Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What Happens at Two... Continued

There were so many good suggestions and helps and reassurances from all ya'll on facebook and in real life and here on this blog that I've decided to do a follow up post on what I've learned and decided to implement.

So, what have I learned?

1.  I have the coolest, best, perfectly wonderful loving support system in the world.  That's you guys in case you missed it.

2.  Ben understands more than I think.  Which is something that I kind of knew, but it's one of those things that still takes me by surprise because he has not mastered the art of language to let me know he understands.

3.  He's still little.  As in it is easy to forget that he's just a little guy with very little experience in this world even though he's running around all over asserting his independence.  He's finding new things to do and he thinks they are awesome when I think they are annoying or just plain inappropriate bad behavior.  He has to be taught what is right and wrong and that's my job.

4.  I have learned that Ben will be more content at meal times if he has had time to play beforehand.  Especially breakfast.  I too often have made the mistake of having breakfast ready for him right when he gets up when in reality he needs some time to decide that he's okay being up, and then another short stint of time to play and reacquaint himself with the toys he was loathe to leave behind for the irritating purpose of sleeping.

5.  I have learned that there are times when time out is the best thing in the entire world.

6.  I have learned that Ben acts up and earns himself a time-out when he either doesn't get his way or I have been ignoring him for an extensive amount of time.  The later one eliciting the more serious and explosive ear-splitting volumes.  I have learned that the best way to snap him out of it is to wrestle him (and at this point it is a wrestle) into a hug.  It takes him a moment but he melts into me and wraps his arms around my neck and I hold him tight and then we both forgive each other.

7.  I have learned that a lot of times it's better for me to go with him when he slips his hand around my finger to pull me away from what I'm doing because so very often it is to do something simple that he can't do for himself.  Like fill his sippy cup, or get the sock monkey out of the crib.  He just needs a little help to get something done and then he's content to go and play without me and I can return to my work sans tears and trauma.

8.  I have learned that there is still so very much to learn.

So, with all of this new-found/newly-remembered information, just what will I do?

1.  Quiet time during the day.  This idea I love with all my heart.  It might be a little tricky finding the best time to do this but I feel in my heart of hearts that it will be totally worth it.  He actually does pretty well in church most of the time.  There are days when that's not the case, but rarely.

2.  It's time to be more insistent that he pick up after himself and I need to teach him how.  I need to be consistent.  And sometimes that is really, really hard.

3.  Rather than try to "fix" everything at once, my husband and I will discuss what is most important to us... what will have he biggest impact for all of us and take the time to make sure it is worth the effort.  The last thing I want to do is spin my wheels in frustration over something that really doesn't matter in the long run.

4.  We will be keeping a strict bedtime for him despite his "energy crisis".  We put him down, make the room as dark as possible and it's up to him whether he stays down or not.  If he yells for us, we will go to him, figure out what he needs and inform him that we will not be coming in again. So far this has worked really well.  He's not going to sleep as early as I would like, but he's not yelling/crying/screaming either. I have found that the best way for me to handle him not going to sleep at his bedtime is for me to stop listening to the monitor.  If he needs something he can yell loud enough and that way every little sound that comes from the monitor isn't adding to my anxiety.

So there's the recap.  I think what I a really learning is how to be a parent.  First time parent, first time kid... we've all got a lot to learn.


  1. First list #2: It's their jedi mind trick: I can't talk, they'll think I'm still too young to do the hard stuff. They are crafty, those toddlers...

    Second list #2: That is the key to parenting right there. Consistency and blasted TEACHING them instead of just doing it. Sigh...It's worth it but!

    1. Ha! I nearly laughed out loud at the jedi mind trick comment. SO true!

  2. You are awesome. And so is Ben.