Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Today I would like to take you deep into the psyche of the elusive three-year-old. The mind of this creature is complex and has many layers. I liken them to a small onion of sorts. I am going to share with you the most recent layer that we peeled back on our daughter last night.
We are sitting at the table eating dinner as we typically do. M is having her usual 1 of only 3 meals that she will actually eat, chicken nuggets and tots. She is having her 2nd glass of Ovaltine (she spilled the 1st one…)Now, to fully understand this new layer that I am about to share, you must have a small bit of history, or the previous layer as it were. As discussed in my very 1st post, M does not like to eat dinner, and the entire process has become confrontational from the second we sit down at the table. That table is like the Gaza strip of our house…The wife and I discussed and decided that this confrontational approach to making M eat her dinner is not working and is probably damaging the poor kid psychologically. So, we have started to switch gears as far as forcing her to eat. We have issued a peace treaty. Now, we offer her a meal that consists of what we are eating for dinner and something that she has traditionally eaten in the past…comfort food so-to-speak. We used to force her to take a bite of everything on the plate and it was a huge battle, as you know. Now, we don’t force anything. We simply remind her that she can eat what she wants, but that there is no more food after dinner. Back in the days of the war, when dinner was a confrontation, M would come up with every excuse in the book to get down from the table. The big one being that she had to go potty. The child will sit for hours in the house before dinner and not a single mention of the potty. As soon as she scans that plate and decides that she doesn’t like what she sees her bathroom parts activate. (or so she claims…at least 50% of in-dinner-potty trips are phantom). So, as we are in the transition to peace time meals, there are still the defences in place for her…i.e. the potty trips. Since the child is only 3, we typically don’t call her bluff and we take her to the potty, even with the 50% phantom rate. As a part of the peace treaty, we have tried to get her to be a little more independent and go to the potty alone. She is such a girl…already needs a bathroom partner every time she goes…she will be an excellent sorority sister or binge drinking partner to any of you young toddler ladies out there…you know who you are.
Last night we sit down at the table and she fires off her defensive potty missile. In the spirit of our new peace time efforts we do not return fire and force her to sit and eat, but instead, we tell her to go potty by herself. She gets up and runs off to the potty, or so we think. Approximately 3 seconds later she returns and says she doesn’t have to potty. So we chalk that up as a phantom run to try to get out of eating. Over the next few minutes she keeps mentioning that she needs to potty and we keep telling her to go. She sits and continues to eat. She then pulls out another of her defensive weaponry which she developed to combat our not letting her potty during dinner (during war-time we sometimes called her potty bluff and didn’t take her to potty, and we were typically correct). She states that she’s starting to pee in her panties…she has fired this weapon before and she is only shooting it out there to see if we will rush her off to the potty (yes, this worked in the past for her)…you can probably gather that the little girl is smart and she is adept at the practices of deceipt to get what she wants…and she’s only 3…
Back to the story…she issues the statement that there’s tinkle in her panties. I look under the table and there is no tinkle…of course there’s no tinkle, she’s bluffing. Well, we are not going to fall for this bluff. We simply continue to eat and remind her again that she can go potty any time she wants. I will give you 3 guesses as to what my child did next…
Just as I am finishing off a bite of my baked tilapia we hear it…at first it’s like a piece of selefane being wrinkled…no wait, it’s liquid…OMG! She is peeing at the table!! That’s right, instead of going to the potty by herself, she just let rip right there at the dinner table! I ask you this, was this our fault for not accompanying her to the potty when she is perfectly capable of going alone? Was this done out of spite by my not-so-innocent 3-year-old? Has she just declared war again?
Posted on February 2, 2010, in Thoughts on Life and tagged Children, daddy, daddy blog, fatherhood, fathers, humor, parenting, potty training, toddlers. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Poor M…we are definitely creating some kind of pyschological issue for her.
Nice! She is a clever one! My vote is that she declared war again!