least do that right today.
We are driving down the road to Henry’s daycare. He is at a decibel that would make someone roll over in their grave. Carter is sitting next to him with his ears plugged praying it will all be over soon. “I WANT MY MOMMY! I WANT MY MOMMY!” is all that he can get out of his mouth. I calmly say “I know buddy, but not today.” We are 90 seconds out from his daycare and he suddenly stops. The tears of joy are almost pouring out of my eyes because the thought of the daycare lady judging me as the worst stepmother of all time did not sound appealing. I calmly walk him into daycare, smile at the nice lady, and hand him off. No one is the wiser. This is how it is with everyone that Henry interacts with. “He is such an angel.” “He is such a doll.” “He is so polite.” He can be all those things, but deep down inside is a terrible two and we will meet again.