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|Helping to get Brinley up from a nap|
This is a summary for McKenna. She is now 3 years and 7 months old.
Is this not the most boring thing to report from McKenna each month? Nothing new or different here.
She is sleeping well at night. I don’t know if I have ever shared this, but we have a wake up clock in her room. It turns green when she can get up. At first, she would yell as soon as it turned green, but we told her she needed to wait patiently for us to get her. The first time she waited patiently, we praised her like crazy, so she has waited nicely ever since.
Brayden never went through an anti-cleaning phase. Truth be told, I have always been much better with him about teaching him to clean up after himself. It could be my better teaching or it could just be that he likes to clean. Kaitlyn went through the anti-cleaning phase. Even just a year ago in preschool she would hide when it was clean-up time. McKenna is now doing the same thing. The good news is that Kaitlyn is now a great cleaner, so I know it is a phase that can be overcome.
I have found that with the younger children, you can’t just say, “Clean the family room.” It is way too overwhelming, and when approached that way, the young ones find a good book and quiet corner to hide in. If, however, I give the child one small task at a time to focus on, the child will clean. So I can say, “McKenna, I want you to pick up the books and put them away” and she will do it.
This is a cleaning trick that works well for any age. I think older children and adults are able to do this themselves. We have learned how to break down large tasks into sub-tasks. But a three year old hasn’t learned to do that yet.
SHAKING HEAD NO
McKenna has been better about the “No, I…” that I described last month. McKenna has this new thing this month, however–she scrunches her eyebrows down into a scowl and shakes her head no over and over again if she disagrees with something I have told her to do. She will keep shaking as she explains to me why she disagrees. I suppress a smile because frankly I find it amusing right now. Of course, it isn’t something I would find amusing ten years from now, so I laugh about it when she isn’t around and when she is around I keep a face that is neither amused or annoyed. I tell her she can’t talk to me that way.
You child will do doubt do similar things along the path of growing up (and no doubt over and over again). Always remember that it is something you can work through, but expect it to take some time and patience on your part. Also remember to not get offended by it.
McKenna has been a very non-emotional three year old. She is far too happy go lucky to have her feelings hurt easily. There were a couple of times at the end of this month that she was irrational and emotional that just made me laugh.
One morning she came to me complaining that Brayden and Kaitlyn wouldn’t play with her. I listed to her complaints and then replied, “Well, McKenna, they are at school.” Oh my! I had to suppress my laughter. I thought it was so funny that she was offended that they wouldn’t play with her and they weren’t even home.
Then about thirty minutes later she was offended that I wouldn’t let her play with Brayden and Kaitlyn. Tears were streaming down her face, “You’re just not letting me play with Brayden and Kaitlyn and I want to!” I just took her to the couch and sat and held her without saying anything until she stopped crying and came back to reality.
I can easily deal with irrational emotions with McKenna. McKenna is a very logical person, so as long as I remain calm and logical, she will eventually snap out of it. I do rather get enjoyment out of these moments though. You have to appreciate these idiosyncrasies that come with each age because they will soon be gone and just be an amusing memory.
McKenna is further along in learning to swim than anyone there has seen a three year old. Because of that, her swim teacher wonders how much to expect from her and how hard to push her. If we didn’t have Brayden and Kaitlyn in swimming lessons, we would probably stop and take a break with McKenna. She loves it, however, and we are already there. The price would be no different. So we keep going. It keeps her comfortable with the water.
7:30–Wake up and eat breakfast. Get ready. She then can play with siblings.
9:00– Chores then independent playtime
10:30–Time with Mommy
1:30–Play with Kaitlyn
4:30–Get up–TV Time
7:30–Get ready for bed
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