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Thursday, January 07, 2010

3 1/2 Years Old


Yesterday Hannah officially turned 3 1/2 years old. At the rate she's going she just might drive me insane before she turns 4! She absolutely cannot accept what you say without a fight. If you tell her the sky is blue, she will say, "No it's not. It's green." If you say, "It's time to eat dinner," she will say, "No it isn't." On and on and on it goes ALL. DAY. LONG. every single day. It's to the point that I don't even know how to handle it. No amount of discipline or ignoring it seems to make any difference what-so-ever. Every time she utters "No" my blood pressure raises just a little bit more so that by the time it's bedtime I'm a quivering mess. Is this amount of defiance typical in a 3 year old or are we just horrible parents? Someone please throw me a bone before I lose it on my intensely opinionated 3 1/2 year old.

Night-time potty training is going quite well for Hannah. I honestly can't remember the last time she had an accident at night. We were waking her up right before we headed to bed to take her to the bathroom one last time and that was working quite well until she started waking up and not going back to sleep. So, we stopped waking her up to see if she would start having accidents again and so far so good. She's been waking up on her own at least once a night to go to the bathroom and thus far she hasn't had an accident. The only problem is that it hasn't really helped with the night waking/not wanting to go back to sleep. She's averaging 3-4 times getting up a night. I would say that only 1 or 2 of those times does she actually need to pee and the tantrums she throws when we try to insist that she go back to sleep are spectacular. It seems like every time we solve one sleep issue, another one rears it's ugly head again. At least for now at least she's falling asleep initially each night quite quickly. Getting ready for bed though, that's a different matter entirely. We are currently in the process of trying out a new bedtime routine to try to cut down on some of the trauma associated with the simple task of getting ready for bed. Wish us luck that we'll have some success.
Next week is the week that Kyle will probably go back to work as long as he gets to go ahead from his surgeon. I'm nervous about how Hannah's going to take it. We've been doing our best to prepare her, but she's gotten awfully used to Daddy being home all the time. She likes Daddy taking her to school and picking her up. She likes having breakfast with him in the morning and just generally getting to spend so much time with him. I'm going to miss him too, but I'm going to also have the added stress of dealing with the behavioral outbursts that I'm sure are going to happen. At least school will be back on a somewhat regular schedule so she'll have 3 days a week that she'll be distracted.

9 comments:

Jennifer said...

Linus always has trouble when Daddy goes back after a vacation. She craves "Daddy Days." To help the transition, she gets to pick a menu for dinner on the night he returns, and she gets to help me make it. Mostly it's PB&J or something easy, but it occupies her mind, and that's the goal.

Happy 1/2 bday to an adorable 3 1/2 year old.

Lanny said...

Oops! Sorry about that!

Corrie Howe said...

I'm sorry I'm chuckling, but I had this with two of my children. (Who am I kidding, I still have this with them.) I honest don't remember how I got past the point where it caused my blood pressure to raise. I think part of it is trying to take a long term view of the children. I read in Dr. James Dobson's "The Strong Will Child" that this strong will is hard when they are young but it also keeps them from following peers when they get older. I'd rather fight about the color of the sky knowing that my kids aren't going to be pressured into taking drugs, drinking, or anything else. And one child is 17 and he's not pressured into following the crowd.

goodfountain said...

I'm counting on you to let me know when Hannah stops the arguing so I know when to expect it to stop with Sarah.

My kids, Charlotte especially, always have a hard time adjusting to their daddy going back to work when he's been off a few extra days. Hannah will get through it. It's always easier for me to handle the outbursts knowing why they are happening. At 3 yrs old, and with Asperger's, sometimes that's just how they process, you know?

Natalie said...

Thanks for the encouragement!
Natalie

Erica said...

Oh, you are absolutely not bad parents!!

My PDD-NOS/hyperlexic son went through similar-sounding bouts of what we called "contrariness" from age 3 to 4 (he's now 4 1/2). It drove me nuts, too, but I found at least with him, it went away faster if I just ignored those comments as much as possible or even calmly said something like, "Mama doesn't find it fun to talk with you when you contradict everything she says; why don't you take a break and when you are ready, come back and we can talk again." And then I would try to not engage with him for at least a few minutes until the battle of wills was somewhat defused. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Now, at 4 1/2, he only does this on extremely rare occasions and sometimes even says, immediately after he disagrees with me on something, "I'm not being contrary!" :)

Lora said...

Nat, I have had so many parents (myself included!) say that age 3.5 is the hardest age of all. Oh 3.5 year olds are a challenge! Walter did that arguing thing, and I just decided that I'd not fight it or ignore bit, but agree with him. If he wanted to say the sky was purple, I just went with it, like this: "Oh, the sky is purple? Ok. Look at that pretty purple sky!" or "It's not time for dinner? Ok. I wonder what all these plates are doing on the table." It usually made him laugh. Kind of gave him a little of his own power. He knows the sky is blue, he just wanted to be able to tell me something for once, instead of the other way around. It is terribly annoying, but it does pass, I promise!

Patty O. said...

I hope Hannah gets better and stays better!

pixiemama said...

Oy. I can so relate. Sophie's 4.5 and we're still not past this arguing phase. I want to pull out that old argument we used to say when we were kids - "who died and made you queen?!"