Surviving the “Threeteen’s”

So you are at your kids third birthday party with a stupid smile on your face thinking “I did it! I survived the terrible two’s and lived to tell the stories”.

Your kid is now verbal, active and maybe even potty trained. You’ve got the whole meal routine down to a science and you can finally reason with this mature child of yours.

EXHALE THE BULLSHIT BREATHE IN THE GOOD SHIT

Until…

“NO! I am not your baby anymore!”

What? Wait, what just happened?

Welcome to the threeteen’s. It’s a place where you can lose your mind, go grey and live in an absolute state of confusion.

What you thought was terrible at two was child’s play, no pun intended.

At two your kid threw a couple of tantrums in public, peed on the floor and refused to eat all of their food.

Now you are dealing with a child that is all over the place emotionally, physically and mentally.

It’s the stage where they are no longer toddlers but not quite school-aged, they are the infamous “pre-schoolers”. They are like a gang of bandits ready to jump off of a high ledge at any moment so you are constantly on edge. One moment they wanna cuddle and the next they smack you across the face. It’s terrifying!

Their favorite food is now something they despise. The books that you once read to them are now thrown around the house like dog toys. They don’t want you to dress them but don’t quite know how to dress themselves!

It’s a flipping nightmare.

You can’t even gauge their mood because it is in a constant state of change. It’s like dealing with a very hangry person, it isn’t pleasant at all!

So what do you do?

  1. Find time to yourself. By this I mean you need to find an hour a day where you are not around anything child related. Whether your thing is yoga or chugging a bottle of Pinot Grigio, find the time to do it. Otherwise you will lose your noodles.
  2. Learn to tune out. I know this sounds harsh but sometimes your threeteen is completely out of control and there is absolutely nothing that YOU can do. Remind yourself that “this too shall pass” and that you are that much closer to your bottle of Pinot, or yoga. I’m obviously not much of a yogi.
  3. Slow your roll. Be calm because the angrier you get the worse the situation becomes.  Your kid is angry because so much is changing so quickly. They have no idea how to react to things so they lash out. Who better to lash out on than you? Just keep reminding yourself that one day they will actually be a real teenager and that is when the real war begins, this is just one of the small battles that you have to win.
  4. Distract, distract, distract! This can really help to get your mini Hulk back to their sweet calm Bruce Banner selves. Make a funny face, a funny noise or bring out the big guns and turn on the TV! If you’re not into things like allowing your children to watch television than bring out the lego or whatever else it takes to keep your threeteen busy rather than fussy.
  5. Go outside! There is nothing like some fresh air and a public park to get your kid to forget whatever crazy thing it was that drove them to insanity in the first place.
  6. Call for backup! In my house I am the meany. So when Nate loses his mind I have to bring Adam into the picture. What better way to get your kid to calm down than to bring their favorite person onto the scene. If that person isn’t home just make a phone call, that usually helps.
  7. Speak calmly and try to figure out what is wrong. This one is hard but can work as long as you keep your voice and demeanor calm. Look them straight in the eye, as you would an adult, and speak to them as you would to an adult. They want to be treated like big kids and sometimes that’s what it takes to get them out of their little kid tantrum. Sometimes.
  8. Turn on the tunes. There is nothing that a little dance party can’t cure, right?
  9. Hit up the kitchen and get out a snack. Just make sure that it is something that they can’t say no to. This will get them chowing down on the snack and backing off of you. It’s like throwing a crazed dog a bone, it keeps them occupied for a bit.
  10. Accept defeat. Sometimes you can’t win so just give up, stand up and walk away. If you have tried everything you can and they are still in Rambo mode, you need to give them space. I know that they are three but sometimes they need to be alone to realize how silly they are being. Plus that will ensure that you won’t have a complete threeteen meltdown of your own. Just keep reminding yourself that that bottle of Pinot is right around the corner.
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5 Tips for Eating Out With your Toddler

Let’s face it.

It is near impossible to go out and have a meal with your young kids.

Your meal may start off really well but can turn into a serious disaster very quickly.
In order to avoid public humiliation and catastrophe, I have compiled a list of things to do when eating out with your little hooligans.

Choose a Family Friendly Restaurant

If there is a sign on the door that says NO STROLLERS, this is a good indication that you should be turning around and walking in the other direction.

This is mostly so that you can maintain your sanity while attempting to shovel down your meal while wiping your kiddoes face.

These establishments are made for people that want to avoid other people’s children and even their own for that time.

The last thing you want is to dine here and be mortified the whole time through your meal because your kiddo just flung a drink at the uppity couple next to you.

Choose an Unpopular Time

Think really early breakfast, late lunch or early dinner.

These are the least popular times for people to dine.

This means that there are less people to give you stink eye as your toddler throws her food in your face while laughing hysterically.

The server is also able to pay more attention to your constant requests for water and napkins for the spills and thrills of dining with your toddler.

Back Corner Please

It is crucial that you choose your seating location accordingly.

Make it the least popular spot in the restaurant.

This way if the place fills up at this irregular dining hour, you are still far away enough from people to be able to avoid their frowns and sighs.

Trust me, you’ll thank me for this one day and so will your kids.

This ensures that you can enjoy your meal with your little’s, even if your favorite jeans are now stained with tomato sauce love prints.

*Love prints are your kids dirty handprints because they LOVE to love you when they are all messy and stuff.

First Things First

Order your kids’ food.

Do this before you even contemplate what drink you are having.

While your kids go to town on their meals you can spend some time not worrying about any huge meltdowns.

If you are there with a friend you can spend a bit of time chatting about something that is unrelated to your children for once, or not.

Make sure to get in a couple of quality bites of your food as this precious silence is very short lived and you will be handling a disaster in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Bring Back Up

Bring clothes, entertainment and water bottles.

