Monday, May 10, 2010

Three: the new two.

Have you heard this before? "Three is the new two." I'm referring to toddlers and age, of course, and I am here to confirm that it is true. The twos really were not so terrible for us. The twos were somewhat pleasant. Life seemed to be getting a bit {gasp} easier. We are now one month into age three and all hay may (my non bad word for Hell) has broken loose.

But before I dive into our growing pains, I want to post some new, wonderful, exciting things that are going on with the girls because what really matters is how well they are doing not how they are turning my hair gray. I just hope that we all survive this rough patch.

Good Stuff

The girls are doing quite well with letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. They are very inquisitive and always asking questions, some of which are a bit difficult to answer. Their imagination is out of control. They were playing some made up game called 'babysitter' with each other this weekend. At one point, I had Allie and Em playing upstairs while I continued to work on The Great Closet Turnover of 2010. Em came running in Allie's room and said, "Come look at my tree house, Mommy." Before I could say anything, I heard Allie respond with, "Not quite right now, honey." What? They were actually involved in some type of imaginary play where Allie was the mommy.

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Em is a puzzle expert now. My brother's family had given the girls some nine piece puzzles for their birthday last month. At first, the girls showed no interest at all. I was a bit concerned. My sister-in-law, who is also a teacher, suggested outlining the shapes of the puzzle pieces on the backboard to assist them in putting the puzzles together. I actually had never thought of doing so. The girls still weren't getting it. As of two weeks ago, I wrote off puzzle solving, thinking that it most likely wouldn't be one of their strong skills.

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Well wouldn't you know that Emily played with those puzzles all weekend. She can put them together by herself now. Allie can solve them as well. The only thing I saw Anna do was mess up one that Em was working on so I am not quite sure of her exact ability at this point but they seem to get it! I was impressed with how quickly they are picking up new things.

Growing Pains


Allie is suffering from major independence issues. She wants to do everything herself, which would/should be fine, but there are some things that she can't do or she needs assistance with and she doesn't want it to be that way. I have had to place the underwear in an unreachable location to keep her from changing which pair she is wearing. I'm not running a laundromat here.
She has been giving Grammy and sometimes Rich a very hard time. We think it may be for the attention. She doesn't really act this way with me though, which is a bit interesting. For example, one of her meltdowns usually ensues when she is handed toilet paper or told that she needs to stop unrolling it because she is taking too much. She has never done with me. Ever.

This is a common scene in our house these days.

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Grammy called me at work one day last week and asked if I had time to speak with Allie regarding the toilet paper situation. Apparently, Allie had flipped out when Grammy limited the amount of toilet paper she could grab and would not put any clothes back on (including her underwear) and was crying. If you are lucky enough to sit near me in the office, this is the conversation you would have heard: Allie, honey, the stores ran out of toilet paper. Okay? So we really need to use just a little bit so we don't run out. Can you do that for Mommy? Next time we go to the store, we will see if they have anymore. Okay?

She wouldn't say anything but she was making her little kitten noises so I knew that she was still on the other end listening to me. When Grammy returned to the phone, I asked her what Allie was doing. "Putting her underwear back on and giving me a dirty look."

And then there is the clothing situation. Now that she can undress herself, Allie is usually in some form of undress while in the house. She wants to wear purple all the time but unfortunately, we don't have that many purple clothing items.

Last weekend, this is what she considered to be an outfit.

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Which is really cute but when you need to leave the house, this doesn't quite cut it.

Yesterday morning, she stripped off her pajama bottoms and carried a princess dress up outfit over to me saying that she wanted to be a princess. I helped her into the princess outfit and named her Princess Moonie. Moonie is one of her nicknames. (As a baby, she had a round moon face.) She almost immediately pulled the skirt off and when I asked if she still wanted to be a princess, she responded with, "I want to be Princess Nak.ed."

Okay, so reading this back, Allie doesn't sound all that difficult but when she is having a meltdown, she needs one on one attention. I have been trying to be extremely patient with her and work through the situation so that she feels she is making decisions and helping me out. All of this is difficult to do with two other three year olds who need attention as well.

More tomorrow about Anna and Em. Right now, there is a piece of ice cream cake with my name on it and a bed calling my name. And I'm sure a toddler waiting to join me in a few hours.


Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

Three has been harder for us than two was, mostly for the emotional/independence drama. So much drama! Not sure if girls are harder for that or not, but maybe??? I have this theory that at least for some kids, two is harder physically (or at least for parents, ha ha), three more challenging on the emotional side.

My twins (also girls) are just hitting two now and they are way more physically challenging, and WAY more defiant than my singleton was. But easygoing in other ways, so less drama so far.

There are some really fun parts that three brings, too, though -- ( for us TONS of imaginative growth, language and stories, drawing & art, a greater sense of humor) that are super fun as well. Its an amazing time, and also exasperating!

Julia said...

Maybe you are lucky that they are hitting that stage only girls are 18mo and we struggle to get them dressed every night. They want to do everything by themselves, including (and mainly) putting their diapers on. But it begins with the towels, the combing, the tooth brushing, the socks, and on and on. We need a thousand tricks and distractions to avoid meltdowns or having to force them. All in all, it is fun and takes only slightly longer after we learn how to distract them (have them diaper a stuffed animal while we diaper them, put the sweaters while they try the socks and vice-versa, etc.). But it can be very frustrating because they cannot do most of those things no matter how hard (or how long) they try, given their young age.


omg...i think it was like that for my oldest too...t

this too shall pass though and when you are on the otherside of it it really won't seem so bad.

good luck

Heather said...

Ahh... three... I have to say it has been much more challenging than two. My mother says four is worse. Gee... I can't wait... :-)