This is not my favorite stage.
Obviously, I love the boy, but the stage.
Where is my sweet, gentle, quiet child?
Hiding deep, deep, deep below the layers of high pitched, uncontrolled, get up under your skin WHINING, that’s where.
We’re working on it. But it feels slow going. I am impatiently looking forward to the day we look back and say “remember when Abel used to whine all the time and it nearly made me lose my mind? Ha! Glad that’s over.”
This is the summary for Abel at 32 months (that’s 2 years, 8 months).
7:15am Out of room
7:45am Chores (see below for list)
8:15am Get dressed, then silent reading time and/or play time
9:30am Independent Playtime
10:30am Clean up, get ready to leave house
10:45am Errands, park, or play outside
4:00pm Up from nap, go outside
6:00pm Bath, get ready for bed
Eating is good. Last time I mentioned he had become quite picky. We worked on that and he is back to eating a variety of foods. Sometimes he initially refuses dinner, but since he has to sit at the table until everyone is done, he gets bored and eventually starts eating his food.
Sleeping is a little wonky. He wakes up VERY early in the morning. When I get up at 5am, it is not unusual for him to already be awake. I only know this because I can see through the bottom of the door that he has gotten out of bed and opened the shutters to let the light in. He is quiet until I come get him at 7:15am.
Naturally, having woken up at 5am, he is very tired come nap time. He naps well, but is still tired come the end of nap time. By 6:30/7, he is eager to go to bed.
Have you ever heard of a 2 year old being eager to go to bed? It’s strange. Sometimes when I’m tucking him in I like to lay down right next to him for a minute and stroke his face and in the middle of me feeling the love and soaking up the moment he’ll interrupt and say mom? can you leave?
He knocks out quickly for bed no matter how early I put him down, but then is up the next morning at 5. Oh well. Not much I can do. Hopefully it all gets worked out before he starts sharing a room with Sam.
After breakfast comes chore time. We have fallen into a really good routine whereby I don’t even have to ask them to do the chores – they just start doing them. Abel’s chore list is quite simple:
- Clear the table
- Empty the small trashcans into the big kitchen trashcan
- Pick up and throw away any food under the babies’ high chairs
- Make bed
- Assist Vera in unloading the dishwasher
Making the bed doesn’t require my physical help, but it does necessitate a few rounds of
“Mom! I’m done with my bed!”
“No Abel, that’s not good enough. Try again”
I am sometimes frustrated by his inability to get it right the first time. He knows what the expectation is and he is clearly able to achieve it eventually, so I can grow tired of repeatedly checking the bed and telling him it’s not good enough. In these moments I have to remind myself that he’s TWO. Relax, woman, you’re not going to be dictating bed making instructions when he’s ten.
There are no set chores the rest of the day except to clean up messes as needed. He is good about this. It is nice to have two workers that can pick up all the toys. I don’t think I’ve cleaned up a toy mess in six months!
Boy, oh boy. It’s BAD.
I have tried all kinds of tactics. I have asked multiple people for advice. Here is what we’ve kind of settled into doing:
When it comes to a whiney tone (Plllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeease? Cannnnnnnn IIIIIIIIII?) I generally just ask him to restate his request, either with the phrase “try again using your big voice” or simply “turn off the whining.”
When it comes to whining about instructions (I don’t wannnnnnnnnt to. Do I haaaaaaave to?! Pleeeeeeeeease) we have started using a chair facing the fireplace. I sit him down there and tell him that when he whines, he is not showing self control with his voice (or his body, if there was a foot stomping or tantrum involved). I tell him “this is the chair where you learn to show self control” and then make him sit there, quiet, facing the fireplace for a certain length of time. I guess for all intensive purposes this is a time-out, but I don’t use that phrase because I don’t think he’d have any idea what it meant. Using the phrase “showing self control” and explaining how sitting still in the chair will teach him that seems to be more clear to him. He does not get up from the chair when I tell him to sit there, but if he did, he does understand that he would be spanked.
If it’s a particularly rough day and I find myself using the chair over and over again, I just put him to bed.
I cannot say that these methods will work, but I thought it worthwhile to record what we are trying.
Abel’s had buck teeth for quite some time. Actually, I’m pretty sure they just grew in that way. But in the last few months, his teeth have become so bucked out that he cannot comfortably close his mouth and I often spot him drooling.
Poor guy. I can’t let him go off to school like that. The buck teeth is one thing – I’m sure lots of kids have them – but how will he ever make friends if he’s drooling all over the place? Something must be done.
I am planning to start fighting the thumb-sucking battle this month. Thankfully he doesn’t suck his thumb during the day – only at night. I plan to start with the this Mavala liquid and hope for the best.
Fighting with Sister:
Abel has found his voice and no longer tolerates being bossed around by his older sister. This has resulted in a significant increase in fighting. Somehow the fighting bothers me a lot less than the whining problem. Mostly I just remind them to be kind to each other (repeating Ephesians 4:32 throughout the day) and suggest ways to work things out between themselves. When it gets bad, I separate them.
The only thing that really gets under my skin is tattling. For the most part they seem to have learned that tattling on each other gets them nowhere so it doesn’t seem to happen very often anymore.
This Boy Loves His Mama:
Abel sure does know how to treat a lady. He still regularly tells me I’m beautiful and that whatever I made for dinner is the best thing he’s ever eaten. He voluntarily gives me kisses and never do a few days go by without him telling me he loves me.
Honestly, it would be hard to come up with a list of favorite toys because I don’t find either of my older two really play with any toy that much. Is that normal?
When he’s outside (which is A LOT), Abel is most often playing with sticks or Eddie’s old punching gloves.
When he’s inside, Able is usually playing “family” with Vera, which might involve a baby doll, a doctor set, car keys, or items from the play kitchen. During Independent Playtime he plays with his dinosaurs.
Lately he has wanted to wear a cape and mismatched socks for the majority of his waking hours.