This morning my son was arguing with me about whether or not I heard him toot. I’m being entirely serious, however, I have a hard time writing the word “toot” without cracking a little grin. He, shall I say, “broke wind,” and of course he had to tell me about it…because, boys. I was snuggling up next to him when he said, “Mommy, I tooted.” I calmly replied, “Yes honey I heard you.” GASP…How dare I reply in such an appropriate and caring manner! What kind of mother am I?! He instantly began to argue that I did not hear the toot because he only had one toot, and there were two of us, so therefore only one person could hear said toot. Yes, this was a real conversation in our house today. And honestly, I’m better for it.
My 3-year-old has been especially annoying lately, because he’s a toddler. Annoying their parents is what they do. I’m trying to give him grace right now while he’s in this temporary (fingers crossed), highly emotional state, but it’s not easy. He’s quite unreasonable and the things he gets upset about rarely make sense. As soon as I think he’s moving past a phase, he gets mad about the way I peeled his banana– even though I specifically asked him seven questions about how he wanted it peeled before doing so.
I’ve been trying different tactics to see what works. That’s what parenting is all about, right? Figure out what works, do that…until it doesn’t work…repeat (take deep breaths whenever possible). I’ve tried quite unsuccessfully to reason with him. For your reference, this strategy rarely works. I’ve also tried ignoring him. This typically causes a toy to be thrown at my head, and then I have a whole new problem. The other thing I’ve tried is changing the subject. This works sometimes. However, when your kid is set on a specific kind of cracker that you know you don’t have in your house, it’s pretty hard to change his mind. I’ve found that a mixture of all three tactics usually works, and if not, at least I can say I tried.
I’ve had several jobs working with kids and adults with behavioral issues. I’ve had bodily fluids thrown at me, I’ve been called a lot of naughty words, and I’ve even been physically attacked. You’d think that would have been great practice for parenthood. But when you can’t give them back at the end of your shift, it’s a whole new ballgame. If nothing else, his morning freak-outs are a good story for my friends on the bus and my Instagram followers will enjoy a funny video. If you don’t already use social media to connect with other parents, I suggest you give it a try, we must stick together!
On the day of the toot argument, I had a particularly stressful day at work. One of those days where nothing goes right, and everything is annoying. So there was that, the emotional toddler roller coaster, and to top it off I had a cold that I couldn’t shake. On the ride home, my son had a few average meltdowns, which annoyed me greatly. I took a lot of deep breaths on that ride home. We walked into our house, took off our coats, and then it happened. He tooted. Just like earlier that day, to make sure I knew, he said: “Mama I tooted.” I paused, weighed my options and said: ” Yeah buddy, I heard you.” I waited, and braced myself for a meltdown. But this time, he smiled up at me with those bright blue eyes of his, and ran off to play with his toys.
Since becoming a mother I’ve learned that life is unpredictable, especially with a toddler. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out and you’ve had an easy couple of days, they’ll start kicking and screaming in the towel aisle at Target. I wonder if toddlers are made this way on purpose, to test our limits, and really make us work for it. Either way, I’m stuck with my toddler and so are you. My plan for now is to make it through this phase, however I can, and love on him so hard he can’t stand me anymore. I encourage you to talk to your friends with toddlers. Share your stories, and comfort them about their challenges. In the end, we’re all trying to accomplish the same goals: raise good humans, and maintain our sanity while doing so.