Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Call me immature, but...

I just bought Monkey an Elmo video about using the potty, figuring the more he hears about this whole potty idea, the more he'll take an interest in actually using it properly (versus sitting on it for five seconds, ripping up toilet paper, hopping off, pulling out the protective shield, flushing the toilet - you get the idea). Anyway, we decided to debut the video yesterday, and there was an entire segment devoted to different words for #1 and #2, perhaps the highlight of which was a bunch of kids screaming in unison "I really need to urinate!" Really?? Of course, Monkey WAS fascinated by all the talk about pee-pee and poo-poo, so perhaps they're on to something. Just ignore me while I snicker like a 12-year old...

It's Official - The Terrible Twos Are Here

Silly me... I thought Monkey started acting like a terrible two-year-old somewhere around 18 months. Little did I know what he had in store for me...

Since his birthday a week and a half ago, it's like someone flipped a switch, and he started having MORE tantrums with LESS reason behind them. Like this morning, I THINK he was upset that he didn't get the sippy cup that he wanted. Not that it's easy to tell, because when you ask him if he wants Pooh or Elmo, he responds with "Pooh Elmo." Um, yeah, they haven't made that cup yet, kiddo, I'm asking you to make a choice. And does receiving the "wrong" cup REALLY justify a five-minute screaming tantrum? Apparently it does...

I'm learning, though. I'm learning that if I ignore the tantrum, and go about my business (after assuring that Monkey is in a safe place where he's not likely to get injured if he decided to flail around a bit), the screaming AT me turns into screaming FOR me, and when I go back in, his arms are outstretched, wanting his Mommy, and he quickly calms down, telling me that he was "crying," in case I hadn't noticed. So, it's a start, but I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to tweak the technique when he inevitably throws a fit in public.

It's so disheartening to me when he throws a fit within like half an hour of getting up - it just seems to set the tone for the day for me, and I need to get past that kind of thinking, or we're gonna have a LOT of bad days over the next year or so. And I keep telling myself that I have to stand my ground and not just give in to what he wants, so he doesn't become spoiled. It's hard, though, particularly when Monkey is one of those kids who tends to hyperventilate when he gets really upset, and sometimes passes out. I've talked to his doctor, and read up on the subject, and I know in my head that the temporary passing out is just his body's way of protecting itself, and forcing him to take a breath, but that doesn't make it any easier to watch the handful of times that he's done it. So far, knock on wood, he has only done it once as a result of being purely upset, as opposed to injured, and I just pray that he never tries to use it as leverage.

Anyway, so as not to end on a totally down note, what are some of the good things that the Twos have brought? I think the highlight is that Monkey's communication continues to improve by leaps and bounds, and he is repeating and seemingly understanding SO much! When I was dropping him off at day care the other day (where he's in a new room), one of the teachers said to me, "He has older siblings, right?" Somewhat confused, I told him no, and asked why he thought that. He responded that Monkey is very bright, and has great communication skills for his age. That's so nice to hear, especially when I think back to the days I thought he would never say "Mommy." I still think he's probably in the middle of the pack as far as kids his age, and he is still difficult to understand at times, but it's always reassuring to have someone give that kind of a compliment.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Separation Anxiety Revisited

Today was Monkey's first day in the Two's room at day care. And, alas, it involved many tears, his AND mine... :-(

He'd been transitioning for the past week, and it went well. Each day, I would drop him off in his old room, and his teacher would take him over to the new room to visit for increasing periods of time - By Friday, he spent pretty much the whole day in his new room. So, in the one sense, I was expecting today to go pretty smoothly - after all, if he didn't mind his teacher leaving him with new people, why would he mind it when I did it?

That said, he fussed during drop-offs for 1-2 weeks when we made this transition last year. At one year old, still not walking, and very dependent on familiar caregivers, he was a bit traumatized by all the new faces and all the kids up on two legs moving about the room. One year later, he is NOT happy to be leaving behind the teachers that he was at first so wary of. This year, it's still a bit of separation anxiety, the need to be around trusted adults, but I also feel like he's saying "hey, Mommy, THIS isn't my room!" Made more difficult by the fact that his old room is RIGHT across the hall. And it figures, as we walked into the building today, we were right behind one of his friends from the Ones room, and the two kids were smiling and waving at each other, making it that much more difficult for me to explain why were going to the OTHER room today, and not into HIS room with his friend. His "former" teacher was in the doorway as we came up the hall, and when she saw the fuss that was already setting in, she gave me a sad, sympathetic smile, and ducked behind the door so as not to make things any more difficult for Monkey.

So, in typical "how not to handle this" fashion, I started tearing up as soon as Monkey started crying and telling me he didn't want to go in the new room - nice job, hormones or whatever. I then spent 20 minutes trying to get him comfortable and entertained in his room, only to have him crying pitifully when I left anyway. His teacher tells me he only cried for 2-3 minutes, and I know I should just drop him off and make a quick exit.... sigh. So, we'll see how things go Wednesday. I hope it will be better, but I suspect it won't. History suggests that he'll be happily waving goodbye to me by sometime next week, but my heart will be breaking a little bit until then.