This is the question I found myself wondering after a particularly difficult morning with a grumpy toddler and non-cooperative husband. Is it just age that defines someone as a toddler? Or is it behavior?
Because if it’s behavior then I’m inclined to go out on a limb and suggest that the American husband is fighting in the ring with a 2 year old to be named World’s Heavy Weight Championing Toddler, on some days.
Does anyone else agree with me?
Do the following behaviors sound familiar? And if so, can you pass the pop quiz and answer which person in the household behaves this way, toddler or husband:
1. Resisting rules.
2. Acting out when questioned why breaking the rules.
3. Getting mad about going pee pee on the potty (ha ha – I’m throwing you a bone with one easy one because it’s still early)
4. Not wanting to eat breakfast at the table but rather on the couch in front of the TV (now that’s a trick question if I’ve ever seen one).
5. Taking off clothes and just leaving them wherever he/she feels like it in whatever room he/she is in. (another difficult one)
If you find yourself thinking you could answer both toddler and husband for at least two of the above five questions, then my friends, I think we can all agree that there are times when the husband and the toddler are going neck-and-neck for who has perfected the best toddler-isms.
Now, I’ll throw the husband a bone – they have had more years to perfect such behaviors than our little ones, so really, they ought to be better at it, right?
But see, my question is WHY.
For the love of God, WHY do our husbands insist upon making our lives more difficult on certain days? As if managing a grumpy 2-year old in the midst of potty training isn’t enough of a challenge before 8am, why must we also have to find ourselves reprimanding our husbands?
I believe the following threat came out of my mouth this morning “If you refuse to consistently help me discipline her one more time, you are making dinner every day for a month or there’s no dinner.”
I mean – honestly. Why does it have to come to this, I found myself wondering as I contemplated if it would have been more effective if I had threatened no sex? These are not things I want to hear coming out of my mouth directed at my husband. I just want peace in the land, partnership in teaching our child how to behave like a civilized member of the human race. My quest is not epic. These are not the stories made for the next heroic action film. Mais non.
It is quite simple and by the email banter I’ve seen flying across my desk all week, I know that I am not alone in this.
So why does the husband do this? Why does he fall back on what is easiest rather than following through on what he knows needs to be done?
YES – I realize that allowing the child to snack in front of the TV, and do the drive-by grazing of her breakfast, for example, is MUCH easier than battling with her once again over why she needs to sit at the table and eat like a big girl if she wants to eat. Trust me, you better believe I get it, but that doesn’t mean she gets what she wants. And yet, I can turn my back and what do I find?
I find her snacking on some toast in front of the TV.
So kittens, I ask you this, what is the best way to respond to the rule-violating over 30 year old toddler in your house?
You got it….pop quiz time again:
a. Calmly and politely remind him that we have discussed the rules that we will together, and separately, implement with consistency with our child.
b. Question him as to why said child is allowed to break the rule in a stern voice as you then go deal with the broken rule and temper tantrum child and then not bring it up again.
c. Make idle threats in anger as I just might have done this morning.
You tell me. So far I have tried all three approaches and I’m not sure if any of them work.