3 under 3

Archive for September 2012

Last night I went out with my best friend to see The McClymonts. I’m not usually a country and western fan, but Fi had a spare ticket and, let’s face it, I’m not getting too many invites to nights out these days! So I went.

It. Was. Awesome.

Those girls are talented! And very entertaining. Their music was much more ‘rock-y’ than I was expecting, and just a lot of fun. With front row seats you just can’t go wrong.

Plus, there is something incredibly cool about a 7-month-pregnant lead singer, playing guitar and rocking out with her gorgeous bump.

Love it!

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The stuff I love:

1. Your language has suddenly become very mature and you are trying out more and more complex words, in context. The other day you said to me that you were “Really looking forward to my birthday, and I can’t believe it’s nearly here.” You are definitely not a baby any more. Although, sometimes you still try to say new words or phrases and you don’t quite get it right. We were in the supermarket last week and you got cranky with me about something. You put your hands on your hips and said, “How the earth? I’m yelling at you! How the earth???” I laughed and told you you were funny. It didn’t help your mood.

2. You are still loving your dance lessons every week, and your confidence is growing. You are so keen and focused, always trying your best and listening to Christine, your teacher. It makes me happy to see you enjoying something so much.

3. You just got a bike yesterday (your birthday) and I’m looking forward to giving you lots of opportunities to use it this spring and summer. Sometimes I feel we don’t get outdoors enough – it’s really hard with three so close in age! But with your new wheels it will be a bit easier as I won’t have to juggle pushing you on the scooter as well as Neave on the trike. I’m looking forward to trips to the basketball court and lots of family rides, eventually. I have to say, you are already pretty fast on that thing!

4. You are getting really good at drawing. One of my favourite things about being a teacher, and a parent, is seeing children’s drawing and writing skills develop. At the moment you are drawing lovely little stick-people, with giant heads and legs attached directly to them (no bodies). They are so cute. You are very particular about your drawings though, and if they don’t look quite right you get upset. I sometimes have a hard time convincing you not to scrunch them all up.

5. I love that you are back to sleeping during the day again. You had about a week of trying to drop that sleep a few months back, but the sleep has been reinstated, and it’s really for the best. You are much happier of an afternoon after your sleep, and I am much happier when I get a break from you guys for at least half an hour. Better yet, you are still quite easy to get to sleep of an evening.

6. You are getting to the age where we can play board games and do more challenging puzzles, which is brilliant because I like doing those things much more than imaginary games where the rules keep changing and I have to do the same boring things over and over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, those games are lovely, too, but I am a bit sick of them!

7. You just got some Barbies for your birthday (see this post for how I feel about that). I knew you would LOVE them, of course, but I will admit it’s kinda cool playing ‘Barbie’ with you. Barbie has already made use of her space suit; you asked me to change her into it as it was Wednesday and “Barbie always goes to space on Wednesdays.” Cute.

8. You are developing some really nice friendships with some of the girls at your daycare and your preschool. There are two girls you say are your best friends, and another girl at preschool whom you bonded with only recently because you had the same hat. It’s really nice to know that you are happy when I’m at work and that you have the skills to make friends, and are liked by your peers.

9. Every morning you start the day with a ‘pretty dress’ on. It’s usually the same hideous one with the pink and yellow flowers on it that you LOVE! You haven’t figured out how to put it on by yourself, though, so each morning I am greeted with “Mummy, do this up please!” Neave has started to join in and loves to dress up with you each morning, too. The hard part is convincing you both to take your pretty dresses off before you eat your breakfast each morning, lest they become weet-bixed. And jammed.

10. You are still having mixed results with toileting (see below), but when you are having a good week, I love how independent you are with taking yourself to the toilet, wiping, flushing and washing your hands. You do it all like clockwork, which kinda makes it all the more frustrating in your ‘bad’ weeks, but it at least gives me hope that this won’t last forever.

Nanny’s lipstick

The stuff I don’t love:

1. Okay, toileting. What the??? As I have mentioned in previous entries, we are having a really tough time with you and toileting. You stopped wearing nappies a bit over a year ago, and after three perfect weeks with no accidents and you taking yourself to the toilet independently, I really considered you ‘trained’. However, you re-lapsed after those three weeks. Then you got back on track after two weeks. Then you re-lapsed. Then you were fine…. That has been the pattern for the last year; two weeks of completely independent toileting, followed by two weeks of several accidents a day at home. You are fine at preschool and daycare. You are fine when we go out. But at home, you just stop bothering. I am almost literally tearing my hair out in frustration at this, because you can do it. We recently took you to a paediatrician because after all this time, I was beginning to think there must be something wrong with you that prevents you from knowing when you need to go. He was lovely, but of no help whatsoever. Basically, he said, you’re not ‘trained’ yet. Yes, you have your moments, but no, you’re not there yet. Aaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh. There is nothing for us to do but wait it out and you will come around eventually. In the meantime, I am busy scrubbing poo off everything from floorboards, rugs, clothing, toys, the shower, and occasionally the toilet. Whoever said that toilet training is easy was a big fat liar.

