Three is the new Two
I remember when my eldest daughter turned three, I was so happy and relieved – “Wow, the terrible twos are over and they weren’t even awful. Things will be so easy from now on!” I thought smugly as she blew out her candles. The twos were actually a very sweet, snuggly time. There were some tantrums but nothing I, Super Mama, couldn’t handle. Then the reality of three started settling in. And the universe laughed at me and my smug birthday smile.
I didn’t know this at the time, but apparently when a child turns three their brain connections go hay wire. They turn into insane dictators that expect you to telepathically understand their crazy world views (which change by the minute) and then anticipate their unspoken and unexplainable needs, desires, and judgments and act accordingly. Woe betides the parent unable to do this, or who dares, DARES, to set boundaries, rules, or go against the wishes of the tiny dictators. Hell hath no fury like a three year old scorned.
After living through this once, you would think I would be well prepared for my youngest’s recent transition from two to three. However, much like childbirth, my brain expunged most of this traumatic time period. It’s all coming back to me now, the crazy demands, the hysteria, the epic tantrums, the rush of adrenaline I experience when her crazy kicks in and so does my fight or flight defense. Seriously, sometimes I think, maybe I should just go along with her crazy idea just so I don’t have to deal with the inevitable freak out. But really, there’s no avoiding it, the freak out is coming. So now, I’m just trying to ride the crazy wave, like the surfers at Coast Guard Beach, and hope eventually we’ll land in calm waters again.
Here is a short list of tonight’s freak outs, occurring in the small time period between dinner and bedtime:
1) She wasn’t able to slurp her spaghetti in exactly the same way as her sister.
2) She didn’t look beautiful in her pajamas.
3) I wiped her after she went potty.
What in the hell is a mama to do? We are living in crazy town and I know we’ll be here for at least a year. However, there are moments that make our residence there worthwhile. When she asked her daddy upon his return home this evening “How was your day Daddy?” and really wanted to know. When she asked me today to buy red tights to wear with my red dress, just like she does, so we can match and be the “red girls.” The sweetness can make my heart ache and burst, especially when it’s in stark relief to the terror the rest of the day. It makes me see where we’re headed and it looks like a nice place. Now, we just need to get through the reign of the tiny insane empress!
Tell me your strategies to get through the Terrorizing Threes? What craziness has your three year old brought forth recently? Tell me your stories so I know I’m not alone!
Get Your Toddler to Cooperate!
Get Your Toddler to Cooperate!
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting
Toddlers and preschoolers require finesse to gain their cooperation, because they have not yet reached the age at which they can see and understand the whole picture, so simply explaining what you want doesn’t always work. Robert Scotellaro is quoted in The
Funny Side of Parenthood as saying,“Reasoning with a two-year-old is about as productive as changing seats on the Titanic.” (He must have had a two-year-old at the time.)
You can get around this frustrating state of affairs by changing your approach. Let’s look at two situations – first the typical (Titanic) way:
Parent: David! Time to change your diaper.
David: No! (As he runs off)
Parent: Come on honey. It’s time to leave, I need to change you.
David: (Giggles and hides behind sofa)
Parent: David, this isn’t funny. It’s getting late. Come here.
David: (Doesn’t hear a word. Sits down to do a puzzle.)
Parent: Come here! (Gets up and approaches David)
David: (Giggles and runs)
Parent: (Picking up David) Now lie here. Stop squirming! Lie still. Will you stop this!
(As parent turns to pick up a new diaper, a little bare bottom is running away)
I’m sure you’ve all been there. Oh, and by the way, David is my son. And this was an actual scene recorded in his baby book. Like you, I got very tired of this. And then I discovered a better way:
Parent: (Picking up diaper and holding it like a puppet, making it talk in a silly, squeaky voice)
Hi David! I’m Dilly Diaper! Come here and play with me!
David: (Running over to Diaper) Hi Dilly!
Parent as Diaper: You’re such a nice boy. Will you give me a kiss?
David: Yes. (Gives diaper a kiss)
Parent as Diaper: How ‘bout a nice hug?
David: (Giggles and hugs Diaper)
Parent as Diaper: Lie right here next to me. Right here. Yup. Can I go on you? Oh yes?! Goody goody goody! (The diaper
chats with David while he’s being changed. Then it says, Oh, David! Listen, I hear your shoes calling you – David! David!
