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Sunday, October 9, 2011

I See You Wore Your Sassy Pants Today

I've got a problem on my hands.  A serious one.  My 3 1/2 year old is full of sassiness.  You know - talking back, arguing, defying, negotiating - all that fun stuff.  I wasn't expecting this for a few more years, but he's already a pro at being a pre-teen in toddler clothing. 

It's not just him telling me, "I don't want to."  That would be a simple matter.  Gavin, pick up your toys.  "I don't want to."  ToughDo it or go in time out.   Problem solved.   No, it's more than that.  A lot more.  And, I'm not really sure what to do about it.

You see, one thing he's really good at is using my own words against me.  For example:

Me:  Gavin, get off of the table.  (For some reason he thinks it's completely appropriate to stand and sit on the table at all times.  Even in a restaurant.  I'm pretty sure he learned it from the dog.)

Gavin:  I will, Momma.

Me:  No.  Get off of the table NOW.

Gavin:  Be patient.

Huh?  Be patient?  No.  I told you to get off the table, and I mean RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND.  Yes, I tell you to be patient all the time, but you don't get to tell me to be patient.  Children need to learn important skills such as patience so they can completely abandon them when they become adults.  So, get your ass off of the table or you're going to spend some time in timeout.

Example Number Two:

Me:  Gavin, stop pushing buttons on the computer.

Gavin: (cautiously reaches one finger towards the keyboard and slowly pushes down the A button).

Me:  Gavin, I asked you to stop pushing buttons.  Do it again, and you're going in time out.

Gavin:  But, I don't want to go in time out.

Me:  Then stop pushing buttons.

(fast-forward three hours)

Gavin: Momma, let's read Baby Bear again.

Me: (exhausted from reading it six times already) I don't want to read it again.  (I set the book on the table)

Gavin: Don't put the book on the table, Mommy!

 Me:  (ignoring him, I walk away)

Gavin:  I said don't put the book on the table.  (Grabs the book off of the table, marches over to me, and shoves it in my hand.)  You do it again, and you go in time out.

Funny story about that, kid. We're not equals, even though that's clearly the idea you've formed at this point.  You don't get to decide time outs, I do.  Wait.  On the other hand, please put me in time out.  In my room.  On my bed.  With a book.  That would be awful.

Gavin is not really a morning person - unless it's the weekend.  I have to work really hard to wake him up during the week - and he's often not very friendly.  (No idea where he gets that from.)  Of course, on the weekends, he wakes up bright and early, chipper and fully of energy . . . but that's another story.  The other morning, as I was fighting to wake him out of a deep slumber, I asked him what he wanted for breakfast.  Me:  "Hey Gavin.  You've got to get up.  What do you want for breakfast?  Cereal or toast?"  He opens one eye, glares at me, and says, "Will you just leave me alone?"  Huh?  And I was trying to be nice.

Lately, our on-going dialogue goes a lot like this:

Me:  Gavin stop doing that (this could be anything from drinking his chocolate milk like a dog, hitting the dog with a sword, or putting his feet in his applesauce).

Gavin:  I don't want to.

Me:  Then you can go in time out.

Gavin:  I don't want to go in time out.

Me:  Then stop doing that.

Gavin:  I don't want to stop.

Me:  Then go in time out.

Gavin:  But I don't want to go in timeout.

(Repeat previous conversation 60 times)

Me:  Gavin, stop doing that and stop talking back or you're going in time out.

Gavin:  (very quietly)  I don't want to.

So, at this point, I'm pretty much thinking I might sell him on eBay.  I'll start the bidding at $1.


  1. Ha ha! Don't sell him on eBay for $1! Make the bidding start at $5, at the least. I feel your pain. You do whatever you have to do to maintain some sort of sanity. Maybe you should put yourself in timeout. That sounds glorious, doesn't it?

  2. O wow! I can totally relate! I have a 5 y/o girl that does similar stuff to me too. Still trying to figure it out!
    Following from vB.

  3. I know you say you don't know what to do, which MIGHT elicit other mom's to toss out their two cents, but don't won't get that from me. I raised one that would stare at me like an ameba. When I asked her if she understand what I was trying to tell her, she would say, "Oh, I wasn't listening. You see, I live in Melindaland and we don't have those rules." Yikes. That was the day I had to muster all my patience. Gavin is just doing what kids do, although it is rough on parents for awhile. Hang in there. I know you are doing a great job!

  4. Oh boy! :) That's all I'm gonna say :-)