Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sometimes Choice is Not a Good Thing

I have a ridiculously difficult time making decisions, but I do like choices.  I assume that everyone likes to make their own choices and, in that spirit, I often try to let my son make some of his own.  For example, I'll ask if he wants to eat pasta or rice, pretzels or Cheerios, carrots or celery.  I also ask him if he has an opinion on the clothes that he wears.  He typically doesn't care and will accept any outfit I pull from his closet. . .and then there are days like yesterday!

My son is enamored with this song about monkeys and a crocodile.  He's not just enamored, he's obsessed.  He sings it ALL THE TIME and he fully expects your rapt attention even though you've heard this song at least 2,012 times - in the same day!

Since he loves this song so much, imagine how excited I was when I realized that he has a shirt with a monkey and a shirt with a crocodile.  I thought that he'd surely love to wear one of these shirts while singing his favorite song.  Read on to see what I get for thinking.

I made the mistake of asking him which shirt he'd like to wear.  First he said the monkey.  I took out the shirt and he insisted that he wanted the crocodile.  I took out the crocodile and put back the monkey.  That's when he claimed to want the monkey.  Do you see where this is going?

Silly me, I pulled the monkey shirt back out and then he flung himself to the ground while howling that he wanted the crocodile.  I wondered if I'd mar our freshly painted walls if I slammed my head against one.  I had no idea just how bad it was gonna get!

I made the decision (a fairly quick one too!) to put him in the crocodile shirt.  If CPS showed up yesterday to investigate a child who was screaming nonstop for 40 minutes, they never would have believed that this parental action is what caused the child's response.  And he wasn't just screaming for 40 minutes - he was crying and throwing himself to the ground over & over again too.  I give the kid an A- for throwing a nearly perfect toddler temper tantrum.  He'd have earned an A+ if he'd managed to mortify me by pulling this stunt in public.

I didn't just ignore the child as he was carrying on and, for some reason, I kept trying to help make him happy.  He screamed that he didn't want the crocodile shirt so I tried to take it off.  Of course, he pulled away and then yelled that he wanted the crocodile shirt.  Not ten seconds went by when he reverted to the original sentiment.  This didn't just happen a couple of times.  Oh no, toddlers aren't that easy!  We went through this at least five times before I finally just pulled the shirt off of him and threw it in the dirty clothes hamper.

He flipped out.  I grabbed the monkey shirt to put on him and he ran away from me, howling that he doesn't like monkey shirts.  Um, what?  Okay. 

So I let him run around without a shirt.  My rationale was that he'd stop yelling about these stupid shirts if he wasn't wearing one at all.  Ha! 

How did I finally restore peace to my home?  I put him in the monkey shirt. . .with the crocodile shirt layered on top.  I can assure you that it will be a long, long, long, long time before I ask him what he'd like to wear!

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