One of my friends who is also a reader here told me that she wishes I would write shorter, more frequent posts. That makes sense to me, given I recently read that people rarely finish what they start online. At this rate, Of Mice and Men is going to seem like an impossibly long novel.
Last night at dinnertime they both cried. There is nothing that goes to my brain stem like an ice pick faster than the chorus of both my daughters, ages 2 and 4, wailing in spoiled brat agony.
That’s right. I called my own children spoiled brats. Which is really more of a criticism of me and Odie than of them.
“Love and Logic” is a philosophy of parenting that I agree with on principle, but it’s fascinating how our reactions are hard-wired. For example, I can’t break Odie of the habit of “asking” the girls to do things instead of telling them. For example, he will say, “Viva, I asked you to put on your shoes,” Whereas I will say, “PUT ON YOUR SHOES BEFORE I BURN ALL OF YOUR TOYS TO CINDERS!”
I’m supposed to give the girls choices between two things I can live with, but it’s meant to be “Do you want to eat peas or green beans?” not “You can sit here and eat your dinner then watch T.V. or you can get in the bath and then go right to bed. What’s it going to be?” Unsurprisingly, my way of doing it elicits renewed wails of agony. Pringles has reached an age where everything Viva does, she copies. Viva couldn’t be more delighted. Suddenly her little sister has turned into a robot that she can program. A robot that bites her.
Viva will usually respond to my “two choices I can live with” by knitting her eyebrows together and saying, “But I don’t want either one of those things!” She’s also excellent at responding by giving ME two choices that she feels are equally acceptable such as, “How about I watch my show, and then I get ice cream, or I watch my show and then I get Star Wars gummies?”
Pringles: “STAH WAHS GUMMIESSSSSS!”
Somehow I got them to eat, then into a cool tub full of bath toys. They balked at getting into the tub, then they refused to get out. Viva looked me dead in the face last night and announced, “I’m not getting out of the tub, Mommy, and you’re not going to do anything about it.”
It must have been my expression, because she quickly said, “I’m getting out right now,” and scrambled onto the linoleum.
We chased naked Pringles who runs around screeching “NAYYYYY-KEEEED!” We got them into mismatched pajamas and told them to pick out books. Viva knows I hate this particularly long and dull adaptation called Kashtanka, so she requests it every night. They also love to help me read and record on my Nook, then snicker listening to their own voices played back for them. Odie and I take turns reading books. Pringles still nurses at bedtime, which I hate, but I’m too lazy to wean her completely. And maybe I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding forever and admit that my “baby” is not a baby at all but a little girl.
A little girl who got out of bed and ran around the house impishly about 12 times last night. “I’ma yittle IMP!” she confesses honestly.
“Sweetie, it’s time for bed. Aren’t you tired?”
“No. Not ti-yerd, Mommy.”
We started the bedtime hustle at 8:00; both kids were asleep at 9:50.
It was actually easier when she was a baby, although not nearly as much fun. We complain, but honestly, I am in no hurry for them to grow up. I love this stage. When I had Pringles, I said that I didn’t have a second child so I could have an infant and a two year-old, but rather I wanted a two year-old and a four year-old. And it’s everything I hoped it would be.
I love the glimpse into your evening routine! My son turned 4 at the beginning of the month and OMG, the attitude! At least once an evening, he commands, “do not argue with me!” I love this age, though. He has us in hysterics.
I have always had a fair amount of patience up until my children went to bed. Even the most ordinary request made by them after they were tucked up was enough to tip me over the edge.
For what it’s worth I love reading this length of post!
Yep, kids are difficult. Back to ask Mrs. Odie a question: how did you come up with the name Mrs. Odie? Strictly based on the cartoon strip? And if you’re Mrs. Odie, how come your husband is Odie instead of “Mr.” Odie? And, this is just a rhetorical question, but what’s up with the rapid fire blogposts? We’re not prepared for that shit.
I love to laugh out loud. I think “LOL” has ruined that. People write “LOL” all the time when they should actually write “SANS” (Smiling And Nodding Slightly). Your last sentence made me honk and snort. Which is my version of an LOL. I don’t want people to hate me, but I have more time to write since I’m on summer vacation.
I despise “LOL” and refuse to use it, ever, just on principle. People use it as a way to let themselves off the hook for snarkiness. As in, “Hey, do you have PMS? LOL!”
As a blogger I have to agree that posting frequently and short posts is a better idea. I might implement it myself.
As a parent I have to say: “I hear you!”
As a parenting consultant my response would be a bit different. 🙂
But the fact that your kids have a voice and they are not afraid of saying what they think is a good sign of your parenting. We always forget that living with kids is like living with roommates, except they are minors, they depend on us and …But they have rights to their privacy, likes and dislikes, mood swings and everything else.
With a few power games bedtime routine can be tackled easily.
I feel the need to say that I never yell at my kids. I only fantasize about it on my blog.
Okay, your Viva sounds a lot like my Annabelle. If that is the case, let me warn you that it only gets worse, so prepare yourself. Also, you sound a lot like me. You might not want to take that as a compliment, I don’t know. And finally, giving kids choices is wayyyyy overrated.
I think I sound like you too. And I take it as a huge compliment. You are an amazing person, Lisa.
Hello from New Zealand where I am also still feeding a 2 (actually 2.7, yikes!) year old. I wouldn’t have a clue how to stop. Love this post.
Thanks to my very difficult 3 yo (he’s now 6 and we’re still waiting for this phase to be over) I started reading all sorts of parenting books about how “he’s frustrated, let him feel like he has control by offering choices” with the exact result you describe. Apparently, HE is the one who should be reading these parenting books, not me.
Hahahahaa! Can you imagine if we could just get our kids to read the Love and Logic rules?