We are going through a "rough patch" around here lately and that is putting it lightly.
As I mentioned in my previous post we are slowly settling in to our new abode. It is an easier process for The Husband and me. Wee Man is another story. On the outside he looks like a happy little dude going about his day. But on the inside he is a tangled web of emotions.
Being 3 makes the transition that much harder. We are definitely learning that 3 is a much harder place to be than 2. Wee Man's language skills amaze us everyday. He is finding the way to say words he couldn't in the past. Sentences are long and filled with details. 1 or 2 word answers are a thing of the past. (Unless that word is.....NO! We still hear that word said with much vehemence a ton.) He can dress himself. In fact, he prefers to chose his own wardrobe and is usually dressed about 15 minutes after he wakes up. Diapers are a thing of the past both during the day and at night. He is, for all intents and purposes, "A big boy!"
However, being 3 is also trying to find out who you are. Asserting your independence and doing things "All by myself!" As an adult and more importantly as a parent, your goal and hope is that you guide your young child along a path which will lead him towards success and happiness. Whatever success and happiness means to that particular child and notwithstanding any trauma, delays or PTSD they have encountered in their lives.
So as parents to a Wee Man who is 3...we find ourselves butting heads with him on occasion as we try to teach him some of the ways of the world. This past week it seems like we have been locking horns ALL. OF. THE. TIME.
I'm not over exaggerating here either. My head literally feels like I have been hitting it against a brick wall for a week.
There have been some other changes too. The daycare he has been going to is slowly introducing him to the "Ladybug" room. This room is for the kids who are aged 4-5. The true pre-schoolers. They get them ready in this room for entering Kindergarten by following a pre-school curriculum. It's actually quite a nice feature because then you don't have to worry about getting your kid into pre-school. They are already there.
Up until now, he has been in the "Hucklebug" room. Kids 18 months to 4 hang out here and they do all kinds of fun activities and field trips. The rooms are in the same building and are linked by an adjoining kids' bathroom. They often play together during the day, have naps in the same room and generally mix and mingle at some point during the day. He is used to being in and with the kids in both rooms is what I am trying get at.
The idea of the slow introduction to the Ladybug room for the kids is getting them ready to be in the "big kid" room but also because Kindergarten changed this year so that kids who started Kindergarten this fall are only going part-time. They don't have the room to move the kids up full-time as they would have done in the past. So they bring up kids on the days the Kinders are in school.
I do think, and so does the Husband, that being labelled a 'part-time' ladybug/hucklebug has Wee Man confused. We were scratching our heads on Sunday, after many melt-downs, tears and temper tantrums (and those were just ours), and trying to figure out what had changed. Big move, yup, that we knew was a huge factor and would play out for a while, but honestly he has been pretty good about the new house. That is not to say maybe this is something he has been holding in since we moved and only now feels comfortable letting it all out.
We both think it is a kind of "the straw that broke the camels back" type of scenario.
The temper tantrums are of a giant proportion. He has never, ever had these kinds of tantrums. Ever. So, as parents of a child who has certainly had his moments and not been an angel but has generally been a good kid, it has been frustrating. For the most part we both can remember to breathe and tell each other "This too shall pass!" "Right?" We can co-parent and strategize and confer on what we feel is the best action plan to get things sorted.
This weekend was a different story. Maybe it has been so much more than we thought. The move, the being in a new house, the routines of our daily life shaken up. There were moments this weekend when we were both tired of the yelling, spitting, hitting, and throwing of toys at us and the dogs, moments where you just kind of forget you are the adult and begin to temper tantrum yourself. This, we know, is not the correct nor responsible action to take...but there you have it...we both found ourselves yelling at some point making the entire household one giant, yelly, mess!
Breathe!!!! It's what we tell Wee Man when he is getting wound up. When his playing, dancing, running, biking pace starts to build momentum. The kind of momentum he doesn't realize is taking him into another zone. It happens...we stop him...tell him to breathe and he does. He comes back down to his normal level (please note I said his normal level which is different from every other child).
This weekend I think we all forgot to breathe. A 3 year old is NOT going to remember to breathe. Rightly so, they live moment by moment. But with all of us forgetting to remind each other to breathe it was a hard weekend.
We constantly remind ourselves about all he has lost. How much change he has been through and continues to go through. Sometimes we forget though. He can show so much maturity and he has progressed so far in such a short time frame. We forget he is still younger than he looks emotionally. So weekends like we just had catch us off guard and we think "Where are we going wrong?"
We aren't, we just have to remember to breathe. He is gaining, growing, and learning. There will be times of regression. As a friend wrote on her blog, with progression there will first be regression.