A few days ago, I read a really eye opening article.
A typical morning around here consists of about 23432897 million requests for something, from me, made by the twins. It doesn’t matter if daddy or grandma or freaking Santa Claus were around, it is me they are asking.
Mommy I need apple juice. Mommy I need yogurt. Mommy I need peanut butter. Mommy she took my toy. All before I’ve even managed to scoop the coffee out of the container and into the pot.
Bryan works way over the “full time” number of hours each week and has to add even more than that over the next three. Combine that with pending shoulder surgery that is going to leave him one handed for who knows how long (he can’t lift more than a cup of coffee with his right hand for 6 weeks, at least), and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed.
So, this article.
It talked about this 4 year old who gets up each morning, brushes her teeth, gets herself dressed, makes her own waffle and eats while her mom gets ready for the day. The night before she helps pick out her outfit for the next day. The twins are almost four, so I think to myself this is perfect. It is time for more independence. I will simply require them to do more for themselves. I share this idea with Bryan, and come Sunday night, I am ready to tackle the week.
That is, until reality hit me.
Monday morning rolls around. No one helped pick out outfits the night before because we were all up late at my parents watching the Superbowl, so instead I figure I’ll have them help me pick out an outfit this morning. I have some extra time. No problem. Miles is easy. He wants a t-shirt and we fight a bit over shorts vs pants, but otherwise his outfit is complete in about 2 minutes. Next is Abby’s turn. My sweet Abby. She turns down every.single. shirt or dress suggestion I make. All of them. I literally go through every option in her closet. Finally a little frustrated, I tell her to choose her own. She says no, and sits on the floor. I pick out a dress myself, telling her if she won’t pick one I will, which results in a tantrum because she didn’t want that outfit either.
So this is going well.
Step two is teaching Miles how to make his own waffle. This actually goes ok, and Miles seems excited about the idea of doing this on his own. Except when it comes to spreading the peanut butter. Then he just simply “can’t do it”. I make him try anyway. Abby chooses yogurt and picks one from the shelf, and hands it to me to open, asking for a spoon. I tell her to get one herself. No, she tells me. *sigh*.
WHY CHILD WHY?
After breakfast, I try to catch them and encourage them to get dressed before they start playing, but no luck. I’m pretty sure I ask them to “please put your underwear and clothes on” a dozen times to deaf ears, each request slightly louder than the previous one. Finally I give up before I lose it, lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook for a few minutes, before I end up helping them get dressed. This lady with her independent 4 year old must be living in an alternate universe.*
*I will say that after a couple more days of attempts, each day is getting a little better, so it is a work in progress and I will take it. Abby even picked out her dress last night after rejecting only 10 or so other choices. #winning