Old Fogies and Manic Children

Today I went into my bank to deposit some checks, which I normally do in the drive-thru ATM. However I had a couple of questions for a banking professional, so this time I went inside. The teller was quite helpful and answered all of my questions, but he was chewing gum during the entire conversation. I thought that was a bit unprofessional. And then when I was trying to add up my deposits at his window, I couldn’t dredge up what 9 plus 6 is. As I walked out of the bank, I had to laugh at myself for losing my mental capacity at the same time I was judging that young whippersnapper. Is 37 now the onset of old age?

* * *

SillyBilly had two enormous tantrums today. The first one happened when I went to pick the kids up from daycare: they were both still napping when I got there, and when I told him we would go home for snack he completely wigged out. It took about 15 minutes to get him dressed and get out the door, with Napoleona standing there covering her ears the whole time. I think he was just sleepy and hungry, but it was waaaay out of proportion.

Once I got them home and gave them a snack, he had calmed down. I then entertained them with making butter with my churn (I meant to take pictures but the camera batteries were dead!) SillyBilly really had fun turning the churn handle, and they both loved eating soft whipped cream, stiff whipped cream, butter mush, and then real butter and buttermilk!

But afterwards he flipped out again when I said that he couldn’t have a knife and cutting board to chop up a fragment of acorn meat he brought home. By this time it was almost 5:30 and almost all of the dished in the house were still dirty, no less that no dinner was prepared or even thought of yet. I couldn’t take the time to supervise him with a knife, and offered that maybe he could do something after dinner, but that was evidently insufficient.

Luckily Anthropapa arrived a few minutes later, made dinner, and SillyBilly calmed down again.

Which then brought us to our next parenting dilemma: how to get SillyBilly to quit pooping in his pullup every night. He says he doesn’t like to poop because it’s boring to just sit there — a while ago we started saying that he couldn’t read on the toilet because he just ended up sitting there for 30 minutes without actually accomplishing anything! We thought that the yuck factor of cleaning himself up each morning would be a deterrent, but evidently it’s not. He just says he doesn’t have to go before bed, and then sometime in the night he lets it fly.

It seems like a control issue, but I’m just getting tired of the whole poop thing. Napoleona is completely potty trained except for peeing at night, and she’s 3. I know I’m not supposed to compare the kids with each other, but SillyBilly’s 5! He should be on the road to not even peeing at night any more (which he still does in bucket loads)!


The one good thing is that for the most part we kept our cool about it all. In fact, at one point in the first tantrum, SillyBilly actually yelled at me “I don’t want you to be calm!!” I almost laughed at that one.



Filed under Parenting

5 responses to “Old Fogies and Manic Children

  1. (un)relaxeddad

    Control issues! Why are they such control freaks? Does any sort of motivation or reward (ok, bribe) for getting through the night without pooing work?

  2. Anonymous

    How about a wee tap on the butt (after it is cleaned)for motivation?
    Maybe he needs you to not be calm so that he can distinguish where the boundaries are laid. I believe that boundaries mean caring and love to children and adults.

  3. Henitsirk

    URD: I think little kids can see that the adults control pretty much everything, so they try to control what they can. I’ve read that’s a big part of potty training, being able to let go of something that’s essentially theirs.

    Anon: I’m trying really hard to stay away from spanking. I think setting boundaries is important, and I’m not going to avoid showing them when I’m angry (for example, after one of those tantrums where he was throwing things at me and telling me to “shut up stupid” I very clearly showed him I was angry, but I didn’t take it out on him.

    The good news is, first this morning SillyBilly proudly informed us that he had to go to the bathroom, and that he had “held his poop” all night long. He went, quickly, and that was that. He got lots of hugs and high-fives.

    I have no idea what motivated him. But, I’ll take it.

  4. Anonymous

    We must be on the same wavelength again. When I went to the UPS store to send your Hannukah packages the clerk (who looked to me like she was barely 12 years old) did not stop chewing her gum-cud during the entire transaction. Apparently the store manager did not care as she was standing right next her. I’m wondering if it is a cultural thing and that in other countries it’s no biggee.


  5. Anonymous

    Okay, so at the age of 5 the boy is pooping in his pull ups at night and leaving lots of liquid in them also.

    Could mean he is afraid of something, like facing the challenges and responsibilities expected of him at age 5.

    He might be more comfortable (emotionally, not physically) going back to diapers at night.


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