One of my favorite lines from a movie was in As Good As It Gets. Melvin (Jack Nicholson) tells Simon's housekeeper when she comes to his door to "sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here." Sort of loses it's punch when taken out of context but I am sure you get my point.
So...Yesterday, the boys and I had to be somewhere in a hurry. I handed Nick his shoes and said "hurry and put these on while I get Grey dressed and brush my teeth".
I go to help Grey get dressed because I know if I don't, he will toss what I picked out aside and wear something like a turtleneck sweater with swim trunks. Of course, he does not like what I picked out and does not want my help "I can do it myself" (5 of my least favorite words). So I offer him a choice of two different outfits that I picked out and yell over my shoulder into the hallway "Nick, get those shoes on" cause I know my boy and know he has not moved an inch. After haggling with Greyson for 5 minutes over what is and is not appropriate to wear in public, I leave him to get dressed. Go into the hallway, see two shoes, no kid in them. Nick is in his closet playing with a toy. Tell Nick to get his shoes on. Hear Grey screaming in frustration. Go back to his room to find him struggling with his shirt. Start to help. Get a "I can do it myself" right before he yells in frustration "my noggin is too big for this shirt". Which is sadly true, and why so many of our play shirts have stretched out necks. However this particular shirt had another button that I could unbutton, so I did and he got the shirt over the big "noggin". After that success I grabbed some shoes and spent the next few minutes arguing with him about wearing the shoes I had picked out. Finally, I convinced him that these shoes were fine and told him to go into the den so I could put them on him. Passed Nicholas in the hallway sans shoes and reminded him that he needed to get his shoes on in the nicest possible voice. Ok, in a not so nice voice.
I get to the den, no Greyson. Yell for Greyson, who is in my room trying to put on another pair of shoes. It was kind of funny because these shoes had straps and in his hurry, he had pulled the straps out of the holes and he was hurrying to get them back in and the shoes on before I got to him. I am assuming he thought that once they were on, I would not make him take them off. which at this point was probably true but moot, because he could not get the strap back in the hole. So I put the original shoes on him, while all the while he said "I can do it myself". He probably could but I no longer trusted him to get those particular shoes on his feet.
Back to the hallway, Nick was working on one shoe, so I just said "more RPM's Nick" and went to brush my teeth. Now keep in mind, these are not difficult shoes to put on. The are Keens that you slip your foot into and tighten with a toggle. He's been wearing them all his life and putting them on all by himself for 3 years.
Teeth brushed, I went in search of Greyson passing Nick with still only one shoe on. I said "Nick, I am leaving here in 3 minutes, if you don't have both your shoes on you will go barefoot or with one shoe, the choice is yours". Of course he freaked and finally put on his other shoe in less than 4 seconds. Found Greyson in his bathroom brushing his teeth. After I cleaned toothpaste off of his chin, shirt, arm and the counter I said "lets go". Of course it took us another 5 minutes to get out the door with everything we needed and the alarm set.
I told the boys to hurry and get in their car seats and I opened the door for them. I went around to the other side, started the car and rolled down my window. Looked in the back and said "Nick, strap your self in please". I then told Greyson to sit down so I could strap him in. I got the standard response of "I can do it myself" followed by 3 minutes of fiddling with straps and one frustrated scream (from him not me, although only by the grace of God). To his credit, he almost did it. I told Nicholas once again to strap himself in. Then I finished up for Greyson. I cleaned out the shredded paper on the floor board under his seat and tossed it in the trashcan. Tapped on the window and told Nick once more to strap himself in. Then I walked to the end of the drive and got the mail. Got in my seat in the car, looked in my mirror and said "Nick, for the last time, strap yourself in or I will come back there and do it for you". He yelped like he was surprised and put his straps in place in less than 20 seconds.
And then...I kid you not...Grey says "I need to pee pee". Ugh. I got him out of the car and just let him go right there at the side of the house. I just did not care at this point. We then repeated the whole "I can do it myself" process of getting into the car seat again.
And you wonder why...