2. Screaming. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, too, but you are a world champion screamer. Sometimes it legit but most of the time it is because somebody looked at you the wrong way, or because you didn’t get your own way. Totally over it.

3. You fight and bicker with your brother constantly. A lot of the time he starts it, but you are quite happy to join in with the name-calling and the imitating. Two weeks ago you got into trouble at both preschool and daycare for being really nasty to Tiernan; excluding him from games, kicking him (once) and calling him names. That was a bit of a surprise because, being siblings, you do that stuff all the time at home, but you usually are pretty nice to each other elsewhere. It’s probably a good thing Tiernan is going to school next year so you can have a break from each other!

4. You haven’t given up on insulting your Dad and I every time we discipline you, either. Whenever we tell you not to do something you call us “Stupid idiots,” and then you get sent to timeout. Then you yell at us some more and tell us you hate us, and timeout gets extended. Eventually you calm down and apologise, but the very next time you are caught doing the wrong thing, it starts all over again. Even worse, you’ve set a great example for Neave, who now does the same thing. She says things are ‘stupid’ if she doesn’t like them, and says, “I hate you,” when she doesn’t get her own way. Thanks for teaching her that.

5. Erm, I’m a bit embarrassed but you seem to have developed a slight American accent and we all know what that means: too much Sesame Street, Dora and probably Ben 10, too. Oops. It only comes out sometimes, particularly when you are playing be yourself. But it’s there. Sometimes it’s pretty funny, though, because you exaggerate your ‘r’s in the wrong places. For example, you say, “Mummerrrr” instead of ‘Mama’, and “Yeahrrrr” instead of ‘yeah’. I hope you grow out of it soon.

It seems we are all about astronauts lately. A conversation I had with Tiernan in bed this morning:

Tiernan: “When I grow up I am going to be the first man on the moon.”

Me: “Oh. Well that’s fine, but there has already been a first man on the moon. Neil Armstrong.”

Tiernan: “Okay, I’ll be the second man on the moon then.”

Me: “There’s already been a second man, too. There have been a few men on the moon. I’m not sure how many. But you can be one too if you want.”

Tiernan: “Yeah I will. And when I get there, I’ll know how many. How can I get to be a man on the moon?”

Me: “Well you have to study hard and go to university to be an astronaut. And then you would have to get a job on a space program. I don’t think we have one here in Australia at the moment, so you might have to go to another country like America or Russia. Maybe Japan.” (This is really testing the limits of how much I know about ‘space programs’, in case you couldn’t tell!)

Tiernan: “What about Blue Whales?”

Me: “What about Blue Whales?

Tiernan: “I want to go to Blue Whales. Do they have a space program there?”

Me: “Do you mean the country? Wales?”

Tiernan: “Yes. Blue Whales.”

And then I couldn’t speak any more because I was laughing too hard.

Caved

Posted on: September 20, 2012

In two sleeps, Molly will turn 4. In two sleeps, another of my so-called ‘parenting rules’ will fly out the window.

You see, she’s getting a Barbie.

Actually, she’s getting TWO Barbies (one from each Grandmother).

Before having kids, I swore I would not ever introduce a Barbie into my house. It’s not personal; I’m sure Barbie is a cool chick. She can do heaps of things now besides cook and clean and lie around sunbathing. She’s a qualified doctor. And a nurse. That’s dedicated. She also has achievements in the field of veterinary science, and is quite the pancake chef. She has played several sports at representative level: swimming, tennis and gymnastics to name a few.

No, Barbie is fine. But why does she have to look the way she does? Why can’t she just look like a human being, rather than a freakishly tall, long-necked tip-toe-walking, plastic-faced weirdo??? Would it be too much to ask for little girls to have someone a bit less sculpted and perfect to aspire to?

I never really did get Barbie. I had one as a kid. My friends all had boxes full of them. I dabbled in playing with them, but lost interest quickly. I was kind of hoping Molly would take after me in this respect. But, no. She is, I hate to say it, the epitome of a ‘girlie-girl’. Pretty dresses, high-heels, lipstick, nail polish, dancing, dolls, weddings, PINK! She loves it all. LOVES it.

Molly was introduced to Barbie by some of her little friends, and now she is hooked. She wants in. I’ve tried to explain how I feel about Barbie, but really, what can I say? “No Molly, you can’t have a Barbie because Mummy doesn’t like how she looks…” Hmm, maybe not!

Still, I really thought, for quite a few months, that Molly would just have to live Barbie-less and make do with visiting her friend’s Barbies to play.What finally changed my mind was on one such visit, when I watched Molly play with her friend’s Barbies for an hour, chatting away to herself merrily and taking them on adventures around the house. She was so happy. Sigh.

