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And it’s only Monday...

HM86's picture

I have to vent... 

This morning, my husband and I took the smallest step  child (age 4) shopping with us as we both needed new hiking boots for an upcoming trip. The closest stores are about an hour away.

The car ride there: smallest step child demands to listen to certain songs (which my husband gladly plays), throws a fit about not getting to visit his mom (does wonders for my mood), repeatedly asks to turn the music up or down (again, which my husband gladly does), and plays with his water cup (splashing the window multiple times).

At the store: smallest step child constantly grabs things off of shelves and doesn’t listen when he’s asked to stop, insists on touching everything he walks by, throws a fit because he can’t have a $65 kids backpack.

The car ride home: smallest step child is playing nicely with his hat (finally!), then asks for something round to put in his hat (so of course, husband, while driving, must search for something because smallest step child asked for it), husband gives smallest step child a quarter (which he then flings out of his hat and it lands on the floor). Why would we stop there? Husband proceeds to reach and find loose change (while driving) and continues to give it to smallest step child. I make a small comment about how I’m going to end up with change all over the back seat (in MY car). Husband replies with “I can think of a lot of other things that aren’t as easy to pick up in your back seat and I’ll clean them.” OK? Cool? How about you just stop giving the kid change to throw around? Smallest step child eventually falls asleep for 20 minutes and then wakes to throw yet another fit about seeing his mom.

We get home and unload the car, I leave to pick up my 14 year old from school. Currently sitting in the parking lot... looking at all the loose change that was left in my backseat. How do people do this forever? I think I might go crazy if this is my daily life. Please tell me it gets better.


fourbrats's picture

player will be your best friend for trips like this. An hour is a long car ride for a 4 year old. Headphones and a tablet or headphones and a movie will make it seem like seconds. Honestly I was a bit like your husband. I wanted my kids to just be quiet in the car so I gave in a lot and then I bought individual DVD players for a long move and didn't stop using them until the kids were preteens. Quiet kids equals happily driving parent without distractions. 

Other than that he sounds pretty much four. The asshole stage starts at two and ends around six and then starts again at 11 or 12  and ends hopefully just in time for said kid to launch lol. 

ndc's picture

Totally agree with Fourbrats.  My 4 year old SD usually falls right to sleep when we're in the car for any significant amount of time, but if she doesn't I always have her tablet loaded with games and movies, and she will happily play with it for the duration of the car ride.  I'd rather have her watching a screen than annoying the driver.

HM86's picture

We have tried the tablet with games and movies... he somehow manages to make that a nightmare too. Either he only wants a specific movie or he gets frustrated with the games. He’s a very young 4, speech is difficult to understand, gets frustrated easily and has meltdowns. I was a single mom for 12 years... I guess I had high expectations of my daughter because there were no tablets back then! She just had to learn to entertain herself. Maybe that’s the difference. I’m used to a child that would independently play for hours and smallest step child can’t play alone for more than 5 minutes. Add in the fact that he is rarely told “no” and it’s a disaster. All of this is much more tolerable when my husband and I have valuable alone time during the week (which we are severely lacking). I think I just realized why I’m so cranky. 

JanRebecca's picture

I think it's all in how the child is brought up --  SS who is 9 cannot drive five minutes without his phone to entertain him but my BS who is only 5 can go on a four hour trip with no entertainment at all. I hate when kids have to have their tablets/phones every second you drive - LOOK OUT THE WINDOW - talk about what you see. If you teach a child he can never be bored they will never learn to entertain themselves. 

Annoyed_'s picture

Oh man - I feel you ! You wonder why they can’t just sit and look out the window and be curious and maybe even fall asleep. SS will talk for literally an hour straight. We have the play the quiet game the entire way there which is more like a game of constantly reminding SS that we are playing the quiet game. We eventually turn music up loud and SS ends up taking a nap because he realizes he’s not going to get attention from dad who driving a moving vehicle! I don’t engage unless my seat is being kicked over and over. Once we get there then I’m cool with the energy explosion and SS can talk all he wants. Maybe enclosed spaces make me anxious lol. As for tablets? Nope, not unless we’re driving 4 hours somewhere. Learn how to survive in the real world.

HM86's picture

I totally agree! I’m not a fan of tablets (although we’ve tried them). My daughter learned to entertain herself early and smallest step child literally will not even let my husband go to the bathroom without opening the door and wanting to be next to him. But... husband allows this behavior so...