Thursday, March 24, 2011

On the crazy that is three

The other day I kind of alluded to the fact that Oscar has been a bit of a handful as of late.  It's one of those things where I hesitate to complain too much because I know much of it is just typical 3-year-old behavior and I'm just not handling it very well.

Let me break down the issues.

1) Asking why? I don't mean this in the typical asking why scenario; we are far past that developmental milestone. This is more of a questioning everything I ask him to do.  As in, "Oscar, get your shoes on; it's time for school." "Why?" or "Oscar, stop teasing your brother." "Why?" or "Oscar, I need you to pick up your puzzle." "Why?" It's driving me a little batty.  Why it is time for school? Why should he stop teasing his brother? Why does he need to clean up?  These are conversations we've had at least a thousand times.  He KNOWS why. 

I finally told him earlier this week that when I tell him to do something (like clean up toys, be polite, get dressed) he needs to just do these things and not ask why just for the sake of asking why.  And then he asked me why and I responded, "BECAUSE I SAY SO, THAT IS WHY." This has been slightly effective.  He still asks why and I prompt him, "What did I say about asking why when Mommy asks you to do something?" and he replies, "Not to. I'm supposed to just listen." Or when I tell him it's time for school and he asks why I'll give him the mom look until he flinches.  And then I tell him to get his shoes on fifteen more fucking times and my head explodes and we're ten minutes late for school because brains take forever to get off my sofa and if you don't clean them up immediately they stain.

2) Misbehaving and laughing maniacally when reprimanded. An example would be when the boys are in bed at night and Oscar kicks Miles in the head to keep him awake (no lie) and laughs like this is the most hilarious thing that has ever happened. Then, when I go in to asses the situation and reprimand Oscar, he just cackles this weirdly loud, fake sounding laugh as I'm telling him it is not nice to kick and doubly not nice to kick someone who is sleeping in the head.  And he just does this crazy maniacal laughter and it freaks me out and pisses me off.  Like he's saying, "I"m a jerk and there's nothing you can do about it, HAHAHAHAHA!" It makes me feel like I'm working in a mental institution.

3) The drama, oh my god the DRAMA. I swear, you guys, it kills me.  Like, he was putting his shoes on the other day and having some trouble because the tongue got jammed down in the toe?  He was getting all red faced and saying, "Don't you ever do that, shoe! Get on my foot! GET ON MY FOOT!" It was actually a little hilarious.  Seeing his frustration, I offered my assistance and he responded, "NO! NEVER! DON'T YOU NEVER, EVER HELP ME! I DON'T EVER WANT YOUR HELP!"  and then he ran into the other room, positively furious with me.  This actually pretty funny, but not when it happens like 10 times a day, you know? NEVER EVER?  Really? Relax, dude, relax.  

4) Nothing is good enough (this ties in with the drama.) He asks for water so I pour him some water, but OH NO, I WANT JUICE, JUICE! So I get him so juice, but MY GOD THIS IS APPLE JUICE AND I WANTED ORANGE JUICE! Or he can't go to bed because he needs drink of water and he can't sleep without socks, but then I DON'T LIKE THIS CUP! and THESE SOCKS ARE TOO TIGHT! Socks too tight?  What does that even mean? Or two books is not enough, it has to be five! He HATES all the books we just read (that he picked), so we need to read more.  Or he needs to sit on my lap RIGHT NOW and it doesn't matter that I'm trying to eat my dinner or make an appointment or pay bills. RIGHT NOW. 

5) He's all over me all the time. If I am sitting, he has to be in my lap.  If I am walking, he has to be in front of me, pausing every five seconds to make sure I'm still there (I am!  We're just going to the kitchen for crying out loud.)  If I'm cooking, he has to be behind me. If I'm bent over getting out a pan or something from the cabinet, he has to jump on my back.  I cannot even tell you the number of times in a day I bump into this kid.  He grabs the pocket of my jeans and hangs off them.  He wraps himself around my legs. And, if he is on my lap (and if I'm sitting, you can bet that he is there) he's poking at my face or my neck or smelling my hair.  Sitting next to me is not good enough; he has to be on top of me.  And he wants me to carry him around!  He's nearly four and weights upwards of 35 pounds! It's like he's trying to return to the womb or something. I just need a little room to breathe.  A little!

So, that's what's been going on with Oscar.  I got up at 5AM this morning just so I could have a few moments of sanity all to myself.  I'm going for a pap smear this evening and I can't wait!  That's right, I'm actually looking forward to an invasive vaginal exam because it will afford me about an hour and a half of quiet, drama free, alone time.  This is what it has come to.

Sigh.  That's the word on Oscar.  I know, this too shall pass. I know! And I love him, I really do. But right now, in the moment?  ARRRGGGHHH!


Just Another Lesbian said...

Oh, Jenni! I literally laughed so much while reading this that my 3 year old asked me if I was okay!!! I'm experiencing ALL of the same things, and generally in exactly the same way. The funniest part? Kelly is at the ER this morning for what we hope (fingers crossed) is a minor issue. I actually said that I was jealous of her trip to the ER because it meant that she got to sit alone, quietly, without children climbing on her. So, so funny! Hang in there, sister.

:-) Mikki

unmitigated me said...

Sounds like someone is going through a growth spurt. We always knew with my son, because he was so out of character. He just needed a hug and to know that it was all going to be okay! On the other hand, consider food allergies. Sometimes kids react that way, emotionally, in addition to whatever physical weirdness.

Michele said...

3 is that scary age where a kid suddenly realizes that they are no longer a baby, as no reason to be connected to you and is intelligent enough to be worried that all these changes might not bode well but also doesn't want to be a baby, or connected to you and is intelligent enough to know that all this can be a bit overwhelming. It sucks for both of you. What I did (and remember this was 800 years ago) was to break things up into big boy and baby tasks. Such as, babies hang on mommies but they don't get to play with (whatever big boy toy is preferred) because it would hurt them. Give him the choice. Hang on mommy or play with the toy. Be prepared to take the toy away for the day. Same goes for all the other bad behaviors. Pretty soon he'll get the idea that life is just not as much fun as a baby.

It is also okay that you are looking forward to time alone. Sorry it has to be spent getting a pap smear.

Sorry about how long winded this comment is. I'll try for concise next time, m'kay?

VandyJ said...

I remember when Turbo was three. We had a lot of the same issues. The why word should never be taught to children. It really can make you batty. Not really looking forward to three with Bruiser, that is if he lives to three--he's a two year old dare devil.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Definite hugs for you, but I have to wonder if this is freaking him out too..

Matt said...


I cracked up laughing at that. Oh man. What a little dude.

Yes, this is all very three-ish. What I would do, and what we've done, is pick a couple of things to really emphasize. For us it is no whining. I also have a no-jumping-on-mama policy but I have never been able to stand that. Sounds like you got the asking why and I would ignore the maniacal laughter. Or start laughing along with him and out-crazy him. I bet that would get his attention!

Get his daddy on the drama. I think little boys feel like they can get their mamas wound up over stuff.

And enjoy your pelvic exam! Oh dear, that is hilarious.

Matt said...

Okay, that was actually Becky. But I'm using Matt's computer. Who knew he had a blogger account? He's certainly never used it to comment on my blog!

Keely said...

Uh, yes. Yes. And YES. I have this exact same 3-year-old.

(Minus the crawling all over me all the time. It's only half the time. The rest of the time he's all "Mama you don't sit on this couch! You go way! You go back in kitchen!"...which I am more than happy to do, frankly.)

He also flat-out ignores me a lot, prompting me to send him for hearing tests. But the crazy maniacal laughter thing is the worst.

Susanica said...

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar. Paradigm shift Jenni. He's giving you great stuff to blog about. Whoever came up with this "terrible twos" think was tricking us. Danny's getting on our last nerves lately too. Maybe they are having growth spurts? -M

Andrea said...

Oh my, I remember three year old boy child like it was, well...ten years ago! The part I know I struggled with the most was realizing that the endless and fascinating conversations he was capable of did not mean he had any abilities to be reasoned with. Then again, I guess we all know adults who can talk a great game and not be reasoned with either!

Anonymous said...

Definitely out-crazy him.

Hannah Hammonds said...

I'm feeling you too! Eleanor is almost three and these behaviors are just starting. I can totally relate to the wanting water, but really i want juice, but not that kind...good luck!