Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.

6/25/2007

#213 In which our hero resists shaking his child--but just.

So, this parenting thing. It’s starting to wear me down.

Lily’s two’s weren’t especially terrible, if memory serves (and that could be complete bullshit because, as The Scientist is quick to point out, I tend to suppress any bad parenting memories older than, say, four months, in favor of the laughing, dog-pile on daddy memories) but lately, at 3 ½, she’s getting on my nerves.

You’d think this would be caused the constant “why” questions but, honestly, I enjoy those.
LILY: Why is that man [on TV] wearing a coat?
ME: He must be cold.
LILY: Why is he cold?
ME: Because it’s snowing.
LILY: Why is it snowing?
ME: Because it’s winter there.
LILY: Why is it winter there?
ME: Because we live on a planet called Earth that periodically rotates in a fashion so that part of the planet is further away from the sun than other parts, causing it to get colder.
LILY: We live on the Earth!
But what she’s doing now is this half-hearted fake crying, mostly when she doesn’t get her own way. It drives both The Scientist and me crazy. We’ve tried to explain that she shouldn’t fake cry, because Mommy and Daddy worry when she cries, and she should only cry when she’s really hurt (or really upset, I sometimes add… but this is a slippery slope, since she is “really upset” when Macey knocks her cup on the floor, for example) so we can come and make it better. If she’s bothered by something (or someone, I’m looking at you, Macey) then she should just ask for help.

Our explanations didn’t really help, though. So we went straight to the time-out option. Lily is starting to catch on, because lately we’ve been sending her straight to the time-out chair (or the “simmer down chair” which I like to call it, thank you Charlie & Lola) without any warnings. This is something new… in the past, we’ve always given her a warning or two… Lily, if you don’t stop X, you’ve going to have to go into time-out. But no more… one fake cry and she is sent directly to the chair, no forewarning. This is, in Lily’s mind, the height of injustice, and she really starts crying then. To counter this, The Scientist has told her that the time-out clock doesn’t start until she stops crying. This is kinda harsh in my mind, but it is effective.

But even more annoying than the fake crying, is the not listening. Lord Almighty, this gets on my nerves. I’m not good with my child blowing me off. When I say please come over here, I just want her to come over here, not keep digging in the toy box or whatever. After the fourth or fifth time repeating myself, I start to see red. I have to use my “command voice,” which generally gets Lily’s attention, if not her immediately acquiescence.

The bad part is that I know there’s a legion of parents with teenagers out there saying, “you think your kid doesn’t listen to you now? Wait until she’s 14!”

To which I say fourteen? I’m hoping to make it to eight.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because we live on a planet called Earth that periodically rotates in a fashion so that part of the planet is further away from the sun than other parts, causing it to get colder."

Ah, you lie to your child, eh? The Earth is actually closer to the sun in winter...it's the angle of sunlight striking the Earth and the shorter duration of sunlight that causes the colder temps.

But yeah, three-year-olds are more difficult than two-year-olds.

12:00 PM

 
Blogger craig said...

Eh, what can I say? My wife's the scientist, not me.

12:11 PM

 
Anonymous janice said...

I can feel your pain! Meg screams, seizure inducing, ear splitting screams- for no reason, or any reason, depending on how you look at it. If I can make it to eight without making regular trips to a methadone clinic, I'll consider myself successful. Seriously, though, I think the time out stuff has been what has worked the best. Good luck...

10:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah - three is worse than two. Wasn't that in the manual that you go??? ;-)

It really helps me understand why so many kids are 18 - 24 months apart and you see fewer kids that are 40-48 months apart (assuming a two child family).

Margarete

8:35 AM

 

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