The most amazing thing about this trick is that it works over and over and over and over. You’ll keep thinking, “He’s not honestly going to fall for this again?” But he will! Probably the nicest by-product of this method is that it gets you in a good mood and you have a little fun time with your child.
When you’ve got a toddler this technique is a pure lifesaver. When my son David was little I used this all the time. (I then used it with my youngest child, Coleton, and it worked just as well.) Remembering back to one day, when David
was almost three, we were waiting in a long line at the grocery store and I was making my hand talk to him. It was asking him questions about the items in the cart. Suddenly, he hugged my hand, looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I love for you to pretend this hand is talking.”
Another parent reported that she called her toddler to the table for dinner a number of times, when he calmly looked up at her, chubby hands on padded hips and said, “Mommy, why don’t you have my dinner call to me?”
And suddenly, the peas on his plate came to life and called out to him; he ran over to join the family at the dinner table.
A variation on this technique, that also works very well, is to capitalize on a young child’s vivid imagination as a way to thwart negative emotions. Pretend to find a trail of caterpillars on the way to the store, hop to the car like a bunny, or pretend a carrot gives you magic powers as you eat it.
It’s delightful to see how a potentially negative situation can be turned into a fun experience by changing a child’s focus to fun and fantasy.
Excerpted with permission from Kid Cooperation, How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth, copyright 1996) Published by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. (http://www.newharbinger.com/)
Terrible One & A Halfs
Let’s talk about the time Louis slapped me across the face.
Here’s the scene: Louis wants to have a sip of soda from my cup.... I’m holding him, I said “oh no that’s mommy’s soda, your cup is right here” in the nicest possible voice... he reaches out to grab for his cup (or so I think)... but then WHAM! Right in the face, open palm and all. And it hurt – there’s a lot of force in those chubby little hands. I thought terrible started at two, not at one and a half.
Let’s rewind to the week before this incident when I was at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s conference on Curriculum Development and Guiding Children’s Behavior, where I was soaking up knowledge
from very educated people on how to handle challenging behaviors. I learned that when children exhibit challenging behaviors it is our job as parents and educators to guide them in the right path, that children are not aggressive on
purpose, but rather because they haven’t learned impulse control and they don’t know any better. I nodded my head along with the speaker thinking “that’s right, if children don’t know their letters, we teach them. If children don’t know how to tie their shoes, we teach them. If children don’t know how to behave, we teach them.”
These are not the thoughts that ran from my stinging cheek to my head that day. It hurt and I almost dropped him on his little cushiony bum. Instead, I took a deep breath, looked at his angry little face, held it together and said “Louis you look very angry. You need to keep your hands on your own body, you hurt mommy.” Then he hit me in the face again. Did I mention we were at grandma’s house and my mom was watching? So I knew I had to get it right. I put him down and said “No thank you Louis. That hurts me.”
We all know what followed – the kicking, the screaming, the hitting the floor. During his tantrum, I said “You are angry now, but you will feel better soon.” After his tantrum, I handed him his cup again and gave him a snuggle.
Toddlers get angry, really, really, angry – that's no secret. Getting angry and expressing their emotions is a developmental milestone for toddlers. Identifying emotions is the first step in managing emotions. When your toddler
is angry, or happy, or sad – help them by labeling the emotion. If they are sad or angry, tell them it will get better. When it does get better, they will start to regard you as an emotional expert (even if you aren’t one!).
As usual, this ended up being more of a learning experience for me than it was for him. I have almost three decades of life learning on how to control my anger and I almost lost my temper, no wonder he got so angry and didn’t know what to do. Poor little guy, he’s got so much to learn – but luckily he’s got calm and loving adults to guide him and help him through. Plus, there’s always good hugs at the end – and who doesn’t love hugs? Thinking about it that way even takes the terrible out of the twos for me.... well mostly.
Great Resource: http://www.zerotothree.org/
Twelve Brainy Breakfast Ideas
I'm definitely obsessed with healthy cooking and making sure that my kids get tons of nutritious foods daily. I love finding new recipes, and sneaking in veggies whenever I can! Below are Twelve brainy breakfast ideas that Ask Dr
Sears have posted online. I thought I'd share since they all sound yummy!!!!
