Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Terrible Two's Got Nothing on the Tumultuous Three's!!!!

 
Since the dawn of man, it was written about the terrible two’s.   For centuries, the terrible two’s have been known to bring fear to all parents.  A period of time in a new beings life where they want to show their independence in the most obnoxious and frustrating ways possible.
 
But I believe we have been deceived, us first time parents, as the THREE’S is where the real terribleness lies!!! 
 
Three is when these little talking, thinking, independent, stubborn creatures wreak havoc on their parents mental well-being. 
 
They have caused the most patient of people to lose their cool.  The youngest of parents to have grey hair.  The most soft spoken to scream at the top of their lungs.  The most confident of people to question EVERYTHING.  The most even-tempered person to lock themselves in the bathroom to cry.
 
I am fairly certain they could bring down empires just with their incessant whining.  (OH THE WHINING.  THE WHINING.  It is the bane of my existence.  If only that ONE thing could stop.  Oh it would be such sweet relief…)
 
 
When my son turned three in September I could already see the change.  Yes, there were struggles during two.  Looking back, those struggles were controllable.  READ: I still had control!!!
 
But I was deceived, as I thought when he turned three things would “get easier”.
 
Oh, I laugh at my ignorance….HA. HA. HA.
 
I believe since this lie has been told through many a generation, no one wants to tell a first time parent the awful truth regarding the three’s.
 
So here it is….the three’s are an emotional rollercoaster of happiness, anger, pride, frustration, laughter, tears, stubbornness, independence and grasping to have control.
 
And that is for BOTH parents AND toddlers.
 
See, the thing I am quickly realizing is that my highly independent and stubborn child is testing the waters.  He can speak like an adult but rationalizes more like a primate…focused on certain things.  So when this little creature wants, to open the door as we come out of the pizza place, and the women coming in opens it instead….well then, World War 3 has been started.  His sole focus is now on opening that door and why he didn’t get to open that door.  No other thought is in his mind.  Nothing else matters.  That freak’n door is HIS WORLD and it was taken away from him be the evil lady just trying to get her pizza and help a mother with her hands full.  How dare.  How very dare....
 
And when something like this happens, it is hard to bring them back to reality.
 
You first try to explain: “Oh Henry, the lady opened the door, it was her turn.”
 
I wanted to open the door!
 
Then a proposition: “How about you open it next time!”
 
I want to open the door today!
 
Perhaps you try the distraction: “Hey what is in my purse?  Could you hold this XYZ for me as we go to the car?” (Though be careful with this one, do not give them anything that they can throw across the parking lot and damage.)
 
NO! I want to open the door!
 
I typically skip that and go with the bribe: “Hey, do you want to watch TV with mommy when we get home?”
 
NO! I WANT TO OPEN THE DOOR MYSELF!
 
By this time far too much time has been spent trying to prevent the inevitable meltdown that is moments away.  However in one last effort as to avoid more eyes on you and judgment from the people coming out of the Party Mart and Chinese place you take it down a couple octaves with the firm voice and try the Warning: “Henry, this is your warning.  If you do not get in the car there will be no XYZ for the rest of the night!”
 
NO! I WANT TO OPEN THE DOOR MYSELF AND DON’T TAKE AWAY XYZ!!!
 
Now we are to Demand: “Henry. GET. IN. THE. CAR. NOW.” As I grab his arm and move him across the parking lot to our car about 5 feet away.
 
(Ok, let’s be honest.  Sometimes I go straight from explanation to Demand)
 
Then, he crumbles. 
 
He losses it.
 
Falls to the ground like his bones were instantaneously removed from his body, all in the MIDDLE of the parking lot where cars are coming.
 
OH NO YOU DIDN’T CHILD!!!!   
 
With purse and pizza in one hand, I reach under and pick him up the best I can.  This 40lb beast that now has managed to summon gravity to help him in his cause and now weighs approximately 246lbs; requires me to practically drag my him to the van.
 
