terrible twos? kinda… terrific threes? yes!

June 28, 2010

tonight, i was putting the kids down and we were going through our regular bedtime routine of stories and songs and lots of ‘sit down, stop doing that, no jumping on the bed, sit down, quit it’s in between. lily was in the middle of singing ‘Jesus loves me’ and got her foot stuck in topher’s bed. these kids cannot sit still! so i was comforting lily, a very very tired lily, and so i held her in my arms and sang the rest of “Jesus loves me”, my lullabye of choice when she was a baby (and i couldn’t remember any other kids’ songs). my heart just melted as she started to drift off to sleep in my arms as i rocked her and topher sat on the floor and sang along. bliss. pure.

anyway, the last few days i have been meaning to write a post of encouragement to parents who may be having a hard time with the ‘two and under’ crowd. cause a hard time i did have with my little lilster! but she is blossoming! too fast now.

here are some ‘big’ issues we have had and have recently overcome, and i am just hoping it brings you some hope if you are in the midst of some of the same:

picky eater: when lily was a baby, she loved to eat. and she would eat anything. and it showed. in her thunder thighs 🙂 she started getting trimmer and slimmer when she started crawling, and life changed when she turned one- she was walking, she was a big sister, and she was suddenly too cool for food. so from the age of one to three, she was picky and therefore hungry. i am an absolute believer that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink. i’ve seen it! even if the horse is thirsty! sometimes it just won’t drink! a rule in our house is that you just have to taste what’s on your plate. just a little lick. don’t reject it til you’ve tried it. she wouldn’t eat vegetables, or meat, or certain fruits, or anything that didn’t have ketchup smeared on it. it was a source of much stress and many battles at the dinner table. as some of my friends have noticed, my love language is FOOD. yes i am fond of words of affirmation and all that, but i speak love through food. i feed those i love. whether that’s me cooking or buying food. you reject my food, you reject me. i say that kinda jokingly and kinda not at all. lily has been so good about eating almost everything we put in front of her lately- curry, hot dogs, cooked carrots, ribs, etc. i could not be happier that this portion of our lives is behind us.

won’t poop on the potty: lily has been using the potty since january, and she has been amazing. she even stopped needing a pull-up to sleep in about a month into the whole thing. she’s got a huge bladder! she has not had any accidents on the peeing front, but pooping has not been her forte. what she makes up in huge bladderness, she loses in having a very very sensitive toosh. she was not the most regular girl, and admittedly she probably did not have the most balanced diet. she drank a lot of milk (a natural constipator. unless you’re lactose intolerant like me. then it’s a natural get-out-of-my-way-before-i-poop-me-pants.) did not eat hardly any vegetables and was even pretty picky about the fruit she would consume. i had fiber gummies, fiber bars, and we tried to eat lots of strawberries that i think have a lot of fiber in em. per our pediatricians recommendations we had her on a ‘healthy’ dose of miralax everyday. that helped. if lily had a painful bowel movement, she would be scared to poo, and therefore wouldn’t. for a while she dropped her deuces in pull-ups, sometimes in her undies. it was very very very frustrating for all of us, but lots of websites we read just told us to be patient and not push the issue. so we bit our tongues and waited and waited. chris really took the reins on this pooping on the potty situation. he read articles on it, and told lily stories about how the poops in her belly needed to go to their mommy and daddy poopoos that lived in the potty. “let your baby poopoos go to their mommy and daddy!” he would tell her. now when lily excretes into the toilet, she looks in and ‘names’ the poops: “baby, mommy, daddy.” she waves, and says good bye as she flushes them home. the miralax definitely helped her to get to where she needed to be- a comfortable place. now with it being summer and us swimming almost every day and consuming insane amounts of mango and watermelon and other wonderful summer fruit and drinking tons and tons of water, we are all regularly waving bye to the poopoo families in the toilet. this can, and will be you and your toddler!!!!

won’t talk. i remember i used to freak out due to lily’s silence. it didn’t help that some people commented on it. she was not really saying a whole lot even after she turned two. she knew plenty of words and would obey two  to three step commands. but words were not her forte. and that’s so crazy to think of, since she is such a chatty cathy now! she counts in english, korean, and spanish. she doesn’t speak much korean (geez, whose fault is that…) but she understands what i tell her when i remember to speak it to her. she runs around the house singing, whispering, blubbering, talking. she has a secret language that is decipherable only to topher, and that is precious. i don’t even care what they are saying, it’s so cute that they are saying it to each other. but when she talks to the rest of us- it’s english! and it’s clear (ok, really clear to chris and i, clear to others if you really pay attention.) and i am so ashamed that i lost so much sleep and felt so much angst about the fact that she wasn’t speaking when i ‘thought she was supposed to be’ talking. that is one of my main struggles- making sure my kids are keepin up with the joneses. and i work daily to let that crap go. cause it doesn’t matter! my kids (your kids!) will do what they need to do when they are good and ready to do it!

you may be judging me for admitting that lily’s ‘twos’ were kinda terrible. lily was not terrible. the stage we found ourselves in was not easy though! and NO ONE ever said parenting was going to be easy. so i don’t know why i thought it might be… lily really made me ‘work’ and kept me on my toes. and i love her for it! she is so special. so unique. so stubborn. 🙂 i am no ‘professional parent’, you gotta take my stories with a grain of salt. everyone’s stories are different. lily’s stories are different than topher’s stories, and they have the exact same messed up mom! but these are the tunnels that we have come through, and we are basking in the light! i just want to give you hope, if hope is what you need, that one day you will bask too.

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