I know. It’s been awhile. Like, I’ll be starting my third trimester in a few days and the last time I was around was to say that baby bista was a boy.
Which, by the way, he’s a boy with no name. Guess we better get on that…not that we haven’t tried. We are just having a really hard time coming up with a name, or even a few names (which is preferable), to choose from when he’s born. I’m hoping something just comes to us soon….like a lightbulb moment…I digress.
My whole point of this post really has nothing to do with baby bista. At least, not yet.
So, lately, Tim and I have really been trying to pick out battles with Kellan the threenager (why didn’t anyone warn me??? Holy roller coaster of emotions every five minutes). We are trying (and I say trying because we fail a lot. Daily. It’s pretty frustrating to feel like you really suck at parenting at least once every day, usually more)….anyhow, we are trying to let things go unless it is a legitimate safety or respect issue.
You want to eat standing up? Not use any utensil at all, ever? Make “animals” out of play doh and let them dry out? Wipe the stainless steel refrigerator with wipes to “clean it?” Use five different chapsticks every ten seconds and roll them up so far that half of the stick gets stuck in the top? Put stickers all over the banister to make it “beautiful?,” pack single toys and objects into thirty separate gallon ziplock bags? Race your cars through flour? You want to do alllllllllllll of this along with a myriad of other activities that can make a type A person go insane and also take forever to clean up?
Knock yourself out, kid. Do it. Do all of those things. We aren’t here to stop you.
Do we want to say no?
All the time.
ALL. THE. TIME.
We may be cringing on the inside, but we let him go. Unless it’s respect (like hitting the dogs’ crate to scare them) or safety related (like trying to jump while on the stairs – OMG kid almost gave me a heart attack. Had he fallen, it would have been 15 steps down and backwards).
We are trying to just go with it, and it is HARD.
[cue me whining] I don’t want to wait five minutes for him to pick a bedtime story and then change his mind after he gets all settled in.
I was like too bad.
And Tim was like, is this really that important to battle over?
No, it isn’t….([whining again] but I’m tired!!!!)
I guess that’s where the rub lies. Kellan wants to do, or not do, something that we don’t want to deal with because we can already see the outcome. We know the end game.
But….he doesn’t. And how is he to if of they he is never given the chance? Trial and error. Hypothesize. Experiment. Fail.
And fail and fail and fail.
Or, maybe he’s just expressing his creativity. The 30 gallon bag activity was a beast of a mess to clean up, but Kellan was so into it. What he was doing he was calling an “important job” and who am I to tell him it’s not?
Or trying to be helpful, like with the wipes. Tim has an OCD thing about streaks on stainless, and let me tell you, baby wipes leave more than just a streak. More like a film or impossible to remove streaks. But, Kellan sees that activity as cleaning. He’s trying to bechelpful. Why kill that desire, even if at the time it isn’t 100% correct? Yes, we can give him the appropriate cleaning tools, but that was a spontaneous act and why stop him when he sees what he’s doing as helping mom and dad?
So, I’m not exaggerating about any of this. All real. All happening on a daily basis. I told Tim that we are going to have to have and keep a sense of humor about all of this, plus the sass and attitude we are getting and will continue to get, or this whole parenting experience is going to be miserable.
And no one wants to be miserable.
So, enjoy our messes, and go make your own. Maybe I’m in the minority and I’ll end up with hooligans, but this is how we have decided to approach this. We are letting go of control (and it’s really hard)….and neat and tidiness…and trying to overlay what we want Kellan (and eventually baby bista) to do and/or how to do it versus what he wants to do. Unless it comes to safety or respect. Then we draw a line.
I’m sure lots of parents think we are crazy. And maybe we are, I don’t know. That’s the benefit, really, because no one knows what they’re doing when it comes to being a parent. You’re learning on the job, just like everyone else, and no two kids are the same, so no method isn’t a catch all.
I figure you have to ebb and flow.
So. Here we are. Real life. Ebbing and flowing.
The bags. The other half were on the coffee table:
The lack of utensils. That’s birthday cake frosting by the way.
The five hundred play doh animals that were eventually thrown away: