My Mother has jinxed me! Just days after my son’s fourth birthday, she casually asked as to how he and I were getting on. I thought this a bizarre question. The dude is my angel and I am his Mother; how odd to ask if we were ‘getting on’. She seemed surprised when I responded in miffed fashion that my Son is an absolute darling. Does he have some sort of alternate personality around her I wondered? What was she insinuating anyway?
Mum went on to tell me that when my younger brother (whom my Son seems like an exact replica of) had turned four it was if a switch had been flicked. One day he was a cutesy chatterbox who loved to cuddle and then boom, fourth birthday passes and he became such a monster that my Mother could have quite happily put him in a box and posted him to Siberia. “Well” says I “My boy is so lovely that I even wrote an article describing his excellent table manners and beautiful behaviour in public”. I heard myself say it out loud and as my Mum smirked, we both knew it was only a matter of time now….
So, last Saturday, unusually my husband had the day off. My son excitedly asks his Dad to come to the cafe with us. It was adorable the way my little one explained to his Dad about the rules of eating out. Hubby was ordered to watch his manners and sit nicely to the table. I was so proud!
So that lunch time we arrived at the cafe. In anticipation of his loveliness, we had promised him that once his sister finished at Stagecoach, we would take them for a ride on a diesel train followed by a picnic on the beach. My boy passed his order of one sausage and no sauce to the waitress but for some uncharacteristic reason, he was behaving silly as he spoke. Hubby looked at me dubiously.
When the sausage arrived, the nice waitress had kindly put some crisps to go with it. Normally he would have thanked her but this time he announces loudly “I DON’T WANT THESE”. I explained that the lady had been very kind and that he should be grateful so if he does not want them then don’t eat them, but don’t be rude as this may hurt her feelings. His response was to start flicking the crisps across the table. I could feel my temper beginning to burn as much as my cheeks, especially as I knew that some of the fellow customers had read my previous ‘how ace is my son’ article.
I pointed to the security camera and reminded him that it was watching for children with bad manners. That I believe was the trigger! If we were in a horror film it would have been that exact moment that his head would have spun 360% before rolling his eyes into the back of his head and projectile vomiting fluorescent acid puke. “I don’t care. stupid pong. You mind your own manners. BOG OOOFFFF” He snarled with bared teeth.
Hubby and I reeled back in our seats stunned. Where the heck did that come from? We did not know how to react at first but then we both burst out in shocked laughter. As it turns out, laughing was a big mistake! No doubt inspired by our reaction, our boy stepped up his game. We were treated to slithering under the table, kicking, refusal to eat his food and a good dose of “so what” and “whatever”.
The novelty of this bizarre tantrum soon wore off, for us parents anyway. He was denied his favourite part of cafe visits, which is paying. The look in his eyes as I paid the bill myself made me think of Chucky, the psychotic doll from the film Child’s Play. As we swiftly exited the cafe, the little horror made a bolt for the toy shop. Hubby caught up with him just as some poor old woman tripped over him “Stupid pong” he spat at her. Who is this child? Hubby threw our Son over his shoulder and started striding purposefully down the High Street towards the car. As his Son kicked him, screamed in this ear and tried to gouge his eyeballs out, I admit I walked several paces behind. “Ah No woman, he’s your kid too, come on” Hubby ordered and waited till I caught up with them.
So many eyes followed us down the street and into the car park. Giving up on trying to strap him into the carseat, we slammed the door shut, locking him inside. We both stood outside, neither of us wanting to get into the car with him so we decided to let him calm down by himself. My husband and I could not stop laughing, not because it was funny but more of a dumbstruck, nervous laughter. Well, we stood outside that car for over twenty minutes and not once did our little dude turn around to look for us but instead just sat kicking the dashboard.
His mood wore off after another hour or so and I have not seen or heard from the demon who possessed our child since. On the drive to the train station, from out of nowhere his little voice mumbled “I’m sorry I was grumpy Mummy, are you cross with me?” He was so contrite and had obviously been pondering his behaviour for some time despite the fact that we did not remonstrate with him about it. No, I was not cross but I was a bit freaked out. My Mother simply smirked when I reluctantly told her about it. Mothers have always seen it all haven’t they!