I do wayyy too much for Monsoon. He's three. He should be going to the potty all by himself without me in the room, and he should put on most of his own clothes, and he should be going to sleep by himself.
Stop right there. Let me explain. He's my baby and I waited so many years for him and he's probably the only one we will ever be able to have. I DO baby him, I know I shouldn't, but it happens and all I can say is I'm trying not to.
He can do all these things, but the biggest reason he doesn't is because he won't do them. He will hold it until he pees himself before he goes alone, he will stay in pj's all day and refuse to leave the house if I don't get him dressed and push him out the door, and he will NOT sleep.
In an effort to let him become an appropriately (for his age) self-sufficient child, I'm trying something new. I'm giving him what I refer to as "The Power." When he refuses to cooperate, for example, he has the power to make his own choices (of the two I give him) and usually one of them has a consequence. Of course this is all circumstantial - I don't care if he runs around the house with no pants.
I tested it out tonight, and it took 30 minutes for him to get his clothes off (a warm-up suit, very easy), pee and put underwear back on. It took this long because he kept saying "I can't, mommy!" when I know very well he can, he just doesn't want to. When he refused to even try putting on his pajamas, I told him about the power.
"You can either try to put on your own pjs before we play UNO together, or I can help you and then your off to bed with no game. It's your choice. You have The Power."
He thought about it for a moment, taking in what I said. Then he ever so carefully reached his arm to me, hand closed like he had caught something in it, and waited. We play this a lot - he pretends to give me a frog or something and I take it and it's a big game. So I held out my hand to see where this was going.
"Here, Mommy." He was so serious and thoughtful. "You can have my power." He dropped his "power" delicately in my palm, like it might get crushed if he wasn't careful, and sighed heavily.
What am I supposed to do with that? I laughed. I cried. I tried to hide it by hugging him tight. Sometimes you just can't win.
Sanity or Patience: choose one.
Do you ever have one of those moments where you think, "HA! I am sane!" Then you step in dog poo with your bare feet and remember it was your idea to get the puppy...?