Don't get me wrong, The Rock Star has definitely had his moments. There was, of course, his epic Sea World meltdown. I've experienced him acting like a teenage girl. He's clawed at me while I try to shove him into the car, making it appear that I'm trying to abduct someone else's child. He's completely lost it and started swinging his arms wildly at me.
But usually he's even keel.
Not so with his dramatic brother.
Last week, I picked Garrett up from school and, as I stood talking to some other moms, a group of boys chased each other in the snow. Both of mine decided it would be awesome to grab fistfuls of snow. It was under 30 degrees outside and they weren't wearing gloves.
One of them approached me, crying, holding his little hands out and shaking.
The other one just kept playing.
I picked the first one up, wrapped my coat around him (although, for the record, YES! and OF COURSE! he was wearing a coat of his very own) and trapped his hands between my torso and my arms to warm them. Still, he sobbed.
"Dey ah so code! My hands! My hands ah so code!" The longer we stood there, the more catastrophic the situation became for him. Tears dripped off his face. Still, the other son ran and laughed and threw snowballs.
"Garrett!" I hollered, "let's go, Bud."
He screeched to a halt. "Why?"
"Your brother's hands are cold."
"Well, my hands are cold, too," he said as he walked to my side.
"I know," I replied. "But sometimes life is just harder for Matthew."
It's a true statement but, of course, I was going for comic relief. The other moms began to laugh--especially the ones with more than one child.
I've heard that there is an almost universal flip. Children who are more challenging as little people turn into well managed teens and vice versa. My husband refuses to acknowledge this phenomenon, stating that he was mostly remarkable at all stages of life. With very few exceptions, his family seems to validate his claims. Still, I've witnessed it in many families--the switch.
So maybe, one day, it will be my oldest who sometimes makes me want to tear every hair out of my head. Maybe, one day, my youngest will not burst into tears when someone asks him to go get his shoes. Maybe he won't ask for help putting them on just to take them off again and do it himself just to sob hysterically because they aren't right and I need to help him. And if you had a hard time following that sentence I understand. Because I, myself, had a hard time following it in real time.
My mother assures me that he's come a very long way from that spirited baby who would SIMPLY. NOT. STOP. SCREAMING.
But some days I just need reminding.