Tag Archives: parenting challenges

Evolution Begets Revolution

Growth Chart

Watching your kids grow older and wiser is one of the supreme joys of parenthood.  I myself have touted, on this very blog, the triumphs and freedoms that my kids’ evolution have brought to our family.  But I’ve recently realized that there are also negatives to growth, and I don’t mean the sappy, emotional oh-gee-where-did-the-time-go kind of negatives.  I mean the now-there-are-more-people-in-my-family-pointing-out-what-a-moron-I-am kind of negatives, like these:

1.  The separation anxiety is shifting off their shoulders and onto mine.  Gone are the days where they would cry hysterically as I walked out the front door.  Their shrieks stabbed me over and over in the heart as I waited for the elevator to rescue me from the torture.  I remember thinking, “C’mon guys!  Buck up and let me go to work just once without making me feel like I am leaving you with an axe murderer and/or inflicting lifelong emotional damage that will turn you into one.  Get it together!”  Now, I practically have to beg them to pause their lego-city-building marathons to say goodbye to me. Now they’re thinking “C’mon mom!  Buck up and get out of here so we can finish our legolopolis.  Seriously, can’t you go on a twenty-minute errand just once without acting like you’re not going to see us again for a year?  Get it together!”

2.  They can talk in full sentences.  Full sentences that include gems like: “I am NOT going to cooperate because you screamed at me and that is NOT nice!” or “I smell poop.  Mommy, did you just make a fart?” (uttered during pick-up at school) or “Mommy, why does your breath smell every morning?”

3.  They’ve already discovered that I am, at times, more gullible than they are.  Several nights ago, I was getting Zack ready for bed and he didn’t want to pee. I decided to show him who’s boss and insisted he get on the potty.  A few minutes later, he chimed, “All done mommy!” in his sweetest, sing-songiest voice.  Doubting his speedy toggle from uncooperative whiner to model citizen, I asked, “Really?  I didn’t hear any tinkles.”  To which he replied, “I did!  It smells like pee and the water is yellow.”  Impressed with his scientific list of evidence, I took him for his word, even though I didn’t smell pee and didn’t think the water looked that yellow.  But alas, Zack showed me who was boss when I was forced to clean his urine soaked pull up less than an hour later.

4.  And on the subject of being dumb, they point out the fact that I am just that by asking me more and more questions that I can’t answer.  The other day, Addy typed “34,760,058,382,847,574,033,854” on the ipad calculator and asked me, “Mommy, what number is that?”  Uh, I have no f-ing idea…which was also my response to these questions:

“Mommy, how did they build the George Washington Bridge?”
“Mommy, how does the remote control make the TV turn on?”
“Mommy, why can’t penguins fly?”
“Mommy, why can we see the moon during the day sometimes?”
“Mommy, what is Daddy doing in the bathroom for so long?”

5.  They commit punishable offenses, but are immune to punishment.  Addy was temper tantruming about somethingorother a while back, so I threatened to put one of her baby dolls in The Black Box (a shoebox we use as a toy prison) if she didn’t calm down.  A few minutes after things settled down, she matter-of-factly handed me her doll and said, “Mommy, you forgot to put the baby doll in the box.  Here.”  This, of course, was preschooler speak for, “Hey idiot, you forgot to enforce your lame-o punishment.  And by the way, I could care less if you take this doll.  You bought me seven of these, remember?”

So the moral of the story is: I better find a way to up my game before my kids evolve to the point of rendering me completely powerless.  At this rate, that’s on track to happen by the time they’re, oh…let’s see….probably four.


Face Off


The first four months after Addy and Zack turned three have been (yes, mostly adorable and amazing but) challenging. I, like many, believe that whoever coined the phrase “terrible twos” must have been referring to making the mistake of eating two back-to-back Reese’s Pieces sundaes at Friendly’s or having two chins. The real time to fear in the life of a child is the “throw-me-out-the-window-threes.”

