Stop me if you've heard this one.
(Thought I blogged about this before, but I did a search and I guess I never did.)
When the boy was about 6 or 7 he was a holy terror. He would push me to the brink. I totally understood why some people who weren't wired right to begin with, could kill their children.
Anyway. This one particular day, I remember he was like some sort of Chinese water torture, he would not stop no matter what I said, or how loud I screamed. I snapped.
I slammed out of the house and kicked in the door to the basement. I was routing around in there and was being pretty loud, the boy came out to investigate. Finally I emerged with a shovel. He looked worried. He demanded to know what I was doing. I ignored him and proceeded to survey the lawn. By that time I was calm. I had a purpose.
I walked back and forth with the shovel, testing the ground. Finally I found just the right spot. From his vantage point on the deck he had a perfect view of the spot I chose.
That's when I started to dig. He kept taunting me, "Hey crazy lady, what are you doing?"
After about 30 minutes I had a pretty good hole dug, about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. (although not very deep, but you get the idea) Every so often, I would look up to where he was watching me as if I were measuring him.
He would not stop screaming at me, even then. Going on and on about whatever it was that he had been mad at me for to begin with.
Finally I was finished. I stuck the shovel in the ground, looked at the hole like I was satisfied and headed for the house.
I was heading for the house when he screamed, "What the hell is the hole for." (Yes, he was 6 and he said Hell. I am not kidding about the holy terror thing.)
As I passed him on the deck, I didn't even skip a beat. I just smiled at him and said, very calmly, "It's for you."
Not surprisingly, he was as good as gold the rest of that day. And I kept that hole for a long time. With this shovel stuck in the ground, and when he got really obnoxious, I would go outside and dig it a little deeper.