My little boy has been singing this all morning!
This morning Francesca said ‘mama’. The first words melt my heart!
My children have been testing me. How will I cope under pressure?! Can I survive on four hours sleep?! Can I cope with three hours of crying?! They have no idea how they are pushing me as this is all very normal (no child is perfect all the time!) but they are! It is all about growing up.
I’ll start with the girls (bit more straight forward). We have hit a big milestone in the house. They are now 6 months old. All are rolling, chatting, giggling and learning their voice. Thankfully each is a very contented little girl and I don’t have too many tantrums or dramas to contend with. However, our night time routine recently started wearing me down until I cracked the code. Since the girls were very young we have stuck to a four hourly routine. They wake between 5 and 6.30am which means their evening bottle is at 5pm to 6.30pm. Then bed at 7 and dream feed anytime from 9.30pm. Up to a month ago this was fine. It’s only recently I noticed things started to change with solid feeds. So now they are on two feeds a day and have started dropping a bottle. Like my little boy, they now take a bottle going to bed. This has transformed night time! It is bliss!!
Here’s the schedule:
7am Naptime (45min)
10.30am Naptime (30-60min)
12 noon lunchtime
6pm-7pm bath/ready for bed
7pm bottle and bed
Some of you may find this useful. There is very little out there for triplet scheduling. This will have to be changed again when breakfast is introduced. But I know that multiples versus single baby is tricky to master.
Now the testing of a toddler…… Oh the terrible twos. This is not a myth! Although I am getting off lightly with my son (for now – not quite two yet). There are still testing times. ‘No!’ And ‘I don’t like’ are constantly used. There is a real want for independence. Even though he doesn’t mean ‘no’ he is saying it to voice this independence. It’s hard to not get frustrated with this defiance. Recently he started to push boundaries and see what he can get away with. Weekends are usually the toughest times as the routine is a bit all over the place. Play dates, baby feeds and no crèche can be hard for a little one to cope with and not have the odd outburst. I am trying to do more and more as a family so that he feels part of the team. This makes a huge difference. Not always easy to do as it means being more patient but the benefits pay. So now, everyday we all go to pick up Red from school. We all go to the park. And if meeting family or friends for coffee etc it isn’t just Red who comes along. Red still has time with me, as do the girls separately, but we come together as much as possible.
‘Push sisters?’ ‘No!’
‘Hit mummy?’ ‘No!’
‘Hit sisters?’ ‘No!’
‘Kick mummy?’ ‘No!’
‘Kick ball?’ ‘Yes!’
‘Throw mummy?’ ‘No!’ (I love that one! God bless his belief in his strength.)
‘Throw ball?’ ‘Yes!’
You get the idea. This is a daily conversation and my son generally knows the answer to each of these questions. However, sometimes instead of just having a conversation we get action. It usually is a frustration acted out on me. Sometimes it can happen with other kids in the play school.
Trying to reason with a 20 month old is pretty impossible but our ‘thinking step’ is also not working. He usually heads there himself when he needs a break from the mayhem anyway. So this evening I decided another tack. Instead of taking him and putting him in a place alone I stayed very close to him but didn’t converse. So this is how it worked:
My boy was eating his dinner and we were having a great time until one of the girls started to cry. This meant that I had to divert my attention. He then decided to throw the yoghurt pot which meant mess all over the floor. I then went over to him and explained in a firm voice you are not allowed do that. Of course that made no difference and he then hit me twice. So in other words – I’m pissed off with you mummy! Instead of taking him to the thinking step, I told him I was very angry with him and how you never hit mummy. I then quietly cleaned up around him. Once done I took him upstairs for bath and pyjamas with no chat. Gave him a quick bath, again no happy chat. And then for the first time without prompting a sorry I got one!!! Now I don’t know if this is something that will happen next time but it got me thinking.
Tantrums are a very normal part of childhood and we have our fair share. Yes, absolutely take the child away from what’s frustrating them (if possible) but maybe isolating them isn’t always the answer. This is only one instance do I’m not saying I have cracked the code! But maybe there is another way.
The girls are now 4 months old and my boy is 20 months. Time is flying by and our little unit seems to be knitting together. Every week it gets better. We are now all starting to have fun together and play includes the girls a lot more. Can S join in? Can she have a car too? Will we all play pizza puzzle together? And although they’re not fully participating yet I can see my son really wanting to play with them and they follow him everywhere he goes with their eyes.
Normally I can be very proud of the fact that our daily routine runs pretty smoothly. (Order, structure and sticking to time sheets) but that’s all well and good when no ones tired, cranky or snuffly (all of which is to be expected). So last night my son was having a bit of a melt down. Everything was wrong in the world! Moma was mean and he just wanted ‘this’, ‘this’, ‘no this!’ Followed by wails and tears. Amazing emotion was being expressed. Meanwhile two ladies decided to join in and show support of their brother. More wails and tears. Of course the normally ordered house was like a bomb had exploded so what happened next was written in the stars! My third daughter felt like she needed to join in so as I was running to comfort her I tripped, stubbed my toe and broke it. I actually just had to stop and smile. While I’m trying ice my foot, hold one of the girls, give another a soother, my little boy looks all concerned for me and says ‘medicine’. You can’t but love him. Even when he rants and screams he knows exactly how to melt my heart.
So the evening ended with lots of hugs and kisses and today I hobble but all is calm again.