Loyal KT fans know that I cautiously blogged about DD1’s behavior improving a few months ago. We progressed from every mundane task throughout the day being a huge battle filled with drama and fits, to her becoming agreeable and well, civilized. It felt so good. I worried it wouldn’t last. I conferred with a dear BFF, she said that it was fair for me to believe things had improved but that we could regress somewhere in the 3s.
Seven months into the 3s, we have regressed.
I am tired.
Of course I wrack my brain for reasons, has she regressed because school’s out for summer, so there isn’t as much structure to her day, let alone the outlet of school and crafts and friends? Has she regressed because I am home more – of course I find myself wondering? Has she regressed because she was away from daddy for a few days and she wanted his attention and chose to act like a devil, to try and get it? Is it a combination of things? Will I ever know?
The only thing I am certain of right now – as I type this completely exhausted and out of patience – is that I will never know why she’s regressed. And also, it’s not as bad as her 2s behavior because the battle isn’t over every single mundane task – it’s just over some things. It’s challenging because she is more forceful in her protests than she was at 2, she is more sophisticated in her arguments, but still, she will not prevail.
But see, it’s the broken record that has joined us in these battles that is really catching me off guard. Example – she is done with dinner and wants to go outside to eat her popsicle on the front step (that is, if she’s been good enough to earn that popsicle on that day). She knows she needs to wait for mommy and daddy to be done with dinner before she can go outside. She is welcome to eat her popsicle at the table while we finish and eat the rest out front. But no – she is going to wait to eat it until she can go outside.
So here is what happens:
“Are you done yet? Daddy are you done yet”
One second later, “are you done yet? Mommy are you done”
Milliseconds later “are you done yet? are you done yet? are you done yet? are you done dinner yet? are you done yet?”
I say “DD1, what did you say, I’m pretty sure we didn’t hear you the first time”
“Are you done yet, are you done yet, are you done with dinner yet”
We are done. Not because we actually are done but because we can’t take it anymore.
OR phone manners. I am trying to teach her that if mommy is having a conversation with someone, she needs to say “Excuse me” if she feels it is important to interrupt (note, it is ALWAYS important to interrupt when you are 3, apparently).
OK – well – what do you do when they say “excuse me” repeatedly over and over and over and over again, as you instructed them too – basically until you give up and stop the conversation?
She’s doing what I asked. She just won’t stop until she gets what she wants.
My mom tells me that this particular example is one that goes on for years – it’s really about instant gratification. But it is exhausting.
Or take this morning, time to go to camp (thank god – another week of camp).
“OK, time to leave for camp”
“I don’t want to go to camp. I don’t want to go to camp. I don’t want to go to camp. I don’t want to go to camp.”
“Ok, turn off the tv,” I say, as I am gathering her stuff and DD2 to take DD1 to camp. She turns off the TV only because she thinks my “OK” means she doesn’t have to go to camp, we move to the door and from the time I close and lock the door, to the time I load up two kids and pull out of my driveway and then make it to the light to exit my neighborhood, this is what she says non-stop:
“I don’t want to go to camp, I don’t want to go to camp, I don’t want to go to camp, I don’t want to go to camp.”
To humor myself, a few times I actually say to her “Seriously, I definitely didn’t hear you the first time, could you say it again, I don’t know what you are saying.”
Then guess what? We pull into the parking lot at school and this is the reaction “I LOVE SCHOOL!”
I forgot to strap myself in for the emotional roller coaster ride that would be my attempt to get to camp, apparently.
Is 9am too early to start drinking? Will alcohol numb my senses? Will it make me go deaf? Can someone send me some ear plugs?
How in the world do I stop the broken record?
Did anyone warn me that parenthood just keeps getting harder and harder and harder as they get older?