Unfortunately, much of this has manifested itself public appearances...most notably: soccer.
We signed up both boys for soccer this year, you see, since they both enjoy it so much in the back yard. While Plus One, age five, has really embraced his team and the sport, T9 has rejected it thoroughly. Practice consists of him continually running OFF the field as if fleeing from a killer clown, and me continually chasing him like I AM THAT KILLER CLOWN. You know those moments when you're chasing a stray kid and you actually have to, like, RUN? There's suddenly sweat, and awkward flip-flop strides, and prayers for strong ankles and no mole-holes? Yeah, there's been a lot of that.
There's also been a lot of this:
And a lot of that:
One afternoon, during his brother's soccer game, T9 took to running off into the neighboring fields repeatedly. You know, just for the hell of it. (I PROMISE HE GETS POSITIVE ATTENTION AT HOME.) During one of his sprints, he got a pretty good head start while I was distracted by, you know, THE GAME. By the time I noticed him, he was nearly in the middle of a field that was occupied by seven and eight year-olds. He stopped and turned around to taunt me for a moment before he started running in a circle like a deranged animal that had wandered into freeway traffic.
As I stood there, running through the possible outcomes of this scenario (most of which ended with me colliding with and concussing some unsuspecting child or taking a soccer cleat to the motherloving face), I noticed that T9 had stopped running. In fact, he now lay, face-planted in center field with his pants around his ankles. He lay there motionless just long enough for me to scoop him up and hightail it out of there, him kicking and screaming until his pants were completely removed from his body.
And it's not like my husband and I are pressuring this kid into the damn sport. He always WANTS to go to the games, and he started the seasons playing well (enough) with his teammates. It's just that he's become a loose cannon over the past month or so. Maybe he took a soccer ball to the head and his brain somehow crossed the HOW-TO-PLAY-SOCCER and HOW-TO-INSTITUTIONALIZE-MOM wires?
Regardless, most of my time in public seems to involve me flailing at motherhood and making one of those awkward I'm-totally-in-control-here-! mixed with DEAR-GOD-HELP-ME faces.
That said, T9 knows how to take advantage of our moments at home as well. About a week or two ago, I told him that he needed to stop chasing the cat around the living room with a blunt object. His response, when I finally confiscated the impromptu weapon, was to shriek unintelligably for several minutes before taking a deep breath and announcing.
WELL YOU ARE A NAUGHTY PIECE OF POOP!
As you might imagine, things only improved from there.
Me: T9, that is not how you talk to Mommy. You need to apologize and sit in time out.
T9: NEVAAHHHHHH [With dramatics fit for Braveheart]
Me: T. 9. I am counting to THREE, young man.
T9: Oh mayn, Oh MAYN, OH MAYN! [Marches over to time out.]
It wasn't thirty minutes later when I heard Plus One being cornered in the media room.
Plus One: HEEEEEELLLLLLLLP! [Fearful giggle. Think Killer Clown again.] MOOOOOOOMMMMM!
T9: I GOTCHOO NOW. MA HA HA HA HAAAAAA.
I found T9, clutching the blunt object once again (I THOUGHT I PUT THAT THING UP!?) , holding his brother hostage.
Me: T9, give me your weapon.
T9: I IS A POWAH RANGAH, MOM. I HAF TA DO IT. I HAFFF TOOOOOO. [Attempts to beat brother senseless.]
Anyway, I'm taking suggestions for behavior modification solutions.
(Keeping that in mind, you should probably also know about this:)