Enjoy twelve brainy breakfast ideas. Try to incorporate into your child’s breakfast a mix of as many of these five foods as possible: eggs, yogurt, fruit, whole grains, and omega 3’s.
World War Bedtime!
Bedtime is a time that I cherish, that I look forward to, that I plan for and daydream about. However, the love and appreciation of bedtime is wisdom that comes with age. Louis does not feel the same way. Bedtime is a time that Louis dreads, avoids, plans to evade, and probably has nightmares about – for he is a toddler, and he is convinced that going to bed means missing something exciting and fun. After a week or so of the nightly routine of Louis yelling, screaming, and tantruming I decided to consult Miss Cathy – his teacher. I needed reassurance that I was not, indeed, torturing my child by wanting him to go to bed. Here are the pointers I picked up:
Now I am lucky in my bedtime battle because Louis does not yet know that he can try to climb out of his crib, so half the battle is won. I am secondarily lucky because when he was in infant I bought him a mobile that, unbeknownst to me, also turns into a projector that now makes a picture show on his ceiling. So here is our bedtime routine, which has virtually eliminated the night-mare from night-night time.
It took Louis a couple of nights of yelling “Mama! Mama! Mama!” before he really understood that I wasn’t coming back (unless he was jumping out of his crib or crying enough to make himself sick – but he doesn’t know those tricks….yet) and that it was time to go to bed. The projector works miracles and helps him drift off to sleep. Even though I have to sacrifice a lot of my playtime with him in the evening, and for working parents the evening is sometimes all we have, I rest assured knowing he needs his sleep and this is the best plan for us right now. I am sure, however, that Louis will request, quite forcefully, that we re-negotiate the bedtime peace treaty in a few months.
Let's talk about how the baby is smarter than I am - ok Correct semantics would be how he outsmarts me daily. As I have never had an official IQ test and neither has he, I will refrain from making any permanent judgments for now. Apologies, I digress - so in this blog I will take a moment to enumerate the times in which Louis has outsmarted me as well as the times that I chose not to listen to him when I clearly should have.
1. When i said "you can have a cookie when your dinner is all gone" and Louis promptly dumped his plate on the floor and said "all gone!"
2. When I told Louis not to take all the clothes out of the laundry basket and throw them on the floor because they were dirty and he put them in the toilet instead and said "wata! All keen".
3. When I was cooking dinner and Louis said "uh oh" and I said "what? Mommy didn't spill anything" then stepped in the milk he had dumped on the floor.
4. When I was changing Louis for school and he pointed to where i had put his pants and said "wha tha?" without looking (first mistake) I said "your pants." he said "wha tha?" and I said, still without looking (second mistake, or maybe
just an extension of the original mistake) "your pants!" he said "NO WHA THA" at which point I thought to myself - he has already been told they are his pants, time to ignore his questions and focus on getting dressed (third and biggest
mistake) and proceeded to reach for his pants and - surprise - the dog had left a present on the carpet. For the sake of my pride I will let you infer what happened next.
Let's be honest - I could go on and on here. These instances just keep driving the point home for me - whether I want to admit it or not, my little guy is growing and growing and learning about the world around him every second of every day. It is a tough job to keep up. So the Lesson learned? Easy - listening to the baby, excuse me - the toddler, will save you from a whole bunch of....poop.
We think that all our Cape Cod Moms are so fabulous that we are going to offer 2 more giveaways for the month of October! That's right, that means currently we have 3 active giveaways going on for all our fabulous Cape Cod Moms!!!!
This newest one will have 2 winners courtesy of Turning Pointe Dance Studio But pay careful attention because you have to enter separately for each one!
The two Giveaways are.............
~ a 9 week session to Itsy Bitsy Yoga at Turning Pointe Dance Studio in Falmouth.
~ a 9 week session to Mommy & Me Conditioning at Turning Pointe Dance Studio in Falmouth.
* Both these giveaways apply to new clients only.
Here's How To Enter!
