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Because I Said So

“Because I said so.” Yup – Just another one of those things you swore you wouldn’t say to your child when you finally became a parent. But the fact of the matter is this – sometimes, the only possible answer is just that. Simply, because I said so.

After my son was born, I felt lonely during my maternity leave and craving some conversation. I remember finding reasons to call my husband or my mother during the day just for the sake of some adult interaction. I remember feeling like I could hardly wait until my son was old enough to actually talk to me. How amazing it would be to actually have a conversation with my precious little man.

Well. Here we are. Two years later. Guess what? That kid can talk all right. That kid can talk ALL the time. All day long. I swear, my son is literally talking non-stop from the very moment he wakes up in the morning until the very second he falls asleep. Sometimes, he talks in his sleep, too. A few months back, he started putting about five words together at a time. Honestly, it’s amazing how much a child can figure out how to say within the limits of five word sentences. It’s mind-blowing how expressive, animated, defiant, stubborn, and insane a child can be, while still only using a fairly limited baby vocabulary.  And I have to admit, after spending long periods of time engaging in toddler conversation, I sometimes find myself missing those quiet newborn days filled with long stretches of sleep and cute baby cooing.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful that my child is learning language. But honestly, some days I think that all this toddler convo is slowly turning my brain into mommy mush. After giving it some serious thought, I’ve been able to classify our conversation into five basic categories. Over the course of the day, these five conversations occur in a never-ending cycle, until the toddler has finally talked himself to sleep.

The first category is “The Why Game.” If you have a toddler at home, then I can probably just move right along here. You know what I’m talking about. But for those of you who don’t, let me explain. At some point, your toddler begins to ask, “Why?” – ALL THE TIME. I’ve read tons of articles that encourage parents to nurture a child’s curiosity and to attempt to explain when your child asks why something is the way it is. As an early childhood educator, I know it’s important to converse, engage, and explain things to your child. But seriously, after my kid says, “Why?” for the 400th time, I just can’t do it. I can’t. Do you REALLY want to know why???? Because I said so. That’s it. Moving on.

The second type of talking that occurs in my household is “The Choices Convo.” Here’s how it works. I tell my kid to do something. He says no. I offer him a chance to choose. I count to three while he makes a choice. Problem solved (hopefully). For example, I attempt to put Greyson into his PJs. He starts throwing a fit. I tell him he can choose the Thomas the Train PJs or the Spiderman PJs. He stares at me for an extended length of time. I start to count to three and threaten to make a choice for him. By the time I reach three, he picks his PJs. Tantrum avoided. I know this is working because yesterday, I heard Grey telling the dog to drop his ball or to get in the crate. When the dog didn’t listen, he started counting to three and then told the dog to go to time out. Smart kid.

The third conversation that occurs around here is “The Broken Record.” This is the absolute worst and typically happens when I can’t give Grey my full attention. For example, every night we spend about 30 minutes in the car driving home from day care. During almost every commute, Grey drops his cup and spend the entire drive home screaming, “I can’t reach it!” on repeat. I’ve totally given up on this conversation and have decided to use his methods against him. I reply, “Mommy will get your cup when we get home,” and I continue to repeat it over and over and over until he gets tired of listening to my repetitive answer to his repetitive screaming. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Right?

Then there’s the, “Do It By Myself” dialogue. At some point in the future, I’ll be happy that my son wants to be independent. However, at two years old, when my kid is screaming that he wants to tie his shoes all by himself, I hate it. How the hell do you explain to a toddler that he doesn’t possess the fine motor skills necessary to attempt to tie his shoes himself??? For god’s sake child, let me help you tie your shoes for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

Lastly, there’s the “Repetition Phenomenon.” Obviously, children learn through imitation. We all know this. However, I continue to swear and say things that are totally inappropriate in front of my child just because I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that he will repeat it. Then one day, my adorable toddler drops a few F*bombs in Target and I realize that my kid is smarter and more attentive than I originally anticipated. Here’s my advice for cleaning up for your language. Start a Swear Jar and donate a dollar for every swear word that you speak. If you enjoy swearing as much as me and my husband, you will have saved enough for your child’s college education simply by paying debts to the swear jar by the time your child turns 18. In the end, you may still have “that” kid that cusses in Kindergarten, but at least you will have saved enough to pay for their college tuition.

Who needs a 529 Plan when you have a Swear Jar? Photo Via http://www.lowecounsel.com/blog/2011/12/dirty-mouths-swear-jar-makes-cursing-game

Who needs a 529 Plan when you have a Swear Jar?
Photo Via http://www.lowecounsel.com/blog/2011/12/dirty-mouths-swear-jar-makes-cursing-game

 

There you have it – the five most common types of toddler conversations that will definitely drive you to the mommy loony bin. By the end of a long day of talking to my toddler, there’s only one more five word sentence that I possibly process – “Mommy needs a strong drink.”

Why, you ask???

Because I fucking said so.

DAMNIT. That’s another dollar to the Swear Jar….

Comments

  1. Gah! Yes! I swear I’m going to yell this from the rooftops!

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