I want to start by saying that my world pretty much revolves around my 2 beautiful boys, Merrick and Silas. They mean more to me than anything else on this earth and I can’t even begin to imagine my life without either of them. Simply hearing the word “mama” from either of them reaffirms my desire to be a mother and have more children.
The joys of raising a 3 year old “monster butt”
Merrick has the unique ability to make everything difficult. He seems to think that he doesn’t have to do anything that anyone tells him too and it’s getting a little beyond frustrating. Discipline doesn’t work with him, and I’ve tried! Right now we are trying “putting his nose on the wall” and it’s working better than anything else for the time being. My mother used to make us stand with our nose in the corner, but we don’t really have a corner without a nearby distraction so the wall in the hall it is. He’s not a fan of this discipline at all.
Just an example of him not wanting to do anything that I ask of him: Last week I told him that he had to clean his room or he would be taking a nap, which he hates. I gave him 30 minutes on a timer and he refused, so it was naptime. When he woke up I gave him the same option – clean or naptime. He promptly went to his room and laid back down and asked me to turn off the light.
My son, who hates naps, would rather take a nap then do what I ask him to do…seriously? Same thing happened a few days later. He wanted to play outside and I told him to clean his room first. He cocked his head over, looked at me and said “Maybe I no want to play outside.” Then he sat down to play with his Batcave. This is the norm for us.
Oh, the fits, the horrible fits
In the last week or so he has also decided that it’s a good idea to throw crazy fits. I’m not sure what made him decide to do this, but he’s doing it at home as well as at Grandmom’s house. She says over there that when he get’s mad he lays down in the floor and kicks and screams…I haven’t witnessed this one yet, thank God. However, yesterday, he got mad because he wanted to watch a movie on my iPad and our internet was down so it wouldn’t work. The fit started with an angry whining scream and then he started banging his head on the iPad. Now, my general rule for dealing with such things is to ignore them, however I don’t want him messing up the iPad (I know it’s highly unlikely for him to hurt himself doing this, I was a kid once too). I made him stop and put his nose on the wall and he started banging his head on the wall. Ugh.
Merrick is a very busy little man. In his mind he doesn’t have time to go to the potty, it’s interrupting his day. This is not to say that he doesn’t know how to use the potty or when he needs to go, because he does. If I let him stay naked all day when we are home he will use the potty every single time. I don’t have to ask or tell him to, he just goes and takes care of his business. The catch with this situation is clothing. If he has anything on his bottom then it is over, he will not use the potty. We have tried pull-ups, cloth trainers, big boy undies…nothing works. I will make him go try to potty and he will tell me he doesn’t need to (I still make him try), 10 minutes later he has gone in his clothes. He knows that if he is wearing clothes they will hold in the accident and there won’t be a mess in the floor.
I just can’t figure out how to bridge the gap between clothed and unclothed. I do make him put his own dirty clothes in our diaper pail. I have tried rewards. I’m getting to a point where if he poops in his pants while we are at home he has to take a nap (usually means him laying in his bed for a little while).
Now, Merrick isn’t all bad!
He loves to help me do dishes, clean up the bathroom, pick up the living room, etc. He is such a great helper with these things and he feels so accomplished when we do them together. He is also so sweet! He loves to sit on the couch and snuggle while we watch a movie or listen to music and dance around the living room with me. He loves to give hugs and sugars to me and his brother and he always talks about how awesome people are. He really has a huge little heart!
The joys of raising an 8 month old “monster butt jr.”
Silas is such a happy baby. It’s so easy to get him to smile or laugh. He is saying mama, dada, hi and bye bye and waves. It’s amazing to watch him grow and learn. He absolutely adores his big brother and follows him around the house as much as Merrick will let him. I’m calling him monster butt jr. because I think he wants to be just like his big brother!
Hold me mama! Hold me!
Merrick was significantly more independent than Silas is. He wanted to be down and exploring, not being held. Silas on the other hand wants me to hold him a good 50% of the day. I don’t mind so much, except when I really need to get something done. It’s nice to spend so much close time with him. (My heart melts every time that little man falls asleep on my chest).
The only time that I really find this “hold me” issue to be a problem is when he insists that I am standing up. He will cry and cry by my feet until I pick him up and strap him too me. At this point he is perfectly content…that is until I sit down. Once I am sitting the crying starts again. I usually try to make him happy by humming or singing to him or patting his butt, but this doesn’t always work and we end up standing up. This is usually when the thumb goes in the mouth and the head goes on my shoulder and we are happy. I am human though and I can’t stand with a baby strapped to me all day long!
Can’t dada make you happy?
Since dada goes to work at 5am and doesn’t return home until around 7pm both kids don’t spend much time with him before their 8:30 bedtime. It is awesome when dada walks in the door because Silas gets super excited and wants dada instead of mama (woo hoo short break for mama!). The problem here is that the “new” excitement only lasts about 10 or 15 minutes before he’s back crying at mama’s feet.
I think that for the most part my husband thought that I was exaggerating about how much he wants to be held. He’s jokingly given me a ton of grief over buying and making several different types of baby carriers (he really doesn’t understand the need to have more than one). This past weekend, however, he got to witness firsthand how upset Silas gets if mama isn’t holding him. Sunday was a particularly bad “hold me” day and I think that my husband was a little overwhelmed by it. He even insisted on going to the fabric store with me because he was afraid Silas would freak out if mama was gone that long. I think he gets it now!
All of this said, I can’t imagine my life any differently. I am blessed to be able to stay home and raise my children, even if they are a handful at times. I know that I will figure out a way to solve our behavior issues with Merrick, we’ve just got to find the right combination. I also know that there will come a day when Silas doesn’t want to be held anymore and the thought of that is almost heart breaking. Being a mama is hard work, but I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to experience the love that a child brings to their life.