1. Please answer the following question by posting a comment for each entry.
To win the 9 week session of Itsy Bitsy Yoga:
What do you do to encourage physical activity with your child and as a family? - 1 ENTRY
To win the 9 week session of Mommy & Me Conditioning:
What kind of healthy physical or mental activity do you do for YOURSELF? - 1 ENTRY
2. Refer a friend to Cape Cod Mommies but make sure they message or post on our board that you referred them or you won't be entered to win! - 1 ENTRY per friend you refer who tells us you referred them! *Only New Members after 10/7/2011 apply
Please email email@example.com if you need help with any part of the posting.
2. No purchase necessary.
3. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
4. Eligibility is limited to 1 prize per household.
5. All prizes must be claimed within thirty (30) days unless otherwise stipulated during the contest
6. Winners may be required to pick up prizes during business hours.
7. Failure to claim prizes within allotted time may result in forfeiture of prize(s).
8. Prizes not redeemable for cash or their merchandise.
9. Winners consent to the use of their name/picture/likeness without compensation for advertising or publicity purposes.
10. Cape Cod Mommies Coordinator and Sponsor employee's are not eligible.
11. Sponsors accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any injuries, losses or damages arising from
the prize(s) awarded in this contest.
12. Additional restrictions may apply depending upon prizes being awarded, or contest sponsor rules.
13. All federal, state and/or local laws and regulations apply.
14. All Decisions are final.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST October 20, 2011. One winner will be randomly selected by random.org. The winner will be notified via email, Facebook or a blog post on Cape Cod Mommies, so please make sure your email address is correct. The contest winner will have 48 hours to respond, if no response is received, then another winner will be selected.
Contest Sponsored by: Turning Pointe Dance Studio in Falmouth, MA
Klub Kidz Fall Classes with Ms. Lori Dutra start TODAY at The Fitness Company for Women in Mashpee on Rte 130!
Creative Movement Playgroup 11:30-12:30 ages Toddler to Preschool
Afternoon Kid Fit 1:30-3:00 ages Preschool - Up!
Remember - September is "TRY A CLASS FOR FREE" month for all Cape Cod Mommies members who have never been to this class!
Check out Klub Kidz!
Our Fall Session of childrens programming starts on Tue. Sept. 13. MGOL will be held on Tues. & Fri. at both 10:15 & 11:15. Story Boat will be at 10:15 on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Please Note: There will not be any children's programs on Friday, October 7; Friday, November 11; the week of Thanksgiving, Nov. 22 and Nov. 25 and Friday, Dec. 9.
Mother Goose on the Loose is a drop-in program, lead by staff member,
Amy Sellers. This Fall, MGOL will meet 4 times during the week. “Mother Goose on the Loose” is free and open to all area families, pre-registration is not required at this time, however our goal is to have no more than 15 children and their care-givers in one session. Please choose one MGOL session a week to attend. “Mother Goose on the Loose” is a thirty-minute literacy program designed for children from birth to age three and their caregivers. The program was developed by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, and combines principles of successful library “lapsit” programs and elements from Barbara Cass-Beggs successful music enrichment programs entitled, “Your Baby Needs Music” and “Your Child Needs Music”.
“Mother Goose on the Loose” incorporates findings in child development and brain research with activities and methods that promote early literacy and school readiness skills. Each session follows a script that uses repetition; and tactile, rhyme, rhythm, listening, and movement activities. Typical sessions begin with the poem “Old Mother Goose” followed by finger plays, flannel board activities, puppet shows, stories, songs, movement activities, playing with scarves, bells, and drums, and interactive play. Each session ends with a lullaby, a quiet poem, and a signature good-bye.
The program’s design and implementation carefully considers aspects of brain development in babies and young children. Research shows that the development of intellectual, emotional, and social intelligence in babies and children is most affected by experiences that are frequent, regular and predictable; experiences that occur in the context of a warm and supportive environment; experiences that are associated with positive emotion and play; and experiences that encourage a child’s curiosity and initiative.
Story Boat, a preschool story time for ages 2.9-5 years will be on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:15 a.m. downstairs in the Sunshine Room. We invite MGOL parents with pre-school aged children to choose the Friday sessions as we offer early literacy programs for both ages. We welcome new staff member, Rosemary Modic who will lead Story Boat. Story Boat provides a developmentally appropriate story time with a craft.
