Nearly 29 months of fun in the sun, well into year 2 of fatherhood. So what is different now? Well for starters, the world for a 2 year old is so weird that the world with a 2 year old must follow suit. I can only best describe this as “Just Go with It” because pretty much everything that will occur in a day comes with the parental dilemma of either 1) Need to Discipline, 2) Do I Redirect, or 3) Do I Just Go with It. And your 2 year old loves to live, whether intentionally or not, in the majestically annoying grey areas, the overlapping of 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 and even sometimes wander into the seemingly impossible realm of overlapping 1 and 3.
To the non-parent, it probably seems like parenting falls nice and neatly on a delicate china plate on a soft white linen table cloth in an elegant grand dining hall of leisure; how is this difficult you wonder? Oh, all parents know. Your child just instinctively knows that to learn, one must forgo all prior truths and truly immerse oneself to all possibilities of desired outcomes.
Example: Your Child: (in his head) “If I draw on the white couch with a blue marker, I bet a box of chocolate ice cream will appear.” Why? Because he has no reason to believe it won’t appear. So he does it and he gets #1: Discipline. Now he knows a baseline but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. Next time, he performs a cost benefit analysis beforehand. People without kids will say “You should have known better giving him a blue marker around a white couch.” Well my 2 year and 4 month old son can write MOM and HAT on a dry erase board so ask anyone with kids and they will tell you that the white couch looking like a blue striped zebra is a PARENTING WIN so suck it!
Another Example: You want to expose your child to foreign languages so you educate in speaking Spanish. It goes very well, especially numbers and colors. Your Child: (excited and very much OUTLOUD) “Rojo, azul, ammarillo, verde, negro.” SKZZWZRKWRZ!!!! The record scratches and the music stops. Why? Because he is 2! While negro in Spanish means black and there is parental pride in his learning, enjoying, and mastering of a foreign language, he simply can’t go walking around saying negro everywhere he goes! He gets #2: Redirect where we just focus on every other color and the Spanish flashcard for the color black “magically” found its way into the trash. Black can wait until Spanish class in school when he has a better grasp of socially appropriate and respectful behavior.
Another Example: Your child is about to do something wrong. You say quickly and abruptly, “uh-uh!” to which your child immediately grunts back in complete frustration “UH!” This prehistoric rhetoric goes back and forth at least 4 times before your child throws whatever is in his hands, kicks whatever is closest to him, and moves on to something else. CLASSIC GREY AREA MIND GAME! The throw and kick were not acceptable, the angry grunts were not ideal, but the emotional settle down and move on to something else is desired. You can do any of the parent decisions available, so which one? People without kids would say “You can’t let him get away that behavior right?” What behavior? He wanted to do something. You wouldn’t let him. That bothered him. I want to win the lottery. The moron on TV didn’t pick my numbers. I threw the wasted ticket in frustration. It’s science everyone. Just go with it.
G basically spent the entire month of July at the beach....here with Maddox pretending to race cars....