Monday, November 29, 2010

Halfway There

Kirsten is 3 1/2 years old now! To me that means one thing. . . she's halfway through with the 3's and halfway closer to being 4!!! I always heard that the terrible 2's were nothing compared to the 3's, and now I completely understand why so many people say that. Kirsten was a really sweet 2 year-old, didn't really throw tantrums, shared really well, listened to me when I asked her to do stuff. But ever since she turned 3. . . poof. . . who is this child and what happened to Kirsten??? Sometimes the real Kirsten comes back for brief appearances, but the majority of the time she's either acting naughty, defiant, sneaky, mean to Natalie, whiny, or all of the above. I know it won't magically change when she turns 4, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it will improve!

Don't be fooled by this sweet-looking face. . .
Of course I love this girl to death, and I still have so much fun with her! I mostly use this blog to remember all the good times, but from time to time I want to record the moments when I think I am really going to lose my mind. The times when parenting is really hard. The times when I wonder what happened to my life. So here are just a few examples. . .

~We have this entire house on lock-down. It's insane!!! Kirsten has been sneaking into the pantry to get snacks, going into my bathroom and climbing up the shelves in the closet so she can pull down makeup and medicine, climbing into Natalie's crib and waking her up from naps, and literally getting into everything she's not supposed to have.
She spray-painted the entire tub with sunscreen spray.
She dumped out ALL her bubble bath, shampoo, and detangler.
She emptied a whole bottle of homeopathic teething tablets and was feeding them to Natalie and herself and calling them "treats."
She climbed up to the top shelf next to the computer desk and grabbed scissors and a letter opener!
She took all the steak knives out of a kitchen drawer and was lining them up in front of the TV!
It's seriously scary. Now we have flip locks on most of the doors in our house and we have to remember to keep all the doors closed and locked so she can't get into stuff. But of course, she somehow still manages to find naughty things to do, day in and day out.

~Want to hear about the scariest thing? A couple of weeks ago I was changing Brooke upstairs, and when I came downstairs the front door was wide open and Kirsten was standing in front of the house across the street from us! Not a busy street, thank goodness we live in a cul de sac. I ran outside to get her, shutting the door behind me so that Natalie wouldn't follow us outside. What possessed this girl to go outside in her socks and cross the street on a cold, rainy day in the dark??? What goes through her head??? I carried her back, only to discover she had locked the front door before she went out and we were now locked outside. Natalie and Brooke were locked inside, and we were outside in the freezing cold with no way to get in. Natalie was standing right inside the front door, sobbing, and I was SO upset with Kirsten. It took a visit to the neighbors and about 15 minutes before I was reminded about the keypad outside our garage door that I had never used. The first code I tried worked, and the garage door opened for us. Whew! Natalie and Brooke were both fine, just needed to be calmed down. And we now have a flip lock on the front door as well. Crazy.

~Kirsten also figured out how to climb over the baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. So now I can't even keep her on the same floor that I'm on. Wonderful. Whenever I'm feeding Brooke, she goes upstairs and finds something to get into or make a mess of.
~She's figured out how to be such a sneak. She'll get a piece of chocolate, instantly whip it behind her back, and run the other direction. One of the most frustrating things is the fact that she rarely does what I ask her to do. I know she understands me, but I'll tell her to put something back where it belongs and she just takes it into another room and hides it. Or I ask her to clean up her toys and she makes up a crazy excuse.

Here's the sneak in action:
~Where do kids learn how to hit and push??? The majority of the time, she's really mean to Natalie. She'll push or hit her for no reason, steal toys and snacks from her, and doesn't want her to have anything that she doesn't have herself. I feel so bad for Natalie!

~The defiant and angry attitude she gets really makes me sad. Especially when I try so hard to do fun things with her, and she doesn't appreciate it.

These are only a few of the many examples why she's our most challenging child right now. Much harder than the newborn, believe it or not. I figured if I'm going to write a post about Kirsten being 3 1/2, I better make it realistic and tell it like it is. Of course it's not all bad though! 3 year-olds can also be really funny and entertaining.

