I feel like the question of “Does this only happen at our house?” is one I ponder often. Being a stay at home mom with a four year old and in three days a three year old. Six out of seven days things happen in our house that provide us with every emotion. Most of those days I find myself going from happy to frustrated to holy crap did that just happen at least twenty times. S has been slowly been moving out of the treacherous three’s to what I am going to call frightening fours! K has arrived at the treacherous three’s which has been very hard for me to accept as he has always been such a sweet soul. Both of these changes have brought out madness of all levels for Joe and I. As parents we have the job to direct, guide and nourish all of these emotions and changes we see in our little loves.
So let’s start this with a few weeks ago…This is when the change started with K and funny enough I remember this being the exact time frame when it started with S just over a year ago. With S I remember reading about “Terrible Two’s” and when we went through two’s with her I thought “oh this isn’t so bad” I mean there were days but overall and now in comparison to three’s that phrase is a total joke…at least in our home! It’s like something in our little one’s brain clicks on just before their third birthday arrives. The switch over provides them all the tools to make an adult feel like they have lost control of their home. With both S and K three has brought an attitude, a my way or no way thinking, a do it my self when I feel necessary, all around move out of my way I’m about to be three and you are in my way…except when I want to be nurtured then I throw a complete temper-tantrum until mom or dad gives in or gives up! But when you try to help your strong willed, demanding, growing, independent three year old you get a tantrum then too so it many days feels like a no win situation. You would have thought having gone through this just a year ago I would have done some mental preparation for round two but it is just as hard if not harder with K. I think the fact that K was such a different baby then S I thought it wouldn’t be as extreme. WOW was I wrong!
So getting to it I’m curious if frustration sets in at least once a day for all you parents out there facing the treacherous three’s as well? Bedtime with K has been the hardest part of our days. Just as all of this was happening I thought changing up our nap habits might help. Bedtime was turning in to a challenge. We would go up to bed at 7:15/7:30 read a story and say our good nights. Same as we have always done. Now that I have been reading nightly myself I realize even more so how important this is for our minds to relax. At least it does for me so I encourage it even more with the kids. Anything to help them have a well rested nights sleep I’m all for. Remember if they rest well so do we! But these days K wasn’t seeming ready to sleep I would hear him talking up a storm. At first just re-reading his books which I was ok with then it turned to sounds of sirens, dump trucks and dozers doing work and anything that could be stacked he would be stacking. Almost like he just wasn’t tired. So I started having him rest on the couch with S but started this at 1230pm so if he did fall asleep it was and is usually by 1pm and he’s up by 3pm. Giving him a bigger window of awake time before bed. This has helped but he still even when he only rests and doesn’t sleep fights letting his body go right to sleep. Then he is up and ready between 650am and 715am. Throughout the day he has had to learn about time out as his hands have found their way on S or even me. I have asked “what have I done wrong?”, “why can’t he just be my sweet baby?” There are evenings he will come out of his room multiple times with multiple excuses which leads to Joe and myself getting very frustrated. Frustrated to the point that we have turned off his light which is usually kept on very low and shut and locked his door. The lock on his door has honestly not been used since he has been in this bedroom. This lock was added when this was S’s bedroom and she fought any time in her room especially when we moved her to a big kid bed. I know these days will only last so long but right now the countdown seems to be so far away I could actually cry! On Sunday K will officially be a three year old! I’m hopeful that when he blows out his candle he wishes back our sweet, innocent, loving little boy…I know he’s wishing for diggers, dozers, and tractors. A mom can hope!
