Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why parents drink ... at least in this house

I believe that whoever coined the phrase the “terrible twos” did so simply to give parents a false sense of relief that when month thirty-six arrived, they would be in the clear. I’ve learned that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Two doesn’t have anything on my three-year old. We have been entering uncharted territory, experiencing tantrums, and outrageous conduct that is only acceptable in OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN.

Tonight Kate decided that she did not want to cooperate and eat dinner with the family like a rationale human being. In our typical effort to show her that she doesn’t rule this house, we didn’t concede. Tears were shed and arguments were made, but dammit we were all going to eat together as a family and she was going to learn that this was a non-negotiable rule. Sounds like a peaceful, lovely, family dinner, doesn't it?

What do you do if you are a determined three-year old, not placated by your parents unwavering decision? You do this and then you LAUGH IN THEIR FACE.



Seconds after Kate’s dinner touched down on the dining room floor, she was placed in timeout in her room. Admittedly, taking her away from dinner was her desired end result, so probably not the most effective punishment. But in the moment, it was all we had to work with. After a few minutes of crying, we noticed it was eerily quiet in Kate’s room. We continued to eat our dinner, wondering what discord was happening upstairs. Upon venturing up to check on the banished child, imagine our surprise when she was not visible in her bedroom. Upon closer inspection, she was found, having a grand time, as she hid under her bed.

After a stern conversation, Kate returned downstairs with the directive to pick up all of the food she had so artistically strewn on the floor. She picked up the first chuck of broccoli and raised her hand towards her mouth. “Stop it Kate, we don’t eat food that has been sitting on the floor for 20 minutes. That is disgusting!” I said. Seizing the opportunity, Kate informed me that she wasn’t eating it, she was putting it into the garbage. Perfect, I thought. Within a nanosecond, Kate brought the second morsel of broccoli directly into her mouth. “KATE! Don’t EAT IT, “ I said once again, perhaps a decibel louder than appropriate. “Mom, I am NOT EATING IT,” Kate replied with equal determination.

Then, I watched as she stuffed her mouth with broccoli, ran over to the garbage, opened it, and spit the food in. Spec-freaking-tacular. Not one to be outwit by a mere child, I told Kate that not only could she not EAT the food from the floor, but she couldn’t put it IN her mouth. That lasted about 15 seconds, she did it again, and returned to timeout upstairs.

Awhile later, Kate once again returned to civilization to complete cleaning up the battlefield. Gingerly, she picked up one piece of salmon and placed it in the garbage. On the second move, she brought the piece of food up to her face. “Kate!” I said sharply.

“Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I am touching my chin, not my mouth!” she said. With every piece of food she picked up, she deliberately brought it towards her face, with a twinkle in her eye, touched it to her chin, and then threw it in the garbage.

24 comments:

dizzblnd said...

I miss this age... only when it happens with someone elses kids looooooooong after mine are grown. I can actually see this scene playing out in your house.. One day.. you will look back and yeah yeah yeah I know you know

Sherry D said...

Oh, Lyndsay. What a pill! Kuddos to you for sticking to your guns. She might think twice before she pulls that one again. Must give her credit, though, regarding the movement of food from the floor to the trash. Clever. Very clever Love that kid. I can't wait until Tuesday. Hmm. I'll be sure that I don't service Salmon and broccoli!

Sherry D said...

Of course, I mean "serve" Salmon and broccoli. It would be a "disservice" to throw salmon and broccoli in the trash.

Claire said...

Oh man, she is giving the "Oh Dear God Threes" their due, isn't she. It is such an exasperating age!

The good news is that my friend and I were just discussing our almost 4 1/2 year olds, saying that we are just so happy with how lovely 4 has been. Hang in there!

And I know you have been told many times, but you have a smart little girl on your hands.

Angela said...

That gave me a good chuckle LOL... sounds very similar to things that happen in our house! We have just started the rule of, If you goof off at the table, you don't get to eat at all! So far, eating is a little quieter... but it's only the beginning.

Ron and Stacy <3 said...

Oh my gosh, I look at my 3 month old and can just imagine what she is going to put me through in years to come!!

Blicky Kitty said...

Oh my goodness. I feel your pain, but I'm impressed that you refrain from having her eat off the floor.

We're just nearing the end of that phase where you learn to fear the silence. My moppet's last major accomplishment ( a few months back thank God) was "painting" the entire bathroom ~ sinks counters ~ with lotion, an entire tube of toothpaste, half of my good lotion and my toothbrush. If that's not a good excuse for a nice pinot noir, I don't know what is.

The Rambler said...

Stop it. Your making me scared :)

Mine is right behind yours.

Sigh.

Hang in there!

Jeanne said...

I roared when she spit the food into the trashcan. What a great kid!

Lisa said...

you will survive- we all do.
chardonnay helps
alot xx

Call Me Cate said...

Oh dear. I don't even know what I would've done with her. It probably wouldn't have been very effective at teaching any lessons. I'm guessing a lot of crying - from me.

Comedy Goddess said...

Raising an intelligent and determined child is sometimes not easy, but there are other things she will do that will make you very proud.

But I get how crazy making it is to be the mom. Boy, do I get it!

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA. :) can't wait to get my hands on her tuesday :)

jana

Jodi said...

Well, just great! Jenna was in timeout four times yesterday for a variety of things, including throwing food! She is not three yet, but I fear the day! Kate sure gives it right back huh? LOL!

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Oh dear. My 17 month old has shades of a 36 month old in her behavior. What does that mean for the future? I shudder to think.

Patience momma. This too shall pass.

M

MS said...

I was that kid.

Don't let her wear you down and become a brat. I had a lot of self-disciplining to do when I left my parent's house. They did an OK job; my personality was just hard-wired to stubborn. But they could've been a little more stern (like you are) when I was young.

Keep up the good work! Even hard-headed little elves turn out OK in the end!

C. Beth said...

Oh, Lyndsay, I SO hear you. Sounds like you're doing a great job with her.

This is all so terribly familiar to me....

shortmama said...

Too freakin funny!

Jenners said...

I have seen your future, and you are not going to like it. BUT, I think you are going to have a indepdendent, stubborn, smart young lady when she grows up. A lawyer perhaps? A president?

This was so funny TO ME.... I'm sure it was less fun for you. But you gotta give the kid credit ... she is a smart one!

Lynette said...

I have 2 daughters 17 and 18 and believe me when I tell you that you will look back at this stage and say "these were the good old days"! All I can say is keep the alcohol handy! :-)

Teresa said...

I can totally relate! My 3 year old is putting me through the same parenting misery these days. Could we be raising control freaks???!! (gasp!) Where could they be getting that from?!!!

Crazy Mo said...

Hang in there Lyndsay. I was a wild child too. Ask my mother. It will get better.

Wait. You've read my blog. Maybe I'm not the right person to be telling that it will turn out ok. She'll turn out crazy like me!

Barb said...

What a cutie....now where on earth does this all come from? You? naa probably LOL

Chef E said...

Memories of a son just came back to haunt me...he took his whole high chair and tossed it over in rebuttal of eating with us...after that we called him 'Bam-Bam'...