I live in a pit of whine.
I swim in a pool of whine.
I carry around buckets and bagfuls of whine.
Also, Huff, But-but!, Awwoh!, and Shriek.
But mostly whine.
If I say, "Let's have waffles for breakfast!" he answers with: "ShreeeEEEIk, I want paaaancaaaakes!"
If he says, "Can I have some tea?" and I say, "I'm making it." he answers with: "WaaaAAAAAHHH! But I waaaant teeeea!!!"
I say, "Let's go out and get the eggs and check the mailbox!" and he says, "Wheeeeeeaaaahhhhh... I don't waaaaant tooooo!"
When I'm driving, I make a right turn and he cries and carries on because he wants to go left. For the whole remainder of the trip all I hear is, "You went the wrong waaaaaay, Mommy!"
Last week, I made some soup for supper one night. He looked at it and said, "I won't eat it." He's usually a good eater, so this was plain stubbornness. "You have to try it." I said. "No." he answered. So he sat there at the table until bedtime, and in the morning, when he asked for breakfast, I said, "Here's your soup." The shrieking commenced and carried on. He held out until 9:35 when he finally gobbled up the soup followed by a plate of eggs and toast.
"Time to pick up toys"
"Here are your clothes, please get dressed."
"Lets take turns stirring the onions in the pot."
NooooOOOOOOO! Wheeeeeeaaaaaa! I wanna do it myseeeeelf!
"Yes, you can help me srcub potatoes."
Whaaaa!!! But I wanna do iiiiitt!
"I'm hungry, Mom!"
"Supper's almost ready."
"AAaaaaaAAAaeeeeOOOOOeee! I'm HUUUNGRRRY!"
It mystifies me. Does it ever actually work? Why does he think this helps his situation? Obviously, he does it even when I've said yes (like the tea-making and potato-scrubbing). It's like a gut-reaction on his part-- whatever I say, he says the opposite. Nine hundred times a day, I send him "upstairs if you're going to whine!" Removing him from the situation seems like the obvious answer, but it doesn't seem to be sinking in.
He's a smart kid. And yet he persists in the contrariness that only makes life miserable. Or maybe it's not miserable for him. Maybe it's entertaining. He's an only child, after all, poor kid.
And it's SO tempting to take advantage of The Contrary by using Reverse Psychology on him. But I know that that's training to disobedience. So I refrain.
I thought this should be this golden time-- my sweet little boy who's growing up fast, turning 4 in two weeks, helpful, smart, talkative-- and he is all those things! But I don't wake up looking forward to greeting him now. I just wanna pull out all my hair and gnash my teeth over The Whine. (For the record, I've somewhat dreaded the age of 4, because I've known many an obnoxious 4 year old boy...)
The only time he's fun is when I tickle him. We do that a lot. But when I stop? WhiiiIIIIiiinnnnnnne!!!
And the only words of wisdom I've been able to procure on the subject: "You think this is bad? Wait until he's 15."
I get so exhausted and frustrated in fighting with him that I know I'm missing some prime constructive teaching time. By the time I get done with the breakfast and getting dressed fights, I don't have the patience for a project together. This is the prime age for learning to be a good worker, and he loooooves to help, but whenever I have to take over or handle something beyond his capabilities... he shrieks about it... I loose patience, yell... the "learning time" quickly disintegrates.
I try to leave some things to Natual Consequences, mainly because I just can't fight about everything. "Fine. Don't put socks on." So he wears his boots outside and comes in with a sore on his foot. "Well, that's what happens when you don't wear socks." But the next time I ask him to put socks on, he screeches and falls to the floor weeping.
Some days, I just wanna fall on the floor weeping, too.