Sunday, April 22, 2012

Toddlers. 3 of them

That is what we have. Toddlers. 3 of them. True, through and through toddlers.

Now, with nearing 2 years old, you would think that it would sink in that we will have (3) terribly two toddlers... but it's becoming more evident day in, and day out.

There really isn't much new around here. The kids are 22 months, and definitely able to display their likes and dislikes. We have not used any bottles for them in over a month. They all still adore their blankets, and have to leave them in their bed in the morning... unless they are sick. Grey still uses his pacifier in his bed. That is the extent of their needs for soothing usually. Lillian currently has strep, but is on the mend. She started running a high fever last Sunday after the zoo, and a trip to urgent care on Monday she swabbed positive for strep. She is much better now after 1 week of antibiotics.

Here is our current schedule.

0730: wake (usually) Owen is first, and then the other 2 follow
0800: Eat breakfast
0930ish: Snack and water
1130ish: Lunch
1230ish: nap
2:00: wake and afternoon snack
4:30: Dinner
6:00: Bath (usually 3 together)
7:00: Snack and Milk in sippy
8pm: bedtime

Owen is definitely the first to enter toddlerhood. He takes toys from Lilly and Grey constantly, he has tantrums more frequently than the other two currently. Owen knows what he wants. It usually has to do with his shoes, socks, a ball, or a book. He is "passionate" about all of these things! He still is not talking a whole lot, and I think most of his tantrums are due to frustration that he has with being unable to express himself. They all love Sesame Street right now, and he seems to like Big Bird the best I think. Owen LOVES birds. HE LOVES BIRDS and BALLS. He will make a very loud grunt, and point to which ever one he sees, and say "BAWWWW", or "BIRRRRRRRRRRRRRR". This happens countless times a day. He loves to rough-house with Todd. He LOVES his daddy. He likes to watch him mow, and mimicks a lot of things that he does. I have to say given Owen's tantrums, he still continues to be the most sensative, and sometimes giving him a stern "No" he will have his feelings hurt. It is not uncommon for him to come over to you and crawl up on your lap with a book, or give you kisses on your nose. He is a very loving little boy as well.

Lillian still likes to disrobe frequently. She throws less fits than the boys in my opinion. She loves to put on layers of clothes, no matter how many she has on or takes off; there is still room to improve her attire. So, either disrobing, or adding layers depends on her mood. She is notorious for biting when she is unhappy, or just letting out a very girly high pitched screech. She loves her clothing and shoes, and PHONES! Technology is a passion of Lilly. She loves cell phones, cameras, remotes; you name it, she will stop at nothing to get it from whoever has it. She too likes Sesame Street, and "MELMO" seems to be her favorite. She repeats most of the words you want her to say. Sometimes she will just say "um hmmmmm" when you want her to say something, but nonetheless, she is doing pretty well with her talking. She gets her point across:) Lilly loves to be the nurturer of the 3 too. If either of the boys are crying she will try to make it better, usually with a pat, or cup, or snack. She loves her brothers!

Grey is doing quite well. He is the child that does very well playing by himself. Grey is usually the victim of toy theft, but if he's had enough... he will tackle the thief. He loves television, and especially Sesame Street. He likes Elmo too, and is pretty good about trying to say the words you ask him too. He is more and more social every day, and is often seen waving and saying, "Biiii" or "bye" to people or things that aren't departing. It's very funny. He likes to carry around bags, books, and especially likes chalk and going down his slide. He is having some sleep issues. I have made him a monster nonetheless. Since for quite some time he had a feeding tube, and was on tubefeeds during the night Grey was in our room. Anytime he made a peep, I was up, and at his beck-and-call. He continues to think that we were roomies, and this is our current arrangement. However I am trying to break the habits I have enabled..... but this child is stubborn. A few nights in the last month he has had to cry it out in the middle of the night. It's tough being a big boy.

Discipline is difficult at this age I think. Especially when all 3 of the kids have different ways and abilities to communicate right now. I talked to Grey's developmental peds doctor on Friday when we went in for a routine visit. Here is what he said....
1. Time outs are effective at this age
2. If there are tantrums, you treat them differently depending on WHY they are happening
  • If it is a communication gap, have them point and show you what they want
  • If they are just MAD, they are entitled to be MAD or frustrated just as adults are. At this    age he said that you just ignore them if they are just needing to be mad and let their emotions out. He said when they are 3 or 4 depending, if they are mad and want to just be emotional and throw a fit, they need to go to their room to do so.
  • If the tantrum is just because they want a toy, or they are angry at a decision you have made for them, then just ignore their fit. They will eventually stop.
3. I discussed with him the throwing of food, and cups etc in the highchairs, he said at this age, you really only should just take away their cups, or whatever they are throwing.
4. I talked to him about little quirks that the kids have with carrying around balls, being territorial of toys, and such. He said that is just toddler behavior. His advice was to just let it be, it will pass. He said he would be worried if they didn't do these things at this point.
5. I asked him about watching television, and that they really like Sesame Street. He said that is very individualized with families, but he thinks there are a lot of skills that can be learned from shows such as SS, and as long as that is not their sole activity of the day, or a way of each day's entertainment all day... it was normal.
6. He told me that at this age, the punishement needs to be very concrete. If one of them takes a toy away, or hits, the only real discipline at this age needs to be time out, and explain the reason to them. They have a hard time knowing the reason for the consequences that they face at this age, and the consequence needs to be immediate. He gave me an example of  if you tell them, "If you hit your brother, we will not go to the playground today." He said that is too general. They can't equate the punishment with the crime at this age, and he said really until about 3. I told him we have tried with Owen to say things like, "If you quit crying, or if you pick up your toys, we will go outside. " He laughed and asked me how that worked..... I told him that we would try to do more concrete positive reinforcement with them.
7. He recommended 1-2-3 Magic, Commonsense Parenting of your toddler, and the Secret Lives of Toddlers. He said these books give you a good idea of what the toddler is thinking so you can figure out what you should do about each instance that may come up.

Wow, I thought training our dogs was difficult. Might I add, we failed at that... but failing at this is not an option:) Neither Todd nor I want kids that are unruley, disrespectful etc.... how to get that is going to be the trick. It's hard because we ahve 3 different little personalities, lots of different situations, and many different people coming in and out of our house that they MUST listen to. We want them to respect everyone, and listen to them, but also have consistency in how things are done. Updates to come on this I am sure!

I am traveling for work a few nights this week.... We booked a trip to Cabo for November.

Easter was good. Above are a few pics that we took. I thought that pictures would be easier to get as time went on, but... it's not. Now they just move, and cry, and rebel against pictures when they don't want to sit together... so it is what it is.