Monday, January 18, 2010

I Want the Purple One

This weekend Mom and I were doing our best to clean the basement while the kids were taking naps.  Our basement for the last nine months has been the repository for the craziness of our lives.  If we needed to clean up in a hurry and needed a place to put stuff; the basement was the first place that came to mind.  Now that Luke is older and the holidays are over we can devote the time to finding the floor in our basement. 

Today we went to The Container Store to grab some plastic bins and drawers to put some order to the chaos.  The entire trip was just fine up until we were getting ready to leave.  Mom choosing four plastic drawers that were made of clear plastic.  While we were deliberating over those Alyce was playing with an identical piece that was made of purple plastic instead of clear.  We started loading up the clear ones into the car with Alyce saying to us "I want the purple ones".  We told her that this was Mom's project and she got to pick what she wanted.  Well Alyce didn't care much for that explanation and continued saying "I want the purple ones".  We tried explaining again but by this time Alyce was beyond reason and began saying "I want the purple ones" between sobs.  This sobbing, crying, and throwing of herself on the floor continued on through checkout.  I knew this day would come and I wasn't really sure how I would handle the situation.  Mom and I were surprisingly calm.  We didn't raise our voice, get mad, or drag her through the store.  We for the most part ignored her outburst and walked toward the front of the store.  Alyce after a few seconds followed but wasn't happy about it.

Once in the car we did our best to get Alyce's mind off the purple boxes.  We presented her with a lot of choices that she could make so she could feel more in control of the situation.  One question we posed to her was whether or not she wanted to go shopping at Target.  This surprisingly seemed to resonate with her.  She calmed down a bit and quietly said "I want to go to Target".  So we were off to Target.  We had a few things to pick up and I left Mom to go handle that while I walked with Alyce through the toy aisles.  In hindsight I probably should have avoided that section of the store as it could have proved a catalyst to another outburst.  Alyce managed to keep herself together while in the toys.  She became fixated on big pink box of Legos and said she wanted them.  On any other day I probably would have picked them up for her because she is such a great kid but today I thought it might send the wrong message.  I managed to get her out of the toy section without too much fuss and we completed the shopping trip without any more tears.

Reflecting back on the past few weeks I think that Alyce is smack dab in her 3s.  I've heard from a lot of parents that the 3s are worse than the terrible twos.  I would agree with them.  When Alyce was in her 2s she would say no just to say no and wouldn't accept our help at times but in general she behaved and minded us without too much fuss.  There were periods of months when we didn't need the naughty corner at all.  Now Alyce is spreading her wings, testing her boundaries, and our patience.  When she doesn't comply with what we ask such as standing still to change her clothes or sitting at dinner.  I don't get the impression that she does it to be mean but that she is more focused on what she wants to do than our wishes.  Redirection still works for most things however as time moves on we encounter situations where her wants directly counter ours.  The purple box from this afternoon is a perfect example.  There was no way to compromise and much to Alyce's dismay her opinion was not the chosen course.

To close, the entire point of the clear vs purple boxes is moot.  Mom tried to install them in the coat closet where she wanted only to find that they didn't fit the way she needed them to.

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