We are one week into the dreaded two week wait. I managed to get though the first week without thinking too much about it. But I know this second week is always harder. On Thursday at work I found myself obsessively googling various timing factors that may or may not have influenced the success of this cycle. Not a good plan. So, in an effort to distract myself, I thought I’d write a bit about what our life with Tadpole is like these days.
We found Tad’s twos to be far more delightful than terrible. Since he turned three in December there have been many delightful moments, but also more of the “terrible” sort. He’s trying so hard to be independent and in charge of things, which leads to endless power struggles with us. We have lots of strategies for dealing with these things (offering choices, keeping things predictable, logical consequences, etc.) But it’s still exhausting to spend all day every day either dodging or engaging in power struggles.
There are frequent meltdowns of the screaming for 10 minutes, til his lips turn blue and his face breaks out in hives variety. They can be caused by just about anything–a mom who had the audacity to scoop yogurt into his bowl without letting him do it himself, our insistence that he change his shirt after 24 hours of continuous wear, the unavailability of his favorite items of clothing. Currently he will only wear one blue sock and one lavender sock on his feet at any given time. So when both “pairs” are in the wash, we are in trouble.
The independance does have its perks. He can play by himself in the adjoining room while I cook dinner, and I can leave him alone for a few minutes while I go upstairs and get myself dressed. The other day I was cooking dinner and told Tad it was time to wash his hands. I got distracted and didn’t follow up, but soon realized the commotion I heard in the other room was him dragging the stepstool into the batroom and…washing his hands! We got a new shelving unit from Ikea last weekend, and he wanted to help me put it together. I was dumbfounded to realize that he was actually able to be useful. He put a few of the little pieces in place, and screwed in about 10 screws with the little allen wrench.
He is pretty much completely potty trained, except for pull-ups at naptime and night. This is a huge relief to me–I have no idea why washing poopy underwear was way more gross to me than 2+ years of washing poopy cloth diapers, but it was.
Napping is a big challenge. We are all so much happier in the afternoon and evening when he has napped, but it only happens two or three days a week. At home he’s still in a crib (at least until we get around to putting together the new bed we bought at Ikea). However, when he’s wound up and not intersted in napping, he can cause an amazing amount of destruction. A few weeks ago I came in to get him up from his non-nap and found that he had scooted the crib across the room, torn several of his pictures of the wall, taken a tub of diaper cream off the changing table, and smeared it all over his hands, his feet, the crib, and his sheet. I’m not sure how any of us will survive nap/rest time once he’s not contained in the crib. ETA: while I was typing this, Tadpole was not-napping upstairs. When I went to get him up he was wearing his purple tutu (somehow pulled out from his dress-ups bin under the bed and then put on by himself), and there was a sea of stuffed animals on the floor.
His preschool has found some creative ways of dealing with the nap issue–he has a sticker chart at each naptime and gets a sticker for each 5 minute period when he stays on his cot and doesn’t disturb the other kids. If he behaves for the first hour, he gets to spend the last half-hour with his teacher, who does a workout video in another room. I’m touched that his teacher would give up some of her break time by spending it with our goofy boy.
As noted here, he’s still obsessed with men. He was glued to the leg of a male plumber who came to our house recently. A few weeks ago, he ran up to a random man in line at Subway and hugged him. He likes to talk about things he will do “when I’m a big man”. Today’s statement was that he would use the automatic hand driers in public restrooms (which currently terrify him) when he’s a big man.
He talks. A lot. He keeps up a fairly constant running commentary about anything going on around him. It’s all very clear, and usually easily understood by others, though he has an adorable lisp. I particularly love to hear him exuberantly sing about how “Mawy had a yittle yamb”. He’s obsessed with cars and trucks, and his questions about them are rapidly exceeding my very limited knowledge. Today we were discussing the fact that cars whose mufflers have fallen off are particularly loud, and he wanted to know why.
He is excited to be more independent and grown-up, but also clearly a little ambivalent about it. He sometimes pretends to be a baby and asks us to feed him or hold him. And I think the independent streak has also concided with wanting more snuggles, which is cozy and wonderful. Sometimes he enjoys turning the tables and taking care of us. This morning, he and I went in to wake up Roo. Tadpole decided that Momma and Mommy should both go to sleep. He recreated our bedtime routine for him, “reading” two of his favorite books to us and singing us two songs before leaving the room and closing the door behind him. It was fabulous!
Life with this particular three-year-old is entertaining, exciting, wonderful and exhausting. Sometimes I think we’re crazy to even consider adding a newborn to our very full lives, but Tad’s growing independence also makes me yearn for a snuggly, cozy baby.