So I'm in the middle of teaching my three-year old son Nyles how to get dressed without my help. Either he will be starting school this Fall or he will graduate to the pre-school room at his current daycare--either way, he will need to be autonomous in the getting dressed department.
I started with the socks, and it took him a good three weeks to get completely comfortable. He refused to use two hands, which led to his shit constantly being lopsided, but eventually he powered through and mastered it. He still struggles with tighter socks, but it isn't his fault his parents are too packrat-ish to throw them all away in favor of the newer looser ones. Next we moved on to the underwear, pants/shorts and shirts. He breezed right through the underwear for the most part, although he still gives himself the occasionally accidental wedgie, which is as disgusting and troubling as it sounds. The putting on of the pants/shorts were mastered and conquered within a week, which brings us to the shirts.
Nyles chooses to watch me while he's putting his shirts on, which invariably leads to him putting his arms where his head should go, which is just one, big ass mess. I have put my shirts on in front of him so he'll get it, and I will even politely guide his arms in the proper direction, but he refuses to focus on his own. Right around the time his focus starts to fade is when I get loud, frustrated and borderline condescending towards him, and I don't need you to judge me, because I know good and goddamn well that type of behavior on my part is one big bag of wrong. But that's why I'm here confessing under the guise of a blogspot post.
My wife, god bless her heart, hears me berating our son when it comes time for the shirt portion of the morning/evening, and she does her best to stay the f**k out of my way. But today, after a particularly frustrating session with Nyles, I asked her if she thought I was being too harsh, and she very diplomatically said yes. Now I have to figure out a way to take my foot off the gas, without messing with the slight momentum we've made as of late. I want my son to be tough and to learn how to be self-sufficient, but nothing everything has to be hard-fought lesson I suppose. Plus when he looks at me with those sad ass Puss and Boots eyes, I can't maintain my anger. And I haven't even mentioned how maddening it is to watch him attempt to take this shirt off. But again, he's three years old, it isn't his fault his dad is a wanna-be tyrant.
This blog post has no real point except to say that my son and my lack of patience are winning this particular round of childhood. I will be back. In the meantime, listen to my latest song obsession called "Make A Smile For Me" by Mr. Bill Withers: