Friday, August 24, 2007

Morning routine, or why I finally had to tie him down

I normally don't dispense parenting advice, but I've got some for you moms of toddlers. Do NOT let your three-year-old become stronger than you. Stop the sippy cup reps, banish the sibling wrestling and for gosh sake no more baby gymnastics. I have discovered that I am simply not strong enough to force clothes on my kid so heaven forbid if the one pair of transformer underwear he's willing to wear is not clean. I'm beginning to suspect this insistence on a certain pair of underwear, which frankly I cannot identify, just might be a ploy to delay the dressing of the child, ya think?

Yesterday as I was running up to get third pair of underwear (I know, really, no need to tell me now) after yelling at the kid to get dressed for like the 8 millionth time, my husband says "what are you doing? don't give him a choice" and proceeded to put the clothes on the squirming, kicking, screaming and crying little devil boy. I then managed to drag him to the car, dropping my stuff half way there to pick him up, as he screamed his usual "I need to get something!" I miraculously managed to buckle him him (thank goodness he can't yet "buckle himself out"), realizing I didn't even get to pee, arrgh. I then had a guilt-ridden ride as I apologized, again, for yelling and promised to remain calm next time, as my older son looked crest-fallen and wasted from shrapnel he caught in the war zone. Ugh.

So this morning I was determined to handle this, if not "right," at least without the yelling. I had 30 minutes to get the kids dressed and ready. No problem. Got the milk, the yogurt, the medicine and proceeded to give the rascal the requisite two choices of clothing items. Up until he was actually required to perform he agreed heartily with the plan to get dressed after his chocolate milk. And then the nightmare began again, but this time I didn't yell, I just forced as best I could those darn clothes on. But alas those chubby, but unbelievably strong arms were too much for me. He'll wear is pj top for a shirt, there. I then went to get my other son, who dressed himself in 3 minutes flat, his milk, yogurt, medicine, and Wow Wow Wubzy.

And then who should I see, but, in the words of the Dixie Chicks, "Superman in Pajamas on the Couch" - that little $$#%X had taken his clothes off, put his pj shorts back on as was sitting comfy as can be. I marched him up to present him to dad. With no less crying but an added pair of (stronger) hands, not to mention a deeper voice, we did it. I will freely admit I am the softy, the more emotional parent. As expected, I would much rather comfort a child than discipline them, but alas both are important to make the later years better, even if it means the earlier years might require me to sign up for some mindfulness sessions. Either that or duct tape.


  1. Duct tape works wonders :) I'm sorry to hear about these wrestling matches, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who deals with them!

  2. I had to laugh... at what point will they willingly dress themselves? I am constantly battling with my elder about taking his clothes off & putting ones on. If they don't magically fly off his body with the greatest of ease... he insists he can't do it. Then begins the wrestling with mom over doing it at all. Then I have the wrong clothes, even though he picked them out. For god sakes those bony knees and elbows are going to give me more than bruises one day!

  3. Girl, i think this is my favorite post of yours. great writing.

    I'm off to take those dumbbells away from my toddler...

  4. Maybe this will help. If you want to hang a sign on your child announcing, "He dressed himself, I had nothing to do with it" -- anyone who looks at him will probably know. Without the sign.