Pre-schoolers are trying. If you have one you'll know this. They're wonderful of course, bright and funny and entertaining but oh lord the whining. And the questions. And the questions in a whiny voice.
Watching the last vestiges of my sanity trickle down the plughole with the bathwater, I have started to praise T wildly for the other sort of trying. Perseverence.
Can you put your socks on please? (whining and looking the other way) I can't do it Can you try please? (sits down on the floor with a huff, unballs socks, places one on top of foot and wriggles until it falls off again) I caaaaaan't dooooo it You haven't even tried, open the sock and put your foot in it! (picks up sock, stretches it between hand, balls it up, thwacks it up and down on the floor a few times)
This could go on ad infinitum, however by changing my language the exchange is truncated.
Can you put your socks on please? (whining and looking the other way) I can't do it Can you try please? (sits down on the floor with a huff, unballs socks, places one on top of foot and wriggles until it falls off again) I caaaaaan't dooooo it Well done darling, you've pulled them apart! Can you do them on a train, can you do them in the rain? Do you remember the Green Eggs and Ham book? Mr Knox tried didn't he. Can you put your socks on in a box, can you put them on a fox? (laughing now) Can you put them here or there? Can you put them anywhere? (the socks go on)
Of course this isn't ideal. In a perfect world, being capable of putting his socks on without recourse to silly rhyme, T would spring into action the moment I asked him to do something. However there's a perfect world and then there's being nearly-three. Two very different things. For now I'm happy to cajole, encourage and sometimes downright bribe him to just have a go. If you have a little try of the risotto you have been pushing around your plate for half an hour you can have a chocolate treat. On a very good day he'll discover the risotto is delicious and eat the whole lot, leaving him too full for chocolate. No, honestly!
There is a downside though. A couple of weeks ago I slung a grumpy T around the zoo on a muggy Saturday afternoon, my husband carrying his sister. From the raised wooden walkway we regarded a field of okapi and, in the distance, a fierce looking rhinocerous.
Mummy, can you throw C to the rhino? No darling. Oh go on Mummy. Just have a little try.