Sleeping has been great. She has been through the typical "try not to nap as much as possible" thing 3 year olds do and now she naps at least 5 days every week. It is completely normal for a preschooler to not nap 2-4 days a week. I always still just put them down for a nap each day like they are going to sleep (unless we have somewhere to be during nap time--that is a huge bonus of this age group is you can skip naps without much stress). If the preschooler doesn't fall asleep, I don't stress. They have a nice rest time. You might want to put the preschooler to bed early that night if your preschooler gets grumpy after skipping a nap.
One night this month, Brinley woke in the middle of the night. She was crying and upset. She had a bad dream. She had a dream she was at swimming lessons and sunk to the bottom of the pool. And of course, the next time she went to swimming lessons, she was very scared and didn't want to do it. The funny thing with her, like I have said, is even if she is crying, she will do everything her teacher tells her to do. So she was scared but did it anyway.
Eating is going well and normal.
Brinley is a child who gets major pains in her legs when she is having a growth spurt. Brayden was the same way. If she is having a growth spurt, it is not uncommon for her to wake up at night 2-3 hours after going to bed crying and in pain. When that happens (as it did this month), we just give her some pain killer and rub her shins for a while until the pain killer starts working. Once it kicks in, she will happily go back to sleep.
I am pretty sure Brinley is an extrovert. She can play well on her own at independent playtime, but she does not love to play alone at other times. She loves for me to play with her. When the kids are here, she demands they play with her. She loves to play with friends. I am glad she is getting to be old enough to have fun playing with friends so she can have more social interactions. She loved Christmas break since it meant she had her siblings home all day every day to play with.
Brinley had a check-up this month. We did some dentist practice before we went and she did great. I have come to notice recently that she is afraid of "heights"--including the bench at the dentist office. She hates things like walking up bleachers and she gripped my hand tightly at the dentist and kept asking me to not leave. I think it is only when she feels like she isn't secured that she is nervous of heights. She loves amusement parks and such. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in her life.
Brinley is in a big time boundary pushing trial phase. She is trying every authority figure in her life to see how far she can go. Once the lines are clearly drawn, she respects them, but she seems to get a big thrill in testing how far she can go.
Now, I say "phase." By "phase" I don't mean that if I do nothing about it, she will just magically outgrow it and be sweet as can be again. She is pushing her boundaries and the reactions she gets will shape what she tries in the future. She doesn't have many authority figures in her life right now. She has her parents. She has her swim teacher (who doesn't let her get away with things. She has her dance teacher (I talked with her about the boundary pushing and she told me she doesn't let her get away with things either--she said she tried things a couple of times but she has taught dance long enough she knows to not let the 3 year olds get away with things and then they are fine). She has her church teachers. That is all.
The tricky thing is Brinley is the type who is super cute when she tries to push her boundaries. She isn't obnoxious and seemingly rude about it. She is definitely gifted socially and she understands how to work people over. I get the "how cute she is" thing all the time. Her dance teacher even said she is just so cute when she is pushing those boundaries. Fortunately for her, the people in her life are all on a similar page as I am. It is always nice to have a team working with you in your "village" of raising your child.
Brinley is starting a new venture in 2016. She is graduating from the nursery at church and going into what we call Sunbeams. This is all of the children who are 3 years old by January 1 and will be turning 4 years old during the 2016 year.
Then went in to primary a couple of times to practice. One day, she sat by Kaitlyn instead of where she was supposed to be. She would not leave Kaitlyn's side. She sang the ABCs loudly (not a song they sing in primary). She was pushing her boundaries.
Kaitlyn told me about it after church. We really live in a day where a fair number of parents get offended and upset if you tell them their child has misbehaved. Most people in authority positions over children (myself included) will try to solve the issues for a while before going to the parents and are very wary about bringing it up with parents. I contacted the Primary President right away and let her know that Kaitlyn had told me what had happened and that I would be talking with Brinley and doing what I can at home to make sure she doesn't do that in the future. I explained the boundary pushing phase and I assured her that I would not be offended if she told me if Brinley was misbehaving. I asked her to keep me updated. She thanked me for being proactive.
I asked several of my friends who teach in the primary to keep an eye on her and let me know what she does. I want to be sure I get a full picture so I can handle it appropriately at home. She is definitely at a point where she will push things as far as she can so I want to be sure she knows that I will know what she is doing when I am not there.
I talked with her and let her asked her how primary went. She was honest with me about her behavior. She knew what she had done was not right. I reiterated to her (since she already knew) what she should be doing instead and pointed out a few things she is not allowed to do.
This past Sunday was her first full time in the primary. As we got ready that morning, I reminded her of the expectations (applying the Ask and Tell method). I reminded her has she headed to primary. She did MUCH better. I wouldn't call it perfect--but she only did a couple of things (one was run and touch the door and go sit back down. The other was get mad when another little girl took her chair after she went potty).
Here is our typical schedule:
8:30 AM--wake up/eat breakfast/scriptures
9:00 AM--get ready for day
9:30 AM--watch 30 minutes of TV
10:00 AM--Independent Playtime
11:15ish AM--Learning time
12:30 PM--free play
4:30/5:00 PM--Wake up and free play
6:00 PM--Family time
8:00 PM--Get ready for bed
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