Tonight I was once again reminded that although 3 1/2 year olds ignore everything you say, it doesn’t mean that your voice is not heard. We’d had a tough daycare pick up. I blame myself, since I can only imagine the kids are exhausted after a long week at school. I’m exhausted after 5o hours at work – how could they not be after 50 hours at school? Yes, I said 50 hours. So goes the life of dual-working households.
Anyhow, neither kid was listening. I couldn’t get them to leave school. First I tried threatening them with time outs when they got home. When that didn’t work, I tried bribing them with the promise that if they came with me, they’d get to pick a book out from the Scholastic book order form the school had just distributed. Yeah, I threatened them and bribed them all in one night. Just nominate me for mother of the year award, please!
I finally managed to get them both to the car and buckled in. I’d had it. Apparently, so had they, because they both immediately started whining and crying over the music that was playing, the Wiggles guitar they each had, the lack of a snack in their hand the minute I got in my seat, and on and on.
So I told my oldest, if you whine instead of asking nicely, you won’t get your snack. We have this conversation often. I can’t really blame him – if Morgan whines, she tends to get. Just like he did at the age of 2. I was the oldest child. It’s hard sometimes! After all, my poor son was deprived of popcorn until he was 2 1/2. My daughter? I think it was about 13 months. Anyway, Jake refused to ask nice. He refused to speak to me at all. That lasted until we got home and he forgot about the issue – or so I thought.
Fast forward to Jake’s bedtime (let’s not talk about Morgan’s, I was just happy to get the poor, overtired little girl to sleep). He chose a Batman and Joker book that he’d picked out at the bookstore last weekend. In my opinion, the book was a bit above his comprehension level, so I added phrases to help “Batman is a good guy who protects the city”. “The Joker is a bad guy who gets in trouble a lot”.
We finished the book, and Jake started comparing the Joker to the Grinch (who stole Christmas). The Grinch wasn’t nice, but in the end, he turned nice. Not the Joker. Jake was pretty clear about that. In fact, Jake informed me “Mama, the Joker never says please when he asks for a snack. I don’t think he gets many snacks from his mama”.
Yes, he hears everything. Whether or not he acknowledges it is a different story.