Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Birthday Milestones

Sorry for not posting anything in awhile.  My life the past few weeks has been double birthdays for my daughters, which also means each one entering a new birthday milestone: Terrible 2's and the 4's.  I've always heard if you didn't have a Terrible 2, then you will have a Terrible 3's and possibly a 'Fits at 4'. In our house, my oldest was more of the Terrible 3's.  And now she just turned 4 and my youngest just turned 2.  So, here we go right??

My 2 year old so far has been pretty normal, a few tempter tantrums but it's mostly because she is learning to talk and can't express herself as much yet, so she gets frustrated, etc. etc.

But my 4 year old, eech!  Yes, so far the 'Fits at 4' is a for sure.  All of my friends with daughters have told me that right before they turned 4 and a little bit after, their daughters turned into little monsters. Mood swings, nap transitions, bickering, etc.

We definitely have crazy mood swings going on.   I told my husband our 4 year old has the hormones of a pregnant woman right now.  One minute she is smiling and laughing, and the next a demon has possessed her, tears all over the place.  I swear she is manic.  The funniest is when she wakes up so cranky, she comes into the kitchen and says, "nobody look at me, don't talk to me!!  I don't want anybody to talk to me!"  Who is this child?

And on top of the mood swings is her nap transition phase.  Going from napping to not napping.  Goodness me, I never knew how hard this was going to be.  There are days when I know she is T-I-R-E-D.  Like, she is not even speaking English anymore she is so tired.  And she needs a nap, because she will not last until 7:30 (her normal bedtime).  So I always put her in her bed at 'Rest Time' and give her some books to read and her ladybug nightlight.  The days she is exhausted, she falls asleep immediately.  The days she is not as tired, she will read, talk, sing and dance around her room until I tell her rest time is over (usually about 1- 1.5 hours).

BUT THEN, there are days when I know she is exhausted and she doesn't nap, and I get her up from rest time and she is crying, whining and super tired until bed time.  This is when bedtime gets moved up to 7pm.  Even one day last week she didn't nap and she was so tired she could barely stand up. We were at a park in the afternoon for a playdate, so I took her home at 5:30pm, fed her dinner, put her to bed and lights off at 6:30pm, she was sound asleep immediately!  She hasn't gone to bed that early since she was a baby.

Then there are the times when she goes a few days without a nap, doesn't sleep much at night and is OVER tired and cranky.

Or the times when she does nap during the day, I put her down at her regular bedtime at 7:30pm and she doesn't fall asleep until 10pm! She's in her room singing, laughing, dancing and using every stall technique possible: "I'm hungry, I need more water, I need another book, I'm ready to wake up!"
I think the answer is to try to get her to stop taking naps, have rest time, then put her to bed early.  But it's so hard when she really needs a nap.

Teacher friends have prepared me for Kindergarten too, telling me that when they start school be ready for them to fall asleep at 6pm each night as they'll be super tired the first few months adjusting to the long day and schedules.  Eek, what happened to half day Kinder programs like when I was a kid? Oh well.

Then there is the drama of not Sharing that is taking over my house right now.  The authors of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen wrote a great book called Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too  (9$) and I need to start putting it to use, now that my youngest is understanding things more.  (Stay tuned for a review of it in my next post).

But lately all I hear is, "but I had it first!," "mommy, she took it from me,"  "mommy she's not sharing" and crying, screams and tears.  This is when I just say "work it out, work it out." :)  Ha, well, sometimes it works, but mostly I use a lot of timers for taking turns (iPhones are great for this and kitchen timers), or if it gets really bad, the toy is put in time out.  And a LOT of modeling, teaching them how to ask for a turn, waiting, then giving it back.  Of course a 2 year old has the patience of a flea so we are working on it.  Baby steps, baby steps.

So that is my life right now in a nutshell.  Just surviving the day to days of preschoolers and toddlers. Any suggestions on nap transitions??  I mean, don't we all need a Siesta every day?  :)


  1. This sounds like exactly what is going on in my house. Our doctor said that even though your child may fall asleep during the day, to try to not let them nap so they can get a better night's sleep which is more important.