Thursday, June 4, 2009

almost four year olds should listen, right?

Oh my 3 and a half year old is so trying these days. One minute he is the sweetest, most caring, well mannered little boy and the next he is defying each and every word we say. He is currently watching a movie, in my bed, wearing underwear and jammies. The whole thing is not normal. I never let him stay up "late" (it's 8:25 pm), never let him go to bed watching anything, don't prefer him in my bed, especially wearing underwear! But I just needed some peace and quiet (yes, to blog) and to have a moment alone.
I took him and two of his cousins to a movie tonight. We went to UP! Three boys under 5 and me carrying popcorn up the wahzoo barking at them to sit in their seats (that 2 of the 3 are too light to hold down on there own) was a sight to see. I am starting to wonder if people really think I am that crazy/obnoxious all the time. I think part of me wants Parker to behave a certain way, the way people expect, and it just isn't possible. My mom, sisters, mother in law have said at times "he's fine" when I am thinking that whatever he is doing to make me crazy isn't fine...maybe they are right. I try not to say, "he's a boy", "he's only 3", but really he is a boy and is only 3! So tonight I pick the boys up for the movie, they are all giddy about seeing each other and heading to the movie theater. We get inside and Parker starts running around like a wild child. Why? is he acting like that in public? I swear, it isn't him! I honestly think he can't control all this pent up energy. We get tickets, I am constantly looking around and counting the 3 heads that I feel should be glued to my leg, standing nicely in line...I am after all the lady with the money for snacks. We get to our turn in line and nobody but the 5 year old (Jake) can make a decision about what color slushy to have. Once that is decided, Parker changes his mind about Nerds and wants Mike and way too much money later I start handing off the snack boxes, look to the heavens and say an extra prayer about not spilling it all on the way down the dark slanted walk way to our seats. We find a row with the least amount of surrounding innocent bystanders and plop down. I start crawling on the dirty floor to get them all situated in their chairs and incorrectly open the Nerd boxes (those things are worthless!) and realize that neither of the 3 year olds are heavy enough to hold down their seats without watching the whole movie with their knees in their faces. So I sit between the two of them and basically sit spread eagle and get one of the best ab workouts I've had in a long time.
Two-thirds of the way through the movie, Parker shouts that he has to pee (he has this thing with public places-and it usually is poop!). So I leave my cousins kids, ages 3 and 5 in a theater, alone! I think I figured they wouldn't go anywhere (which they didn't...thanking the heavens above again!). Race out of the bathroom in one of the fastest pee breaks ever and get back into the theater to only walk 5 rows too far and past the 2 little heads I couldn't see over the seat backs...thank God (again) for the lady behind me who flagged me down.
A scary dog part comes on and Parker says he wants to leave. I quietly whisper in his ear that it is almost over (as I am digging in my purse for the cell phone, really wondering if it is time to go yet). Then he starts in. Blowing fart noises with his mouth, rocking his seat up and down, slurping his drink, and all and all annoying me to the fullest. I ask him to stop. He doesn't. I warn him sternly that if he continues, we are leaving. He pauses. Then starts in again. I think he really knows that I wasn't going to pull Garret and Jake out of the movie, as they were being little angels, but that I was (to a point) dangerously threatening. Now I don't know if I just didn't want that behavior out of him while we were supposed to be out having fun at a movie or if it really wasn't that bad at all. He wasn't really being loud, just "busy". And he is 3 (and a half). Right?
But I started the "you are almost four, you know, so you should really (bend at my will)...."
Like right now brings me back to wearing underwear in my bed. He will be four (in November) and is still wearing pull ups at night. I really don't think he needs them, but when he wears them, he pees in them. I honestly think he does it on purpose! It's making mommy crazy. We'll ask him, "where did you pee in your pullup?" A: "ummmm, in the kitchen, I was just walking and a peed". Or (I love this one) "I just peed a little, that's okay, it was an accident, I didn't do it on purpose, not a lot, just a little". CRAZY!!!
So a few days ago I trucked over to Kmart and bought some of those washable pads you stick under old people when they wet the bed (I know they can't help it) and put Parker in underwear. The first night I put him in his favorite jammies. Whichever of us goes to bed last, drags our soundly sleeping 3 year old out of bed to stand in front of the pot and pee. He goes right back to sleep and then around 1 am, pees the bed. I wake up at some point each night, just to find out that I have missed the opportunity to get him to go on the toilet and have to change him and his bed pad and then he wakes up dry. This has happened for the last 3 nights. Last night he wore his favorite boxer shorts to bed and peed at 1:30 am. So do I really set an alarm and drag him out of bed more than once? I think I might? I am getting sick of washing all that laundry. The pads work on the mattress but not the covers. We don't let him drink after 7 pm, but forcing dehydration on my child to save an extra $20 bucks a month doesn't really seem that nice. But I really like sleeping through the any ideas out there??

