Every day starts with an argument about Pants at the moment. Actually that’s not entirely true. Every day starts with hubs and I taking it in turns to get up with LM when she wakes up, anywhere from 5.30 to 7 am. Then when Monkey’s gro clock clicks over to the sun at 6.45 he comes and joins whichever of us in still in bed for a snuggle. Then there is an argument about pants.
Monkey is in pull ups at night at the moment. He has the occasional dry night so we know he can do it but he says it is hard work. We are trying to incentivise this by offering the star wars lego he wants when he is dry consistently, but so far we are not there yet. So anyway first thing it is time for a wee and to change into pants. The argument arises over which pants. Namely his “Dash pants” (Dash being the character from the incredibles) which he has decided are the only pants he ever wants to wear. They are often in the laundry basket and he has even been known to fish them out, massively excited at having found them. Cue explaining why you can’t wear dirty pants and trying to find some other pants that are acceptable.
Why am I going on about pants? Well this argument is similar to so many others we have every day. Trying to argue or explain to a three year old whose response is “but I want it. ” A three year old who thinks that that is enough and that no matter we say, the fact that he wants it trumps everything else. “Sorry darling but you can’t always get what you want. ” “But I want it.”
The same also happens with the opposite. “But I don’t want to.” Monkey has become a master procrastinator and can always find a hundred excuses why not to do something he doesn’t want to do, like tidying toys. “I can’t bermember” (yes bermember, not remember, bless him!) “oh I can’t do it” “oh it’s hard work” “I can’t lift it” (a piece of duplo?? Come on) “I don’t know how.”
And oh the tantrums “no, you do it!” Um I beg your pardon, I don’t think so. Or my favourite “I’m the boss, you’re the child” and “I’m in charge.” Nope, sorry darling you really are not.
I’m not sure where all of this is coming from. We have been in quite a good place since Christmas, his behaviour has been great and we haven’t needed to do more than occasionally threaten the naughty spot. Now the threats are frequent and the times sat on the naughty spot have increased. He’s obviously not all bad, in fact there are so many times where he is absolutely adorable… But he is really testing us too. He doesn’t listen to me and ignores me. He is stroppy and everything is “I want” which I hate as it makes me feel like a slave, so I am on endless repeat reminding him to ask nicely which he does usually do with only a little prompting.
The threenager year has been an odd one with some real ups and downs. It is exhausting having the same arguments over and over again. The trouble is I know that some of it can be down to the way we are with him. Yes some of it is just a phase and he is pushing boundaries and figuring ut his place in the world… but I know he is better when I am better. When I have time to properly play and listen to him more. When I don’t let him watch too much TV. But the trouble is that parenting 2 small children is very tiring. His little sister inevitably takes a lot of my attention and when I try and do activities that both of them enjoy I invariably fail.
I try to give Monkey 1 on 1 time but that is easier said than done. Generally I am shattered in the afternoons when his sister is asleep so while I try to play with him there are a lot of times when I opt for a sit down in front of the TV with him instead or at least after a bit of a play. Then LM wakes up and chaos rules again. She is at a particularly trying age so Monkey doesn’t get the attention he craves and at times I expect too much of him.
There’s not much point to this post really other than a reminder to myself I guess that I can help change his behaviour, and not only via discipline, but by trying to listen to him more and think about the way he sees things, rather than just the way I see it. I read this very well timed post by the lovely Tarana at Sand in my Toes who put my feelings into words. This is how I wish I had the energy to be all the time. I don’t have the energy to do that but I am going to try harder to be more like that!
In the meantime, because I want to end focusing on the positives of this age, here are some of the cuter conversations we have had with Monkey lately.
“Mummy, Jack said something at playgroup today.”
“Ok, what did he say?”
“Um I don’t bermember. Daddy do you bermember what Jack said?”
“Um no I wasn’t there.”
“Oh. But do you bermember what he said?”
Having an argument with Daddy about his porridge at breakfast which he normally loves. “No! I don’t want it, no I won’t eat it.”
Daddy – “ok, calm down, what would you like” “Hmm. urrrm. I wooooould like….. porridge and honey”
Daddy – “that’s what you’ve got!”
“Oh yeah!” “Sorry, I made a mistake. ” (He says this a lot and I’ve only just twigged today that he is imitating the dragon from room on the broom!)
He loves Umizoomi and I do enjoy hearing him answer their questions. For example when they asked if he liked playing in the snow. he replied “Um not really, it’s actually a bit chilly”
“Dogs have bones but they don’t eat them, they hatch and have baby dogs in them.”
“Oh. That’s odd.” (He says this all the time and it is so funny as it rarely makes sense!)
“Daddy, I wish I could go into space so I could see the whole earth.”
“When I’m older I can go in Daddy’s office and work with him.”
He is obsessed with Star Wars and frequently says “Darth vader is my friend.”
His is also fixated on the days of the week. So every day, at least once, there is “what is it today?” so I tell him, and for example if I say, it’s Thursday, he wil tell me “tomorrow is Friday and then Saturday, Sunday, Monday..” sometimes telling me the whole week bless him.
While having a hair cut “I was looking in the mirror at my cutiful eyes.”
I’m not sure where this one has come from, but Monkey’s version of an expletive is “oh buffers” lol. Could be worse I guess?
And finally, possibly the cutest of all, is Monkey’s current obsession with his baby doll (she was actually bought for LM but who cares) who he sleeps with every night. She has his name and is his age but he is adamant that she is a gorl “She grew in my tummy then she gre out. She’s 3 like me now!” He adores her and sits her places so she can watch him and he cuddles her in bed at night. I absolutely adore seeing how caring he is with her and who said dolls are only for girls anyway?