On to my little S! Ok so she is not so little as you know she turned four when we visited Disney a few weeks ago. This girl has evolved in to even more of an actress then ever before. I have always said this girl belongs on a show the things she says and does have always been pretty darn funny. K since arriving people have said he is so beautiful. He truly is and I’m not just saying this because I’m his mom:) I have toyed with the idea of introducing them to the world of modeling/acting but Joe believes firmly that by doing this we will take away from them being “kids”. I see it as college money but what do I know! Anyway, I mentioned frightening fours earlier and you are probably thinking so far she doesn’t seem too bad. When I say frightening I mean she says and does things that are beyond her years. Frightening in all things great that this word can stand for! S is the little girl at school that I felt necessary to purchase a handful of coloring books last week as she daily during free play colors which one teacher said for many kids is soothing and shouldn’t be discouraged. Which I never do as she is almost 100% coloring in the lines! She has this as a priority for herself which hey there could be worse goals! Let’s next talk about what this little four year old has been saying lately! I think the situation that ranks top on the list is one from the other day. So K was having a tantrum-imagine that! because I wouldn’t carry him down the stairs. I let him know I would hold his hand when he was ready but he could walk. This might sound crazy to you but let me tell you these two feel being carried down the stairs every time is 100% necessary! Do you know how many times we go up and down the stairs in a day…it gets to be frustrating. Anyway, he continued to be upset when I heard S come out of her room and say “K, come in here I need to talk to you”. I had to hear this so I of course sprinted up the stairs when I heard them go in his room. She starts with “K do you think mommy not carrying you down the stairs is really worth crying about?” “Nod your head!” she says. I think he nodded yes as she told him “NO!” Then she said “Did it make you sad?” then “Hold on I need to talk to mommy” I ran in to the bathroom and her she came. “Mom, I need to talk to you!” “You need to apologize to K!”I replied “What do you think I need to apologize for?” She says “I heard how you were talking to him and it wasn’t nice.” I said “what did I say that wasn’t nice?” She said “You told him you wouldn’t get him, you need to say your sorry.” Now K has joined us in the bathroom for the mediation held by S! She says “Well mom aren’t you going to apologize?” Then I realized I was seriously contemplating the matter and if I really should apologize! WHAT WAS GOING ON HERE! I said “S I’m the mom and I truly appreciate your concern for your brothers feelings mommy does not need to apologize.” She disagreed and went on her marry way! I had to sit for a minute as I thought did this really just happen!? Another instance S took on the leading role was when K gave her a shove while playing in her bedroom and she got hurt…K was sent to his room for a three minute time out. He was having a fit but it was completely an appropriate punishment; I thought. Well I hear S walk to his bedroom door and say “K are you ok?” He says “NO!” She said “Well I really miss you I hate to be apart” She then begins to sing a song about missing him and how much she loves him and doesn’t like when they are not together. The entire time he isn’t saying anything but has stopped crying. Then comes “I need to go talk to mom be right back!” She comes down by me and says “mom K needs you can you go talk to him?” As I was headed up I explained that I needed to talk to K alone. She kept a close eye on the two of us from the bedroom door. Ready at a moments notice to chime in her thoughts on the situation! Sitting with K asking and making sure he understood why he was given time out which he fully did. I’m learning time out is going to be the route to go with K which is and never has been the case with S. Two kids, two totally different people. One mom whose learning the best ways to manage each along the way, day by day!
LIfe with toddlers many days can feel like a battle of power as Joe and I often have the conversation of me being too easy on them or even a push over at times which is why they act out. I on the other hand think I am very stern during the day but by the time he gets home I’m exhausted on pretty much every level. Which is why I turn to him to take on the bad cop role in the evening. I’m sure many professionals would have an opinion of a better way to handle this but I don’t know about you but for me this is the routine we have gotten in to and not to say it’s necessarily working as clearly above we have kinks to work out but I also know that many parents face these same challenges. I know I have asked my mom if my kids are “bad” and her replies was “bad as in any worse than any other two and three year old (time when I asked)?…no” So of course I have taken this response and reminded myself and Joe of it. Again, it still doesn’t always do the trick when you are on your final warning and exhausted at 9pm at night. Just remember if you are at this place or feel like you are approaching this stage with your little ones you are not the only house that it is happening at! This to shall pass!
Now it’s on to preparation of having a welcoming party for K’s treacherous two’s and keep my fingers crossed he makes that wish I mentioned earlier at cake time! Have a wonderful day!