I was definitely not smiling today when I had to carry my kicking and screaming almost three year old to the car after preschool. I was actually thanking G-d that I happened to be five minutes late today because there were no other parents in the parking lot.
The chaos started as soon as we left the building when he spotted the park next door to the preschool. Before I realized what was going on, he went running towards that park. "Stop!" I yelled. "It's cold and rainy! We need to get to the car."
"No!" He screamed.
Being an expert in parenting, I immediately knew what to do. YEAH RIGHT! First, I looked around to make sure no one was around, then I decided to use some of the advice I gave my friend and offer "A" some choices. I told him he could run to the car like a zebra or I could pick him up. Pretty clever right? Nope. He screamed, "NO! I want NUFFING! (nothing)"
Finally starting to lose my patience, I picked him up and made a break for the car. He did the 'limp baby' move and went completely stiff. Well, not completely limp because he was still kicking his legs and flailing his arms around. I eventually got to the car, opened the car door, and tried to toss him in. The first two times, he fought so hard against me that I had to pick him up and try again. The third time, I threw open the door, pushed him in, and quickly shut the door before he could make a break for it.
Mother of the year in the category of tantrum management goes to our very own Coffee Addicted Mommy.
I wasn't home free either. By now, the parking lot was truly deserted. I took a deep breath and opened the car door to enter the SUV of misery. A was throwing himself around the car crying and screaming. I don't even think he remembered what he was so mad about. He had just worked himself up so hard he couldn't calm down. I tried the choice strategy again. "Do you want to get in your car seat yourself or do you need mommy to help you?" I asked.
"I WANT NUFFING!!!" he screamed and hiccuped. Knowing I did not want to make the 20 minute drive home listening to my son shrieks, I decided to try to calm him down before we left. I took him in my arms and calmly talked to him. At first, it didn't work, but eventually ( I don't even know how I did it) he calmed down. When he was back to his calm and rational self, he climbed into his car seat on his own and let me strap him in. As soon as we started moving, I spotted him furiously rubbing his eyes.
Would I love to blame his behavior on the fact that he was tired? Abso-freaking-lutely! No one wants to admit that their child can be a terror. I can't tell you have many times I've heard people tell me their kids never acted up. My experience as a preschool assistant teacher, a first grade teacher, and a mother tells me that's bullshit. It's much more likely that people have selective memory. Who knows, maybe some day I'll have that selective memory too. Though I now have this blog to prove it...
Yes, my son may have been tired. But I suspect that the biggest reason he was acting that way is because of the "terrible threes". The worst part is, I was so looking forward to being done with the terrible twos. I should have known a storm was coming because, quite honestly, the twos weren't that bad. (Selective memory?!?) The first 4-5 months of the 2s were the worst because my son couldn't understand consequences and punishments nor was he great at communicating yet. During the second half of the 2s, I felt like I finally got A under control. He's potty trained, in a big boy bed, and can sit and do activities for much longer periods of time. We can do all kinds of fun activities together now. I thought the fun was just beginning. Little did I know....
So here come the THREES. This Friday, my baby turns 3 years old. The closer he gets the more independent he wants to be. The problem is, he's a little boy and he can't be independent, a fact that royally pisses him off. He wants to control things, and can't. My sweet little angel has become a bossy little ogre. In fact, my mom and I have nicknamed him "Little Fidel".
All joking aside, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my son. I love watching him grow up even if it means dealing with crazy stages and terrible tantrums. Some great things about him getting older: kisses, hugs, "I love yous", songs, imaginative play, going to the park, having playdates in which he actually plays with other kids, watching him learn, making memories, and most of all, the fact that he is a MAJOR mommas boy. How can you stay mad at a child who begs for mommy all day? I guess I'm safe as long as I stay on Little Fidel's good side.
369 days and counting until he turns 4!!!!! Four has GOT to be better than three, right? RIGHT??????
PS. I did not write this blog so that people could offer me their advice and tips or critique my parenting. Obviously, I have things completely under control here. I DID write this blog so that my readers can laugh at my expense and so I could offer comfort and encouragement to my momma friends. We've all been there. Misery loves company. ;)