Austin is out of control lately. Screaming, whining, fits, demands, rudeness…you name it, and he is probably doing it, provided it drives us nuts.
I understand this is an unfair assessment. On weekdays, I spend perhaps an hour with him in the morning and 2 1/2 in the evenings. Not exactly anyone’s best time of day, let alone a three year-old’s. But the weekend, when *gasp* I have to spend ALL DAY with my kid? He drives me bonkers. And it really bums me out.
Why is it that he spends FAR more time complaining about picking up the play-dough than it would ever take to clean it up? Why is it that he can only drink his milk if it is exactly 84.2 degrees – not, 83, not 85…but exactly 84.2. How is it that he can come up with 15 different excuses to come downstairs after we’ve put him to bed – and somehow they are all just a little bit valid?
I’m totally out of my league here. I try to be strict and set limits, and not flex those limits. I try to enforce consequences while at the same time being reasonable with my expectations. I do a fair bit of choosing my battles and remembering that he is only three. Heck – I’ve resorted to bribery. But all of this isn’t working.
So I did what any sane parent does – called up Amazon.com, and put every parenting book that was somewhat recommended into my cart. Except I don’t have $130 and the corresponding many hours of time to spend reading and learning how to parent my child. So I need recommendations – have a favorite? Any sage advice for a mom who hasn’t a clue how to “Parent my spirited child?”
More than anything, I’m feeling like a failure. Isn’t this supposed to come naturally? As freaked out as I was to bring home a new baby, I did feel like a lot of the “new mom” stuff just came – feeding needs, the “parenting sway,” the ability to know how to calm my babies…but this 3 year old stuff? Totally not my forte.
Equally depressing is my recent realization that as soon as Austin turns 4 – and I’m sure demonstrates an incredible increase in maturity – Wes will turn 3.