Apparently my child is an overachiever and likes to reach life stages ahead of the norm. By this, I mean at age 2.5 we officially left the terrible twos and entered into the world of trying threes or as I'd like to call it "The year mommy's sanity goes to die.".
I said it wouldn't happen. 2.5 was going to be my hallelujah moment. In some ways it totally was. The unreasonableness dissipated, we started speaking the same language, he understands discipline...we made progress! Then...then...the questions started and I WANTED TO GAUGE MY EYES OUT.
We are currently in the days of the never ending questioning, mostly regarding things you have already answered with the dreaded "No." or "We'll see" which is really just the more hopeful version of "No.". Answering the same question over and over again begins to wear on one, say around 9AM. In reality, I just want to answer "Yes! You can have it, take whatever you want from me. Just give me a moment of peace!". But, apparently I'd rather torture myself for my child's well-being (I'm a saint like that) and enter into the next phase called toddler bargaining.
The toddler bargain goes something like this:
"Mama, I want 2 pop-pops!" (Mind you, he's holding up at least 5 fingers.)
I say no. Not until after nap. This is when I've decided organic sugar sticks are acceptable. I feel good about this for some reason.
"Nooooooooo, I need pop-pop now!"
"Two pop-pops mama?" "Pwease." (Insert irresistibly cute toddler smile.)
I repeat myself.
He repeats himself.
I repeat myself.
At this point, he suddenly loses his ability to hear and starts the "Huh?" shenanigan that gets my blood literally boiling!
We go on like this until I distract him with something shiny and then approximately 2 minutes later he starts again and I cave because I.cannot.take.it.anymore.
"Fine. You get one! No more."
See, the toddler bargain starts irrationally high and ends with him getting at least something out of it.
This is a game, it's called he wins.
But, I'm on to him.
We've also entered the "No, I do it myself." phase which turns out to be a mixed bag.
I love that he is learning how to do things that I will no longer have to do for him. I vividly remember the day he suddenly came out of the bathroom with his underwear and shorts back on! For the love, the nakedness might be over.
But apparently, this only happens on happy accidents. The majority of the time I spend what feels like an eternity reminding him that the tag goes in the back (which gets tricky if there is one of those side seam tags...toddlers do not like exceptions to the rules.) and that you can only put one leg in each hole. I can audibly hear the minutes of my life ticking by as I plaster a smile on my face and give my best encouragement, while my insides are screaming "Just let me do it already!".
As crazy as it sounds I am enjoying "this year". Ground rules have been established. He understands more. He needs me just a touch less, which admittedly, also scares the -ish out of me. He's learning to dress himself and I'm learning patience. As excruciating as it is to watch him do things at snails pace, I'm also extremely proud of him for wanting to take the reins.
Oh trying three's, you are only going to make me a better person. By the end of this, I completely expect to have mastered deep breathing, patience and standing my ground. Bah! I'm pretty sure those lessons will be never ending.
All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.