Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three's A Charm?

I have an announcement.

SOMEBODY HAS STOLEN MY CHILD AND LEFT A WHINEY ONE IN HIS PLACE.

Suddenly, conversations with my son go something like this:

"NO!  I don't want Cheerios!  Where is my...  Mama, NO!  I don't want a dinosaur shirt!  I want a football shirt!....   Waaaah!  I don't want a football shirt!  I need my blanket.  Where is my blanket?!  I'm hungry!  NO!  I don't want Cheerios!  Waaaahhhh!"

And that's just within the first five minutes that he's awake.  Awesome, huh?




I count the seconds until I can give him my iPhone or turn on the Wii.  That way, he will become so engrossed in a video game that he will forget to whine.

I'm probably taking his IQ into the red with this stellar parenting, but seriously, people.  I'm desperate.  It's pure Darwinism at this point.

Because when he whines, I want to wine.  Are you pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?

And some of his demands don't make a lick of sense (Pun intended.  Wait for it.) like when he was recently given a lollipop after a doctor's office visit.

Mama, eat this candy!
No, Drew.  That's gross.  You've already been sucking on it for the past five minutes.
NO, MAMA! EAT MY CANDY!  NOW!
Drew, are you kidding me?  No way.  That is how you spread germs.
WAAAHHH!  MAMA WON'T EAT MY CANDY!  EAT MY CANDY, MAMA!  WAAAAAHHHH!

So what did I do?  I ate it.  I couldn't help it.  His voice felt like a 57 Magnum pressed against my temple.

AND I finally got the answer to the universal question:

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?

As many licks as it takes to pick up my iPhone or turn on the Wii.

I have spent the better part of the morning googling "How to make a 3 year old NOT act like a 3 year old", but everybody has the same advice: behavior charts, positive reinforcement, rewards system.

Basically, crap.

It sounds nice in theory, but that is better suited for the Mom who has the time and patience to actually do those things.

That's celebrity parenting.  If I had a full-time housekeeper, dietitian, chauffeur, personal assistant, and nanny on staff - then sure, as soon as me and my personal trainer finish up with our three hour workout, I'll be happy to put that Lightning McQueen sticker on Drew's behavior chart.

But this is the real world.  One where I put in my forty hours at work and then come home to be my own housekeeper, dietitian, chauffeur, personal assistant and nanny.  The reason that I didn't include personal trainer is because that would indicate that I actually exercise.  Sheesh. No. Thank. You.

So we've created a winner/ loser strategy in my house.  Quick. Simple. Successful.

If Drew poops in the potty, then he's the winner and I'm the loser.  If he walks into preschool without crying, then he's the winner and I'm the loser.  If he can eat his own friggin' lollipop, then he's the winner and I'm the loser.  No self-help books or Dollar Store stickers are required.

And the best part is that there is no actual prize for winning!  It's all about the gloat of victory.  I guess it's true what they say: the best things in life are free.

So parents, in summary, you can't let them break you.  You have to find your own successful strategy.  Something that keeps you sane and keeps your kid off the video games.  

And if you survive the next twelve months, then you earn a gold star on your parenting chart which means nothing.  Obviously.  Just try to survive, okay?  Because if you do, then you are the WINNER!  And that just sounds good, doesn't it?

Article: Is there such a thing as the terrible three's?

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