(Probably the only time I have liked the fact we have automatic side doors on the van.)
 
Then you put him in the car and now comes the fun part.  Putting a 40lb, unruly, highly emotional, extremely bendable, child in a carseat.
 
7 minutes later, one scarf removed (for what I only deem as my own safety), lots of sweat, a slap to my face and my yelling about how dangerous it was to sit in the parking lot with cars and how the behavior is unacceptable which then turns into total silence from me……he is in his carseat.
 
The silence continues from my end, as Henry is doing more than enough screaming for the both of us, I hear the entire way home:
 
“I WANT TO WATCH TV.  YOU CAN’T TAKE AWAY TV.  I WANT TO WATCH TV!!!!!!!”
 
The arguments continued for another 25 minutes and featured goodies like:
 
Me: “Get in the house or I am closing the garage door whether you are inside or not”
H: “No. I don’t want to walk.”
 
Me: “Wash your hands for dinner.”
H: “I don’t want to wash my hands.”
Me: “Do you want help?”
H: “NO, I can do it myself!!!”
 
Me: “Eat your dinner.”
H: “I don’t like pizza!!!!”  (That is just a bold face lie right there.)
 
 
See, when he was two (at least the early two’s) he couldn’t plan this all out.  He was frustrated but I could distract him with a toy or food he wanted.  I could also pick him up a lot easier.  Yes, he was still irrational but now he is irrational and thinking and that, my friends, is a bad combination.
 
Now, don’t get me wrong….three is not all bad.  I mean, when it is a good moment it is a really AMAZING moment.  They are cute.  And HILARIOUS.  And smart.  Henry has me laughing….like real laughing where my stomach hurts.  And you can carry a conversation on with him.  And he can be SO AWESOME much of the time. 
 
But it is a roller coaster of emotion and one minute he has you cracking up and the next he says “DON’T LAUGH LIKE THAT, IT WASN’T THAT FUNNY!”
 
A constant testing of boundaries.  "I know I am not suppose to say stupid so I won't say stupid because stupid is bad to say and stupid is an adult word."
 
A hint of defiance.  Henry, pick up that toy.  "No." with a smirk.
 
Basically, if someone our aged acted like three year olds they would be considered bi-polar and on meds.  Alas, it is just considered normal.
 
But I do get it.  They are also trying to find their way. Their place.  Learn boundaries.
 
I mean, Independence (aka I DO IT MYSELF) when done right is wonderful!
 
Like when Henry goes through his entire bedtime routine by himself!!  Gets his toothpaste on his brush, brushes his teeth, washes his face & hands, gets his pull-up and PJ’s on, put his chapstick on, turnes on his humidifier, and gets into bed!!
 
But Henry asserting independence (aka I DO IT MYSELF) can also be frustrating and a struggle. 
Like when it takes 10 minutes to leave because your child wants to zip their coat and you can not come within 3 feet of them but then screams and throws their coat on the floor because it isn't working right.  And now doesn't want to leave for school even though you are already late.
 
Or like when I am upstairs getting ready for work.  I hear “Mom, I pooped!”  Come rushing downstairs and he is sitting on the couch. 
 
Henry, I thought you said you pooped.
 
I did, I wiped my butt all by myself! I don't want you to help me.
 
At that moment I knew.  I knew there was poop on the couch because a three year old wiping his butt is nothing more than grabbing about 20 sheets of TP, tapping his butt and flushing it down the toilet.
 
....
 
so, I get it.  I get him and what he is going through.  And I know as a parent I need to be there for him, guide him, help him establish positive outlets for his emotions and find ways to control his frustrations all while letting him explore his independence.   But as a human being I am not always going to be at my best.  And if I loose my cool or have to lock myself in the bathroom every so often and cry, then so be it. 
 
It is a phase and it will pass in time and a new phase will come.  Thank goodness this kid is SO DAMN ADORABLE.  And let’s be honest, the “I Love You’s” at the end of the day make it all go away…well those and a big glass of wine while watching TV in peace.
 
