I remember being extremely frustrated with my dad from probably age three or so (might be farther back, but that's as far as I remember specifically) and for longer than I care to admit because he would say things like, "I know you better than you know yourself," and "You think....." I hate to say that I'm starting to understand it now, so I won't.
I will say, though, that Aidan's starting to do things that I remember doing. There are family-famous stories about my arguments with my dad; I remember yelling that it wasn't my fault that I was the daughter and he was the dad, and maybe he was wrong and I was right, but he just wouldn't admit it. I remember the frustration of being certain that I was right or entitled and especially that I was misunderstood. If only I were able to express myself better, then all would come together for me (and to boot, I would be vindicated). These were, incidentally, the much more subdued arguments of ages two to four, not the angry teen ones. I haven't always been a walk in the park, but be reassured that I've mellowed considerably. Anyhoo..
This post actually does have to do with my son. The other day Aidan yelled at me, "YOU listen, Mommy; YOU not listening!" He was so angry and frustrated that he'd turned red and was physically shaking. I may be projecting it, but I think I know where he was right in that moment.
What hit me was not just remembering being in that moment, but also that I felt as grown up then as I do now, which other possible implications I'll set aside. It's so easy to think of a two-and-a-half year old as baby-like. It's important for me to remember that he doesn't feel he's baby-like. He's just him. (He tells me that all the time: "Are you gorgeous, Aidan?" "No, I'm just Aidan.") I'm not sure where this epiphany will lead, and I don't want to go so far on the pendulum that I let him do whatever he likes because he's entitled to express himself carte blanche. I do love seeing his evolution, though, and learning about who he is. Oh, who am I kidding? I love everything about being his mom, but especially seeing more and more of what he's thinking and who he is. I especially love when he nuzzles me and coos, "Mommy." That's another story.