~She started going to a cute little preschool this fall, at a local high school that they run for their child development program. It's only for an hour and a half, two days a week, but it's a really great starter for her and something she really needed. She wasn't sure at first about being left there without me, but after making sure I was going to pick her up when it was over she did great! She never cried when I left and is always happy when I come back to get her! This is a HUGE step for the girl who had to have her daddy go to nursery with her at church every single week. Now, because she's gone to preschool by herself, she's fine going to nursery by herself too! Yay!!! She also did an art class and a gymnastics class at the community center.

Here she is right outside the preschool classroom:

~She has a "special drawer" right next to her bed, and any time she likes something she hoards it and puts it in her special drawer. We find the funniest things in there sometimes! She likes really random things, not typical toys.

~When she has to go number 2, she calls it "getting the grossies out." She invented this term completely on her own, I might add. One day she couldn't get them to come out, and she told me, "The grossies are taking a nap." I laughed for about five minutes about that one.

~Here she is wrapping up our cat, Herbie, in a blanket to make him "nice and cozy."

It's so crazy being the mom of a 3 year-old! So many ups and downs! Now please leave me a comment and tell me how normal it is and how I'm not the only mom who feels this way, please? :)

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for that post! I'm also the mom of a 3-year-old, and I have to agree that 3s are worse than 2s! Although, I've heard from other moms that it really does get better when they turn four. So hopefully there is a little light at the end of the tunnel!

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  2. You are a great mom! I really hope 3's aren't worse in Lily's case - maybe she's gotten an early start on them. We are familiar with defiance around here. Though so far she hasn't gotten into stuff as much as Kirsten, that is so scary that she went out by herself in the dark and the rain! What a daring girl! My niece is 5 and she still gives her mom attitude, but she's pretty obedient too. Her mom says 4 was better. I think going to church helps, and just being older and having more experience with how people act and react helps improve behavior. It's funny how we can still just keep loving these little people that give us so much grief and frustration so much! It helps that they're cute and they depend on us and they make up for it with very sweet moments too :)

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  3. Thanks for telling it like it is. My nieces and nephews have always been more difficult at three, and I have to admit that I'm terrified of Natalie at three because she's already so much like this at 18 months! Good luck - hang in there!

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  4. The grossies are taking a nap! LMAO!!!

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  5. Kaia was definitely more obedient at 2, but sometimes her disobedience is so dang cute! I have such a hard time keeping a straight face when she tells me she "just forgot" to sleep during nap-time or or that she "just misunderstood" when I told her to do (or NOT do!) something! I'm sure it'll get better...just six months to go!

    ~Carla

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  6. Totally normal but super frustrating. Ollie is starting to give me the defiant "NO". Grrrr! Time outs are great! Even if they spend most of the day locked in their room. The other thing that works for me is giving them a choice. You can clean up your room or you can sit on time out. It's your choice. Believe it or not sometimes they choose time out. Haha!

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  7. Now I'm wondering what I'll do if Stacy ever gets pregnant with a baby girl... We taught Sunbeams for a year and I had no problem with 5 little boys. Just give them food, a truck, or tell them to make up a story and you're good for at least 5 minutes.
    I think I want to buy (adopt) a pair of 3-year old boys and call it good.

    http://time-miser.blogspot.com

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  8. Yeah, my boys were way harder at 3 than 2. They were constantly drawing on walls, making huge messes throughout the house faster than I could clean them up, and one time we had a permanent marker incident on the kitchen table. One time we also had a PAINT incident where my 3 year old opened a can of paint and painted, yes painted, a room. Talk about frustrating!! I know just how you feel, but it really does get easier as get a little older.

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  9. Oh, wow. Sounds like you've had some frustrating times. That whole locked-out-of-the-house thing must have been awful. I'm glad you thought of a way to get in.

    I wish I had some advice, but I don't have a three year old yet! I'm sure I'll be looking to you for advice in a year or so. :)

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  10. Our 3 year olds seem so similar and let me tell you, I am way excited for the 4's!!! Kirsten is so stinkin' cute though, it makes up for all their craziness, haha!

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