January 23 2008 07:16 (+ 8 - 3 )
posted by (gen_here)

Okay, things Robert has been up to lately...

When we ask him to do something that he doesn't want to do - "No I do not!" or "No I not!"

He cracks me up, too. He'll tell me something totally outlandish. Like, he'll be playing with a bowl and tell me it's a car or something. Now, I hated make-believe play as a kid... still do. But I'm trying not to squelch his imagination. So I'll say, "Oh, that's a car, huh?" And he'll look at me like I'm crazy and say, "No it not, Mama... it's a bowl."

Um... didn't you *just* say that it was a car?

The only bad thing is that we totally skipped the "no no no no no" stage with him when he was a new talker. Well, that wasn't bad - that was heaven! But now Mikaela is saying "No!" and shaking her head like he does because she has seen him do it so often. That ain't cool.

Robert has been just awful and off the walls the last week or so. I remember Dr. Peters saying something along the line of, "People always talk about the terrible 2s, but three is so much worse. They're bigger, stronger and more verbal, and they are starting to realize that they have some control of the world around them." I hate to admit that she's right. We thought last year was rough, but this year is gonna be a bitch. Sorry. We're not backing down, though. In fact, we've started incorporating more immediate and longer-lasting punishments into his life. We started warning they were coming a couple weeks ago. This week we started implementing. He has been without his beloved matchbox cars 5 of the last 7 days. Today they were taken away indefinitely and are "hidden" in a box on the top shelf of his closet. He kept losing them for refusing to help pick them up - then he didn't get them back because he wouldn't help clean up other toys he took out. Now there's about 1/2 the toys there used to be in the living room (they're all boxed in the garage). He started throwing his stuffed animals out of his bed at bedtime one night last week. I told him if he did that, the ones he threw would go away. He threw all but his two stuffed Cars pillows... and the rest all got boxed up and taken out of his room. They stayed away for 3 nights until he asked for them back. He has been going up to Kaya randomly and pushing her down. We have been going up to him and doing the same (to land him on his butt on the carpeted floor- not on the tile or pushing him face down to the floor or into a wall like he is to her... we're not hurting him). He gets mad and sometimes cries/yells at us. When we ask if he liked that (and he says no), we explain that Kaya doesn't like it either. He has sometimes been going up to her and saying, "Sorry, Kaya." Tonight I woke him up early from his nap so he would go to sleep at 8. When I got dinner ready, he said he wasn't going to eat. I explained that he either ate with us or he could go to bed (it was pizza... so it's not like I was trying to get him to eat liver or something). He kept not answering me. When I went in his room to see what he was doing, he had taken our last 4 or 5 disposable dishes that we had on a shelf and took his juice cup, took the lid off, and was pouring the juice back and forth in the bowls and squishing it on the carpet. That was it. I took the juice and bowls, took the blue baby blanket that he had pulled out a few days ago and used it as a towel to soak up the floor, and told Geof to start getting him ready for bed. Only then did he want to eat. I brought a piece of pizza over to the baby gate (him in his room and me in the kitchen) and let him take a bite, but I was not going to let him out of his room again. He would eat a bite and go play, and I reminded him that this was his last chance to eat - that when Daddy was done getting the diaper stuffed that he was going to bed. He didn't want to eat more than 3 bites... so that's all the dinner he had. When Geof started changing him into the nighttime diaper, THEN he wanted to eat... but too bad. He had a snack when he got up from his nap (which will end today - then he gets picky about dinner). So I know he wasn't starving. But he's not gonna learn to call the shots here. Geof got him in his PJs. Robert refused to pray when I went in there with Kaya, so we left. Then he started screaming "Say prayers... Say prayers..." over and over for about 10 minutes. When he finally calmed down (and Kaya's diaper was also changed), I took her in there and said prayers with him. But I wouldn't let him out of his bed like he normally can be when we pray. After we were done, I tucked him in again, said I love you and good night. He kept calling out, but I wouldn't go back in because I know he was just trying to get out of going to bed early (at this point, no longer early. He was first sent to bed at 7:45 - only 15 minutes early). I'm not sure that he was actually sleeping before 9 or so, but he may be up early tomorrow anyway. Regardless, he has been warned that if he keeps throwing fits like this and refusing to help put away the toys he took out and hurting his sister on purpose, he will keep losing his toys. We (Geof and I) firmly believe in the "we're not a restaurant - you eat what is served when it's served" philosophy once our kids are old enough to know better. Like, we won't keep Mikaela from eating at this age. Even 6 months ago would have been too early with Robert. But he's to a stage where we can clearly see it's a power struggle with him - and we're not caving. I'm hoping it's not going to take a whole year to get this through his head - we're thinking that when he loses enough stuff to get bored he'll get the message. But in the meantime... life is gonna suck around here for awhile.

But when he is good, he his very, very good. He has been crawling into my lap to snuggle or have me read him a book at least once a day lately. He likes to play the happy/sad game... he wants me to act sad, then he gives me a hug, pats my back and says, "It's okay, Mama... it's okay." He likes to help with cooking, too... and sometimes he's actually helpful!

I really wish we could get him to stop pooping in the tub. This was the first bath out of 4 that he didn't do that. We ask him to go potty beforehand, we offer throughout his time in the tub. It's just gross and disgusting - especially since he likes to drink the tub water (that sound... that's me trying not to throw up). He also has been bathing with Kaya - but it worries me when he does because if he poops he's endangering her, too. So I just try to make baths as quick as possible these days.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm SO tired. So I'll do a new post if I think of more another day. But I leave you with this question. Who told him he could turn THREE in a couple weeks?!?!?!?

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