Toddlers are weird little creatures. August is in this phase right between being a toddler and a preschooler. Some moments, I see my baby boy. Others, I see this big dude that is developing an even bigger personality. Just last night, he was laying on the floor after his bath so I could get him in his pajamas. I stopped and stared at him a moment because he looked so enormous. When did he get this big? When does this stop??
Everyday, I get a little more insight into how my son’s mind works. More often than anything lately, as the preschooler takes over my little toddler, I’m learning that preschoolers are all dirtball mini-lawyers. Whenever I give August an instruction he doesn’t like (which is all of them) he tries to Jedi-Mind-Trick his way out of it.
Eat your dinner.
“No, I can’t eat my dinner.”
Let’s go to the bathroom.
“No, I can’t go to the bathroom.”
Cleanup your toys.
“No, I can’t cleanup my toys.”
This is usually not that hugely frustrating. He’s going to be three this summer; I know what I signed up for. This is what kids do. But on days like today, the world starts conspiring with my child to overthrow me, and those are the days I’m ready to send him to year-round boarding school in Sweden. It took me roughly eight years to get through our trip to the grocery store today. I see my midwives tomorrow but I am about to self-impose bed rest because everything hurts and nothing feels good. So I figured I would just take it easy when we got home and lay down, get some work done on the computer, and let August spend quality time with his best friend, Netflix.
The Earth had other plans. Our internet isn’t working. Without cable, our only television options at this time of day are soap operas, old British shows, and The Talk. I figured I could still manage to stay mostly immobile; there’s a bucket of his favorite toys right here.
“You turned off the TV! That’s bad behaving!”
It’s not bad behavior. The TV isn’t working. Play with your toys.
“Oh the TV is fixed! Yay! Turn it on!”
No one said the TV was fixed. Saying it’s fixed does not make it fixed. Play with your toys; Mommy needs to rest.
“No you can’t rest! No I can’t play with my toys! You need to turn it on!”
Can’t turn it on. It’s not working. Play with your toys.
“I need to play with my toys in the basement.”
Our basement is still being repaired from the leak. We are not going down there. Sorry dude, basement is broken.
“Yay the basement is fixed! Let’s go down in the basement!”
I literally just said the basement is broken. Where did you get that it’s fixed from that? Play with your toys. Let Mommy rest.
“I need to watch something.”
And so went the forever that has been today.
Before I had kids, I would have read something like this and scoffed at the idiot mother who was even entertaining her kid’s ridiculousness with a response. But that was back when I knew everything and now I know nothing. I’m just learning as I go. And by learning I am sitting here and things keep happening and I have accepted on some level that other things are probably going to happen, too.
Ignoring a child who is hell-bent on pestering you feels the same as ignoring an itch in your shoe that is hell-bent on ruining your life. You will eventually scream and tear your own arm off, no matter how you go about your ignoring. We just got the carpets cleaned so I’m not trying to rip my arm off and deal with that whole mess. So I take part in an endless round-robin with my child, and settle in for the longest two hours in history before my husband gets home and I can retreat into a dark corner and eat my own hair.