You Have to be Smarter than the 3 Year Old

Days like these are physically and emotionally draining. I could write a Top 10 list of “You know you’ve had a bad day when…” I actually don’t have the energy or the alcohol in me to make such a list (kidding about the alcohol), but I do sit here pondering to myself, how and when did my (almost) 3 year old get smarter than me? We’ll start with the fact that I put him to bed at 6:30 tonight and not a minute later because he didn’t have a nap today. Whenever someone asks me if he’s outgrowing his naps, my usual response is “If so, then I’m outta here.” Half kidding. When Tanner doesn’t take a nap, bad things happen in my house, and the afternoon usually starts with me yelling and the night usually ends the same way. I hate that I’ve started yelling at my child. Good parents don’t yell at their kids right? Yes they do, because good parents can’t practice perfect parenting all the time. Anyways, back to the part where Tanner grew smarter than me. Tonight, I was trying to make dinner, and as usual when he doesn’t have a nap, he was a crab and a grouch and not listening…no I take that back, ignoring me and doing all sorts of ‘disruptive behaviors’ as Dr. V would call them. I just call them flat out naughty, but if we’re getting technical here. So, I put him in time out. Tanner has since learned that since we try to get him to go on the potty all the time that he is now going to use that to his advantage. In the midst of his time out and since he’s not wearing any pants, he stands up and says to me, “I have to go potty.” Before I can even tell him no, he’s gone in the bathroom and goes #2 on the toilet which is a very big deal in our house. “I DID IT!” OK, hit the pause button. Now what do I do? Yell at him for not listening, or praise him for going poo like I so desperately want him to do all the time? Of course I praise him! And then I put him in time out again. Is that mean? Before you answer that, let me also say that not 20 minutes later was he in time out again and decided once again to use this so called, “potty training” against me. I saw him looking down at the ground with that concentrated look on his face, and in the middle of me yelling, “DON’T YOU DARE!” he was peeing on my floor. 20 minutes after that, it was basically deja vu all over again, except this time I didn’t see him do it therefore stepping in a puddle of pee in my bare feet. I don’t know how I didn’t think of making sure he’s wearing at least underwear when he is in a time out, but I’m going to get smarter than him. I can’t see him peeing on the floor for very much longer considering I make him finish his time outs and the casually hand him paper towels for him to clean up his own mess. All in all, today was a tough one. They are few and far between, because he a sweet, lovable, funny, handsome little man who is all mine. When we have these days it definitly tests my patience and me as a person and parent. Of course I will go to bed tonight feeling guily for most everything I did today, but thinking of ways that we can have a good day tomorrow. There’s going to come a day, and I hate thinking about it, maybe in 15 or 20 years that I’m going to miss these bad days with him, and it makes me feel blessed that I do get these days with him.

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