In dealing with my 3 year old I've found it challenging to interact with him on pretty much every level that has made me a proud, responsible and productive member of society. I've learned that there is no room for negotiating, partner bargaining or rationalizing- all good adult life tools but equally terrible for getting my son to do anything other than what he wants to do.
To combat this ever-changing landscape of emotional tirades, temper tantrums and general insanity I've put in hours of diligence and research.
Parenting blogs are a great (if short term and mostly amusing) help. Books can be a decent source of wisdom in their own snarky way (do these writers actually have children I wonder..)
Finally, important lessons from Miller's teachers have come in handy.
By handy, I mean I've learned to get down to his level when addressing the behavior in question. Its design is to not intimidate child in question which goes against what I generally want to do when confronting his unwanted behavior, but whatever. This task has relieved me from any thoughts about going to the gym as I now seem to do at least 50-60 deep knee squats a day. I've also been trying the 'option' rule- give him 2 choices in how to correct the behavior- the first giving him the option to 'not do shit unless' and the second, me making him 'not do shit unless'. Sometimes it actually works.
What I do know is that I now have a subconscious conversation, ever so quickly, with myself before 99% of my interactions with Miller. Nothing I say flows seamlessly or in an effortless fashion- mostly because his behavior doesn't warrant an effortless or seamless response- he just does ridiculously stupid shit 99% of the time- including when he sleeps
Its not necessarily unnatural to me anymore either. I chalk it up to confirming my position on raising a well rounded, socially adept little person- like every other parent.
Occasionally though, Miller throws me a curveball. when that happens all pre- precessed daddy rhetoric goes out the window and we're just a couple of guys doing dumb stuff on the fly, like reality TV.
Today's curveball came with picking Miller up from school- a typical Monday afternoon ritual. As we get to the car though, Miller takes a swipe at it. With his tongue. He literally licked the damn car. And then did it again. And again.
I don't know when I actually chimed in- it was probably between the 2nd and 3rd lick- because I was silently screaming '
WHAT the fuck are you doing? Are you FUCKING kidding me??? OH MY FUCKING GAWDDDDD !!!! before I finally burst out loud with, DUDE, WHERE'S your head??? I felt like Ashton Kutcher's character from that movie. I had no other response and I challenge any other parent to come up with a better one given the circumstances. It wasn't a proud moment in hindsight I admit.
I quickly got him into the car as that somehow would make the germs spread slower- then I started to think about his sister's nose thats been flowing snot since early November.
Something tells me Quinn has also been the benefactor of germs from our car and other disgusting surfaces.
I've added a new phrase to my budding Daddy vernacular-
Dude- stop licking that.