When my kids were very young, my mother commented once that she remembered that by the time I was in high school, she was missing the days when she could "pick somebody up and just carry them out of there."
I had that day this morning with Peter.
He's a middle schooler. He's nearly 12. He's almost as tall as I am. I can not physically make him do anything anymore. But I haven't needed to in a very long time, because he's generally a very good kid.
This morning, though? Ugh.
It started early. He didn't get up when I woke the boys. He doesn't really have to get up when Edmund gets up, as his bus comes over half an hour later, but he prefers to get up with the younger kids and then be able to take his time in the morning. I waited about 10 minutes, then went back in. I told him the time and asked if he was getting up yet. He rolled over, so I left him alone.
About 10 minutes later, he came stomping down the stairs demanding to know why I hadn't gotten him up. I told him I woke him twice, tried to gloss over the fact that he was being Mr Grumpy, and continued getting breakfast for 3 other children and packing 5 lunches.
You know I don't want to be left to sleep. You know I like to get up when the others do. I've been lying in bed confused for 15 minutes!
I warned Mr Grumpy that he needed to get his attitude under control or he'd be heading back to his room to start the day over.
Normal breakfast continued. Until he noticed HIS pencil in the communal pencil holder by the phone. He snatched it up and glared at me. I was puzzled. It's a pencil.
But I left it on the coffee table! Next to my pencil pouch! And now he's nearly yelling, speaking with great disdain of the idiocy of whoever dared to remove his pencil from the proximity of where it belongs and place it with other pencils.
I remained miraculously calm! If I find a pencil on the coffee table, I'm going to put it in the pencil jar. Put it in the pouch if that's where you want it.
You would have thought I suggested that he murder some puppies to eat for breakfast.
Eye roll, stomp. It's pretty much the only pencil I have!
I was done being patient. You need to go back upstairs and start this morning over.
And that's when IT happened. He leaned against the counter, crossed his arms, and said, "No."
Holy crap. What does he mean "No"? And now what? I can't just pick him up and carry him out of here.....
And that's the moment I realized what my mother meant.