I want to preface this blog post by saying how much I love Dexter.
That being said, he seems to have turned from a 9 year old into a teenager overnight and is driving me mental! The moods, the strops, the stomping up the stairs in a sulk … SO annoying.
Today’s ‘discussion’ was about breakfast. He won’t eat cereal, never has, and I’ve tried them all … believe me. So he normally has toast. Every day. Toast.
Except today. Today … he didn’t want toast. Want to know when he told me that today he wouldn’t be eating toast? 8.20am. Yeah, ten minutes before we’re due to leave for school. Whilst I was in the middle of getting ready.
Here’s how this morning went – see if you can relate:
Me: Put your toast on.
D: But I don’t want toast this morning.
Me: There’s nothing else to eat.
D: Can I have Doritos for breakfast?
Me: What do you think?
D: But I don’t want toast for breakfast.
Me: That’s fine. Have an apple.
D: I don’t want an apple!
Me: It’s that or toast. Or nothing.
D: You can’t send me to school hungry?
Me: It’s your choice. There’s food here. Choose.
And so on. You get the gist.
By now we’re in the car and I still haven’t given in.
D: Can we stop off at Tescos to get something?
Me: We’re now running late and also, no. There was food at home.
D: Can I have a bagel tomorrow?
Me: Of course. I’ll go shopping. But today, it’s an apple or nothing.
D: Fine! I’ll have nothing!
Me: (Staying calm.) OK.
Of course, inside, I was thinking what a bad parent I was, sending my son to school hungry but then I realized this really was just a battle of wills – Dexter testing my boundaries and those that know me will understand me when I say this … he will never win. I’m a single parent so if I’m not in charge, who will be? Certainly not a 9 year old boy.
I stuck to my guns and smiled sweetly as I dropped him off outside school.
Me: See you at 3.30pm.
D: (Still sulking) Fine.
Me: I love you.
D: I love you too Mummy.
And with that, he flung his arms around me for a big hug and a kiss.
Tough love is hard. Tough love when you’re the only parent is even harder, but I know I did the right thing.
Little bugger got his own back mind you – dealing with him meant that by the time I got to the café to pay for my well deserved coffee, I realised … I’d left my purse at home.
Think we’ll call that 1-1.