So, I agreed to help out a friend by watching her 2 and a half year old 2 days per week while the usual caretaker is recovering for surgery. I have an almost 18 month old, and for some reason, I thought that he would really love having another kid around to interact with, but once the novelty wore off (2 days), it has not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. I suppose I should have expected that it would be a tough transition for him, but he has always loved hanging around other kids....How do I make this easier on them??
I have no idea how to "parent" a toddler!!!
The issues we are having in particular are:
1.) Sharing (duh). My DS doesn't understand what sharing is, and I feel like that is developmentally normal. I think that he is having a hard time with loosing some of my attention and a hard time navigating the concept of ownership at the same time as learning about "sharing" or "taking turns". How do I help him through this while still being appropriate with my friends DD? I obviously don't want to sideline her (she's obviously still learning about taking turns and sharing too....), but I have no idea how to explain the situation in terms that she will be okay with, at the same time as meeting my DS's needs.
2.) Naps. My son still needs to nurse to sleep. The first few days friend's DD would watch TV for 5-10 minutes by herself, but not anymore...and my DS is much too distracted by her being around to doze while I am reading stories to both of them. (she doesn't nap anymore).
2.) Balance. We are attempting the GAPS diet, and I am having a really hard time with it. It's a lot of prep, and mentally draining. (food allergies and yeast problems, so we are having food withdrawals and die off issues). It's also hard on my son, and he has been very cranky and clingy, and he does NOT like it when I need to comfort friends DD. (Who also has poop issues!). Plus my friend sends her DD with food that my son would love to devour, but really shouldn't be eating.....My husband works a gazillion hours, so he's not around to help as much as he would like to, and so I am left trying to cover all of our bases.
3.) Tantrums in a 2 and a half year old....usually surrounding potty use. She holds in her poop, and I think she is afraid to pee for fear of the poop leaking out. When she hasn't pottied in a while, she is (understandably) very cranky and almost impossible to reason with (usually she is quite understanding). Then I have two constipated, cranky toddlers throwing cranky fits and tantrums because they both want me....HELP!
I just found out that my friends MIL (who was watching her DD) is having more surgery, and therefore they are looking for someone to watch friends DD for the next year. I would love for this to work out...I like having someone around for DS to play with - they do actually get along a bunch of the time. Friends DD seems to like it with us. And the extra money is nice....But this is hard!!
Any words of wisdom??
(whew that was long!!!)