In the always-growing list of things that surprise me about parenting, there are two things I wouldn't have guessed would be quite so annoying.
1. "Why?" I admit it--pre-kids, I thought, "What could be so annoying about a three-year-old asking "Why?" all the time? They're exploring their world! It's good to question!"
Hahahahaha. Forgive me while I laugh at my old self.
A real "Why" is perfectly fine. It's when it's used as sort of a default, "I don't want to" response to every request, like "Please hold my hand when we cross this busy parking lot" or "Please, don't put your hand into the molten lava" or "Please, keep the large stick out of your sister's eyes." (okay, examples two and three never happened). Or, when you've explained something five times, giving a reason--the same reason--five different ways, and there is still a why at the end. Then you feel like grabbing the large stick and poking it into your own eyes.
2. Pretend play involving small objects. Or paper. Or scissors. Or fabric. Or bags. Or pretty much any pretend play.
This is something I'm trying to get over as sort of a motherhood's spiritual practice. Because in theory, I want all this pretend play to happen. So:
Ommmm. Do not mind the mess and clutter and scrambling of items that were organized into their own separate containers and in relative order. It is Okay if the buttons are mixed with the coins and the small bits of thread and the shredded paper! It's Imagination at Work!
No we do not struggle with the beginning symptoms of OCD. Ahem.
Ommmm. Happily follow instructions when playing Fairy Godmother/Grocery Checkout Person/Dentist/Patient/Cinderella/Evil Stepsister, participating in the evolving "plot" without actually trying to assert any ideas that do not conform to the preschooler's vision of how the pretend play should unfold.
Ommmm. Happily take the folded/taped/stapled/shredded/cut pieces of ribbon/paper/masking tape/greeting cards and eat/scan/open/close the pizza/present/stethoscope as directed.
Ommmm. Ignore the growing pile of tiny items: fabric scraps, paper, cardboard, ribbon, tape, buttons, coins that appear on the carpet and under tables not five minutes after the carpet is vacuumed. Blocks are easy to pick up. Miniscule paper and fabric scraps diligently worked over with scissors? Not so much.
But, see, I try not to buy too many toys so that what we have, be it broom stick or paperclips can be a horse or a sword or doughnuts or pennies or whatever. So that Lucy makes her magic.
If only the magic were just a little bit tidier. And did not require endless repetition of the princess/doctor/grocery store/cooking script.
Note to self: patience with the above secret annoyances would be slightly left if my energy and awakeness were not entirely fueled by caffeine and willpower. Remind me again when I get to start sleeping somewhat regular hours again?
Actually, don't. Because it's gonna probably be awhile.