I called Husband the other day, completely worn out, upset and on edge. He immediately heard something in my voice and said, "Is something wrong?"
"The twos," I responded.
"The what?" he asked.
"The twos. They are really terrible."
Husband started laughing when he figured out I was talking about Son and his current behavior pattern which is temper tantrum after temper tantrum.
"Come on honey, it can't be that bad," he said chuckling.
"YOU come home and YOU deal with him," I responded testily.
Yes, I am in the midst of some of the most painful child-raising I have done in a long while. Son is not my first; I've already done two before him with struggles so I should be used to it, if not a master of it. However, Son is nothing like Daughters. He is BOSSY. He is LOUD. He is RAMBUNCTIOUS. And he just gets my ire up so hard and so fast I want to do bad things with my hair - like rip it out or shred it to pieces. I would estimate about 50% of our interactions end up with his screaming at the top of his lungs - NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and screeching like some lost banshee in the jungle. And when that screeching scream starts, it is the grace of God and some modicum of self control that prevents me from covering my ears and screaming back at him before running down the street away from the noise that is currently echoing in our house.
I'm using a lot of techniques - trying to repeat back to him his feelings, "I know you're upset that there isn't anymore of THAT cereal honey, but I don't have any more of it so I can't give it to you." I'm using timeouts, "Okay. If you can't stop screaming like a hyena, then you need to get a time out." I also have tried ignoring him, which I will tell you with this little one's voice is NOT easy. I've tried anticipating potential landmines and trying to prevent the meltdowns from occurring in the first place. I offer choices like, "Do you want Mommy to turn out the light or are you going to do it? Strawberry toothpaste or Orange mango?" I try using humor - a goofy dance with a spoon on my nose as I try to break the screaming fit. I have at my fingertips a full arsenal of approaches to deal with these completely terrible moments. I will tell you that even with all these things, the screams continue and I just ask God for one more moment of patience before I go crazy.
Despite these struggles and this nonsense, I see Son growing up. He is coming into his own. He is developing a very funny and cute personality (when you take out the screaming) and he knows how to love me and make me laugh most days, notwithstanding that he also brings me to tears on others days . And I know that this too, will pass. I know that God is watching out for him and using Son to make me a better stronger mother and woman. And I try and accept that challenge, although there are days when I don't want to.
It is Son and Husband who are the spicy lovers in the family. Daughters usually enjoy a salad several times a week, but Son, although he LOVES cooked vegetables, hasn't ever been so keen on raw. But I wanted to have a salad that he would eat (on days when I don't want to COOK a vegetable for him) so this is what I came up with....a spicy almost kimchee like salad. And he liked it. Loved it. Even Daughters liked it quite a bit.
The only downside to this salad that once dressed it needs to be eaten right away to get the crunch. The dressing can break down the lettuce rather quickly, so if you are going to do it for a large gathering, I would suggest mixing a small amount at a time so that you don't lose the wonderful crisp texture of the romaine.
Great with Korean Marinade BBQ Flank Steak, Bulgogi (불고기), Ginger Soy BBQ Chicken (닭구이), Korean Chili Paste Spicy Chicken (매운닭구이) or Soy Reduction Glazed Chicken
Spicy Korean Style Salad
3 heads of romaine, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cucumbers cut into rounds (Persian/mini cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, or English)
1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped (optional)
Dressing (same dressing as the Bok Choy Salad)
3 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seed
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugahloo-고추가루 )
Mix all the ingredients of the dressing together. It gets really thick so do not be shocked. (I like to use an old jar to mix the ingredients for the dressing.) Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and carefully mix them together. Serve.
Vegetables ready and prepped
Getting ready to toss some salad
Fish sauce I like, but this is NOT a good price. I usually get it for about $3.50 -$4.00 at my local Chinese market.