|This is Brinley camping. Nice.|
This is a summary for Brinley in her last month as a 3 year old.
Sleeping. Oh Sleeping. Brinley has always been one to try to negotiate and find ways to delay sleep time. She wants one more kiss. One more hug. Socks on. Blankets arranged just so. Wait! She can’t find her blanket. When you get to the door, she has 10 questions and 30 bits of information to share.
This gets exhausting time after time. And she gets grumpy if you do anything out of order or out of her expected desire. You pretty much can’t get it right because her only goal is to delay nap. So the moment you cut off the delay nap show, she gets upset. So you spent all of that time and effort trying to get her to just happily go to nap, but in the end you failed anyway because there is no winner in the game.
So I had a “lay down the law” day this month. I told her I would be doing XYZ before her nap. Once that was done, she was not allowed to get upset about nap time. If she did, I would not read her stories before nap the next day.
She loves her stories.
So she was an angel.
Now, if this was her only time of day she got stories, I woldn’t be willing to remove them as a consequence. But she gets stories at least 1-2 other times a day. It is a huge currency for her, and it worked.
I am not dellusional enough to think this was my last time ever needing to lay this law down. I am sure I will do it many more times throughout her youth.
Eating is great.
I decided to lay the law down on swimming lessons. As I have shared, Brinley had a tradition of crying through lessons. She would do what she was told, but she would cry through it, and obviously she was not making very significant progress as she cried through every skill.
Brinley is very obedient by nature. So I told her she was not allowed to cry during lessons anymore. I told her if she cried, I would walk out of the room during her lessons, but if she didn’t cry, I would stay. So she didn’t cry. And guess what? She passed off two skills that first week and got close on two others the next. She has made so much more progress since then. She is loving lessons. Instead of getting worried and upset on lesson day, she is super excited.
Brinley never stops talking. Ever. She loves to talk and she prefers to have no competition while she is talking. Never ending stories.
These young ones can make even the extrovert moms crave a quiet, solitary room.
Oh boy. This month we did something interesting. We traveled almost the entire month. We literally rolled in from one state one night and flew out to another the next. It was busy with a lot going on. It is fun, but Brinley definitely likes her structure so I think having school start will be good for her in many ways.
One of our trips was a long road trip. It was about 10 hours in the car each way. The great thing is that Brinley is old enough that neither my husband nor I worried about what to bring for her to do on the drive. The bad thing is that even though she is almost four, she is not old enough to be in a car with nothing to do. She did great even with just her few toys. Hurray!
We had a dentist visit this month. Things went well and Brinley’s teeth look good. As usual, we did the practice the night before where I had her lay on the floor and open her mouth while I brushed her teeth. It just helps her mentally prepare for doing that with the hygienist and dentist. It can be unnerving and leave you feeling vulnerable, so I like to do a practice with the little ones.
Brinley loves her Legos and ponies. She also super loves to look at books.
4th CHILD LIFE (YOUNGEST)
The life of a fourth child is so interesting. She gets spoiled in many ways. Her older siblings are all very sweet people who love to dote on her. They don’t find her annoying or pesty (most of the time 🙂 ). They will sacrifice a lot to keep her happy. So in many ways, her life is charmed. Here she is getting carried around the amusement park because she was tired.
In other ways, there are things I don’t think about because I have come to realize young children don’t care too much. But sometimes I forget just because there is so much other stuff to think about.
Her birthday this year is a good example.
We were camping for the weekend prior to her birthday. We drove home from the trip on her actual birthday. On the drive, I realized that she would need a cake. I typically spend some time in the weeks before a birthday thinking about the cake and pinning ideas. I am not a fancy cake maker, but I can make stuff cute enough that my kids are happy (and kids are easy to please). Nope. Not this time. I had no thoughts. Maybe it was the many days of travel preceding her birthday, maybe it was the poor “youngest” child issue. Maybe both.
She cared more than I realized. She started talking about the cake I made last year and how much she liked it. So I asked what she wanted this year and she said a Paw Patrol cake. She had just gotten some Paw Patrol toys that day from my parents. So I baked a cake, put some colored frosting, and added a couple of Paw Patrol toys. She was pleased as could be. Whew!
Here is what was pretty consistent for summer:
8:30 or 9:00–wake up/get ready/eat breakfast
9:30–play with siblings
usually independent play for an hour in between now and lunch
12:00 –lunch. Then play.
4:30 or 5:00–Wake up. Eat dinner. Then family time.
8:00–Get ready for bedtime
8:30 or 9:00–Bedtime
Find sample 4 year old schedules here