It Ain’t Easy, Bein’ Three-sy

And that’s totally cheesy to write, but it’s true.

I’ve kept stories about child’s life off of this blog mainly because I’ve been a blogger ghost the last while. I don’t have the time to devote to this craft in the way I used to. See, in the past, I would have ruminated over a topic, formed some whammy points that felt profound in my mind, start writing said whammy points only to fail but then somehow cobble it all together anyway, add some pictures, and hit “publish.” About two years ago I had a great idea to start a series on mental health topics, all of which are sitting in my drafts.

Heh. If you’re a parent of a three year old, you live for times that just don’t exist anymore.

TV? Basically a thing of the past. I watched Gilmore Girls through my sleeping eyelids when I was out sick a few weeks back. That’s this mom’s version of “Netflix and Chill.”

Running by Walgreen’s to print a picture of my child for school (as the teacher suggested)  – yeah, no, thanks, I will just draw a picture of him on this thing I have to turn in for school about my son. (Josef was able to print one, but it’s a weird color as some of our ink cartridge colors were out, haha).

Hang out with friends? Great idea! Do they have kids and do they want to go get dinner before our kids have to be in bed? Because that’s socializing these days.

Alone time? Running is my alone time, and it’s been pretty meditative for me, to the point that I can run an hour. I finally got to run tonight, and am feeling better as a result. Riding in the car from daycare to work and from work to home are my other alone times.

The sweet child whose birth I posted about on this blog several years ago is now 3. He’s amazing and frustrating and sweet and totally sour, and a complete angelic imp. He’s the biggest challenge of my life but a great joy, too. When other people like him, it’s like Deb from Napoleon Dynamite, when Napoleon compliment’s Deb’s puff sleeves on her dress at the school dance. Not missing a beat, Deb replies, “thanks. I made them myself.” So yeah, he’s totally my puff sleeve. Other times, no one notices how cute he is, and my humility is kept in check.

He’s been frustrating me to no end lately as each tiny thing becomes a battle of wills, like invisible lasers are protecting the treasure chest called The Peaceful and Well Behaved Child. These invisible lasers can be tripped by many innocent-sounding things, like “Let’s try and go potty.” “It’s time for school.” “Let’s get dressed.” “It’s not 6:00 a.m. yet, so no you may not watch TV” (I know, I know, bad parent but guys, it helps to let him watch tv as I get ready for work). I’ve accepted that there is just no way to tell where the stinkin’ invisible lasers are.

As with all reactions from others I don’t understand, I try to put myself in his tiny shoes to see his perspective, but that’s still a complete mystery to me most of the time. And as he’s a bad sleeper, our whole household are bad sleepers, so we’re already starting each day very tired, the first line of defense against feeling like a bad parent already broken. Then the previously-mentioned invisible lasers are tripped and the fallout from activating the security system, so to speak, is BAD, you guys. I dealt with no less than 5 tantrums and general bad behavior before even getting out of the door this morning. There is zero doubt in my mind that he has developed independence that will serve him well later in life. Now, if he’d just go pee when I ask him to, and not throw a fit when I tell him it’s sports day at school, things would be far less stressful.

I rocked him to sleep tonight, after he shined his light up stuffed animal in my eyes and elbowed me in the face a few times as he played shadow puppets on the wall. He won’t be this little forever. So I have to do what every other parent does: suck it up, figure out what I can let go of for the sake of sanity, and appreciate what a gift it is to have a child.

Little man, I will try to understand when you’re coloring on yourself again with the markers you aren’t supposed to have, or when you’ve gotten a brand new stick of butter out of the refrigerator yet again to either have a bite or rub your hands and face all over it, or when you scare the crap out of me as you run away from me and out into a parking lot or climb on rickety furniture, that you’re just a little dude trying to make sense of the world that is full of rules you don’t understand and all sorts of things you want to try to do.

I’m sorry I get mad at you sometimes, like this morning. I try really hard to not show it, but it comes out in my voice. I guess that’s just part of the parent-child dance, and you’re learning what my voice sounds like when I am mad, storing that information for down the road for the times we won’t see eye to eye. You’ve already learned some techniques for trying to sweet talk me. You’ve called me out when I forgot about something I promised you. I’ve learned from times that I said one thing but you heard another, how to tell you something more clearly next time.

It’s been a long, long time since I was three, but I am trying to listen and understand.

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2 thoughts on “It Ain’t Easy, Bein’ Three-sy

  1. You’re doing great!!!! He’s being 3, that comes with tantrums, independence, the whole enchilada. You have a strong willed son and as I said with mine, if you both make it to adulthood, he’ll be an awesome adult. Parenting is not for the faint of heart, he will grow out of the tantrums, be firm with boundaries and love.

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