If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’re fully aware that we are living with one of the most horrific of creatures known to man…the whiny three-year old. The whining has been day and night, literally from the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until he shuts them again at night. The only reprieve we’ve been given, oddly enough, is when we’re not at home. The minute we step back over our threshold it starts again, sometimes even as we pull into the driveway.

I’m scared to even put this in writing, but it appears that we MAY be seeing a downswing in the whining. I actually wondered if the Little Man was suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, because the second the weather took a turn for the better it seemed to abate slightly. I assure you however, it is by no means gone. We are now down to whining only 65% of the waking hours we spend at home, as opposed to the 90% we’ve been living with for the past six months. I’ll take any improvement I can get at this point.

This post is less about the phase we’ve been living with and more about the phase that seems to be starting. Let me say this very clearly: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. We’ve been hoping for so long that the whining phase would end that we never even considered what might come next. I bet you’re sitting there with bated breath just waiting to hear what we’re facing now. Well let me tell you, this phase is a whole new level of excrutiating Hell joy.

This phase is what we like to call Selective Hearing. I’m sure you’re familiar with it, as most men suffer from this affliction from time to time…selectively, if you will. This condition only flares up when the Little Man is doing something he is not supposed to be doing, quite often when he is on the verge of breaking something, be it himself or a household item.

We calmly and clearly ask that he stop what he is doing. We calmly and clearly ask again. And again. We then suggest a time out might be in order. Then we ask again. It’s about at this point that I lose all conscious memory and Angry Mummy starts to wake up. I think some yelling ensues, some crying (sometimes him, sometimes me), and a time out.

Where it gets really difficult is when we’re out in public. What do you do to a) stop your child doing what he’s doing, b) teach him that he has to listen to Mummy and Daddy, and c) not look like a raving lunatic that is completely governed by their three year old?

As this phase is so new, I really have NO idea how to effectively deal with it. We’re seeing some success with claiming we simply cannot understand what he’s saying when he whines, but any tactics on how to deal with being ignored and blatantly disobeyed elude me completely. Being ignored really doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s my need for attention, but that’s an issue for a whole other post.

I’ll keep you posted on how this develops. Comments are appreciated… it would be nice to know SOMEONE is listening!