Pushing Buttons

I’m a pretty even-keeled, mild-mannered type of person.  It takes quite a lot to get me going.  In fact, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve lost my temper in my life and when I think back to those times, it gives me the feeling inside like the feeling you get when someone runs their fingernails down a chalk board.  The last time I lost my temper was long before my kids were born.

My point is, it’s hard to push my buttons enough to really bother me.  Don’t get me wrong, I get annoyed by lots of things, many of which most people would be annoyed to find out annoy me.  My poor wife has to suffer through them on a regular basis so I’m certainly not the poster child for perfection.

So far, and lucky for me, the only people who have managed to push my buttons on any sort of consistent pattern are my kids and I’ve been trying to figure out why that is.

To be clear: its all relative.  My wife and I were talking about this the other day and we believe we have fantastic, wonderful, brilliant kids.  I know lots of people say that about their kids but when I say it, its true.

Its just that sometimes…ugggg…you know right?

On the way home from school the other day, Julianna said she couldn’t wait to get home so she could go help Mommy cook dinner.  She has started doing this for pretty much each meal and we encourage it in whichever safe ways are possible.  She clears her plate, she helps clean up (sometimes), she literally insists on washing her own hands after a meal…I mean…she’s not even 3 yet.

But when she rips a toy out of Chloe’s hand…or refuses to let us take the band-aid off her neck (which she had on because once her neck was stiff and that idea was hatched – and worked – but now has turned into an occasional ‘crutch’ even without a stiff neck)…I mean…

And Chloe, this one isn’t even 2.  When we get to school, she thanks me for driving.  When we get to our street coming home from anywhere, she thanks me for driving.  When I sneeze she says, “bless you Daddy.”  She uses her pleases and thank yous and she will literally eat any kind of food without complaint.

But when its time to go out and she vehemently refuses to wear a hat…well…or how she insists on not wearing socks at home…ever…which means we have to throw the sock on and distract until we can get a shoe on to lock it in place.

So how is it that those little few and far between moments cause such emotional/mental distress?

There aren’t many people in my life who I let get “close” enough that I have to drop my guard.  So close in fact, that when they kick me in the balls, figuratively speaking (and literally sometimes), it hurts a lot more.

Here’s the cheesy thing:  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I love most seconds of it and in retrospect, probably every second.  The good times outweigh the annoying button-pushing moments by so much that they probably aren’t even worth mentioning.

So what if she doesn’t want to wear a hat?  Well, it is cold out.

What if she doesn’t want to let me wash her face?  Lots of kids walk around with their hair plastered to their upper lip via snot cement.

I don’t know.  Maybe I have unrealistic expectations but shouldn’t someone who thinks The Backyardigans are Classic Rock be a little more reasonable?  I mean, they are a combined age of almost 5.

Or maybe I’m the one who is balls.