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I recently visited with my youngest g-boy to celebrate his third birthday. I was thrilled to see how much he had grown and developed since I saw him at Christmas. He sang complete songs, did finger plays, explained his new birthday construction toy crane to me (Did you know that long arm is called a boom?), he built many amazing things with blocks, he is sleeping in a big boy bed, is using the potty most of the time, talks clearly in great detail, counts, can say his A,B,C’s, among many more things. He managed to show me this while suffering with strep throat.
The little boy stayed home from day care/school with me on Friday. When I’m with him, I plan to do whatever he wishes (within reason). He surprises me when he decides to leave one thing for another. I will sometimes say, “So, should we pick the books up first?” but most often, he will do so without prompting. He is also very smart. I worked several new puzzles with him, but he tired before completing the third. He looked at me and said, “I’ll let you work the last one by yourself”. Knowing he wasn’t feeling his best, I agreed and began working the puzzle. He watched me for a few moments before beginning to help.
This little guy didn’t go through what many parents refer to as the “Terrible Twos”. I love this stage of development and refer to it as “Terrific Twos”. It’s a time of frustration for toddlers who aren’t very verbal but who are experiencing BIG emotions they don’t understand and don’t know how to handle. Imagine my joy when I see his mommy and daddy giving him choices about anything and everything they can. He asks for a snack and his mommy may ask if he’d like a banana or an apple. Once he decides, she will ask if he wants it on a plate or in a bowl. One day, he asked for a plate then followed with, “no, no, I want a bowl with the, the, the”. She picked up one that has a special lip on it and he said, “Yes, that kind. I want a blue one.”
Daddy asked how he wanted to go to his bed at night after his bath, a video, and a book. He chose a piece of construction equipment and his daddy picked him up, held him out in front of him, turned him around, raised him up, “drove” him toward his room and lowered him onto his bed. Little man got himself situated with pillows, blankets, music, and his cup of water nearby. Typically, he isn’t heard from again until morning.
Because they have allowed him to have such control over his life in-between-time, he is usually willing to do what he needs to do when time is short. They also make great efforts to not rush him. They may shower and dress before he wakes, or one of them is with him while the other gets ready. Let me assure you, he is capable of melt-downs. Mommy shared with me how one night she carried him into the bathroom and flipped on the light at which point he lost it. He’d not asked to switch the light on and she immediately flipped it off so he could do so. No amount of effort did the trick for him. He was probably over-tired and certainly unable, at two and a half, to figure out what was wrong, much less tell her. Those things happen at times no matter how hard we work at easing the transition to independence. Stick with it. You will see change. Happy Parenting!
©2015 Brenda Holland-Robinson