You have a three year old who is up in your face talking non-stop while you’re trying to accomplish something. The talking doesn’t stop even after you asked nicely many times and gradually escalates into yelling when the three year old realizes that you are clearly busy.
By now you’ve asked them at least six times to please leave you alone while you do this thing and before you know it they’ve pushed the off button on your computer and poked you really hard in your left boob.
There are some who would advise that you drop what you are doing and attend to the three year old because they will never be as young as they are right now ever again.
Others would say to ignore the child because they will get the hint at some point and go away and the bad behavior will simply resolve itself.
Still others would say that you should discipline them for not listening to you after you’ve asked them repeatedly to please be quiet.
So who’s advice is right? What is the correct way to deal with this feral little creature who is trying their best to make you lose your cool?
In scenario one you would stop doing what you are doing and give the child your full attention. The three year old would then show you the large booger they pulled from their nose and promptly try to put it on you while laughing. This would be followed by them asking you if trees poop and why not and can you please show them? After this you decide you better go pee since you’re not busy anymore and they race you into the bathroom and jump on the toilet first and proceed to take a poop and ask you to wipe their butt.
In scenario two after continuing to ignore the child they get so loud that their yelling wakes the baby and now you really can’t get this thing done because society frowns on ignoring a crying baby. So you get up to take care of the baby but the three year old is still yelling and now there’s a knock on the door. You answer it while holding a crying baby with a now screaming toddler dangling off one leg. It’s the neighbor and they ask if everything is okay and then politely inform you that there’s something on your face. You check in the little decorative mirror on the wall and there’s a very large booger on your cheek because while you were ignoring the three year old they went ahead and just put it where they knew you’d be bound to see it later.
In scenario three you stop what you are doing and take the three year old to time-out because they were being disobedient while you were busy and ignored your warnings to leave you alone. The three year old starts crying and says that they just wanted to show you this cool thing. You start to feel a little bad and ask to see what it is and the child says they can’t find it. After a few minutes of searching for it together you find it in your hair and it’s that damn booger. This results in the three year old laughing so hard that you remember how much you love them and you suddenly feel bad for putting them in time-out for trying to talk to you.
The moral of this story is simple: Everyone has advice and most people think their advice is correct and it may even be correct for them. However, it’s not always correct for you. I believe that most moms inately know what their children need and sometimes that little inner voice gets drowned out by the voices of all the Sharons and Carols of the world.
You do you and let other people do them. Parent the way your gut tells you to parent and if you get some good advice along the way, hallelujah. Just don’t let what others have to say cause you to get too anxious about this parenting thing and you just might survive it. You may even enjoy some of it.
By the way, that was my three year old and her booger and because I didn’t follow any of that stupid advice above I didn’t end up with a booger on me. I followed my gut and I yelled at that child for hurting my boob and then I kissed her and sent her in to brush her teeth, put her unicorn pull-up on and go to bed. She was laughing the whole time and is sleeping soundly and I’m still sane and the neighbors aren’t worried.
Never mind, she’s back up asking if she can sleep in my bed and I don’t need any advice on whether I should or shouldn’t let her. I’m going to tell her no and then when I go to bed later tonight I’ll get comfortable and then feel a hard kick in my ribs because let’s face it, she’s three and she’s going to sneak into my bed anyway.