 
 
*This long post was created for my records.  So I can look back in a year when my child is 4 and it is so much easier. Ha. Ha. Ha.
 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Things I have Realized Today.

1. Sometimes you need to cry in your minivan on your way to work because it was a rough morning and you feel bad for screaming at your kid because they refused to get ready.

2. I need to find a way to communicate with a stubborn, highly independent three year old who only listens to half of what I say.  Any advice is appreciated.

3. While I thoroughly enjoy pumpkin flavored pastries, I am not a fan of pumpkin flavored coffee….especially when the office is out of cream and sugar. (Send a vanilla latte now!!!)

4. I drink too much coffee.  How do I know? Well because I am rather impatiently waiting for the girl to return from the store with creamer. Need. Coffee. NOW.  (See, drink too much coffee.)

5. I need some time away from work.  Annoyed.

6. I am burnt out.  This isn’t necessarily a new realization, but I don’t admit it often.

7. I just found some more long black hairs on my neck and chin.  I think I need to start waxing. OH. MY. GOSH. I. AM. OLD.  Not fair. Grrrrrr.

8. I am getting my first massage in 3 years this Friday!!!  But that does mean I am going to have to shave.  The ying and yang of life….


Have a good day!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three…..and Three Weeks!


Henry turned three earlier this month and I really wanted to post a blog before September runs out!!  Yep, cutting it a little close.


You know, year two was rough for many reasons.  About two weeks before his second birthday, Henry had (what we now know) was his first seizure.  He would have 10 more between September and December.  He had 5 ER trips.  Tons of Doctors appointments.  Henry was sick basically from his second birthday through May of this year every few weeks.  He had croup 4 times, among just a constant cold.  His temperature regularly hit 103-104 degrees during these illnesses.  Oh, and he was diagnosedwith epilepsy.  Sigh.






Not to mention Terry and I had an unusual amount of sickness which led to 6 urgent care appointments between the two of us and numerous doctor visits.

For this, and many other reasons it was a rough year and I am excited for three to be here.  Through it all we stuck together as a family and got to see this little boy shine and grow and fill our lives with more love than we knew was possible!

Henry - July 2014

I can’t even believe how much he has changed.  This personality he has.  This little three year old seems so much older than most three year olds.  I believe he is an old soul :-) 

Three started well and I am hoping it continues. (he is now 9 months seizure free)

Here is Henry today….our THREE year old!!!

Henry is:

- Kind.  He shows a concern for others (and his stuffed animals or Godzilla) that is so sweet.



- Polite. He is excellent at saying please and thank you.

- Silly.  Oh my gosh, he has my slapstick, goofy sense of humor.  I LOVE IT.  He cracks me up all the time.  From pretending to walk into walls (and really walking into walls) to Saying “Hi everyone, my name is Henry Donald and I am a silly boy” in a funny voice….he cracks me up!



- Clumsy. See above.

- Loving.  He always gives hugs and kisses.  Smooches are big in our house.  And he loves to cuddle with me as much as I love to cuddle with him.





- Independent.  He wants to do everything on his own.  There are pros and cons to this with a toddler, but I love the independence he has.


- Stubborn. T & I are stubborn people.  This didn’t surprise any of us that Henry would be too.  It is a battle of wills and the thing is, T & I have had more practice at being stubborn…good luck my son.

- Potty trained. Except for night time, he is potty trained which is awesome!!  Well except when you are out in public and he has to go NOW and you are running to the bathroom.  Always know where the restrooms are.

- Short tempered. This is from me.  Oops. We are both working on this.


- Expressive. Or some may say dramatic like his mother. Whatever!



- Style. He has his own style and it is fantastic.





- Imaginative.  I LOVE how imaginative he is.  He will make up stories all the time.  It is so fun to watch and see where his imagination takes him! (Thanks Daniel Tiger.)


- Curious & Adventurous. What three year old boy isn’t curious?!  They pretty much go hand in hand.  He is his father’s son.





