Archive for October, 2009

The Terrible Threes

Oy. I have been composing blogs in my head for the last several weeks. I’ve just not made the time to actually write them. I have been pretty busy with my active boys, Holistic Moms Network, some pro bono design work, organizing my house, going on vacations, etc.

But those are all excuses. Onto the meat and potatoes.

Reid has been a dream. He has completely turned back into a happy easy baby. But Daniel has been unraveling. He’s having a hard time figuring out what effect his voice has in his world. Regardless of what I do, he tells me in a whiny or frustrated voice he wanted it another way. He tells me what to do, what not to do, where to sit, where to put things, and he often breaks down in tears if things don’t go his way.

I think the problem is a combination of things. Because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t been able to get down and play with Daniel as much. This is compounded by the fact that he is aware of how I drop what I’m doing in order to respond when Reid needs something–when he wakes, when he needs to pee, when he’s hungry, etc. Even though I comparatively¬† give Daniel more attention and time because Reid sleeps so much, I think he’s jealous that he has to wait for me to be finished with something while Reid gets my immediate attention when he calls.

I also think Daniel is over tired. I really think he ought to still be napping, but he refuses. I am not willing to fight the nap-time battle every day, so I don’t push it. But by 3 or 4, Daniel’s eyes are red-rimmed and his bossiness and frustration levels are on the rise. He will take a “rest”, though, so I still get a little time to myself. His rests consist of him listening to Veggie Tales songs while reading books or playing cars by dim lights in his room–usually with the door closed.

We really ought to get him in bed earlier, but our evening routine already seems pretty tightly scheduled. I start dinner when Dan gets home and can hold Reid. Then we eat and usually begin the bedtime routine shortly thereafter. It’s all the fussing and complaining that drag our evenings out so long. We ought to be able to get it all done and have the children in bed by 8. But even on nights we are able to accomplish this, Daniel usually lays in bed awake for at least an hour or two–periodically calling for one of us, or getting up to pee (he usually does this 4 or 5 times every night before he falls asleep).

Tonight was better. I used a quiet, low, even-toned voice while getting Daniel ready for bed. I ignored his “I don’t want to” and his “but I wanted to…” statements and just proceeded with what I was doing, and things went okay. He still clung to me when I was hugging and kissing him goodnight, but there were no tears (not immediately anyway–he did cry once about 30 minutes later, but that was fairly easily mitigated my Dan sitting in the rocking chair in his room for 5 minutes).

He also asked for milk tonight. I really wanted to say yes. But instead I made a silly face and joked that he didn’t know how to drink my milk–that he only knew how to drink milk from a cup. He asked a lot of why questions, but never got upset. And then he asked me to squirt him…. Bizarre, I know. But I did it. And he cracked up and begged me to do it again–but I couldn’t bring myself to. I’m kind of frustrated with myself for not letting him try it. I know he’s pretty old to be having my milk, but I think it would relieve a lot of the tension for him. I wonder if we could accomplish that same release if I pumped some for him.

The threes so far have been much harder than the twos. The phrase should be the Terrible Threes. The twos were comparatively a breeze.

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