Monday, May 16, 2011

The Daily Challenges for a Two Year Old and His Mommy

Where do I begin? I have a 2 year old.
The average day for Hudson revolves around food, pooping and his passy. If he is hungry he is mean and yells or hits. If he gets in trouble he wants his passy, is mean and yells or hits. If he hasn't pooped his is mean, yells or hits.

The mornings are great, he is happy to be up and see me or daddy. He plays by himself in his room for usually an hour or so depending on his bowel movements. Poop is a big topic in house all the time. He is content in his room or upstairs playing as long as he has his passy. He will put it away and play and then go back and get it. You can tell when he puts it back in his mouth because his self-talk through the monitor is muffled. He is happy to put it away one one of us goes up stairs to get him. He likes the morning. He usually eats an entire bowl full of yummy oatmeal. My special recipe- 2 fruits strawberry, blueberry, raspberries or apples with cranberries or raisins. Then I add ground flax and amaranth, with cinnamon and vanilla~ he loves it! He lasts about 2 hours on this and then the day of trials and tribulations begins.

Depending on what we have planned, play date or activity or whatnot in the morning he will do fine as long as he has a snack by like 10. If we don't snack then he starts with the yelling or hitting if I need him to do something or stop something that is not OK or unsafe. So I have been trying to redirect him, have him use his words about being grumpy because he is hungry. "Tell mommy your hungry when you start to feel grumpy." then is it finding something he will want to eat that is not just fruit. He would eat fruit all day if I let him.

Then at some point of discipline he reverts back to wanting to be in his room with his passy. Or he is tired and says, "watch movie mommy? watch cartoons 1 minute mommy?"

I am trained in ECE, I know how to handle this. BUT Everything I am trying is not working.  Redirection of what he can do, giving him 2 choices within my limits.  I love this one, the new response to my choices " Never ever never, mommy!" I don't know where he got that one. 

I have been stumped in the moment and found myself asking him to really do things I know he is capable of, but have not spend enough repetitive time doing it with him, so that it is a "learned" skill.  For example, cleaning his room.  I few times I have asked him to clean up his toys, and the mess only gets larger.  I was doing other things and needed him to clean up before he wanted another toy.  All craziness came out and he pitched a fit about wanting the new toy, a long afternoon.  So the next time, I said if you clean up your books and tinker toys, then we can take out your music set.  A small task, two things.  He just stood there as I walked away.  Then I realized he has watched me clean up, I have asked him to help, and sometimes he will help.  So since this is new skill I am asking of him, I should help him.  Lead as a parent and not just bark orders. DUH!  "Would you like me to help you put away your toys?" "Yes mommy!"  I sat close and pointed and 1 to 2 things at a time and told him where to put them.  It took a longer time but he did it all, picked everything up and got to play with his music toys.  He was very proud and happy.  I was helping make him more independent by helping him.  I get so caught up in trying to be a better housewife and wanting to have the house clean.  I have to remember that having young kids take time, and I need to be patient.

So I visited a few preschool and found one!  I really think even though he is not quite 3 yet, he will love this school.  I feel like their curriculum and detail in teaching is very similar to what I was trained in as well as who I strive to be as a parent.  So having teachers and kids be around Hudson with positive redirection, and problem solving skills will influence him in good ways. 

I thought with my training and everything even though it has been over 15 years (yikes) I would be able to entertain him enough to keep him challenged.  Nope.  I know I could do more, but my 9 month old Dayton will not get her needs met equally and the household chores, well since they went out the window a long time ago, maybe I can get them back. 

I want to enjoy motherhood and not be fighting a battle all the time.  I know he is hungry or tired or needing different stimulation.  As a parent I see this, I can meet most his needs, and the other ones I am asking for direction from his new teachers.  I don't want it to look like I am giving up or failing.  I see this as a positive for him, he will gain his independence from me, and become the little BIG boy he wants to be.  Daddy thinks it is too early, I think he is smarter and bigger than we take him for, and he will only get a better environment to grow in different directions I don't have the energy for, physical ability to do or creative brain power that I use to have.  Having kids has shot my entire short term memory and I feel like my mind is blank when talking, typing or thinking sometimes.  So frustrating! 

I want my kids to remember the good parts of childhood, I don't want them to remember I yelled at them all the time, because I was tired, they were tired and we all had melt downs all the time. 

I am the mommy of a two year old, I see he needs more, I am putting him in preschool 2 days a week.  I don't think this is a bad thing, it is a good thing!

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