Thursday, September 22, 2016
I sat on my kitchen counter and drank wine and ate cold tater tots and chicken nuggets after 8pm - the first chance I had to have dinner after getting home from work.
We're not quite 2 months in, and I feel that I have officially arrived to 3. THREE. (If I spell it out, does it add drama?) I walked into the boys' bedroom to the sounds of protest from the 3-year-old and complaints from the 6-year-old who "ALWAYS" cleans Brooks' messes as Colby was instructing the boys to clean their bedroom that now resembled a war zone. The moment I knew I had arrived looked something like this:
Brooks, it's time to clean up.
We'll have to start taking away the toys you don't help to clean up.
You helped to make the mess, now it's time to help clean it.
Let's put your blankets out in the hallway for bedtime until you're ready to clean.
No. *looks at me, picks up bin of approximately 96 marble run pieces and dumps onto floor.*
And now you have to clean that up, too.
*picks up a piece from the ground and throws across room*
A few more acts of deliberate mess-making and a threat (and follow-through) of soap in the mouth for saying "no" to mommy followed, with no signs of toddler relenting any time soon.
I was instantly angered to the point I wanted to scream at my 3-year-old. But as fast as it came on it was quickly replaced with feelings of devastation and defeat.
I was backed into a corner, and felt completely helpless as to what my next move should be. After a quick moment of internal panic I decided he would be confined to my lap in the middle of the mess he just created until he was ready to pick up. And I knew I had to see it through. It was a good 45 minutes of throwing pieces across the room, physically constraining him to my lap, and talking calmly through his screaming and tears before he finally put his first piece into the bin.
With 18 pieces remaining (Owen counted), he had hit a wall, and so had I. It was the end of our Mexican standoff - now past the boys' bedtime, and Owen watching him from his bed, he so desperately wanted to be done with his torture. Has asked, "Owen pick it up?"
Me:"You are welcome to ask him."
Brooks: "Owen.. help pick up please?"
Owen: "Okay. I'll do all of these and leave you just this one."
I helped the boys get the lid back onto the bin. High fived Brooks and Owen and thanked them for picking up. Without bedtime stories or prayers or prompts to get into proper jammies or brush their teeth, I walked out and closed their bedroom door.
Then I walked downstairs and sat on my kitchen counter and drank wine and ate cold tater tots and chicken nuggets after 8pm - the first chance I had to have dinner after getting home from work.