Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Catching up...

I guess you could say I haven't really been in the 'bloggy' mood lately. For some reason, I feel like we have been so busy....having some sort of commitment each day. And not that it's a bad thing, I just can't seem to get caught up or think straight, it seems.

So today I thought that I'd do some catching up. Nothing too exciting, but it's something.

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I'll start out by telling you about how much of a challenge Parker has been for us lately. She's a sweetheart. She really is. But geez Louise....she has really given us a run for our money! It's not just the whining.....or the fit throwing. But really...it's the blatant disobedience and disrespect for us, and for other people as well. Is this just the "terrible two's" that we've all heard about...and quite possibly dismissed or even laughed about?? Because if it is...then ok. Fine. Although I am far from laughing now, maybe one day I will??

But what if it's more? What if this is the behavior that we have shaped? Is it something that we have done, or not done, as her parents? I'm really trying not to take myself too seriously here because a) I am a little low on sleep these days, and b) she is two. But honestly- in the back of my mind I am always wondering if this is just a phase or is this something that if we ignore, or just don't take that seriously....would she continue to have these behaviors as a 6 year old? An 11 year old? A sixteen year old, God forbid??

And the really big thing....the thing I think that might be stressing me the most is bedtime. I know I shouldn't let it get to me like it does......but this issue has really been going on since last October when we first took her out of her crib....and by the end of the day I am exhausted...and I am ready for the day to end! I've written about our bedtime routine before, so I won't go through it again....but I will say that Parker continues to keep getting out of bed....and if I am not dealing with Grace at the time....I just do the whole Super Nanny thing and just keep putting her back in her bed. But when I am dealing with Grace, this becomes more of an issue. Not to mention the fact that she is SO TIRED....and we know that she is SO TIRED....and I think this effects her behavior, as well.

So anyway- a few things that we are trying to hopefully make things better around here are:
  • For me to spend a little more one-on-one time with Parker. It seems that maybe the days that I get to spend more quality time with her she is better towards me. And since Grace came, I have obviously had to give her much of my attention. And although Parker appears to love her sister and doesn't really act out towards her....there are times (like bedtime) when she will be throwing her fit and will say, "No Mommy...don't hold Grace!" And she'll say this a few times and it really does break my heart....but what am I to do? I do let Grace cry at times just so that I can hold Parker for 1 minute to hopefully let her know that I choose her, too. But anyway. Something that keeps popping into my head lately is something that I learned when I was a teacher.....'if a kid is not getting the attention that they need or think that they need....they are going to get it some way....even if it is negative attention.' And yes- I realize I may be reading way into it....but this has been going on for a while and is progressively getting worse and we are progressively getting more tired and frustrated with it.
  • Sticking to our guns more. A lot of the time I find that we make empty threats, like "We aren't going to go to the park unless you come here and put your shoes on right now." Umm....ok. Sometimes that works...she will come and put her shoes on. But if in the moment, for some reason, going to the park doesn't mean anything to her....then we usually end up 'bribing' her with something else because we want to go to the park to get her and us out of the house! So in the past few days I have been better about only making threats that I am prepared to follow through with. Instead of telling her we aren't going to go to gymnastics if she wears her pajamas (because that's what she wants to wear and literally throws a fit as we are trying to get her dressed in real clothes)....we tell her she's going to go to time out until she's ready to put on her clothes. We'll see.....
  • At bedtime....if she gets up and I am trying to get Grace to bed...I just sit in the dark while feeding Grace and ignore Parker. I don't even really look at her or talk to her. She'll sit there and still talk, but I think she kind of gets the picture. Then, once I put Grace to bed, I pick Parker up, and take her to bed. This time it usually seems a little easier to get her to stay. On a positive note.....I usually still have both girls down by 10pm....so I know that it could be worse. It's just for her sake (as well as mine)...she needs that extra 1 hour to hour and a half of sleep a day! {OR....just do what I did tonight. Since Parker missed her nap today, I knew she was extra tired. So we went to Aunt Sister's for dinner...and I figured she'd fall asleep on the way home (and if she didn't I'd just keep driving until she did)....which she did after only 5 minutes in the car.....and then I was able to just move her from the car to her bed and totally bypass the bedtime routine. It's awful, I know. But it's survival! :) }
So enough of all of that! It's so good to get that off of my chest! This is some of what has been running around in my head for weeks now!

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I'll end with posting Grace's 2 months picture in her growth chair that I failed to do last week.


And then I went ahead and compiled the newborn picture, 1 month picture, and the 2 months picture for our viewing pleasure! CANNOT believe how much she's grown! She's really starting to fill out!



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And so I'm not leaving out Parker! She thinks that she has to tilt her head this way to smile and take a picture. What a poser! :)

5 comments:

Snider Family said...

Hang in there, you are doing a great job. I'm sure this is just a phase and just like any other phase, she will grow out of it. Even though I'm sure you are hoping for sooner than later, it will eventually pass. I am so glad you are so open and honest on your blogs, it really gives me an insight of what's to come. Hang in there!

Viv said...

It is going to be okay! Ya'll are doing a great job. She is having to adjust to so many things. I was never an expert on anything like this so can't give you much advice other than keep on doing what ya'll are doing! She is going through a stage and she loves Grace but is not quite sure she needs to share your love yet. She's a precious little sweet girl!
Grace is beautiful, love the pics!

Kristin said...

Ya'll are great parents! I think it is a phase that she is going through, and the new baby , just everything that has changed for her. It will get better, we all know that it does!! :)

Love the pictures! You can really tell how much Grace has grown in the past couple of months! Cute little smile from Miss Parker Ann!

Kelli @ Our Growing Family said...

I must say, I read this post last night and came back today in hopes of reading good advice from others. It seems like everything you said about Parker, we are having the same issues with Jackson and Garrett. Parker is adjusting to a new sister and all the changes that brings while Jackson & Garrett are adjusting to our "temporary living situation." We are now struggling with bed time, not following directions, fighting and not sharing, and MAJOR meltdowns from Jackson. It is emotionally draining and I often wonder what I can do differently. I did bring this up with Dr. Halsell the other day and she simply nodded her head like it was perfectly normal.
If you find the magic trick let me know. Parker is a sweetheart and you and Geoff are both wonderful parents. Don't blame yourself, stay positive and consistent and things will get better. They have to!

Jamie said...

I really think it is the age. Abby is doing the same things. Really. I would believe those were my words you wrote if I didn't know better. And I have the same thoughts that you do - did we create this behavior with our parenting style... will she always be like this... But then I talk to other people and see other kids her age and they say/do the same things. Does that make it easier? No. You are a great mom and you just need to do what works! Call me and maybe we can come up with something we can both try!

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