Monday, May 01, 2006

Failing the testing period

It has been quite the week hence the bubblegum posts of pop culture.

We were lucky that the terrible two's have been manageable but I fear that it is actually the three's that are more threatening. Everyday that Strawberry edges closer to celebrating her third birthday has been a bit more taxing.

We have a variety of things we are up against, such as her wild, red hair temper and the fact that she is a typical stubborn bull sign. Her little Miss Independent ways are getting the better of us.

We've tried time outs. We've tried the art of negotiation by giving her two options and letting her feel like she can choose her outcome. Both Colin and I have broken down and raised our voices. We've given ourselves time outs.

Strawberry refuses to let us help her with anything. I took off her shoe last night and she picked it up and threw it at my head. She got a time out and a stern lecture for that incident.

I hear the unrelenting wail "No me!" fifty thousand times a day, usually followed by uncontrollable crying. We are trying to be consistent but I don't know when I should encourage her to give it a go and when to draw the line with enough is enough.

It's so bad that if I do anything such as put an ice cube in her orange juice or flush the toilet after I visit the powder room, she runs over to protest that it be redone by her.

To top off this grueling week, both our girls have had never ending runny noses. Plus Buttercup is popping out new teeth. She's up to five already!

Behind Strawberry's adamant ways, she is a loving and sweet daughter. We have been spending quiet moments, cuddling while reading her favorite new books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Jillian Jiggs and the Great Big Snow and Makeup Mess. She leaves me enchanted with the way that she pronounces certain words. I love to listen to her say Croc-a-DY-la and Neck-A-less.

So blogosphere, any and all advice on living with an independent, two-headed monster is desperately needed. Please insert your wisdom here otherwise I may not make it through another week. If you see more posts about crazy frogs with wee willy's, hastily send in reinforcements.

12 Singing the blues:

Sunshine Scribe said...

I always wondered if Strawberry's hair matched her personality :)

That must be exhausting. We went through a similar phase with my son. TRIED everything. All I can say is keep trying. I assumed the whole naughty chair thing would be the answer .. it works on those nanny shows! But it wasn't for him. We finally tried a combination of a) not fighting it and he soon got bored and b) a variation on "grounding" from his favourite things when he did something really in need of a consequence. That seemed to work for him. I.e. "if you throw a shoe at mommy's head again you will not get to watch the Wiggles today." But I've learned for every new phase I have to keep trying something new.

You sound like a good mom and she'll be fine and so will you.

I love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Heather said...

I'm kidless which means I'll give no advice except recommending The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs.

Her Bad Mother said...

No advice, alas. Am living with 5 and a half month old energizer bunny - keeps going and going and going and going - and am preoccupied with trying to find her 'off' button.

(Thanks for your comments, BTW, which you can hijack anytime and for however long you like. You were right that meanie's meanie-ness was aimed at everybody, and so everybody and anybody had a right to weigh in. There. Now I've gone and hijacked your comments. Sorry!)

Marcie said...

We are in the "threes" with Billy and all I can say is hang tough. Having an 10 and 12 year old reminds that "this to shall pass".

cameo said...

my parents apeased my oldest when he threw fits over not being the one to do something. "It's just so easy to fix it - let him do it and all is right with the world." agghhhhh! i tried to tell them that wasn't going to help him in the long run. in their defense, they didn't do it for everything, but what did happen was my son developed an insecurity streak that if he's not the center of attention or not allowed to do something, he hurts. we're working on that now. and i don't know how much of that is his natural tendency and how much is cause/effect.

Pattie the Domesticator said...

Aww...I remember that time! Everyone warned me about the terrible 2's...I thought three was much worse. I think you just have to hang tough. I would encourage her independence and I think you are doing the right thing by being CONSISTENT. Do what you say, say what you do, and follow through. You'll be just fine!

rhonda said...

Oh the Terrible Threes. You know, it's funny. My kids always tend to get a little more wild than usual about 2 weeks before they get sick... I hate to say that, but maybe :) :(

Bridgermama said...

Man I hate to say it but I have been around hundreds of 2 and 3 year olds through my years of working with wee ones. 3's were definitely harder on me, they are just trying so hard to establish their independence! Unfortunately, this often means sass! Then comes 4, love it, love it, love it. The best part is they love you again too.

I am sure all of my experience will disappear from my tiny brain when B turns 3 and I will be writing a similar post. Good luck and love the sass right out of her! :)

scarbie doll said...

My mom always worked it by reminding each of us that although she loved us equally, the pendulum could swing in the other direction at any time.

Dunno if you wanna get that manipulative.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Sorry, no advice here. I'm dealing with a pre-toddler (which you are, too, aren't you?) and that's enough for me right now. But thanks for the heads up on the terrible three's.

I've always wondered if the red hair and the temper went hand in hand!

Mama C-ta said...

No advice from me b/c we aren't there...yet. Give us another year or so. But just wanted to say I feel for you. I can imagine that it gets pretty frustrating and hard to remain calm when you are getting shoes thrown at you. Sounds like you are doing a great job though and it's just a phase..I hope!

My sis has red hair and she has no temper (she needs one sometimes!) and she's so mellow. But she is more Auburn than red, maybe that's the difference!!!

Chicago Mama Spot said...

I'm not there yet either, but my sister is. She has a daughter who turned 3 in January and from the outside, three looks harder. Her daughter sounds very similar to yours, no red hair but crazy curly hair! My sister uses her daughter's very strong need to do everything herself as her main disciplinary tool. She asks her to do something and if she won't do it, she starts to count to 10. If she gets to 10, my sister walks over and does it/stops her daughter from doing it/picks her up/etc. - whatever the situation calls for. She has been doing this since she was about 18 months, so it might be tougher for you now, but it is magic. Her daughter is so motivated not to have my sister take over, that she behaves right away. I'm trying this with my 20 month old, but she doesn't seem to get it quite yet. She's started to realize that something happens when I get to 3 (since she's little I'm only counting to 3), but she doesn't really know that she can control what happens next. Good luck. Figure it out and sell your book before my daughter gets there.