“no I don’t want to”

We’ve established that I live with a Threenager. We’ve also established that the struggle is real and for all of us parents with three year olds, we all know that our patience is the ultimate measuring device on how much wine you can drink far your child can push the boundaries. Often times they are right there on the edge.

My threenager’s mood is deeply affected by his day at daycare or food or the clothes he’s wearing or screen time or time at the park or all of the above (all at once).

The opinions that comes out of his tiny mouth are unbelievably witty, the boy got some things to say.

Recently, a phrase is getting a lot of air time in our household, to a point that a body language (including the lower lip pout) is manifested each time the said phrase is spoken.

“No I Don’t Want to!”

The first few times you find it cute.

Oh look at you Little Mr Defiant. Too cute, but I want you to pack away those toys please.

“No! I don’t want to!”

Oh come on now darling, we need to pack away so we can go to the park.

“No! I don’t want to!”

Come on I’ll help you? 

“No! I don’t want to!”

Do you want to race and see who’s faster in packing away? (I let him win this game all the time, just saying)

“No! I don’t want to”

And then his cool is outta window!

I don’t pack away just because he loses the plot. I wait until he’s done crying and all calm (or almost calm) then ask again what I initially wanted him to do. Sometimes this lasts for 2 hours. True story. But I don’t care, I don’t budge. I also stopped making excuses like “oh he’s just tired” or “he’s a had a bad day” because in reality he’s just being a little turd.

When this happens, the turdness, profanities will start sitting just at the tip of my tongue, but I refuse to get down his shitty level. I am better than this. I am the parent. If I lose my cool then I already lost. Mantra to myself.

Disclaimer: I do lose my cool occasionally,  I am not perfect.

Threats of potential sentence to time out corner are given as a first warning. Then if all fails, I start counting and boy when I count one to five backwards, I mean business and he knows it.

In all honesty, 3 out of 5 times, the little boy will get up and do what was asked of him, happily. I just have to be a broken record. Sometimes he thinks that it’s funny to annoy me, like it’s a game of “how far can I actually push her this time before she starts counting backwards”.

The struggle is real.

And even more when you’re in public. I learned this new phrase from a dear friend, she once told me about Dignity Graveyard. It’s a place where your dignity goes 6 feet under and the very grave is dug by your threenager. The judging eyes of other parents are the dirt that goes in your grave and this can be any public place where parents and children are seen together, like the park or a restaurant or public transport or parents room, the shops, everywhere.

I’ve had my fair share of dignity graveyard and it is not fun while in the moment. However, it’s hilarious after 10 years few days.

I have no real advice because your little turd of a threenager is different than mine. But I’d like to let you know that you are not alone.

Just remember, when all the shitty moods are gone, we are always left with the sweetest little creatures. At least mine is. Hugs and kisses galore and apologises for being a turd. And then tomorrow, we will do it all over again.

For all the single parents, my hat is off to you!!

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