Finn has caught wind of what parents dread. It starts with “I wanna” and quickly escalates to “listen to me” (something I say) to shouting, whining, and recently just crying. I can deal with the whining: “no” “no” and “no” seem to get my point across pretty well, as well as diversion tactics or hunting for the real root of the problem (ie: he’s hungry). The crying though?
I shut down.
My empathy and attempts at making him happy, or more accurately forget about his issue, drops. There must be something about it, the fake tears, the howling, making a scene, is all part of something I don’t want a part of. This then employes my favorite defense against whining: walking away. Won’t come in the gate to our building? Fine, I’ll walk in and close the door behind me. Crying about having to eat pancakes instead of waffles? Heat into the kitchen. Can’t get a truck out of timeout? Start reading in the living room. You get the idea. Public places are harder, more so now because god forbid you leave your child crying the chip aisle while you wait patiently around the endcap. Tears are kryptonite to my wife during the day time (night time is a different story) and she [sometimes] finds herself getting dragged in. I must be differently wired – a gate shuts, I’m closed, come again. Real tears, sure, I’ll get in line to kiss a booboo or two. The over-characterized “waaaaaaahhhhhhh?” I just can’t deal.
He may have picked up some of this in school, but with their hands full there, I know for a fact they don’t put up with it either. It’s all a test, he’s a shark looking for weakness. I’ll admit, sometimes he finds flesh.