So as I type, I think...he isn't really all that bad. He can be wonderful. Most of the time he is. He plays with Emmitt well, but bosses him around a lot, takes his toys away just to hear him yell (which sets Bear off immediately). But when he starts tuning me out and not listening I lose it! I can't stand it. And he knows it...he likes seeing mommy and daddy throw temper tantrums. That's what they are to him. So I started all over again with the Love and Logic theory. The (stupid) sing-song one actually works. When Parker is dinking around, let's say, not eating...we just sing-song "uh-oh, looks like someone needs a little alone time in his bedroom" and he starts eating. Albeit temporarily. But really, if he was hungry wouldn't he just eat the food before him? It makes me nuts! But when he flat out ignores one of our "requests"...oh boy, look out. We both are "yellers" and we both hate it. Our moms both but the fear of God in us with one death glare. It was all over for us if she started yelling...we were scared for our lives. So how come we can yell until we are blue in the face and it doesn't work worth a damn? Or ask nicely...that doesn't work either. Or an arm grab...nope. I do not want to raise these boys to maniacs in public places or anywhere for that matter, I feel they need to learn their place and behave...but at what point do they really know better? I would rather just stay home and not take them anywhere...because it really isn't all that much fun when we go...but then again, he doesn't listen at home and can run around like a wild, what to do?


Aloha Chewy said...

Hey...I was reading your blog last night and I think what annoys you as his parent is not annoying to people around you. I think as the parent, you want the perception of your children to be that they are well behaved, perfect angels. The reality is that its not possible, and everyone one who has kids or has been around them knows it. If I was in a G rated movie and a three year old was moving around in his seat, I would expect it, not be annoyed by it. Now, if you had your three year old at an R movie, it would be a different story (trust me when I say I have seen it, and its terrible!). Don't beat yourself up...he's fine. I see the same thing with my sister and her kids, and I think its because you as Mom's are around it day in and day out...deep breath. TGIF!

Anonymous said...

I just caught up on the blog over lunch. I think I peed my pants a little laughing so hard about you spread eagle on the movie theatre seats! As far as Parker is concerned…remember his cousin Peter at that age? I break out in a cold sweat just thinking back on those days. Public places or when they are around other kids/people is the worst – they act out just because they know you most likely aren’t really going to follow thru on the threat (whatever it may be). Ahhhh – I love having a 13 and 9 (almost) year old. They get easier as they get older. I’m told I’m in for another fun ride as they get older but right now things are good. Parker is a normal toddler. He is gaining some independence and testing it out on everyone. I miss those little guys! Debs

beanski said...

I know this probably won't help because I've never lived through it but I think it is his age. I think as long as you are as consistent as you can be, he'll grow out of it. Jen said from 3-4 was the WORST but Charlie pretty much started being nice again around 4. Hang in there. Your sister is right and so is Chenoa. Your kids are WAY more annoying to you than to anyone else. I am really hard on Renee, I want her to be perfect all of the time. I have to tell myself a lot that she's not even two :)