Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lovable or Terrible? Or in my case, both?

Disclaimer:  I love all of my children deeply.

I have three children, two boys and a girl.  My middle child, Blake, is 2 1/2 going on 6 months.  If I wasn't losing all of my hair from postpartum hormones, I'd be pulling it out in chunks.  Scratch that, I'd already be bald.  It's almost as if he was born knowing he'd be the middle child. The incessant whining coupled with the bull headed resistance would be enough to drive any mother (and father, for that matter) insane, but with Blake, I get the added bonus of the absolute sweetest smile in the world.  No matter how mad I get, he flips the switch and I find myself falling for his charm every time (well, almost).  It's like an endless cycle.  Oh please, let it come to an end soon. 

As much as I want to cherish these moments, to hold onto their youth, by 5 pm every day, I'm at my wits end.  I catch myself often saying, "if only I could get him past this stage, I'd be good."  But is that really the truth?  Doesn't "if only" get us into more trouble in the end?  We build up expectations that are doomed to disappoint us.  You know, the grass is always greener on the other side.  The problem in the this situation is that Blake has an older brother, and I've seen the 3's...not too much better than the 2's.  Trust me.  Right now, he's learning to communicate better, or at least more, and certainly repetitively.  Next he'll be testing boundaries and asserting his independence.  By four, it will all be about defiance, or at least attempted defiance.  Of course, we all know he gets all of this from his dad.  They all do. :)!

Today, Blake started swim lessons.  Now this is a Mommy & me class.  He can't be on his own until he's at least 3.  Trust me, he would have done much better if I were not there.  What is that about?  Since when did I become a hindrance to my own child?  Regardless, I've learned several lessons, the first being to not tell him what we're doing until we do it.  From the second he woke up, all he could talk about was swimming (or should I say whine about.)  "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I waaaant to go swimming.  Mommy, I waaaannaaa go swimming.  Mommy, MOMMY, I wannnnnaaaaaa go swimming.  I waaaaannntttt juice. Mommy, I waaaannnnaaaa go swimming." You get my point, right?  It didn't matter how many times I gave him the agenda for the morning, it literally felt like I was listening to a broken record of nails on a chalkboard.  It's just flat out incessant.

Then we walk into the pool area, equipped with swimsuits and towels.  The boy freaks out.  "MOMMY, I don't waaannnnaaaa swim.  I don't wannnaaannnaaannnaaannnaanann swim.  Mommy, MOMMY! No!"  Of course he's saying all of this as he's walking closer and closer to the pool. 

At this point, I figure it's best to just get it.  Sure, we're a little early, so we'll use the time to adjust.  So I don't sound like a broken record myself, keep in mind that he's continuing to tell me how much he doesn't want to swim.  He steps on the first step, freaks out, then steps on the second step.  Then he wants "up," to which I said, "If you take one more step, I'll pick you up."  Insert whining here.  He steps down onto the third step.  This pretty much went on for the entire 30 minutes.  He basically was a stellar student, kicking, jumping, going under, and even cracking a smile.  The only problem was that he never stopped whining.  When it was all over, we climbed out of the pool and wrapped ourselves in our towel.  Then he starts up again, "Mommy, I'mmmm cold.  Mommy, I'm cold.  MOMMY, I wannaa go swimming. Mommy, I wanna goooooo swimming."  And so on and so forth.  Hence is the story of my life, all day long, everyday. 

It's not like I give into him.  I don't.  He doesn't get what he wants unless he asks for it.  The whining doesn't work with me, and he knows it.  It's almost like he does it just because he knows I don't like it, almost as if he doesn't really want anything except to annoy me.  Of course, I understand that a 2 year old doesn't have the capability to scheme like that, or at least I hope not. 

Hopefully, he'll learn that it doesn't work and move on soon.  I honestly think I deal better with defiance then whining.  Although I will say that it's already starting to kick in.  Try asking Blake to go potty.  Oh man, that's a whole other can of worms, one that will most assuredly drive me to baldness. 

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