Originally Posted by meemee
A lot to chew on here, meemee!
AHA!!!! so THAT is the problem. suddenly your support system has disappeared.
do u have to do lunches and snacks. cant it be one giant eating time whenever? for instance cant u leave some snacks on the table - healthy ones and have ur dd have access to it.
can u create a toy mountain in the center of somewhere - ur living room, bed... and then sit and watch her. so u r there if she needs the hey mom look at what i did support, u r nursing some hot tea or a cold glass of water and just hanging out. or however you can to make it work.
a lot of it was far easier for me to just be out. just go for a walk around the neighborhood. forget clean house, forget meals on time.
simplify life around food. either eat as much raw as you can, or make big giant left overs when dh is home, sometimes use paper plates to make cleaning up easier.
what do u mean when u say you have some activity 'planned' for her. does ur plan look like go to the grocery store at 10 am? at 2 my dd's favourite place was our grocery store we'd go to instead of the park at winter. that is of course if the store is close to you. i might buy a thing or two, but mainly dd spent 2 hours walking and looking down the aisles and then talking to the staff. our little grocery store got to know her well and we still at 11 say hi and know a few staff there. Most days the activity is intended to get her some social time with other kids. So, Mondays we go to a playgroup at the Waldorf school, Tuesdays we go to library storytime, Wednesdays she has gymnastics class, and Thursdays I usually try to do some bigger, all day special thing, like a museum, a big hike, or a trip into the city. It's a conundrum, though, because on the one hand, she's totally tapping me out with her need of interaction, so I'm trying to outsource that and take the pressure off by taking her out a lot. BUT on the other hand, I feel like she is just itching for long, luxurious periods of free play at home. She starts out every day with so many ideas for things she wants to do at home. And we never get a chance to do them because "free play" just seems to break down into a disaster by 10 a.m. On weekends, her dad just plays and plays and plays with her and doesn't clean stuff or make her get dressed or anything, and she's sooooooo happy doing that with him. Until a certain time of day hits, and then she just gets all bizarre and weird, and I know she needed to go out - but at that point she's not ready, we don't have a plan, etc. So, it's this weird balancing act between what she wants and what she needs and what I want and need.
how about mealtimes? i'd let dd take as much time as she wanted as long as she didnt make too much of a mess. so if she wanted to put droplets of milk in her water and watch them mix i figured that was a science lesson for her. Oh yes. I am very lax about mealtimes. She's actually occupied by eating enough to let me go do stuff by myself!
thankfully at that age dd was a 'reader'. she loved books. she loved perusing through anything that had pictures. so i'd give her all the junk mail and catalogues and sometimes she'd spend a bunch of time flipping through those.
i dont know about u - but for us playful parenting worked wonders. This is absolutely my worst parenting skill. I am not playful. At all. When I try to be, it's clear that I'm being fake, and my DD does not respond. She hates it when I try to act silly, dance silly, etc. She does respond well to singing through transitions and whatnot, and I've recently discovered that laughing makes her laugh, so that's another thing I can use to lighten the mood. I'm clumsy, so whenever I try to do fun physical things with her, like swinging her around or flying her like an airplane, I end up hurting her. pantomime. me letting loose and doing silly things to have her do stuff. she felt better if i asked her for help. in fact she loved it. for instance when she needed to go potty i'd say i need to go potty and i dont want to be alone. i'd be very grateful if she would join me and help me and i'd really appreciate the company and help. so dd would sit on the tool and watch me go potty and then hand me the TP. well guess what she was ready to go after i was done.
at this age as a parent life is all about making the world look like a crazy, funny <whatever ur dd likes> place. and YOU as a mother have to figure out how to do that. for dd i had to be v. flamboyant and do crazy things. sometimes she was shocked and stare at me if i was crazy. would you like to take a bath in icecream? lets try brush our teeth with a carrot. i dont know how it feels. i'll join you to see how it feels - but no. no one is allowed to eat the carrot. Again, I would have to spend, like, 3 hours each night trying to think of things like this to do. This kind of thinking is really, really hard for me.
it doesnt work all the time. but it does work. you have to figure out what works for dd. i would act like dd is an alien who has no idea how the world works. THAT would help ME deal with the threes. i never had a fixed anything unless it was necessary. for dd brushing teeth at that age was v. sensory. extremely painful for her. so i'd use a wet wash cloth. I do agree here that I need to try to let go of a LOT of things that seemed reasonable in terms of discipline, even just months before. It's just not working the same way in the 3's that it did in the 2's.
transitions are terrible at that age. so i'd try to make it fun and crazy. dd has always, always loved mysteries. so i'd speak in whispers and say we have to do something else because and make up a story.
btw - what's the big deal about dressing up? why does she have to dress up? yeah if u were going out. but if u r home why does she need to wear anything? Well, we were more lax about this for awhile, then started having an issue that we could never leave the house when we needed to because a gigantic Getting Ready to Go Out battle would ensue. I decided to just put getting dressed into part of our normal routine so that it would be out of the way, and it would allow us to be more spontaneous, just popping out of the house when we needed to.
perhaps, just perhaps you might be taking parenting v. seriously. it does not have to be that way. its really a laurel and hardy story. its slapstick. but YOU have to see it that way. you have to figure out how to laugh at ur dd's tantrums. THEN parenting gets easier.
I don't think it's that I take parenting in particular very seriously, it's that I take EVERYTHING very seriously. It's just...my way. It's funny, because tantrums and bad behavior really don't get to me that much. It's the regular behavior that gets to me, then times when there's no problem to solve. My DD's needs and mine are so different, it is an effort for me almost like quitting smoking or something to just "let go" of some things in my life. Food, yes, I can loosen up a little bit there. And the chores, well, I feel like I've drawn a line that I need to draw there, and there's not much more I can let go without sacrificing other things. I did do less when DD was younger, and we just seemed to be running backwards all the time because a base line of chores was not built into our lives.
and this will be soon over. and ur dd will get more and more mature. and u'll miss these little moments. yes life will change and yes there is beauty in watching your dd turn into a young woman, but each passing moment is also a goodbye, a goodbye to simple, innocent times that will never come back again. let your dd define how life will be. its wonderful to see the world through her eyes. i tell you sometimes dd showed me the beauty of it which even though i was staring at it, i could not see. there is so much to learn from our children. let her lead the way at times and you follow and you'd be surprised at all the wonders you missed. even with something as simple as brushing your teeth.