If, in the course of a basic morning, your three-year-old decides that you need to pick out her clothes, even though she’s been handling that every day for months, don’t be surprised if she rejects your first three choices. She’s just being lazy.
If, after you’ve settled on clothes, you tell her to pick out some socks, expect the same behavior. She’ll lie on the living room floor saying “You pick them out” for 20 minutes, only to throw a fit if you don’t pick the ones with fairies. At this point, it’s okay to yell at her. Really.
When she tears them off and throws them across the room, you don’t even have to be gentle when you put them back on and strap her shoes down to keep her socks on.
Then, when you’re walking across the yard, and she refuses because she’s mad, it is again okay to hold her hand to
guide assist drag her to the car, but it works best if you are strong enough to keep her suspended above the ground when she tries to sit down to stop you.
Of course, when you get to the car, she’s going to run back to the front door because she can walk by herself.
Literally throwing her into the car at this point isn’t okay. Tempting, but not okay.
As the man said, I told you that so I could tell you this:
It would seem, now, that it would be a good idea to flip the child latch on the door to keep the contrary little brat from escaping while you circle the car to the driver’s door, or worse, slow down for a stop sign. It is a good idea.
The thing to remember is that, in your anger, when the world has gone red and you are cheering on the biological traits that make it nearly impossible to hurt your children, it is easy to stick the screwdriver in the wrong slot in the door and jam your door latch.
When that happens your door won’t close. Your little monster won’t stop aggravating you, and the child who has chosen to play the role of little angel this morning will start getting crabby about the wait. That doesn’t help.
After you throw the kids in the spare car–the car which doesn’t have air conditioning on the hottest day of the year, so far–and get the brats to daycare, the internet can show you what does help.
If, when you close your car door, it bounces back open because the latch is jammed, no amount of poking at it with a screwdriver will fix it. You’ll bleed for no good reason. Grab the door handle and hold it in the open position. Then, when you poke the latch with a screwdriver, it will pop into the correct position with very little effort.
It’s amazing what a door that closes will do for your morning.