In a last attempt to avoid the inevitable walk down the dreaded Pink Aisle, I did an internet search for a similar doll that wasn’t so offensive to my feminist senses. All I could find were scary-looking Mormon dolls from America, which were being sold as a ‘wholesome’ and ‘homely’ Barbie alternative. I think one of them may have been called ‘Chastity’. Yikes! No thanks.

So, Barbie it is.

I called Molly’s Grandmothers and gave them both permission to buy her a Barbie for her birthday. This way, if the Barbies mess with Molly’s head and she ends up with body image issues at the age of nine, I can blame the people who gave her the Barbies and not myself. That’s my logic and I’m sticking to it.

I am making one contribution, however:

If Barbie is going to live in my house, she can at least earn her keep! Astronauts get paid heaps, right?

So, I don’t know if you noticed, but I am trialling having this blog open to the public once again. Don’t lose your invitation, though, because if it goes pear-shape I will have to shut up shop again.

I believe the undesirable person who was leaving nasty comments here was accessing via Facebook, so any links I post to this blog will be through private messages from now on. It’s been a while, so I hope that person has long since forgotten about me, and has found something better to do with their time than pick on others.

Apart from that, it should be business as usual around here.

Thanks for sticking around.

I don’t do it much but this post is in recognition of Tom.

The last few weeks (months!) I have been struggling. I keep having prolonged bouts of moodiness, short temper (very short), irritability, and general yuck. Not a good combination when you spend 14 hours a day with toddlers, who are not known for their sensitivity or reasonableness.

Tom got home at about 6pm yesterday, and I think he could tell within seconds that things were awry. I don’t know whether it was the yelling, or whether it was the intense aura radiating off my head in sharp sizzles and pops as I hid in the kitchen and scowled at anyone who approached. Either way, he figured it out pretty quickly.

So, this afternoon, he told me he would take the kids over to his parents for the evening after we all got home from school and preschool, so that I could have the afternoon off. He did this even though he has an assignment due, work commitments, and is running on about 4.5 hours sleep a night.

Even though I felt he probably deserved a break more than me, I took it. I really, really needed it.

I feel (hope) this problem is really the hormones in the Mirena device I currently have installed disagreeing with me. I hope it is, because then it’s easily fixed. I just need to get it uninstalled.

Except that leaves the small bother of contraception. I broached the V word with Tom recently (vasectomy), and while he was receptive to the idea of bringing his ‘snip date’ forward three years (the original plan was to have the Mirena in for the full five years, but so far it’s only been two), he has yet to make the appointment and get it done.

It’s important because we really are too fertile for our own good. Hello, 3 under 3!

So, in the meantime I am taking fish oil and St John’s Wort to try and balance me out, am exercising and getting plenty of sun (well, I was doing that already), and trying, trying to take a chill pill.

Lucky I have Tom to pick up the pieces when it all falls apart. Thanks, Babe xxx

Note: The above is not intended to put anyone off using the Mirena as contraception. For the first year, I found the device excellent and had no ill-effects. I know other women who have used it for the full five years and not had any problems. Different devices have different effects on each individual. Also, I’m assuming the symptoms I’m experiencing are related to the Mirena but that won’t be confirmed until I have it removed. I had similar symptoms while taking the contraceptive pill. Hormones and me just don’t mix, apparently!

Molly’s long, blonde curls are all gone.

She had been wanting ‘short hair like Tiernan’s’ for ages, but I tried to hold her off for as long as I could. Not because I didn’t want her to have her hair short (I didn’t), but because I wasn’t sure she understood the semi-permanent nature of such a dramatic hair cut. Yes, it will grow back, but to a three-year-old, six months is pretty much forever… if she didn’t like it, we would all be stuck with it for a really long time.

We tried just cutting her hair shorter to see if that was good enough, but she didn’t change her mind. She wanted it short.

So eventually, I gave in. It was a bit of a struggle. Those curls!! They get me every time. I went through the same heartache when Tiernan wanted to cut his hair at the same age. I wanted to keep his long curls, but he wanted short hair like Daddy. Eventually he won. Sniff.

I had Tiernan and Neave booked in for haircuts. Molly, as I knew she would, piped up, “Mummy, I want my hair cut too!” I rang Tom. “It’s going to happen today,” I said. He didn’t agree. I told him it was her hair and she really wanted this. We had run out of reasons to say no. I wasn’t going to tell my daughter she couldn’t have short hair because she’s a girl.

So it happened.

She loves it. I love it. Tom does, too.

I’m still mourning her blonde curls a little bit. She looks so much older, with much darker hair now. But she is beautiful and her new haircut really suits her. It shows that she is a girl who knows what she wants. She is an individual with spunk!

I’m so proud of my Molly.