I recently hit a point with my three and a half year old where I felt like it was either him or me. Since I knew my husband was likely going to pick me, I started to pack his bags and investigate a safe island I could purchase where local monkeys could raise him. I was cool with having him back when he turned 18, so I just needed temporary accommodations.
Because, you guys, three year olds are HARD. I don’t need to write a blog post about the insane things a three year old does, because I know that you already know. You know that if you accidentally open a bag containing a snack just a millimeter too much, the world will end. You also know that if you say hi to them with the incorrect intonation, tears are almost immediate. Did you also know, though, that if a three year old’s younger brother touches his favorite truck, he will never be able to recover from the psychological damage that will cause? I didn’t know that either. Until yesterday.
After what has seemed like months of this bizarre and slightly schizophrenic behavior, I knew I needed to do something to cope with it better. Since I know he will eventually outgrow this insanity (right? RIGHT???), I decided I needed to change my approach. After doing some reading and talking to some friends, I decided I would stop yelling.
Stop yelling, you say? Well, that just seems crazy? How else am I going to get my three year old to do anything I want? Fear not, I thought the same thing. But I am here to report, it is actually working. I haven’t raised my voice in about two weeks. (Two weeks, three days and four hours to be exact. What? It is hard to stop yelling.) In that time I have noticed two things. One – I am measurably calmer. I don’t find myself getting worked up and furious when my three year old refuses to go to the bathroom even though I can tell his teeth are floating. I am able to remove myself from the situation and actually have a conversation with my son to find out what is going on with him. Which leads to number two – my son is actually listening to me more. Yup, you read that right. He is also hitting less and seems generally happier. Is it perfect? No. He certainly still acts out. But, I don’t get nearly as upset about it. In fact, I was able to cancel that island purchase. Looks like everyone gets to stay.
I am a huge fan of toys and books that grow with my littles. My husband scored a home run when he bought my daughter the World Atlas: A Voyage of Discovery for Young Explorers. This book will definitely be in the rotation of birthday gifts for children we know ages three to ten in the coming years. In the atlas, each continent has its own giant pull-out map with tons of information and pictures featuring local culture, indigenous animals, and architecture. I have caught my daughter on more than one occasion sitting with the book, surrounded by her dolls, asking them where they should travel today. What a great way to inspire wanderlust from a young age!
Babies get a bum rap. Never sleeping through the night. Crying all the time. Causing general mayhem. But now that I have a preschooler and a baby, there are lots of reasons why I think babies are awesome.
1. I can give my baby any color bowl or plate that I want. That baby never says “BUT I NEED THE BLUE BOWL!”
2. My baby goes to the bathroom without arguing with me. Sure it is in his diaper, but we don’t have to have an hour long negotiation about it.
3. Toys for babies are cheap. Give my little guy a whisk, a bowl and some measuring spoons and he will play for hours.
4. The baby does not care if I walk in front of him.
5. Babies will wear whatever you choose. If the shirt with Dusty Crophopper is dirty, life does goes on and he still gets dressed.
6. If someone (ahem, the preschooler) comes over and takes a toy out of the baby’s hands, he just gets another one. No drama.
7. The baby has never thrown a fit because I sneezed too loudly.
8. The baby will eat whatever I put on his tray. Happily.
9. The baby thinks taking a bath and going to bed is awesome.
10. The baby cannot say no.
I know, I’m one of those boring, lame moms who tries to limit my daughter’s sugar intake. I have long since realized I am fighting a losing battle because I can’t always control what my daughter eats, whether it be cake at birthday parties or candy at school celebrations. I have made it my mission, though, to avoid stuffing her Easter basket with sweets. If you are looking for some fun Easter ideas that don’t involve candy, here’s what we are doing this year:
- Stickers! We love Easter egg hunts. Rather than put candy in the little plastic eggs, we stuff each egg with great stickers. Check out the dollar section in Target for a sticker pack which can be cut up and put in the eggs.
- Speaking of the Target dollar section, I found some great, inexpensive things for my daughter’s Easter basket, from a Frozen tiara for her dress-up box to Rapunzel socks.
- Play-Doh, new coloring books, and other craft materials always make my daughter happy and I know they will get good use.
- Books. If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I find any excuse to build our library.
- I know some people may think I go overboard with my Easter baskets, but I’d rather get my children things they will actually use. This year I included a few bigger gifts, including a new clock for her room, Frozen bedsheets, some new spring outfits, and a Princess Anna dress for her dress-up box. These are all things she needed (well, except for the Anna dress!) that I knew she’d get excited about, so I figured why not stuff her Easter basket with them?
Your Turn: What is in your children’s Easter basket?
Our favorite part of St. Patty’s Day is having a guilt-free beer (or two) this evening. Cheers to being Irish for the day!
Image courtesy of Rattikankeawpun at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.