As a mom to a baby rapidly approaching 1 year old, I find myself every day trying to get creative in foods I expose him to and the way in which I expose him. We have really begun to move out of small chopped indivdual pieces of veggies, fruits and meats. And while it is still great to use chopped pieces as snacks or for meals, we have started experimenting with presentation, ie: looking like adult food. We chose to use a Baby Led Weaning approach with our son but we also use baby food quite often. I am a huge fan or adding real veggies or fruits to the baby food jars, just to create texture. I have noticed how curious he is when he sees Mommy and Daddy eating different things especially pizza or fish. Because he often likes to mimic what we eat, I have been happily forced to eat better and prepare meals that we can both benefit from. We aren't perfect and every day is different but we found several snack/meal quickies that really work for us. Enjoy and let me know if they work for you! Bon apetit!
A quick and easy way to make pizza that is delicious, healthy and toddler friendly! Plus you can sneak in some healthy yummy veggies and protein for the little one too!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Take a piece of flatbread/rollup, etc. and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on it and spread evenly with a spoon. (I personally prefer Lavash bread because it is heart healthy, has oat, bran and flaxseed-great for any BF moms out there).
Add toppings! You can choose whatever you find most delicious. I like using chopped up spinach, tomato, cheese (the picture above is cheddar, but I preferred the Montery Jack we had done the night before), and organic apple chicken sausage. The apple chicken sausage gives the pizza a really nice cinnamon taste when cooked plus it is healthy.
Add a few spices: basil and oregano.
Bake in oven for approx. 10 mins until edges begin to brown and darken.
Let cool, slice and enjoy!
Cut up into smaller pieces so baby can enjoy too!
I got a George Foreman Panini Grille last Christmas, and I really love using it, but you can make this snack just as easy with your toaster for a treat that is delicious for Mom and baby!
Veggies (you can choose more if you want): Brocolini, onion, zucchini, spinach,tomato.
Cheese (only 3 or 4 small pieces-cut up)
Humus (or another spread of your choice)
(You can also add some meat if you want!)
(If you don't have the panini or foreman, then toast the bread first)
Spread some humus over the bread. Then add chopped up brocolini (the ends not stems), onion, zucchini, and spinach.
Sprinkle little pieces of cheese.
Add tomato. I like to use only the inside part for this sandwich and just drizzle/glob it on different parts of the sandwich.
Put on panini/grille and heat til cheese melts and you have some golden bread! (If you toasted, then at this point put in microwave or crisp in over for less than a minute)
Cut into pieces and share with baby!
Fruit Yogurt Parfait
A yummy snack or breakfast that is quick and easy. If you make a few at beginning of the week, the granola with get really soft, making it even tastier! Plus it makes a great on the go snack for Mommy or Daddy!
1 container of Greek Yogurt-vanilla works great, but you can do whichever flavor or brand you enjoy best!
1 container of granola
Fruit: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, etc
Take a small plastic or Dixie cup (or containers if you are making for the week). And scoop in some yogurt. It should be enough to cover the bottom. Tap the cup to even the yogurt out.
Add a layer of granola and then fruit. Tap the cup again to even it out.
Repeat this process using different fruits until you fill the cup up.
Put in fridge or serve.
"Traditional Grilled Cheese"
Warm frying pan and take out 2 slices of cheese from the fridge
Lightly butter 2 slices of whole grain bread
When frying pan has warmed, lay one slice of bread butter-side down top with 2 slices of cheese and then top with remaining slice of bread; butter side up.
Fry and flip sandwich as needed until bread becomes golden and toasted.
Hide meat and/or veggies in there!! Turkey, Chicken, Cooked Broccoli, Carrot Slivers, Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes or even Green Beans for example!
QUICK -N- EASY SMOOTHIE
1 cup 100% nothing added fruit juice (you do not have to use fruit juice-you can use vita coco, or any other liquid you choose!)
1 cup plain, vanilla or fruited yogurt (not with fruit on the bottom!)
Fruits or Veggies-banana, carrots, spinach, squash, zucchini, oranges, etc
Place yogurt and juice in a blender or a lidded container/cup and shake until mixed well
Pour into Toddler's cup.
Add in the fruit or veggies for an extra boost (ensure you grind/blend it finely enough to be able to pour out of cup).
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