Choo-choo is a total, complete threenager right now.
I’m not sure I fully understood what that term meant until my son turned three. He whines, he rolls his eyes, and he never wants to do anything. Throw in some slammed doors and you’d totally have teenage me.
Diesel, Choo-choo, and I had to leave one morning for an appointment, one I did not want to be late to.
“I don’t wanna go!” Choo-choo’s replies to our suggestions of him changing out of his jammies and putting his shoes and coat on. “I don’t want to go. Not yet.”
We finally got him dressed then rushed him out the door and into the truck. (Diesel’s truck, of course, because “I don’t like Mommy’s car!” And you read that with the whiny voice, right?) On the way to my appointment, we needed to pull into the turning lane and stop for the red light.
“Why are we over here? I don’t wanna go this way,” Choo-choo announced.
“We need to go this way, sweetie. Mommy’s appointment is in this direction,” I answered calmly with a smile.
He sighed. “But I don’t want to. I want to go the other way.”
“Okay, so then pretend that we will go the other way. Use your imagination. Make believe.”
Choo-choo didn’t really have an answer for me, but he huffed and sighed again anyway.
This attitude is not new in children. It does not occur in only my child. It’s just something that is so baffling and frustrating at times. I mean, yeah, most of the time I can just laugh it off (out of earshot from my son or he will of course think acting like a brat is hilarious) or ignore it. But other times, the attitude really makes me want to roll my own eyes.
(Which, yes, is how Choo-choo learned in the first place, but, you know…)
So, what to do? Well, breathing helps. Deep, calming breaths. Even counting numbers so as to not become angry helps, too. And just rolling with it, I guess. Letting him know what behavior is unacceptable, i.e. hitting, kicking, biting, and ignoring the whining and even some shouting. He is a human, after all, and is entitled to his feelings. If Choo-choo really wants to be mad, he can be mad. I know he will calm down and want to play soon enough.
Or he might pout in the corner for a while like every good brooding teenager would. You never know.