Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘three and a half years old

With K approaching the four month age, I think it’s time we did a status report on how M & K have been doing.

If I had to sum it up with one word, I’d have to say “PRECIOUS.”

From the beginning, K has fixated on M.  I remember asking their pediatrician if it was normal for K to make eye contact with her sister more than me.  Naturally, her pediatrician said it was normal and it was because M was much more animated than I was.

Now, K absolutely adores her older sister.  Every little move that M makes is followed by a sweet smile or giggle by her little sister.  K is amazed by all the things that M can do.  I can see in K’s eyes that she cannot wait to be able to run, jump, and play around like her big sister.  It’s truly amazing to see all that love she has for her M.

In return, M really loves K.  Whenever we come across relatives we haven’t seen, or even strangers, she never fails to introduce those people to her baby “stister.”  On days that M and I go out on our little mommy/daughter days, she will find herself reminded of K constantly.  We were at the grocery store and heard a baby cry, M turns and tells me, “That sounds like my baby sister, K.”

When asked if we should leave the baby with a relative or a friend, M’s reaction is always, “No, she has to come home with us!”

Every morning, when they both wake up, they have to lie down together on a pillow and just hug and cuddle.  M shower’s K with kisses.  K turns towards her big sister with loving eyes and works on her reaching and touching skills by going for M’s face.  I have TONS of pictures of their time together each morning.

Playing is becoming more and more of a real thing between them now.  As K is getting older, the playtime is getting to be more interactive.  M has a “silly walk” that she does that always gets K smiling and laughing.

I love the bond they are building.  I love the relationship they are forming.

I know that as they get older, there will be fights.  I know there will be misunderstandings.  I know there will be drama.  I know there will be tears.  I know there will be downs.

I also know that there will be ups.  There will be heart-to-heart sister talks.  I know there will be things they will tell each other that they might not tell me.  I know there will be hugs.  I know there will be laughter.  I know there will be fun.

I love watching these girls grow together.

Yesterday, I talked about the phase of life M and I are experiencing together.

Today, let’s make a list of things I’ve learned when dealing with life as a mother to a threenager…

Don’t stay mad
I’m the type of person to hold grudges.  I’m type of person that tends to stay mad.  However, M isn’t.  She goes from super defiant to super cuddly in the matter of minutes.  I have to learn to follow her lead.  Why would I stay mad when she’s trying to be a good girl?  It’s outside my comfort zone, but I know that staying mad when she is passed the moment doesn’t do anything but cause stress for both of us.

Walk away
I do this when things get really bad.  I make sure she’s in a safe location, and I step away beyond her line of sight.  I’m always only a few steps away, but when she can’t see me, it’s a pretty big deal.  Two things can happen when I walk away.  One, she cries harder.  Two, she calms down, gets up and looks for me.  Stepping away not only helps her (sometimes), it helps me.  Stepping away for awhile helps me take a breather, maybe silently scream to myself, and regroup.

Hug
In the midst of M’s tantrums, she often goes in for a hug.  Sometimes I know she’s just deflecting.  Other times, I know she really feels bad and sincerely needs a hug.  I always make sure I don’t deny her of her hugs.  If I know she’s deflecting, I make sure to take a hold of her, and before I bring her in, I bring her face to my face, and I try to talk things out with her.  Then once I get my message across, I bring her in for the hug.  Other times, when I know that she really needs the hug, I swallow my anger, and bring her in.  It’s while we are hugging that I start to talk to her about what happened and how to fix it.  Sometimes, hugging her is hard when I’m right in the middle of feeling angry and frustrated.  However, I know that no matter how mad I feel, I’m still her mother and she needs me for comfort, even if I’m the one that seems to be causing her tears.

Break the cycle
Some days, it feels like all I do is reprimand her.  I feels like it’s one thing after another and all we do is go back and forth with each other.  Some days it seems like she’s in tears all day.  It’s days like those that I find ways to break the monotony of frustration by finding ways to praise her.  During moments of calm, I find little ways to show her she is a good girl.  I find little tasks that she can do for me so I can praise her on how well she is listening to me.  I tell her to sing a song to her sister.  I tell her to pick something up for me.  I ask her to help me out with something.  It’s those little things that break the cycle of our fighting and can sometimes lead to a calm rest of the day.  This is something I learned to do recently.  I got tired of the constant tears and I wanted to find a way to start making her feel good about herself after having a rough day.

So far, these are the things I’ve learned with dealing with “M the Threenager.”  I know as the months go by, I’ll learn more things about how to deal.  M and I are both learning.  I just wish it didn’t involve a lot of raised voices and tears!

What have you learned about dealing with your “threenager?”

Dealing with a three and a half year old is hard.

One minute she’s super duper sweet and cuddly.  The next minute she’s refusing to do anything.

“No!” seems to be her favorite response to everything, yet, I’m not allowed to say it.

She dislikes when I raise my voice or talk firmly to her, but doesn’t realize that if she just listened the first time, none of the consequences would happen..

One minute she’s my best friend.  The next minute I’m her worst enemy.

I hate that, on some days, I feel like all I do is reprimand her.  I feel like all I do is make my kid cry.

In the midst of her tears, I keep telling her, “all you have to do is listen…” over and over again.  I feel like a broken record.

Now I know how my mom felt…

I totally know this is a phase.  I’ve taken enough child development classes in college (ok, just one...) to know that this is the age where she’s learning how far she can go before I lose my mind and she gets in trouble.  I know she’s testing her boundaries.  I know that it’s up to me to set those boundaries.

But it’s exhausting.

I’m taking things one day at a time.  Yesterday may have been a bad day, but we always wake up the next morning with a clean slate.

Everyday with a three and a half year old is different.  Good or bad, I fall in love with her more and more everyday.



Yesterday, M turned three and a half years old. That means that every day that passes will now lead her closer to four years old.

I don’t know how to feel about this yet. It’s just all too soon. She can’t be turning four yet!  I just got used to her being three. 

Ok. I have six months left. I need to just calm down. 

Hubby surprised M with a little chocolate cake. I scoured the kitchen for some candles and came across her candle from her third birthday. Luckily, I had a 5 candle from when Hubby turned 35 a few years ago. 

Yes. That is a candy decimal point. Yes I used #candydecimalpoint when I posted the photo on Twitter (Follow me: @mrsquinto2010) 

M was so happy when we sang “Happy Half-Birthday” to her. She’s had to go through so much with her sister being born and suddenly having to share her parents with some little baby. It’s nice to have the attention solely on her for a change. 

Happy half-birthday to my not-so-little M. Time is flying for you and I’m doing my best to catch up. I’m loving every second I’m with you. Keep on staying happy. You light up my life. 

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