Some days...Some days I completely understand why people beat their children. Some days I relate to those people all too well. I don't beat my kids, but I guess I have that nifty control mechanism in my system that abusers don't have. Or maybe I just have a healthy fear of prison. Whatever it is, I'm glad it kicks in.
P has this thing for making a disaster out of the bathroom. Some days, that simply means he squirts the liquid soap all over the counter. Other days it means he tries to flood the downstairs neighbors. Last night, he completely soaked the hand towel, spread it out over the sink like a bridge, and put the toothpaste on the edges to hold it there...and put the soap bottle in the middle - just to see if it would stay, I assume. Tonight, he covered his brother's toothbrush in liquid soap. *sigh* No matter how many times I explain - calmly even - that he should not play in the bathroom, not play with the soap, not play with anyone else's toothbrush, not play with the water, not play with the toothpaste...he does it anyway. On a nearly daily basis.
My social work studies tell me that he's either looking for attention or pushing me as far as he can in the hopes that I'll beat him and tell him that I hate him. Because that was what happened in the past. He feels unlovable. He feels the need to prove that he's unlovable. He needs to not get used to being loved, because his history tells him that eventually I'll start doing those things to him. I'll smack him when he asks for a hug. I'll yell at him and tell him he's worthless. I'll scream at him that I hate him. That's not going to happen, no matter how hard he tries. But my social work background only helps my head, and it doesn't help out in the emotion department. This behavior drives me insane. Even though I may know why, intellectually, he does it, that doesn't mean I *understand* why he does it. It just gets to me some days.