Temper, Temper

Specific

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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“I hate you!  I’m never going to speak to you again!  You’re so mean!”  stormed Jimmy. His face was ugly with temper, flushed in splotches and smeared with tears and snot.

“Okay.  I guess we’re done talking then, aren’t we, Jimmy?  Unless you care to be more specific,” said Mommy. She was calm and quiet, which made Jimmy even more angry.

“You NEVER let me have what I want!  You ALWAYS say NO to me!” He stamped his Nike-clad foot, pulling on his expensive jacket as he ranted.

“Always?  Never?  Can you be more specific?”

Jimmy was so outraged he could hardly speak.

“What is pacific?”  he demanded.

“Specific,”  said Mommy. “It means give me some details.  Give me an example of when I never let you have what you want, or always said NO to you.”

Jimmy finally settled down while he did some serious thinking. He knew there were LOTS of examples of Mommy being mean, but he couldn’t think of one now. Huh. Oh, wait! He had one—it was what they were just now arguing about!

stock-photo-angry-year-old-boy-with-hands-in-pockets-isolated-on-white-63313906

“Well, you just told me I can’t have a new tablet for my birthday.  See?  You ALWAYS say NO to me!”

“Oh, I see. Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but my decision is final.  Now, I’d suggest that unless you really intend to run away, you take off that expensive jacket I allowed you to have, and your new Nikes that I also agreed to buy for you. Finish your supper, which I prepared and made just the way you like it, and then go get ready for bed.”

“BED?  It’s way too early for bed!”

“Not for someone who still behaves like a baby instead of a ten-year-old. I mean it. And Jimmy?  You’re not going to speak to me again in that disrespectful tone of voice or with such hurtful words.”

Jimmy looked at Mommy’s face, saw the determination in her eyes, and decided that retreat was the best  choice for now. He silently ate his supper, took off his jacket and shoes, and went to his room.  She couldn’t make him go to bed if he didn’t want to.

Mommy, however, was not stupid.  She followed him to his room. Stood with her arms crossed over her chest as he got his pajamas on, brushed his teeth, and  glared at her.

“Can I at least have some privacy so I can use the toilet?” he demanded.

“I’ll turn my back. Until you stop speaking to me that way, you’re not going to have one more moment of privacy. Your bedroom door stays open.  If you close it, I will remove it. I’ve had enough of your selfishness, your ugly attitude and behavior.  Things will be different from this moment. And you can THINK you hate me, but you’d better not say it again.  You’re not too big to get the spanking you deserve. Believe me.”

Just then, Dad came into the room. “What’s going on here?” he asked.

Jimmy quietly went to bed.

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11 thoughts on “Temper, Temper

  1. This is fantastic!!! This line: “She was calm and quiet, which made Jimmy even more angry.” is perfect. Even as adults, I feel that when the one you are fighting with is calm, it makes you angrier. Excellent observation.
    I also loved the lines where Mommy reminds him of the different things she did not say “No” to.
    Thanks for the lovely post.

    1. Thank you for your encouraging comments. I feel qualified to write on this topic, having reared four of my own 🙂 And having been a high school English and history teacher, and now a therapist.

  2. Sounds like they should have had this conversation and the “things are going to be different” decided when Jimmy was three or four. His “entitlement” has come to full (verbal) flower now, but it must have been growing all along.

    One evening in a seating area, watching fireworks, I heard a girl of about four screaming mad at her poor parents. I then imagined a fast forward of ten or twelve years — with no checks in her attitude. EEK!

    1. You’re right. My own children would have had more sense than to behave this way by the time they were 10. Sadly, there are way too many kids like Jimmy dotting our landscape today, and parents often feel there’s nothing they can do.

      1. That’s the thing. People are afraid to discipline for fear of having the Law on their case. Then the frustration resulting from a lack of discipline leads to the “lashing out” type of physical violence Child Social Services wants to avoid.

    1. No, but if I hadn’t dealt with the attitude and sass when they were way younger than 10, it could have been 🙂 Actually, the mom is kind of a composite of parents I’ve seen in my office who really don’t know that they don’t have to tolerate this nonsense.

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