When I was little and I told my mum that I hated somebody, she told me that hate was a very strong word and didn’t apply to how I was feeling. She told me that to hate someone meant that I “wanted to go to war with” that person.
Well, I am at war with my three year old. The little man and I are on the battlefield of the evil country of Preschoolistan. (Side note: I told Mr Awesome that I needed a good “country name” for this paragraph and without thinking he replied “Billy Jo Bob.” He obviously misunderstood what I meant. I digress.)
So, I am at war with the little man. Like any war in history, the root of our conflict is a difference in beliefs. I believe that it is NOT okay to throw things when you are upset, he disagrees. I believe it is NOT okay to hit your sister on the head, he disagrees. I believe it is NOT okay to pee on the couch, he disagrees. I believe it is NOT okay to whine, he blatantly disagrees. We are at an impasse.
He fires a round of whining in my direction, I blast back with a time out. He lobs a book at the little miss’s head, I answer with another time out. He throws his favourite toy “Leo” in anger, I rally with removing Leo for the whole day. He launches (thankfully not literally) a poop grenade into his underpants, I…well, let’s face it. I clean it up. A poop grenade is not something that you can really punish. It’s just something I live in fear of every day. It’s my 1980’s nuke and he holds control of the big red button. But poop really isn’t part of this story. Okay, it factors into every story somewhere, but it’s not the POINT.
We have made some headway. The whining is diminishing slowly. We’ve come to a point where he’s starting to understand the time out concept and the consequences of his actions, but on a very short term basis. Consistency is all-important now and we are standing firm. Any sign of weakness on our part will send us retreating back over the bridge we fought so hard to cross. This results in a LOT of time outs each day. We try and keep the time between time outs positive and full of love, but after the 11th time out of the day it gets a little challenging. Bedtime can be a very welcome thing some days.
I don’t hate him. I will never hate him. I love him unconditionally. But, by my mum’s definition, do I want to go to war with him? Honey, I’m already there.
And there will be no surrender.