yes, ruby is nov. 19
we just did clay's fifth birthday. we rearranged the house and we got him a computer. then i had more people than ever over and he got tons of loots. so we are still recovering.
the good thing about the obnoxious age is that they are still so forthright and spontaneous. one day they get bigger and quit wearing their emotions on their sleeve and it seems unnatural.
right now my particular key to life is to be able to laugh about it all.
one discipline book that helped me was becky bailey's easy to love difficult to discipline. haven't looked at it in a while though so i don't even know how i would feel about it now. basically - you must teach your child those skills and usually that means i am working on my own tantrums/reactions.
i was talking to a friend who's older boy told her, concerning her toddler, "you always take up for that rat". this reminded me how important it is for me to take up for ruby even though she is definitely screechy and overreacting for drama. and while they are little my kids actually aren't equal. and yes, it is supposedly hard for the boys, and they can act out that they feel neglected. but it would be a totally different flavor if i did not defend the littler and younger, and frightening for them as well. so i'm working on them respecting her littleness (even though she is bossy), validating their concerns, and how to speak appropriately (ongoing).
one of the biggies for me, is with limits. it has taken me years to acknowledge that in order to foster a free loving spirit, i actually have to express a brick wall limit. i always have been wary of the term, nip it in the bud, just seems wrong, but that's basically what it is for a particular tantrum hysteria. i used to ignore it and figure they would run out of steam, smothering my own anger. now after a certain point i have say Enough, that is is unhealthy to dwell in misery and continue the habit of such, and that i have to protect them with a discipline that they do not have yet. usually that means time in of holding them tight. it feels not so great at first and does take practice and will to begin with, and the situation itself in my experience is not pretty - like my kids don't usually calm down and get cuddly eventually, i just have to let them go after a spell. but in the general scheme, they have thrived happier knowing that there really is a limit, a protective barrier, that life is not a free for all. it has taken me years to bend my brain around such a concept: that you need rules for freedom. it has taken me years to accept this odd conclusion after all the nursing on demand and cosleeping and wanting them to feel they are safe to express anything, to trust that they know best instinctively. which i still believe in....these new threes are a little young to understand and cope appropriately with all of mamma's personal limitations however.
going to bed!