We have entered a phase I'm calling BEAN DESTROYER OF WORLDS. (It's not as much fun as you'd like to imagine.)
It isn't easy to describe other than that: wide sweeping arms, throwing the entire contents of table tops and toy boxes and bags of blocks onto the floor. Or when the fancy strikes, there is cabinet emptying.
My most favorite of all, a snapshot from the other day:
From where I sit in the den, I hear some kind of cheerful Bean shout. She is in the living room, and I realize, frightfully unsupervised. There is a gleeful squealing and then a distinct plink of something hitting the hardwood floor. I get up to investigate.
And this is what I see, her bare feet planted wide, her back to me. Her elbow cocks back and arm winds up to fling something across the room, hard. It hits the floor and shatters into several pieces. In her other non-throwing hand: the small cup I keep for her crayons. I stand there in silence for a moment, unable to stop her as she reaches into the cup for another unsuspecting Crayola missile.
Wind up and... throw.
And now the floor is littered with the things, most of them just newly bought, now just little nubs of color barely an inch long.
I am furious.
And I still am, though I have since caught her doing this two other times, the pieces shrinking into non-existence.
I understand the greedy-eyed thirst for destruction. Who among us hasn't tossed something across a room in a fit of rage? Or maybe you've done worse (and better)--- watched a glass shatter at your feet (on purpose); smashed something with a powerful throw (so good); or ripped something to bits just because you could (and so you did).
It's this need for the dismantling of things that makes us such complex and beautiful creatures. We aren't satisfied to have something whole and unfettered. We are terrible in our bent to break things apart, to know how something works, to see inside.
These days I focus so much on keeping things together. I hold the vase tighter to my chest to avoid even the smallest splinter--- I wonder if in trying to avoid the breakage I only cause a deeper fissure, way down in my center.
I've been fighting Bean's new call for demolition. We've done time outs and clean ups and taken privileges away. None of it is making much sense to her. She wants to feel her power, know she can unmake something that was once whole. And after a little self examination I'm wondering if I need to change my tactic, join her in the revelry. And then show her that some things can't be remade, only changed.
--And here's where you come in: what's your tactic for facing a child bent on destruction? Beat 'em (FIGURATIVELY) or join 'em?--