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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Threes (a month in the trenches)

So, the Crazies have been three for about a month.

It's not pretty.

There are some high points where they're playing independently, getting along, making up their own stories using pictures from books, painting, helping, talking, predicting, counting, alphabetting, and generally being decent human beings.

And then there's the other 98% of the time.

Let me tell you, it is wearing on me big time.

Someone told me her worst times were between 2.5 and 3.5.

Someone else told me that the twos are for exploring the boundaries while the threes are for pushing every.single.one.of.them.

We've got your standard-issue attitude (consisting of hand waving, hysterical crying, throwing their bodies on the ground, not standing in time-out, talking back, saying things like, "O-kaaaaayyyyyyy!!!" and other behaviors that I've already blocked out).

We've also got your increase in physical contact (hitting, shoving, kicking, grabbing hair, and evading Mommy's clutches whenever possible).

There has been the beginning of the ever-popular getting-up-at-the-ass-crack-of-dawn-for-no-apparent-reason.  Not a big fan of that.

Oh, let's not forget tantrum-ing so loud that I can't get a word in edgewise.  How am I supposed to fix a problem if they can't even hear me?  And pouting?  How did they learn that???

OMG...the whining...enough said.

All of these behaviors have led me to be who I don't want to be:  Mean Mommy.

I yell.
I point.
I argue.
I stick my finger in their face.
I pout.
I walk out of the room.

That's not who I want to be.

I need to remain consistent though.  I cannot give into every single whim or we'll be in trouble.

Hailey's latest thing has been screaming at naptime for one of her princess dolls.  We have a longstanding rule that there are only soft toys in bed.  A princess doll is not soft.  It stays outside the crib.  Hailey screamed for an hour yesterday until I finally brought her downstairs.  Matt slept (thank God...he's actually been the better of the two with this threes behavior).  The day before that, she was being so unreasonable that I had her sleep in the guest bed (and let me tell you...that isn't a privilege...it's a mess in there and she wasn't allowed to bring any of her pals...the injustice!).

Then, when I picked her up from Kids' Zone yesterday, the ladies told me something.  They told me that Hailey was playing with the dolls and was spanking it.  Then they told me that she was talking really mean in the doll's face.  My heart broke...is this what I'd been doing?  

I've always said you can tell a lot about a parent from how her children treat their dolls.  Hailey has always been so loving and careful.  This is just not what I wanted to hear...because it really made me look in the mirror.

You guys know me...I don't complain a lot about this parenting thing.   I actually quite like it most of the time.  I can always find the humor in situations and really try to enjoy this time I have with my kids.  I feel that it is a privilege to see how they grow and become little people.  It really is amazing.  This is just hard though...seriously.

Sorry for the vent...I'm feeling a tad discouraged though.  Given the fact that Matt woke up at 6:03 AM saying that he had to poop (which is actually a good thing) and didn't go back to sleep, I'm feeling very thankful that it's a ballet/swim day.  I think I'll need a break by 9:30.