You will need it.

The clothes will come in handy for you and the kiddies, especially if you have somewhere else to go after you eat.

Entertainment is GREAT if you are looking to get a few peaceful moments to yourself.

Download one of their favorite shows or movies on your phone and you are golden.

*Make sure that phone is CHARGED at all times!

Whether it be a sippy cup or a plain old water bottle, you never want to be that mom that picks it up from the dirty floor and hands it to her child.

Just bring provisions and you will never have to experience the looks of disgust from that “perfect mom” in the next booth.

These tricks will help to ensure that you get to eat out with your kids without having to experience any major panic attacks.

Sharing is Caring

Every time Nate leaves the house Benny goes right after his favorite toys.

These are Nate’s prized possessions and he isn’t very keen on sharing them.

It’s a huge battle in this house as we are teaching our children to share.

This becomes difficult as reasoning with a three year old about sharing his toys is a huge challenge for us.

Instead of fighting with Nate all the time I just let Benny have his own secret time with Nate’s coveted Spider-Man collection while he’s out for the day.

You know what they say “When the cat is away the mice will play”. 🐱🐭 

Why My Kids Car Naps Usually Ruin My Day

There is nothing more peaceful than watching my kids sleep.

Peaceful for them, as they are currently resting up for a brand spanking new day of tomfoolery and shenanigans.

Peaceful for me, as I get some time to get my bearings together before having to figure out a way of handling said tomfoolery and shenanigans without losing my mind.

Peaceful until they fall asleep in the car.

This is a very dangerous form of sleep as I am completely unprepared for whatever mood they will wake up in.

There are two reasons why they fall asleep in the car;

One of those reasons is a missed nap and the second reason is exhaustion due a very busy and fun filled day.

A missed nap leads to a deep sleep in the car but a very discombobulated child in the moment that they wake up. They are very edgy and there isn’t much that can get them out of this state. To add insult to injury, these naps usually occur on the way to a place where I am in desperate need for them to behave.

There have been times where I thought that I have avoided the hurricane and I suddenly got hit with a tantrum of the century within ten minutes.

Me: “Nate would you like the hamburger or the chicken finger?”

Nate: “LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”

Me to the server: “He’ll have the hamburger with ketchup and pickles.”

Nate: “NO HAMBURGER. NO KETCHUP. NO PICKLES.”

He then proceeds to throwing his cup of water on the floor.

Server: “I’ll give you a few minutes.”

This usually leads to me taking the food to go and eating it in the car with him as he has obviously cooled off now that he’s blown off some steam in public.

A car nap after a long day isn’t as bad but can sometimes lead to later bedtimes. This isn’t as bad as the tantrums are beautifully tucked away into the house where nobody can see them and judge me as a mother.

The worst part of these naps is that they usually lead to poor dinner consumption and absolutely zero regard for authority in the home. This also means that it takes longer for me to get to my favorite HBO series Game of Thrones.

Wouldn’t it be glorious if the kids slept when I wanted them to on a regular basis?!?

Thirty-Nine Months Old

Somebody recently asked me how old Ben is and I responded “he’s one”.

“Wow, he’s big for one!”

I proceeded to ask her how old her daughter is and she said fifteen months old.

I then felt inclined to say:

“Well technically he is fourteen months old. After my first son I stopped tracking the age by months.”

A look of relief was brought to her face as she realized that he is really two months older than she had originally accounted for.

I find this kind of behaviour hilarious.

Firstly, I don’t think that anybody should compare their children to other children. It is not something to be compared.
It sets unrealistic expectations that may or may not be fulfilled.

Secondly, I am starting to get tired of parents that count their children’s age by month.
In all fairness the first two years are okay as that is how a pediatrician tracks all the medical information.
I think that it starts getting strange when somebody refers to their two year old as “twenty-eight months old”.
I mean, COMMON!
They are TWO!

This young lady ended up being the aunt of the little girl and a pretty cool one at that.
We had a good chuckle over the whole “my kid is thirty-nine months old” thing.
She agreed that it’s kind of ridiculous.

Do you agree?

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I’ve recently noticed that I zone out from time to time.

For example, Nate can be going a little nuts but not really doing anything wrong and I don’t really say anything.

BANG!

BANG!

BANG!

That’s the sound of Nate “fixing” the wall with his plastic hammer which doesn’t cause any real damage, it’s just a little irritating. 

That’s the stuff that I zone out of. If I paid attention to every little thing that he does I would lose my mind sooner than later.

I feel bad for Adam because he gets frustrated with this kind of behavior. He is very involved with our kids and disciplines them alongside me.

Sometimes he gets upset with me for zoning out but the reality is that after having two kids and being home with them I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. 

Sorry Adam.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

We have officially entered the lying stage with Nate.

This is joined by later sleep times for him which is kind of a trade off.

Every morning Nate has been waking up later than usual.

We start getting ready for our day and the topic of preschool comes up.

Let me preface this by saying that he loves his preschool and his friends but he is also a bit of a homebody, like his dad.

Our current morning chats go a little something like this:

Me: Nati we need to brush our teeth.

Nate: Why?

Me: Because that’s how we start our day. Besides you are going to preschool. 

Nate: I don’t wanna go there!

Me: Why not?!?

Nate: Becauuuuse… Johnny, Ronny and Sally hit me! (Those aren’t the actual names but you get the drill)

I got all heated and contacted the center.
I began by calmly asking if these children are bullying Nate.
His teacher started laughing hysterically and explained that they are all close friends and get into toddler drama.
Apparently, Nate starts the arguements.

Once I get off of the phone I look at Nate with a smirk and say:

“Did you lie to me?!?”

He starts laughing his little butt off and starts walking down the stairs to get his stuff togther.

This is NOT going to be a fun stage.