Over the past 2 weeks my almost 4-year-old has mutated from a sweet, angelic, mamma’s baby boy to an aggressive, angry, misbehaved little upstart and until now, I had no idea who or what to blame.
At first I thought he had some weird virus. Turns out the doctor gave him a clean bill of health. Then I thought it might be diet-related, even though I never give him caffeine (knowingly), candy or alcohol. I even thought it might be that he was getting too much of my attention and that his grandparents and I had been spoiling him too much over the school holidays.
Then, finally, I had an epiphany. Cartoons were making him cranky and bratty and wild. I realised that during our winter vacation, I had absent-mindedly let my boys watch the Cartoon Network every night before bed instead of our usual routine of storytime and snuggles. Well, needless to say, the cartoons my little boy watched every night in the hotel we stayed have had such a detrimental effect on his behaviour that I am now desperately looking for the re-set button so that I can re-program my 3.75 year old back to his ‘factory settings’. He’s taken to smacking me, kicking me in the shins and tantrumming like a 2-year-old if he doesn’t get his own way. The only way I can avoid confrontation with him is to ply him with Kinder eggs and transformer toys. Failing that, he spirals out of control and will not negotiate.
I have a good mind to write to the hotel manager and complain that the quality of children’s programs has ruined my life. But I really have myself to blame. I was selfish and wanted to chill out while my kids settled themselves to bed in front of the telly. And now I have only myself to blame. I am at my wits end. I want my sweet, compliant baby boy back. I just hope that I’m not too late and that the damage done can’t be undone.
Please say a prayer for me that after a few more nights of re-implementing our hallmark gently-to-bed bedtime routine I will have my child back to ‘normal’, and that the bruises on my kicked shins heal soon!