I’ve been struggling to find ways to tame my two little beasts cuties and understand better how to head off tantrums before they begin. Part of this discovery process involves a post mortem analysis after each of our two to ten daily mini-Hiroshimas. In thinking about each situation and trying to pinpoint what went wrong, I’ve realized something earth shattering to me, but probably evident to my family and friends since my birth: I can be really f-ing annoying. All this time, I’ve been thinking there is nothing more irksome than a screeching, whiney, fist-pounding, frothing little kid but I have come to accept that I am a formidable competitor in the arena of irritation. Thus, I present to you a face off. Me vs. a three-year-old: who is more annoying?

1. Each morning, after breakfast, I brush Addy and Zack’s teeth. Getting them into the bathroom and up the stepstool to the sink is torture. What’s more annoying?

A. Having to yell “time to brush your teeth!” fifteen times before I get any response, followed by Zack whining, “Addy goes first!” Then Addy whining, “No, Zack goes first!” Then, “Addy goes first!” Then, “Zack goes first!” Then, “Addy goes first!” Then, “Zack goes first!” Then, “Addy goes first!” Then, “Zack goes first!” Then I lie and say “Whoever goes first gets a prize.” Which is followed by Zack screaming “I want to go first!” Then Addy crying “No, I want to go first!” Then, “I want to go first!” Then, “I want to go first!”, etc. etc. And then I tune it all out and fantasize about blowing my brains out.


B. Having a mom who wakes up late and rushes you through breakfast, but insists that you eat sufficient portions of your fruit, whole grain and dairy food groups while she eats a bowl of sugar cereal and no fruit. Then having her force you onto the toilet and bark, “focus on your poop!” when you are clearly busy pretending the roll of toilet paper is a tropical waterfall pouring beautiful white frothy water all over the floor. And finally, after dressing you in embarrassing t-shirts that say cheesy sh-t like “Rock Star” or “Captain Adorable”, she lies to you and says she’ll give you a prize if you brush your teeth nicely.

2. The most frequently uttered word in our house isn’t “love”, it’s not “cookies” and it’s not “microdermabrasion” (although it should be because I have some serious zitssues). It’s “no.” What’s more annoying?

A. Being a mom and repeating these conversations every single day: “Ok, kiddos, time to get dressed for school.” “Nooooooooo, I don’t wanna get dressed!” “Dinner time! I made you your favorite barbecue chicken with pasta and corn-on-the-cob.” “Noooooooooo, I want hot dogs for dinner, I don’t waaaaaant chicken!” “It’s a beautiful day, let’s go ride our scooters to the playground!” “Nooooooooo! I don’t wannnnna go outside. I wannnna watch TV!”


B. Being a three-year-old and repeating these conversations every single day: “Mommy, can I have a cookie?” “No, you didn’t eat your blah blah blah blah.” “Mommy, can I wear these shorts and this t-shirt to school today?” “No, it’s 35 degrees out, blah blah blah blah blah.” “Mommy, can I watch one more episode of Dora?” “No, you’ve already watched blah blah blah blah blah.”

3. OCD runs in our family. What’s more annoying?

A. After you slave away “cooking” a healthy, delicious, organic dinner for your family, having your kid wail for an hour, as if you just stabbed them in the eye, when one piece of your perfectly microwaved Amy’s mac and cheese touches their expertly toasted Applegate Farms frozen chicken nugget.


B. Having a mom who makes you wash your hands no less than ten times a day – after you go to the bathroom, after school, after you go to the playground, after you come home from a playdate, after you do arts and crafts, after you touch your feet, after you scratch your itchy tushy, after you fish your Barbie doll shoe out of the toilet, after you ride a carousel and after you washed your hands but didn’t suds up the soap for the full length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday three times.

So the next time I am feeling exasperated by the trials and tribulations of tres, I will try to remember to back off, and see if maybe there indeed is a little “maniac mom” to blame for the “throw-me-out-the-window threes.” Clear your conscience and share some of your annoying face offs in the comments section below!