Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sorry to Bug You Smart Friends....But.....

Got a behavior question for you guys. T is sort of confounding me. Dude is able to express his feelings so clearly, but being able to express them and actually expressing them instead of acting out are two different things.

A perfect example is Friday afternoon. He is allowed to watch TV when he gets home from school. He is pooped by then, so it's a good time of day for him to veg a bit. He doesn't nap anymore, we call it his siesta. After a while I told him he needed to pee. I said he could wait until the commercial, but if he didn't pee I'd turn the TV off for the rest of the day. Dude hates to take the time to pee. He holds it until a tiny bit dribbles out and then he hightails it to the bathroom. So we've got to tell him to go. He clearly was annoyed that I was making him pee, but he stomped off to do it.

A few moments later he called for me. I assumed he pooped, he does still need help in that department. But nope. He had extravagantly emptied his very full bladder all over the floor. It had splashed onto both walls, the puddle completely surrounded the toilet. I was speechless. When I regained my composure I asked him what happened.

"Well," he said, "I tried to pee in the toilet and I missed." "Wow," I replied, "I don't believe you. If you tried to pee in the toilet and missed there might be a little pee on the floor. But there is zero pee in the toilet and all the pee on the floor. You did this on purpose. And you have to stay in here and help me clean it up and if you miss part of the TV show that is your problem. I've got to tell you Dude, I'm really very angry right now."

He cried as he sat on his little stool and begged to go back to the sofa. He really couldn't clean up the pee without getting it all over himself, so I just let him sit there as I sopped it up. I know you aren't supposed to ask why they did stuff at the age, but I couldn't help myself. He looked right at me and replied, "Mom, I was really frustrated at you for making me pee. So I peed on the floor." I told him I understood where he was coming from. He is allowed to be frustrated at me, I get frustrated at him all the time. But he needs to tell me, or he can bang on the floor or the sofa to get the anger out. He absolutely can't do stuff like pee on the floor.

Listen, I'm grateful he can tell me what is going on in his head. It rocks that he has the ability to express himself. But I sort of thought that if he was able to let us know how he felt he wouldn't act out by, you know, pissing all over the place in anger. He'd go ahead and tell us he was angry. Am I crazy? How to I encourage him to tell me he is frustrated BEFORE he takes punitive action aimed at me? I knew he was annoyed when he headed to the bathroom, but I had no idea of the level of frustration he was feeling, it wasn't a particularly contentious conversation.

Friends who have a background in early childhood development what the hell am I doing wrong here? How do I get to a place where we are less frustrated at each other? Or should I just start emptying my bladder on his bedroom floor to demonstrate that I'm angry at him? Just kidding. Sort of.

Post about T, pictures of C. Doesn't make sense to me either, but I don't have new pictures of T. Dude is still recovering from his sick and was taking it easy today, so there weren't a lot of kodak moments. C, on the other hand, was hamming it up. There is bacon above his head in this shot and he was begging like a puppy.

He figured out how to knock his Dad's hats off their hooks. He put this one one and started pushing the stroller around the house. He was responsible for the jaunty angle.

And then he traded for a cap.


  1. Girlfriend, you did everything exactly right. Sometimes kids just suck. I'm not trying to be flip, I'm being sincere. He is still developing his self control, which is hard to handle since you had to sop up a pee flood and it doesn't make it any less annoying. But the great thing is that he told you he was frustrated! It's a tiny little silver lining, but unless you've been around other kids his age who absolutely cannot put words to their emotions, you might not realize what a gift this is. And what a testament to your parenting it is! Social-Emotional development is the most important (in my humble opinion) area of development; without it, other areas of development tend not to flourish as much. Basically he needs to learn self control, which comes with time. But like I said you handled it beautifully. Well done.

    1. Thanks, Christina. I appreciate the feedback. At the same time it is so frustrating that you can reason with these little people! I know it will come with time, but jesus. I'm tired of cleaning up pee. And poop. And vomit. Although he doesn't have any control over that last one.

  2. Well, maybe u go in the bathroom with him? And make sure he does what he's supposed to do. And no Tv if he doesn't. Does not make your day any easier, though. Gotta say, the little dude does know how to use pee as a weapon.

    1. Ah yes, but if I try to go with him he begs for privacy....he's a clever little monkey.