It's ironic that my husband and I never thought of the phrase "raising Cain" (causing trouble) or the word "hurricane", when we settled on the name Kane for our in-utero baby boy.
I was one of the very last to have my first (and only) child of all of my friends that I grew up with, so I spent a lot of time around babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids. I have friends my age who are almost done with college aged kids and I'm just hitting Kindergarten! Like all non-parents, I watched what everyone else did and made my mental notes of what I would and wouldn't do. What I would and wouldn't allow and how much better my child would behave in certain circumstances. Because, after all, we are ALL perfect parents before our kids are actually born!
One thing that I did adhere to, was my "free-range" approach to raising him. Most people were surprised to learn he was our first because I wasn't neurotic about anything really. We cared about his safety and all of the important things, but we were pretty lax overall. And he was and always has been a "spirited" child. He's fearless, adventurous, extremely well-spoken, articulate, and even sarcastic. He's also a huge jerk when he wants to be. But, I love the little jerk! And that seems to be a general consensus. A teacher will tell us of some less-than-stellar behavior, but in an affectionate way because the little monster has captured her heart in the process of being a troublemaker.
Our free-range little monster went from time to time push back or mild disrespect to straight up feral.
Can I have a snack? "Yup!"
Can I watch TV/have my tablet? "Yup!"
Can we order this toy from Amazon? "Yup!"
I'm bored, can someone play with me? "We're both working right now, would you like another cookie/TV show/to rent this movie/me to order this LEGO set?"
And if none of those things seemed to be what he wanted to do at the moment, he took to destroying our home. Color on the marble countertop with a (washable, thank god!) marker? Don't mind if I do. Draw on my bedroom wall with Black Panther's claws (ps, that shitty action figure ruins your walls, so have fun getting a painter during quarantine!). Oh, I also decided to just take off my pants and pee on my bed while standing next to it at noon to see what would happen. I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
So, here we are, slowly adding freedoms and wondering how to domesticate this feral beast who thinks bathing is something he can negotiate in exchange for picking up toys. We started camp two weeks ago which is really helping. He NEEDS order. He NEEDS schedule. He NEEDS kids his age and someone in charge that he doesn't live with. Don't get me wrong, he's still not a hundred percent back to pedigree-grade, but it's helping and I feel good that he won't be kicked out of Kindergarten in the fall.
Be sure to contact me for any of your future parenting needs. Seems like I've got this under control.