Life with a 'Three'nager
Posted on 08 July 2016
It all starts somewhere between the hours of 5:30 to 6:30. And on those really crazy nights it could start around 3 AM! Sometimes it's a little voice that you hear, “mommy-mommy, daddy-daddy,” that wakes you. Sometimes it's that feeling that someone is staring at you, and as you roll over you realize it's not a feeling. You wouldn't mind if the moments to follow included snuggling peacefully, where you're able to catch a few more minutes of some restful sleep. The flipside into reality usually presents itself as a high-pitched whining, sometime screaming voice demanding you get out of bed and go downstairs. Then there is scenario #2, where you become a human trampoline, and they feel compelled to see how high they can bounce from jumping on you. Either way, the green light is on and you better be ready to rock 'n' roll!
First up--mission breakfast. You always find yourself debating in your head which parental approach to take. Don't give them a choice. Do I give them a choice? If you don't eat, then you can stay hungry. What's the matter with the bananas?! You loved your bananas yesterday!!!! And their folks, goes the first layer of patience. Moving full throttle into the morning you are faced with danger zones of toy sharing, and toy destroying. This is where they suddenly feel the urge to walk over to their sister’s masterpiece and crush it. Around this time, you might witness your first floor dropping, fish out of water squirming behavior. Don't be frightened remember to breathe. Whatever you do don't look at them! Moving along throughout your day you will definitely encounter the bathroom zone. This includes everything, but not limited to: I have to pee. I don't have to pee. I don't want to pee. I need privacy, and of course, I peed in my underwear. Just try to roll with it. However, definitely about this time you've gone through a couple more layers of your patience.
Lunch time rolls in.
I can make it till nap time!
The hours between 1 &3 are very crucial, AKA - NAP TIME. This is the time during the day where you turn into Cinderella... Attempting to complete as many chores as possible. Sometimes you use this time to finally brush your teeth, or maybe go to the bathroom, (without any children standing right next to you wanting to have a full fledge conversation). If you are extremely lucky, you might have time to chat with a friend on the phone. This is basically the time zone where if anyone attempts to take it away, you will take them out! Use this time wisely. On some days you might only have an hour, 45 minutes, and on the worst days you have no time! A certain someone decided to boycott it!
The ultimate diner challenge: All I can say at this point is good luck. Every tactical strategy is on the table. All of the following could potentially be included, but don't limit yourself. Bribery, food eating contest, singing, I spy the food on your plate game, begging, threatening, and surrendering at times to the fact that you might have lost the battle, but you will win the war. There are those rare moments where you put the dish down in front of themed, and they EAT! Can you believe this! This actually can happen. You don't even want to breath and definitely no eye contact! In between now and the last zone of the day, you will be exposed to many more floor dropping behaviors. You might hear phrases like, “you're mean, I don't like you, that's mine, No No”. This will typically be followed by several more times of saying no. Several parenting strategies can be implemented during this time offering rewards, time out, stay consistent, and do your best to ignore the fact somebody is kicking you in the leg. Try to remember to breathe and get through it. It is possible to have a slight melt down during this time, and an occasional volume increase in your voice. In other words, at this point you have the capability to lose your cookies. Remain strong and call for back up reinforcement when necessary!
Bed time routine zone:
Well, by the time you add up bath time, potty time, brush your teeth, story time, singing the songs & lots of kisses, they need to make this a 34 hour day not 24! And let's not forget the fact that you have to repeat all of this about five times because they keep getting out of their bed.
Then it happens, the sigh of exhaustion. You contemplate what to do next, veg out on the couch, have a drink, take a shower for the first time, the choices are plentiful!
Sometime later.......You open the door to peek on them one last time before you collapse in your bed. It is in that quick moment without any reservation the craziness of the day falls away. You find yourself staring at the most perfect angle that just melts your heart, and completes your being. You fill me, you drained me, you teach me, and through it all you have my whole heart. I know it's your job to test every boundary and it's my job to hold the fort down. I will take pride in this important role, and do my best even on the nights when there's an empty bottle of wine on the counter.