From Your Neighboring Asylum
To any Neighbors (past, present and future),
I’m certain that you probably think you have moved in next to an asylum ward, even if you are a new neighbor, this thought has probably crossed your mind more than once. And to be honest, I think it’s true. Most days, I feel as though I’m running my own private asylum, where the caretakers are more likely to be found in the padded cells than the inmates.
See the reason for this is two fold. I have two boys: a three year old and an eight year old. I also run a childcare with four infants. So there is likely for someone to be having a nervous breakdown at some point during the day and unfortunately I cannot exclude myself from the list of people likely to have a breakdown.
It’s not that this is what I want. I don’t want to sound like I’m expelling demons in the morning as I send my children off to school with an exorcist voice. I don’t want to have to close all my windows to try and spare your ears of my three year olds 10th tantrum of the day. I don’t want to have to repeat myself for them to hurry to the car as my eight year old is jumping spastically around fighting whatever invisible sources I have now grown up too much to see anymore.
The thing is, I think my three year old read the same article as I did the other day. The one I almost felt guilty for liking but it just rang too good to be true. It was an article titled three year olds are a**holes. I was laughing out loud at the article, nodding my head in amusement and feeling slight twinges of self-reproach at the fact I’ve thought the same thing (even some of the language) when dealing with my three year old.
It was slightly vindicating to know that there are other people out there who are dealing with the same thing. Yes, I thought the twos were terrible, but three has been worse. Why worse? Because now they have language. They can talk back and, as the article states so clearly and many times over, they really have no remorse. I really don’t feel my oldest was this bad. Or maybe he was just as testing of my patience and for some forsaken reason, I blocked it out and convinced myself that having a second was a great idea. Yeah……..
Just to give you an idea of how my days usually go, so you can understand why you might walk by me and I’m muttering things under my breath which may or may not make sense, here is a glimpse into my morning.
7am: Wake both boys up. Oldest groans and tries to hide underneath the covers. Eventually gets up reluctantly and takes care of himself. Toddler, however, screams adamantly at the top of his lungs that it is not a school day. He wants to go back to bed. He wants his milk cup now and in the microwave.
7:02: I patiently (sometimes) explain to him that yes it is a school day and it’s very rude to yell at me. He may have his milk cup after he uses the potty and asks me nicely.
7:05: Oldest steps over the three year old, who is laying on the hallway floor adamantly demanding it’s not a school day.
7:10: Finally get the three year old on the toilet, who is telling me that I’m not being very nice. My only response is that he is the one who is not being nice.
7:15: Find an outfit for the three year old who insists on wearing the same shirt every day. He asks me why my bangs are swept off to the side, to which I reply, because that’s how I’m wearing it today. He informs me he doesn’t like it.
7:18: Hand him his milk cup, tell oldest to hurry up and eat. Three year old insists his milk cup be warm, to which I have to repeat five times that I already warmed it up.
7:20 I wonder if it’s bad to drink a bloody mary before work. Decide it’s probably better not to.
7:24 Get three year old in shoes, ones he claims he doesn’t like. Try to find a sweater. There are none even though I know he has at least 5. I even check the dirty hamper. Put him in a long sleeve that he says is too small, too tight and too blue.
7:26: Three year old insists on cuddling on my lap. Part of me wants to say no because of the plethora of crap he has given to me this morning, but allow him to anyways.
7:29: Send them off to school with their dad, hearing my three year old yelling the whole way to the car that he doesn’t like school, he doesn’t like our car, he doesn’t like blueberries, he doesn’t like the cat.. whatever.
7:29 and 30 seconds: Sit on the couch for a moment and try to regain my calm composure before taking in another 4 children and will most likely have to sit through at least one tantrum through the day.
So, that’s sadly a typical day in this house. Threats for timeouts are issued and reluctantly followed through since cutting three minutes out of our preparation time is wasted. And I get to look forward for similar situations from 5:30pm-8pm.
It’s not that I’m not trying to raise a demon child. In fact, part of me wonders if my life would be easier if I just gave into his every whim. But then he would be an awful adult to turn out upon the world and that would be much worse.
I just keep trying to remind myself that his rather stubborn and assertive nature can be a good thing if he learns to use it with good intentions.
So, I apologize to my neighbors who probably think I have the worst kids in the area. I promise I’m working on them and hopefully, if you have a three year old, your child hasn’t taken to heart the manual of how three year olds seem to behave.