If I can make it to Rylie’s third birthday without the need for a straight jacket, life will be OK. Because I just know that as soon as she turns three, all of this “terrible two” crap will be a thing of the past, right? It has to be! Please tell me that at three, these little Tasmanian devils turn into perfect little angels. Even if they don’t, lie to me. I’m begging you. Because if I think for one minute this nonsense is going to continue, I may just throw myself off the nearest bridge.
First came “why?” After every single thing I say. After about the 279th “Why?” of the day, I just finally have to say “I don’t know, sweetie” and that is usually enough until I say something else five minutes later that she feels the need to question.
Next came “NO!” I am trying my best to put an end to that, and I think Rylie knows that she is not allowed to tell an adult no. Now, whether or not she still does it will just depend on her mood at that very second.
And now we have indecisiveness. This is the latest in the recent string of “things my toddler does to annoy the living crap out of me”. She can’t decide what toothpaste she wants. She can’t decide which bathing suit to wear. She can’t decide what she wants for a snack. Grrrrr…just make up your mind kid!
Since I am all about full disclosure on this blog, I’m going to tell you a little story. It was definitely not my finest parenting moment, but I’m sure you all realize by now that there is NO WAY I think I’m a perfect parent. I’m going to slip up and do the wrong thing from time to time, and probably more often than I would like. And here you are, the latest reason I should be nominated for the not-mom-of-the-year award…
Wednesday is water day at daycare. It is also Rylie’s favorite day of the school week and we usually don’t have any issues getting ready on those mornings. Yesterday morning Rylie came downstairs in one of her “long” bathing suits. (That is what she calls one-piece bathing suits.) She doesn’t normally like to wear those because they give her wedgies, and they are a pain to deal with when going potty. I was surprised she wanted that one. Just as we were getting ready to leave, she announced that she didn’t want to wear that one and took it off, so I took her upstairs to get another one. From there on out, things are a little fuzzy due to the boiling point I got to, but it went something like this…
Me: Rylie, do you want to wear this new pretty bathing suit that Mama got you last weekend?
Rylie: Yes! ::puts bathing suit on::
Me: OK, let’s get back downstairs so we can leave.
Rylie: ::cue whining voice:: I don’t want to wear this bathing suit! ::opens drawer and pulls out a different bathing suit::
Me: Oh but that is so pretty and your teachers want to see your new bathing suit.
Rylie: But I don’t waaaaaaaaaaaaant to wear this one! ::turns on the tears::
Me: Well, you made your decision and picked that one, and now you have to stick with your decision. Let’s go.
Rylie: ::opens drawer and pulls out a new bathing suit:: But I want this one.
Me: That one doesn’t fit you well and it is getting a little ratty. Just wear the pretty bathing suit you have on and let’s go. Daddy is waiting for us.
Rylie: ::cue full blown tantrum::
At this point I think I literally lost my mind for a minute. I snatched the bathing suit out of her hand, threw it back in her drawer and slammed the drawer shut. I saw the look of fear in her eyes as the stuff on her dresser came flying off like you see in movies about earthquakes. Of course at that point she started crying for real. And then I realized how idiotic I was acting. Luckily no one was hurt during this scene straight out of Mommy Dearest. Needless to say, she decided she was happy with the bathing suit she was wearing.
I felt so bad. I apologized for losing my temper with her and using my “loud voice”. There was no excuse for my behavior. She’s two, and I’m, well, a lot older. I needed to be the rational adult in that situation, but instead I became nothing more than another irrational two year old. I learned a lesson, and I hope that never happens again.
I did, however, try to teach her a lesson too. I told her that when she makes a decision then she needs to stick with that decision. If she feels she made the wrong decision, then she can change that decision the next time it is presented to her. I explained to her that we don’t have time for her to put on a bunch of different bathing suits and that is the reason we pick one out at night for her to wear the next day. (I let her pick it.)
So now that I know what I did wrong, I need to figure out what to do next time that is right. I think I’ll head over to Heligirl and see if she has any advice for me. (And Jen, if you’re reading this, feel free to chime in!) I have to realize that Rylie is still finding her way in this big old world, and there are situations that will still be very confusing to her. I am trying to let her have her independence, but she also has to learn the basics of decision making. I don’t want to make all of her decisions for her, but there have to be limitations on the decisions that she is allowed to make for herself. One of those limitations has to include a time constraint. I am not about to spend thirty minutes in our already busy morning picking out a bathing suit. Nor am I going to spend more than a minute deciding which toothpaste to use when it is already past her bed time.
And don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely LOVE the age that Rylie is at now. I think (at least I hope) that you can tell by *most* of my posts how much fun we have together. We really do have some great times and every day we find time to play and laugh together. She is a very good little girl most of the time. I love that she has a strong, independent will, just not when that will clashes with mine.
So yeah, I am looking forward to her third birthday. They only call it the “terrible TWOS”, so when three hits this will all get easier. Right? (Remember…lie to me.)
I just wanted to add this because of Carol's comment... Rylie picks out her clothes every night for the next day. Lately, though, she has been changing her mind in the morning. Her dad usually lets her pick something else and that is the end of it. So the "long" bathing suit was actually her first change from what she had picked out in the morning. I'm fine with one change, just not with several. :-)
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