Dear Little One,
I feel there are a few things I need to clarify with you. Please listen closely:
* Making something fly through the air does not make it a ball. Please stop saying, "Ball!" and then throwing things.
Example: That little metal truck you just hucked across the table? Not a ball. The bit of sandwich you called a ball and then threw at lunch? Also not a ball.
* Screeching like a psychotic monkey will not get you what you want.
Example: When I go to change your diaper and you twist and scream that horrid scream and throw things (which are still not balls), I still have to change your diaper. I win.
* Calling it a button does not mean you have to push it over and over and over again.
Example: Your bits are your bits, so... I'm not trying to be bossy and I definitely want you to enjoy... things... but we do have to get things done and... there's a time and place for.... We'll talk about this when you're older. Nevermind.
* Trying to twist out of my arms while I'm carrying you somewhere you don't want to go isn't going to hurt anyone but you.
Example: All of the times you do this. Quit doing this.
* Refusing to eat will not make me suddenly decide to feed you nothing but cookies and milk.
Example: See the part about only hurting yourself. And the part about me winning.
* While that mischievous grin of yours is killer and makes me smile every. single. time... it does not give you free reign for naughtiness.
Example: Flashing that smile at me before you pitch your breakfast or smash the metal car into the wooden table does not excuse it. You're still in trouble. So just stop. Oh, stop. Yeah, it's cute- stop. Ohmygod, I totally love you.
And, actually, while we're at it....
Dear Big One,
You clearly need some clarification on a few things as well. Listen up, big fella.
* Repeating something a quadrabillion times in a progressively more irritating voice is not likely to make it happen.
Example: Hollering from your bed at nap time, "Mommy, I need the door a little bit closed!" (meaning open) over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...
*Just because you say, "Excuse me," doesn't necessarily mean you're excused. Hollering over your parents as we're attempting to talk in the five seconds we have to figure out dinner is not going to help anyone. And yelling, "Excuse me," kinda cancels out the polite, there buddy. See previous bullet. And just hold on a second.
*Nap time really isn't for you. It's for me. So it's not optional. You do not have to sleep, but you do have to stay in your room without yelling for a full hour at least. (Note: that does not mean you get to start yelling after the first hour. I merely require one hour for sanity. More will benefit all of us.)
Example: Today when I put you down for nap, you solemnly swore that you would lie down and stay quiet. As soon as I left the room you bounced up and down and yelled my name for 17 different things that would mean I needed to come to the room and/or get you out of bed. "I have to pee!" "I have to poop!" "I need a drink!" "What was that sound?!?" "I need my hippo!" (which is now across the room where I threw it so you'd have to come and retrieve it.) "I'm hungry!" "Can I read a book?" "I miss you." All of that is infuriating. Please quit it.
*Saying you "need a break" right after you've done something that you know has earned you a time out will not get you out of time out. Nice try though.
Example: The other day when you pushed your brother over out of nowhere and then ran as fast as your legs would carry you to the corner of the kitchen yelling, "I need a break!!!" Nope. Still get a time out.
*Cracking up in the middle of your tantrum, while simultaneously amusing and exasperating, will still not get you out of whatever I'm asking you to do.
Example: Yesterday when I asked you to go potty and get your shoes on before we had to leave to pick up Daddy, and you screamed and yelled and threw yourself to the ground... and then started laughing like a little lunatic... you still had to go potty and get your shoes on. I believe this falls under the "I win" category. But that transition directly into mania from fury was pretty impressive, Squishman.
*Being gentle and kind and loving with your brother will always get you 4,271 points with Daddy and me. And your brother. Keep it up.
Example: Today, when we got home from dropping Daddy off at school, you very sweetly and gently helped your brother take off his jacket and shoes. Of your own accord. It was amazing. I love you.