Simultaneously Embarrassed and Proud

Jack has been going through a mean, defiant, boundaries-testing phase of late. It really started in earnest in November. He says mean things and talks in a teasing voice. Or, he comes very close to doing something wrong without quite doing the deed itself. He’s always been worst when he’s with his Grandpa Bob, my dad. Grandpa Bob will forgive Jack just about any wrong.

Tonight, Jack and I went to dinner with Grandpa Bob and Great-Grandma. (For the record, Great-Grandma is my mom’s step-mom.) Jack was demanding – give me cornbread, with butter! That kind of thing. When his dinner came, he announced he didn’t like his burger. Now, I gave up meat sometime in college, but I do remember what burgers taste like. This one, tasted off. I don’t know if it just wasn’t cooked properly, if there was something in the meat (like spices or sauce), or what, but it wasn’t good. So Great-Grandma got the idea that Grandpa Bob should share his fish and chips with Jack. Which Jack loved, because it meant putting his fingers all over Grandpa’s food.

Jack was just very rambunctious, despite many attempts by me to calm him down. While playing with his food (a no-no) he spit at me, so he lost his iPhone privileges.

When we got home, he basically behaved for Daddy, who took a rain bath with him. He was the usual sweet but kooky Jack for getting dressed. Then, he surprised me by being the best at teeth brushing that he’s ever been. Kept his mouth open, let me get all of the teeth on all sides, no problem. I praised him and pointed out how much better that was, and he has promised me that he’ll do it again.

When we got into his room, he picked out Great Day for Up, and he asked if he could try to read it. Now, we’ve been trying to get Jack interested in sounding out words for several months now. He’s always refused. He’s never asked to read something. He read a bit, but the words were kind of hard (I mean, Y-O-U is “U”? You don’t realize how bizarre the English language is until you try to teach a kid its rules), so he asked if I could read him a sports book.

So, probably 80% of the evening, I was convinced that I’m a terrible mom. For the last 20%, I saw that my kid can be a great little man. Let’s hope that 20% overtakes the 80%, shall we?

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