- Well spoken.  From going to a speech therapist once at 18 months to now saying words like intuition, counting to 27 and speaking non-stop throughout a day….oh what a difference a year and a half has made!  Seriously, the other day Henry said he wanted to be a bug scientist.  Terry said, that is an entomologist.  Henry repeated it nearly perfect (for a kid).  He repeats everything, trying all the big words.  We may have a game of seeing which big words we can get him to say with the most accuracy!

- Cooking.  He loves to cook.  I love that he loves to cook with me.  It is this special bonding thing we have that gives us both patience and memories….and good food after, of course.





- A Friend.  This past year he has really taken to friends.  He loves his friends or “my kids” as he calls them.  He is always asking to play with his kids.  As an only child, I love seeing these friendships he is forming at an early age.


- All About Family.  He loves family and is always asking for them.  Oh how he adores Poppi and JoJo and Aunt K and Josh.  This makes my heart so happy seeing how they all interact.


- A Dancer.  The. Boy. Gots. Moves!!! HERE. HERE.

- A Cleaner.  He actually loves to clean!  Well adult cleaning, but still…the boy has chores.


- Technology. He is ALL about technology and actually really good at using it. 


- Laugh.  His laugh.  Oh his laugh.  I have no words, I just love it so much.  Thank goodness he loves to laugh as much as I love to hear him laugh.



- "Reads"  I am not a reader and I wish I was, but this kid LOVES to read.  Every night it is 3-4 books and we have to ask him to stop reading, or he will just keep going.



- Makes our hearts full.  



And he is so very much more.....


















Here is to THREE!!!!



Henry STATS: 3 year check up.  39.5 lbs 40.5" tall.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

8 Years.


Today Yesterday* marks our 8th year wedding anniversary.

Eight.

I am glad to be in year eight, year seven was rough.  Really rough.  But after 8 years of marriage and 14 years together, you are bound to have “off” years and some rough times.  It is all about how you work through those rough times together that builds more strength and love in a relationship....so I am figuring out.

Marriage is a funny thing.  You meet someone and you decide to spend the rest of your life with that person.  ONE PERSON! You have faith in your relationship and that this person will be the right one for you, even through all the ups and downs.  You are taking a leap of faith that they will catch you when you fall and lift you up when you need support.  That they will know when to say something and when only a hug is needed.  And that a “perfect” relationship doesn't exist, but that giving yourself to someone 100% does.

I never doubted my choice, but I know now, more than ever, our relationship and love for one another has proven to be very strong and is continuing to grow.  That alone, gives me comfort that things will be OK….we will be OK. I know I am also learning.  Learning what it takes to make a marriage work.  Learning about myself as a wife and a mother.  Learning how strong I really am and how much stronger we are together.  Learning I cannot control everything…..oh how I cannot control things. Learning we are a team.  (No Jenn, you do NOT have to do it all alone.)  Learning how to compromise.  Learning how to not take the other for granted.  Learning that even though we are comfortable with each other, we can’t get too comfortable that our relationship is affected.

These are all things the past few years that seem to have come to light far more than before.  Yes, much of it is because having a child changes the dynamic of a relationship.  Some of it is because we see each other so much less now because our schedules are opposite.  And some of it has been because of the stresses we are going through.  But we are still working on us, our marriage and this life we have and are creating together.  Not always agreeing, but always supporting.



Terry,

I know things haven’t always been easy and perhaps we are not always at our best when the stresses of life take over.  But one thing that is for certain, that has never come into question, and that has only gotten stronger over our 14 years together, is my love for you.  And I know the same is true in return.  Through all our ups and downs I can count on you to be there for me, for our family.  I am thankful EVERY day that you are the person by my side as we go together on this journey.  No matter what life throws at us, I know that we are definitely stronger together and we will never let each other go.  I love you.   Happy 8th Anniversary!  



*Note: This was going to post yesterday…I guess I haven’t blogged much lately as I forgot to hit publish!  In the words of my son “Silly Jennie”.