Monday, September 23, 2013

Lesson #31: Parents Just Don't Understand

Trying to understand the behavior of a 3 year old is like trying to understand Ozzy Ozbourne speak… In Japanese… Under  water. It Just. Doesn't. Make. Sense.

One night I told Little Dude it was bath time. He immediately went right into the bathroom and undressed himself from the waist down. Sweet! Things were off to a great start…Then there were some incoherent whines about his shirt. I thought he was having trouble getting it off, but when I began to assist he shrieked, “No!!! I don’t want my shirt off!” Apparently it was of utmost importance that said shirt stay on while he peed. I acquiesced, leaving the shirt on. But when I set him on the toilet he bellowed, “NO I don’t want to go pee!” Right about then Momma got down to bid’ness:  took the shirt off and plopped him in the tub. At which time he immediately began screaming that he did NOT want a bath... What??? Five seconds ago you were so excited for it you undressed yourself.

The soundtrack of the entire episode I’m about to share with you was the earth shattering, hysterical murder scream that my kid emits anytime he cries. There is never a mere cry. Not a whimper to be heard. Oh no no. He goes from zero to Janet Leigh without missing a beat.

He stood in the tub and screamed incoherently, repeatedly throwing a leg over the edge in an attempt to escape. I kept my cool, explaining that he could stand or sit, but that he needed a bath because he was dirty from playing at the park. And so he stood… and screamed hysterically while I washed him. You would have thought I was giving the kid an acid wash the way he was screaming. I accidentally dropped the washcloth in the tub and despite his distraught state, he was quick to pounce and throw it at me as hard as his little muscles could, sending a stream of water all over me. Kid-1, Mama-0. Then it dawned on him that there was an entire tub full of water he could splash at me. Kid-2, Mama-0. Of course, none of this distracted him from the screaming and he continued to rage on as he launched his attack.

Finally he was clean-ish and I surrendered, pulling the plug. He immediately flipped the drain lever back, threw himself on the floor of the tub and refused to get out. Ummm… You just screamed bloody murder for 5 minutes straight as I washed you, all the while trying to jump out of the tub, and now you refuse to do exactly what you've been fighting with me about doing for the last 5 minutes??? My attempts at removing him were pretty much in vain. He pulled the slippery fish move: throwing his arms straight up in the air so that I couldn't get ahold of him. Finally I wrangled him out and after trying to run away from me, he ripped the bath towel out of my hands and chucked it right into the tub. Which still had water in it. Kid-3, Mama-0.

After a really fun (read: not fun at all) dry off, which consisted of much kicking and screaming (him, not me), he refused the Pull Up and ran away in hysterics. I carried him naked to his room, armed with the Pull Up. He ran straight to his bed and hid under the covers, naked as the day he was born. Let me just tell ya: Trying to put a Pull Up on a kicking, screaming 3 year old is like trying to lasso water. It just ain’t gonna happen. I gave up and sat on the floor. A minute later, thumb in mouth, he said, “I want to put my Pull Up on.” Finally! Mama’s on the scoreboard!

In the game of life we parents may score a few points here and there, but they will always win. Then again, one could argue that just being in the game is pretty great too.