Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Portrait of A 3 Year Old

Let me start with saying her ears apparently no longer work.  But, honestly, it's not that LO's ears don't work, it's that she listens and then declines to comply with the requests or directives which enter her ears.

Words like NO & STOP have minimal effect, even when it is to her benefit to listen.

Simple daily requests for her to do things (such as take off her daytime clothes so she can put on her pajamas) are sometimes reacted to in a manner which implies we asked her to perform a modern song & dance routine which must be completed in its entirety before she can even consider the actual request (once she starts, there's no stopping her without physically restraining her).

She takes the time to smile and laugh at our mounting frustration with her behavior, promises to act better and then turns around and misbehaves all over again.  She screams and thrashes and kicks and behaves like a wild animal, but can turn on a dime and act like a rational person when the benefit is of immediate interest to her. Getting through the noise to the rational being underneath is nearly impossible once it starts.

This child has no fear of time outs, physical punishment, or our being disappointed/sad with her behavior.  And it's never a situation where an object can be removed. It is direct disobedience with our expectations, especially in regards to bedtime*.

Obviously we are failing as parents because we are supposed to be able to read her mind and can't.  I'm sure the stubbornness and wanting to do things her way, even if it means we have to backtrack so she can re-do something, will serve her much better when she's an adult.  Right now though? It's driving DH and I insane. 

On the better hand, there have been several times recently we've come into the house and I've asked her to take off her shoes and put them in the basket & by the time I've asked, she's already done so. She's getting to be a lot of fun to do things with (at least when she's not screaming), she's starting to get the idea of simple board and card games and doesn't expect to win nor react poorly to losing. She genuinely wants to help do things (for the most part), has started to express interest in picking out her own clothes and remembers to pick out a pair of socks if she wants to wear her tennis shoes that day.

We have a pathetic attempt at a garden (1 strawberry pot on the raised wood deck & 3 scrounged up reused pots on the cement pool deck holding tomatoes, a mix of peppers, and 1 seriously anemic cucumber plant) this year.  Her water table is by the 3 pots on the pool deck and when she's playing there, one of the things she does is water the plants using the pitcher from the water table (her other activity is putting her feet in the table while wearing shoes. sigh).  Of course, she has been the main beneficiary of the minimal amount of fruits and veg which have manage to make it to maturity.

Her word usage and sentence structure is pretty incredible - this morning she asked if the "three of us" were going to do something.  She loves to jump over things - toys, cracks in sidewalks, and so on.  If we can catch her before she gets into a fit (whether real or put on) she's usually receptive to reason (example: don't jump from rug to rug on the tile floor because they move and you could fall hard on your bottom and it would hurt).

When she's not screaming, she really is a charmer with those big blue eyes and blond ringlets.  But she's also a smart little cookie who is sometimes too smart for her own good! 

*We did not end up with a child who recognizes mounting tiredness and droops herself to bed cooperatively, but one who fights the tired with all of her being.  I am accepting some blame for the bedtime fights since I have not been as strict about bedtime starting on time as I could be in order to allow LO and DH time together after he arrives home from work, but experience has proven that earlier starts to bedtime usually mean less fighting.  I need to be more strict with myself about getting dinner prep started early enough for her to eat with enough time for play before the bedtime routine needs to start, and if that means that she is on her way to bed before DH gets home, then so be it.  I speak for both of us when I say we'd rather sacrifice some of their time together for an easier bedtime!

1 comment:

  1. (Bloody useless reader, failing to show posts when they are published... Mumble, mumble, mumble)
    So, WHAT A DELIGHTFUL LITTLE DEVIL you've got here, dear! I am green with envy at that hair, do NOT EVER CUT IT! And wow, she sounds so much like George! Only with incredibly gorgeous hair. The princess outfit can be arranged, and I have found George wearing a necklace of mine and sunglasses, but I can't do a thing about the hair (actually, he's got lovely hair when it is long, but we cut it, and now he looks like Kiefer Sutherland in 24).
    I have pretty much the same problems with bedtime routine, but Zi have an excuse, summer, too much light and too hot to go to bed at the usual, former by now 8 pm. Now it is rather 8.30, and I am lucky if G falls asleep at 9-9.30. After tossing and turning and impersonating spiders and rabid monkeys. Drives me batty, mainly because it is cutting into my me time. And he might wake up Stevie. Eh...
    Don't you like how I made all this comment about ME, ME, ME?! :-)
    Seriously though, LO is going to be a whole lot of trouble for many young men in the future, which may or may not be that far. And implicitly, for you as well.