June 4, 2014


I've heard parent friends with older children warn me of the various atrocities associated with raising tots, how at 2 they are just insane, while at 3 insanity turns evil, and then begins to level out at 4. Not having much interaction with children other than my own, I feel my experience is somewhat limited so I rarely dispense advice to friends just starting out. For instance when my best friend comes to visit with her 11 month old, and he simply will not take various objects not intended consumption out of his mouth, I just tell her not to worry, as long as he doesn't actually swallow them. Or when Tuck's teacher emails me multiple times in one day at work, to demand we buy different diapers, directing us to send a new pair of shoes (scolding us for sending a pair with an undetectable hole), I simply forward the email to my husband to carry out her orders.

This weekend, our super sweet and adorable 3 year old asked for his red shovel. Sure its a snow shovel, and its June, but why not? We gladly handed him his toy shovel. He then proceeding to use it to batter the newly planted flowers I carefully dug, lined up, and watered in the flowerbed. I asked him to stop, why did he want to hurt the flowers? He looked at me, then at my husband. Without moving his gaze from our faces he continued to pummel the fragile flowers. Horrified at why he was willfully ignoring me, blatantly disobeying my polite request, and assaulting a pretty petunia, I looked to my husband for help. What do we do? Yell? No, the books say not to overreact with harsh tones. Take the shovel away? Teachers say not to grab, this sends the wrong message.

The flowers are now beaten to small sad pulps, the shovel is hidden behind the lawn mower in the garage, and many tears have been shed (not to mention a bottle of chardonnay drained). It may be a long summer.

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