the Almost-3's

Catie is in this phase that… well, I don’t really know what phase it is. It’s not quite the Terrible Twos anymore. It’s more the Obnoxious Almost-Threes. So much of her is fun and delightful and wonderful (I mean, did you see this video?), and she makes us laugh like nothing else. But then there’s this other side, that drives me absolutely up the damn wall.

showing off her clean mouth after brushing her teeth

She’s starting to show this attitude, and I don’t really know where it came from, but I would very much like for the rudeness to stop, thank you very much. She’s good about saying “please” and “thank you” (although we sometimes have to prompt her for it), but then there’s this other stuff that just blows my mind.

For example, the other night she didn’t want to sit and eat at the table at dinnertime. She threw herself on the floor and had a screaming fit instead. Which is similar to the Terrible Twos, except that her complaints are much more articulate now (“No! No dinner! I watch Yoke-yoke [Pinocchio]!”). When I informed her that she could either sit and eat her dinner or she could go to time-out, she opted for time-out. I waited the requisite two minutes, then went and asked her if she was ready to come eat dinner. She still refused, so I said, “Ok, you can come sit with us whenever you’re ready.” And I left. She sat in her time-out spot and pouted.

A few minutes later, Dave called from the table, “Catie, would you like to come eat dinner now?” Her response: “No, I too busy right now.” Seriously. Apparently her pouting schedule was so jam-packed that she couldn’t possibly make time to squeeze a meal in there. Ok then.

check out the HAIR

And yes, her mile-wide stubborn streak does in fact come directly from me. My mother makes a point of reminding me of that at every possible opportunity.

Then there is the small issue of her energy level.

Y’all, kids this age are exhausting. She goes non-stop every minute that she’s awake. She is a force of nature. She sucks all the air out of the room. She is impossible to ignore. She’s the reason I’m both excited and terrified to have another baby, because God help me if I have another one exactly like her. I don’t know if I can survive another two year-old that requires this much of my constant attention.

running at bedtime

And the sleep? Ok, when I joke about how whenever we have a second baby, God owes me a good sleeper? That is so not a joke. I hear all these stories from my friends, whose kids who go to bed at 8 p.m., and I kind of want to laugh and cry at the same time. If Catie is in bed before 10:30 p.m., we do a happy dance. Usually it’s after 11. Then she wakes up sometime around 7 a.m. This means that if I fall asleep at the exact moment that she goes to bed, I might get 8 hours of sleep. But somehow it never works that way. Because I always have to wash dishes and brush my teeth and all that other stuff before I can go to bed myself.

And honestly, I’m at a loss as far as what to do. Do I start cutting her nap shorter? Right now it’s the only two hours of peace-and-quiet “me time” that I get each day, so I’m hesitant to do that. If I let her skip her nap altogether, she’s asleep by 6 p.m., and then she wakes up at least 4-5 times during the night because her sleep schedule is all confused, so that’s definitely not worth it.

Do I try to cut all sugar out of her diet to see if maybe that’s what’s making her so hyper? And is it even possible to cut sugar out of a toddler’s diet? Seriously, I will take whatever advice any of you might have on this one. Because, seriously, I AM TIRED.

But of course, there’s also this.

morning after Halloween

And you know, she’s pretty freaking awesome. And I wouldn’t trade her for the world. Really.

But I’d be lying if I said I don’t look forward to the day she whines about wanting to sleep until noon on the weekends.

5 thoughts on “the Almost-3's

  1. Cutting out added sugar might be a good idea. You’ll never rid her diet completely. Another thing to eliminate is food dyes. There are lots of studies that show they can be linked to exactly the type of behavior you’re describing.

    Personally I wouldn’t eliminiate her nap. However is it possible to move it earlier in the day? I dunno when she takes it now, but if it’s afternoon, maybe move it to late morning?

    Just some thoughts off the top of my head. If I think of anything else I will send you an email. Hang in there. ((hugs))

  2. I completeely agree about cutting out the sugar. I bet u will see a huge difference. It also took me a while to realize that the TV really does affect kids so maybe an hour before naptime and a 1-2hrs b4 bed, try not even having it on at all. Not even for background noise. Definately try an earlier naptime. Maybe move lunch up and put her down soon after. No more than 2hrs of napping might help with bedtime. What does your pedi suggest?

  3. Not in bed before 11:00??? Good Lord how do you do it? Alexandra goes to bed at 7pm like clockwork and get’s up between 6 and 7 each morning. If i’m late putting her to bed because we’ve been out, as soon as we get home she says “Bed mommy, I tired”. We do however have a very fun nightlight in her room. It runs on batteries and shines Dora in her pj’s on the ceiling holding a teddy bear. It shuts itself off after about 30 minutes or so. Alexandra loves it. Maybe, if Katie is a Dora fan, that’s something that would entice her to bed a little earlier? Just a thought.

    Hang in there mama! They’re going to be teenagers before we know it :o(

  4. I would definitely cut out sugar. Don’t do it cold turkey b/c it’s like us when we cut out caffine. But definitely limit what kind of sugar she has. If she drinks juice see if it has a lot of sugar in it, if it does then don’t give it to her 4 hours before bed, give her something else, or water it down. I wouldn’t eliminate her nap b/c kids do need to recharge. Start getting her ready for bed earlier, 20 minutes earlier one week, then earlier, earlier, etc. Make bedtime a fun thing. Brush teeth, bath, potty, story. Have her play hard, run some of that extra energy off, do some treasure hunts or hit the park or make her walk to the park (if it’s within walking distance for an almost 3 yr old). I agree with the above comments, if she naps late in the afternoon try to get her down earlier. I babysat for a couple who would give their son lunch at noon, let him play for about 30-45 minutes, then put him down for a nap. This way if he slept until 3-4pm, there was a few hours of play, dinner, and then bedtime around 8.

    You definitely want her going to bed earlier b/c when she starts pre-school and stuff you don’t want her exhausted.

    I have to say the tongue sticking out picture cracked me up.

  5. You seriously need to rearrange her sleep schedule. Our girls are in bed by 8:00 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. if they seem overtired. It’s completely not negotiable in my world. Establishing a sleep schedule is not easy to do, nor is it easy to stick to it. We have a whole routine where we take the girls upstairs, get them ready, tell a story, say a prayer and then they go to sleep. If they are really wound up, I’ll sit there until they go to sleep. It’s hard to do, but you’ll be very happy when you change her sleep schedule.

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