I’m going to make a public confession here.
I was THIS close to taking my daughter by her shoulders and shaking her in front of other people yesterday. Hard.
Not to mention the urge to yell in her face and smash her tiny cello to the floor.
All because she wouldn’t behave as I would have liked her to.
We were both tired. I had asked to attend the afternoon group cello class in place of her usual individual lesson so that I could take her to watch ‘The Gruffalo’ that morning.
Based on experience, I already knew that it was not a wise decision given that she would refuse to nap before the class and that the 45-minute group session would be a test of limits for a 3 year-old, compared to her usual 20-minute solo class.
I didn’t shake her, of course. Nor scream and smash a cello. I couldn’t. Not while in class. Definitely not within the privacy of home either.
Instead, I calmly took her out of the room, summoned up every ounce of patience from within, held back harsh words and quietly told her that if she was not ready for class, we could leave right now.
I had shared on my Maybebaby blog back in June 2012 about my online shopping addiction…. for children’s books. Back then, Coco was all of 10 months old!
I was looking at our storybook collection last night and it dawned on me that more than 2 years on, we’re still reading some of our favourite books. While Coco has outgrown most of the baby books, she still enjoys listening to some of the old favourites. What’s more, she can now chip in by reading some of the lines aloud!
Claire, on the other hand, is still relishing stories suited for younger toddlers, such as lift-the-flap Maisy books, touch-and-feel and peek-a-boo type books.
So, what is ONE mum to do when TWO girls want mummy to read them both a book at the same time? I thought it would be interesting to share our favourite titles that appeal to both my 19 month-old and 3 year-old little readers, so that you too can prop one kiddo upon each of your thighs and enjoy some two-on-one (literally) story time.
(Before they start elbowing and kicking each other, that is. Or before your legs go numb, whichever is earlier.)
Recently, we took Aidan to one of the rooftop water play area at a mall near our place. It’s a pretty nice place filled with both wet and dry playground, and not at all crowded on weekend mornings so we like to bring him there after breakfast for some play time.
Except one weekend, Mr Thick changed him into his bathers and promptly dunked him under a waterfall.
I’ve been meaning to pen this for the longest time but each time I find myself starting a post, I stare blankly at the screen and wonder how on earth I am going to begin writing.
So. Let’s try now.
We all know that two-year-olds are like a different breed of animal altogether. They are unpredictable, prone to crazy tantrums, demanding and temperamental. That’s why everyone calls it the “terrible twos”. But really, it’s not just the twos that drive us all crazy, it’s EVERY AGE. Or rather, certain phases within each age.
According to child psychologists Drs Ames and Ilg, kids at whole ages (think 2, 3, 4 etc) tend to be cycling towards equilibrium. This means that they are happy, loving, affectionate, secure children. This is when parents pat themselves on their backs smugly and think, I have a unicorn child!
Two months after Zac’s arrival, we finally feel as if we are back on track.
The first month, as expected, was just crazy and hectic. On top of handling a newborn and his needs, there was also the toddler and his needs to juggle. And because Zac had jaundice, there was the additional stress of lowering his bilirubin levels to think about.
It was probably a tough month for Aidan too, given that he had lost the undivided attention of his parents all of a sudden. As much as he loved (or tolerated, really) his baby brother, it was too much for his little mind to process. While we were expecting some upheavals, I was not prepared for the magnitude of it. There were epic tantrums, replete with loud sobs and vigorous floor-rolling. Boundaries were severely tested in so many ways. Instructions were deliberately ignored.
But the worst bit of it were his tears: big, heartbreaking wails of “mama” over and over again. Day and night (in the middle of his sleep). There was nothing I could do but to hold him tight, stroke his hair and tell him that I love him, it’s alright, we will be fine.
It was a tough month.
Thankfully, we are out of the woods now and while there are still moments of jealousy, he is back to his happy self again. One weekend when Aidan was laughing over something silly, the husband smiled and said with great relief, “We haven’t heard that laugh for a month now.”
Some of this adaptation to the change is due to Aidan’s own personality – he’s generally a happy kid – but we also took careful steps to ensure that any jealousy or rivalry is minimised. Of course, it doesn’t always work and Aidan still demands to be carried by whichever parent is holding on to the baby. But by and large, he is both loving and nonchalant towards Zac and I think things should improve as time goes by.
Here are some of the things that we did to ease the transition from a family of three to a family of four.