My husband and I are the parents of almost three – year – old twin boys.  People who coined the term terrible twos did so because they could come up with no suitable and non-frightening term for what comes after – horrific three’s? Drink yourself to death four’s?  We feel like we are constantly correcting, distracting and disciplining.  Today, it was too much.  Yonas decided that time out was really fun and laughed the whole time, while Yacob handed over his binoculars and said “thank you for taking them mommy” when I demanded them as punishment for some preschooler indiscretion.

Needless to say, we are worn out.  Tonight, we had a lovely dinner after we’d finally got the monkeys to bed.  My brother was with us and we chatted about parenthood and how we would get through to the other side.  We decided there was but one way to survive the several years – we would pick our battles.

See, there are some pretty major things we want to accomplish in raising our kids.  The first goal is that they not become douchebags.  This seems fairly straightforward, but it’s a tough thing to achieve because it is so murky and vague. Not douchebaggary, we all know it when we see it, but what are the things parents do that can  prevent douchebaggary from occurring?  I don’t think letting your kids swim in the plastic pool with all of their clothes on at the end of a long, steamy day will encourage the trait of the douchebag.  I also don’t think letting them throw their plastic spiderman toy off the deck and then run down to retrieve it will either (but I could be wrong about that one). I think that turning said plastic pool over and then sitting on it with your brother trapped underneath is worthy of a harsh word or two, that’s the stuff douchebags are made of.

So, we’ve decided that unless someone is in imminent danger of death, or they are breaking some hard and fast rule we have (no throwing food, pick up your toys when you are done playing, get the clorox from under the. .  oh, ummm. . .) we are going to use love and kindness to get them to do our bidding instead of the usless time outs and general parenting meanness.

We are picking our battles.  It is useless to debate with a three year old.  They are petulant and want to get their way.  They are just discovering the power of ‘no’ and talking back.  It’s growing pains for us and them. It’s up to us to set limits, to provide guidance along with an environment where they can grow and become the amazing human beings I demand know they will be. 

Sure, all of you parents of older kids who have been there and done that might have other ideas on child-rearing, but unless your kid has won a noble prize or saved a puppy dog and baby from a burning building, I don’t want to hear it.  You raised your kids making up your rules as you went along.  Maybe you asked for some help along the way, but hopefully no one told you you were the biggest parenting idiot alive for even thinking you had it right, especially when you didn’t ask for their opinion. I didn’t ask you, in this post, what you thought of my plan, but I’d like you to point out if its seriously flawed in some way if you have reason to believe it truly is.  But if you just want to tell me that I’m doing it wrong just because you think it, spare me.  I’ll give you your binky and lovey, dose you with benadryl and put you to bed with a good bedtime story about caterpillars.  I’m in no mood to fight with more three year old’s.