Monday, June 11, 2012

Toddler Denial

I have had the extreme pleasue lately of posting on one of my favorite parenting websites. If you haven't taken a gander over at, you are totally missing out. It has saved my sanity many times and gives daily advice on how to raise kids to be happy, healthy, and God-centered. A few weeks ago, this post I wrote was published there. Here's a "take-two" in case you missed it:

Why is it that kids will do just about anything in their capacity not to admit to certain things? It’s like they’d rather be attacked by a pack of angry trolls than to state the obvious. I don’t know about you, but my little sprouts flat out refuse to EVER acknowledge that they have to pee, that they’re tired, or that they need a dang Kleenex.

By far, out of all three of these things, the peeing is the absolute WORST. We’ll be out in public some place, and I will see one of them grab and squeeze his crotch for dear freaking life. This is often followed by some leg crossing and dancing and maybe even jumping up and down. And when I ask if said child needs to pee, 9 times out of 10 I am met with an immediate response of “NO!!!“, which I know full well is a crock of poo. So we play this whole back and forth power struggle game until all of a sudden, the kid is literally about to erupt into a full-on urine explosion, and we have to haul booty to the closest bathroom, whereby a trickling of pee may very well have already been left in someone’s underpants. At that point an “I told you so” isn’t even worth the breath it takes to form the words.

I also often deal with adamant denial that either child is ever sleepy. We may have walked to the ends of the earth, run a marathon of errands, swam a dozen oceans, and played every game under the moon from morning until night, but my wee ones would never in a million years acknowledge a need to rest their weary heads. Instead, it’s like they’ve chugged a case of Red Bull and have transformed into the Tasmanian Devil, bouncing off every wall in their path. They spin out of control until they literally crash into a pile of tears and hysterics on the floor over the absolute most insignificant thing on the planet. They work themselves into such a tizzy that they then can’t fall asleep even if they want to. It’s a vicious cycle that makes me very grateful to have wine kool-aid in the house.

And finally, there’s the continuous refusal to ask for a Kleenex. Snot could be dripping out a nostril right onto one or the other’s upper lip, and neither kid would ever even think about getting a tissue. Instead, they would rather let it continue to run down their chins, or better yet, they’ll just wipe it on their sleeves. Because really, what else are sleeves for? And sometimes, if I’m SUPER lucky, I’ll have the privilege of receiving a little snot souvenir of my own, which is AWESOME when I’m out and about before I realize that I’ve got dried boogers on my shoulder.

Truthfully though, we as parents do this very same thing. How many times have we held in questions from our supportive mom-friends for fear that we would look like we didn't know what we were doing? Heaven forbid we should gain a little knowledge from those that have walked this treacherous parenting road before us. Isn't this whole gig supposed to "take a village"? Sometimes it's pride and fear of embarrassement, but other times we don't admit we need a little help for the same reason our little snots don't stop to ask for a Kleenex.  They don't realize they are in need. They are so busy and excited and oblivious to see what is right in front of their nose (pun intended!).  I'm more convinced that God never planned on us doing this parenthood thing alone. That's why in an ideal situation, it takes TWO parents. Sometimes our partners are on board, sometimes not.  Sometimes we need all the help we can get! I think in general it's time to start recruiting more help on the homefront!  Admit when we're clueless, defeated, and are about to "pee our pants" in frustration. Take inventory of our lives on occassion to see if that "kleenex" is needed. Realize that the woes of parenthood could be a growing experience for us as well as our little monsters.

I also suppose that all these annoying parts of parenting are just payback from when I was growing up and did the exact same thing to my own parents. I’m sure that I peed on my fair share of public restroom floors, kicked and screamed my way through an exhaustion meltdown or two, and stuck a boatload of nose goblins on my mom’s shirt sleeves through the years.  I have no doubt that my parents are now sitting back and watching the show unfold and thinking how what goes around really does come around. I can't wait to be the grandparent.

1 comment:

  1. hehehe! Definitely all true. We avoid the potty routine though. Whenever my 3-year-old starts dancing, or even worse - grabs his crotch, I announce, "It's time to go potty." Yup, he usually complains, but he always goes. Helps that I'm pregnant and have to take potty-breaks on the same darn schedule. So he's not sure if it's for me or him - he just knows he has to try. And I've always said I'd rather be 66 than 26 - I want grandkids and retirement!