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Discussion Starter #1
Well, we've reached it too. The child that was mostly happy to go along with what I asked has decided to either do opposite what I ask, ignore me, just shout 'nooo', anything and everything. Timing couldnt be worse since I'm at 36 weeks and also have an 18 month old. In addition to this, there has been a lot of 'not understanding'. Best example I have is this: "We are going (somewhere), please go get your shoes." "Shoes?" She seems to genuinely suddenly not know the word (at 3.5). Happens with all sort of common objects. Is this just wandering attention?<br><br>
I am so tired of explaining, yknow? I'm ok most of the day but I'm finding my patience wearing thin in early afternoon.<br><br>
What are your strategies for dealing?
 

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I don't know yet. We're in it too. Right now I'm mostly reassuring myself that it's normal. Really, it is. So in that way, it's a good thing.<br><br>
My husband is at his wits end, so my current task is to find some brief articles and such that will help him understand that a) it's normal and b) insight into the developmental aspect on it and c) some of the deeper stuff behind my parenting philosophy (I'm more UP than not.)<br><br>
I'll try to remember to come back here and post them too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Maybe it is being cooped up in our case. I haven't been taking them out as much, hard to chase after two of them when I feel like I swallowed a watermelon. I let them play in a blowup pool for two hours yesterday, took them for a walk last night and this morning and it hasn't been so bad. Maybe she's just too tired!<br><br>
I mean, we had our fair share of "Are we there yet?" but I've figured out that she must have heard that somewhere because she doesn't seem to understand what that is asking, she just likes to have something to say.<br><br>
I'm afraid that this also might be a reaction to the way I respond to her as well. When she asks for things she can't have, I often explain why she can't have them and try to leave it at that but after *repeated* questions, i either just say no and go about my business or ignore... So maybe I need to find a better way to deal with stuff. Prevention of some sort, surely. Sadly, distraction doesn't work at 3, well, it does but not often.<br><br>
Thank you for any info you can provide, that's awesome of you. Yes, the Mr. isnt handling it very well. I guess I have all this time during the day to acclimate to the whole thing and he works long hours and doesn't have much left in him some evenings. He liked the walk last night though... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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This is a very hard age, and I really think the root of it is that their language skills have developed so well that it's easy to respond to them as if they're older than they are. They're just beyond toddler age, and some days they act more like toddlers than preschoolers, despite their language abilities. Also, they get those language abilities long before they get social graces or patience or impulse control.<br><br>
The dichotomy between language skills and maturity is hard to take. Imagine if a colicky 2-month-old could tell you just what she thought of you at 2 am. The impending birth might be making him a bit apprehensive and could cause some issues as well.<br><br>
I would just treat him like a toddler and hand hold him through things when he gets like this, as you would a 2-year-old, but I can't even imagine having two that young and being 36 weeks pregnant on top of it. It might be a good idea if you have family who plan to support you after the birth, to start taking some of that support now to deal with two little ones when you're hugely pregnant in hot weather. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I don't think his behavior is out of line for his age (and particularly in the situation of having a new sibling on the way so soon), and therefore I don't think you'll have much luck changing it, but you do have too much to deal with.
 

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Thank you for your kind words. I think you are spot on, I have been expecting too much out of her and today has been somewhat easier since I'm trying to treat her more like a 2 year old.<br><br>
Prevention, prevention is my new moto!
 

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I agree with everything else already posted, especially about the new baby causing stress. I know my 3 yo DD is acting a lot differently since her new brother arrived. She loves him dearly, but it's still hard.<br><br>
I've been trying to pinpoint what need is causing her misbehavior, and addressing that instead of the behavior. With my DD, it's usually attention. (Usually if she's giving DH a hard time, it's a power issue, which is really on him to address. He, like many others have mentioned, isn't completely on board here, but he's trying.) This morning I was on the phone and she started hitting and biting me. I got off, asked her if she was sad because she needed attention, and she immediately calmed down. Just knowing that I get it seems to help. We worked out that when she needs my attention she will put her finger on her nose. It's silly, which helps to diffuse the tension, and it lets her tell me immediately what she's feeling. So far it's working, but who knows tomorrow, right?<br><br>
I also agree that her impressive language skills make it hard to remember how little she is, especially since we have a baby around again. She's always been really verbal, which used to be really helpful, but now it's hard to remember that she's still 3, even if she does sound like a 5 year old! I'm trying to remember (and remind DH) that she's totally normal, and it's just an impulse control thing that she'll outgrow. It's rough, though, I get it. And it's hard enough to deal with just the two of them - you're about to really have your hands full!!
 

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I love the finger on the nose! What a great idea!<br><br>
It is making me feel better just knowing that other moms are going through this. I've been working hard on being present today and it seems to be helping. I am not the greatest parent when tired and pregnant...<br><br>
The need for attention is a funny thing. Yesterday DD1 was painting while I was talking to my doula, making some last minute plans. She went from just using the brush to having paint 'gloves' in seconds. Probably because we were talking to each other and not listening to her. I'm actually kind of proud of the fact that I didnt flip out. Maybe because it was in the morning and I was rested. I did the whole 'oh that's not gonna work long' and made suer to help her wash when she was done. Next time she paints I need to get hte booster seat and make sure she is trapped at the table so that she doesn't wander away when I'm not looking!
 

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I have to remember this too. Treat her like a toddler...<br>
I know I expect too much sometimes, esp b/c DS is pretty high-need and I so need her to not be screaming (on purpose! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">) while he is, as it just makes him more upset. But she is just a 3.5 y.o. babe still, really. Verbally she is so mature.<br><br>
Thanks, all, and OP.
 

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My kids haven't reached this stage yet, but it sounds like a scenario straight out of Playful Parenting. My guess is that because of your pregnancy you may have stopped or limited some of your more physical playful contact with her. Maybe you have some kind of connection ritual, like giving tummy kisses / zerberts are a favorite here. I can’t imagine doing that at the pregnant watermelon stage (but I had twins.) These rituals symbolize “I love you!” to children.<br><br>
As for the shoes situation, there is a similar example in the book. His daughter isn’t getting dressed, so he picks up 2 dolls and has one doll say “I don’t think she can get dressed on her own.” The other doll says “Oh yes she can, I’ve seen her do it.” He continues with the dialogue the entire time her daughter is getting dressed having the mean doll turn her back every time his daughter puts something on only to look when she is finished. Then the mean doll says something like “she didn’t do that on her own, she had help.”
 
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