“NO! Nathan, get down from there!” I said as I grabbed Nathan as he stood on top of a Rubbermaid tub, mangling his window blinds in an attempt to look out the window. “You know better!” I said. As I set him down on the floor, he put his little hand on my shoulder and patted me.
“Everything’s ok, Mommy,” he said soothingly.
“Oh, Nathan,” I replied. “You know, insanity really is hereditary.”
“Yep,” he said matter-of-factly.
“You get it from your kids.”
“Yep,” he responded. After a brief hesitation, he smiled and said, “Me too, Mommy.”
No kidding, son. No kidding.
Well, there have been a few things happening around here lately. For one, my neck is slowly mending itself. I had called my doctor a week and a half ago to make an appointment, and the receptionist informed me that I wouldn’t be able to get in for 1.5 weeks due to my doctor going on vacation. When I told her that didn’t help me any, the only thing she offered was an apathetic apology. So I just decided not to make an appointment because I didn’t want to waste my time if my neck started to feel better in the interim. Which is has. It’s not 100% better, but at least I’m not in intense agony any more.
In other news, guess who is still getting out of bed every night? Yep. Nathan. We’ve tried everything… and nothing has worked. We’ve taken away his TV privaleges, his bedtime stories, then his stuffed animals and favorite blankets, then his hot wheels (all 50+ of them), all his dinosaurs, and then we took away his entire toy shelf including the toys it housed, then we took away every single one of his favorite toys which cleared out about 75% of his toy inventory. All his trucks, planes, helicopters, trains, blocks, legos… gone. We’ve even tried spanking. Then we tried rewarding him for staying in bed. Then we tried bribing him with a flashlight. (He loves flashlights, so we told him he could have his flashlight in bed, but he can only keep it if he STAYS in bed.)
NOTHING WORKS. NOTHING.
He still gets out of bed. Multiple times a night. And it’s worse when we react negatively with frustration or lose our patience. When any sort of negativity on our part is introduced, his misbehavior TRIPLES. He’ll get back out of bed immediately rather than waiting a while and do things like pull the electrical cords to his humidifier and radio out of the wall and put them in his mouth and bend the prongs. (We’ve since had to remove them completely from his room.) He’ll even open his bedroom door, step out, and wave at us while smiling before issuing a mischievous giggle and darting back into the darkness. Every time, he gets in trouble. But that doesn’t stop him. It’s almost as if he’s getting a rush or something out of seeing us get frustrated. Like he wants to see just HOW FAR he can push us. So I’m sure you’re sitting there saying to yourself, well then just don’t get frustrated! It’s so much easier said than done, especially when you’ve been dealing with it for weeks. WEEKS. And when nothing you’ve tried works. And you can’t keep doing what doesn’t work. So we’re running out of ideas on how to get him to stay in bed. Discipline does not work. Taking things away does not work. Bribing does not work. Rewards for good behavior do not work. He wants to get out of bed, so that’s what he’s going to do by golly. We’re starting to run out of ideas.
It’s so frustrating. But we can’t just give up and let him do what he wants. Life doesn’t work that way.
I know he’s only two years old, nearly three, and being frustrating and testy is part of his job description. But my lord this kid is so stubborn. I’m amazed at his perseverance. Now if he can take this apparently indomitable will power of his and use it to successfully propel himself through life, then it’s a good thing. But I worry about keeping him on the right path with him being so strong-headed. When he gets it in his head that he wants (or doesn’t want) something, it’s incredibly difficult to get him to change his mind.
Being a parent is not easy.
I think since nothing is working, our only option really is to just not do anything. I don’t meant to allow him to run freely around at night. I mean we’re going to try just putting him back in bed. Over and over and over again. No more frustration. No more discipline or taking privileges/things he likes away, or bribes, or reward offers. I think what he wants is our attention. It doesn’t matter to him if the attention is good or bad, he just wants to get a reaction out of us. If we don’t react, maybe he will give up. Maybe.
So as I was about to apply some lipstick, I noticed it had been mauled by what looks like little toddler teeth. I’m pretty sure Nathan ate it since I have yet to find any evidence of it being elsewhere. That’s ok… at least he left me some…
In other news, Nathan says the funniest things sometimes.
Me: “I love you, Nathan.”
Nathan: “I love me toooooooo!”
He’s at such a precious age. Don’t get me wrong… it’s NOT an easy age to parent by any stretch of the imagination. But his sweet disposition totally makes up for the frustrating times. Take my half-eaten lipstick, for example. It’s frustrating because that just-so-happens to be my favorite lipstick that I own (doesn’t it always work that way? Your favorite things are the ones that get destroyed) but yet I couldn’t be mad at him. It’s what kids his age do. They eat Mommy’s favorite things and then dole out hugs like candy so that you won’t be mad when you discover what they’ve been up to.
He has no idea I am stockpiling records of these little antics to tell his future wife one day… shhhhh…
Sitting outside together, enjoying some beautiful weather. And oh yeah. Nathan loves having his picture taken. Every time I break out the camera, he grins and says, “Say cheeeeeeeeeese!” And of course he likes to scroll through all the pictures after I’ve taken them, exclaiming “There’s Mommy! There’s Nathan!” and even occasionally kissing or hugging the screen. I love this kid.