Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Losing my nerve and my mind

Charlie has decided to squeak in the terrible twos just weeks before he turns three.

Now I know there are lots of posts about crazy days with Charlie and declarations of his only-hood, but at least I used to be able to count on a nap to break up the day. Dammit, that nap was important for my mental health. And Charlie's too because by 5:00 p.m. he is a bundle of sleep-deprived irrationality who wants everything and nothing at all at the same time. I am still trying to enforce quiet time, a mere 45 minutes when he must play in his room or listen to the blessed books on tape. But somehow quiet time has devolved into twenty minutes of Charlie bellowing from his room and slamming his door repeatedly. Behaviour that begets a time-out, which begets more tears and screaming, which begets a frazzled harpy of a mother. Add in negotiating the minefield that is an almost-three-year-old temperament, and by the time HS gets home I'm exhausted. Oh, and it's winter outside. And I can't shake this cold.

So I'm trying handle Charlie the best I can. HS and I hashed out a few things last night (after I dropped a sheet of the best cookies ever on the floor and stomped out of the house). We are trying to stick to our routines as closely as possible. Because they work, and Charlie is happier when he knows what's coming. He also hates being rushed to do anything (eating, crossing the road, and heaven forbid if we wipe his butt too quickly, cause he hates that too), which makes getting to school a bit, ahem, challenging, so I'm rejigging our timing so we won't be rushed. I am clearly outlining all transitions so there are fewer freak-outs at the unexpected. And I am trying to let go of the little things that make no sense to me, but are very important to-do's on a three-year-old's agenda, such as: If Charlie must put his mittens back on for the seven steps it takes to get from the car to the house, then let him. So what if he's just going to take them off when he gets inside? It's not bad behaviour. It just doesn't make sense to anyone over the age of five.

And today was better. But the upshot of all this is: I've lost my nerve. We were all set to go with baby #2, and since we decided to hold off until our timing was better, I'm hesitating. Again.

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