Monday, December 17, 2012

Threenager Problems #’s 1293 & 2917

I totally have enough material to make this two separate posts, but I have time to write now so one it is, but I’ll break it up.

Threenager Problem #1293 – disappearing listening ears:

Apparently at the age of 3.5, threenagers have outgrown the need to listen to their parents. Or, more obviously, they have matured to the point where they know their parents are full of shit and they don’t need to pay attention anymore. 

We have had the most ridiculous time lately getting Gianna to listen, or rather, reminding Gianna that she does have 2 working ears and is not at all hard of hearing.  It’s been ten kinds of awesome everyday around here.  We have problems with her listening to us about what to wear. And what to eat.  And about when we are doing what. And picking up. And washing her hands after she goes to the bathroom. Then there’s bedtime but we’ll get there… 

Yes – I do realize she is 3.5, so don’t get me wrong – my expectations of her hoover between “don’t hold your breath” and closer to “I’m sure she knows better”.  But she really does know what is expected of her (wash your hands!) and when things are expected of her(pick up your toys before bed).  We know that the more tired she is, the lower we need to set the bar as far as our expectations go, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Or less frustrating.

I am sort of at a loss in this department because not much seems to work as far as consequences/discipline.  lately counting to 3 has resulted in screaming from Gianna that she’s scared of counting; she will willingly assist us in putting her toys in a trash bag when she won’t pick up; she talks over us when we discipline her; the spew of attitude that comes out of her mouth some days is comical, but frustrating as hell.  I didn’t realize the amount of willpower this girl had and the sheer volume of angsty phrases a three year old could muster regularly. 

Mostly, I don’t know how to stand firm and strong and united as a parent all of the time.  How do you not break down and just give in sometimes?  When is it worth it to argue against the threenager and when is it ok to just go with the flow?  It’s such a delicate line to walk, and I know that.  I also know that I am largely pregnant and tired and hormonal which does not help my ability to manage the threenage’s decrease in listening skills at the moment.

Threenager Problem #2917 – nightmare at bedtime:

Which brings us to our next problem. The problem that zaps my energy like nothing else at the end of the day.  Because, in case you didn’t know – at 3 years and 8 months old – you don’t need sleep and are generally just never sleepy.  You are also very obviously well versed and have fine-tuned your ability to stall actually sitting still enough to succumb to the sleep you so desperately need.

When Gianna was a baby we had to put her to bed REALLY early so she would sleep before getting overtired.  She’s always gone to bed pretty early (7/7:30) and lately we have been putting her to bed between 8/8:30.  It worked for a few months without an issue. But lately, as in the past few weekish, it has not been working at all.  In fact – it has been downright awful.

Nothing in our routine has changed.  She just boycotts bedtime at all cost and at the expense of our sanity and ability to remain rational human beings.  Nothing is quite as frustrating at the end of a long day than an even longer, drawn out, painful bedtime.  maybe we need to bump bedtime back up again to 7/7:30 – to avoid the overtired insanity that ensues otherwise.  Again, it can be quite hilarious – the things she comes up with to NOT sleep are very creative – but also frustrating as hell.

I’m sure this is just a phase.  But it’s totally a phase that I need to squash before this baby comes.  Or try to manage better, at the very least.  I am not a yeller, generally speaking, but OHMYGAH I can’t take it some nights because seriously – go the hell to sleep!


Jules said...

3 has def. been a rough year in terms of said issues. I'm not saying what we do works all the time, we push natural consequences and once they are in tantrum mode, as long as they're safe, ignore, as in that state just can't reason with them. (Bedtime I say move up, if it gets past eight, things tend to be worse as they're just overtired)

alison said...

Is there anything that she'll "work" for? Like B looooves a sticker chart. When Jude came home from the hospital, B was waking up every! freaking! night! to check on him, or crawl in bed with us, or need a dwink, etc. The sticker chart worked once we started it - he got one every morning he was in his bed, and then a "prize" at the end of the week if he had all 7 stickers.

He also still goes to bed at 7:30 (they both do). When it gets pushed back, he's a hott mess that night and the next morning. He takes about 43 "babies" to bed, and he knows if he gets up after we put him down, he loses a baby each time we have to go in there.

There's no rhyme or reason to how I pick my battles with him, but I try to only fight with him on the things that are going to matter a year from now. The sleeping thing - we fight him on because he's a mess and I figure if we let him get away with it now, he'll be a zillion times worse as time goes on.

Hang in there. xo

Stefani said...

3 has been SO. HARD. We're at 3 years 4 months and daughter's attitude is insane. We lost our listening ears a while back, talk back all the time, and refuse to sleep to the point of me actually taking her to the doctor for it a week ago. I'm at a loss... At this moment, the battle we're fighting is eating lunch - or not eating lunch as it turns out. I'm praying that 4 is better... please let 4 be better!! You aren't in this alone! Stay strong mama!

Danifred said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Three sucks. Period. Anyone who says two is awful is just warming you up for the worst.