The Threenager

My daughter has been very amusing lately. The things she says are out of bounds. It makes me realize how quickly and easily children learn from what they observe everyday, be it on a screen or not.

One random day, as we were chilling out in the living room together, she said the most interesting thing. I had to nurse my son then, so I told her I would nurse him first then join her in a play. She then said, “When I grow up, I get big boobies, and then I can feed Lucas. Ok.” 

My husband was trying so hard not to laugh, but I could see the expression “OMG” written all over his face. I was shocked at her words, but then realized how kind of her to want to care for her baby brother that way. We were trying to figure out where she learnt the word boobies from as we never used that word, at least not in front of her.

Yesterday, she asked her dad to go to the bank to get some money to buy the game on the iPad. We allow her to play the iPad for a short while only on weekends, and I’m guessing she has realized most of the games we installed are just trial versions. Finally, she has realized those pop-ups are inviting you to pay to continue playing the game. And so she turns to her dad. Gosh, she’s only three! At least she’s got some of it right … money is in the bank …

As fun as it is to watch her grow up, we are also faced with endless rebellion during meal times, shower times, bed times … I don’t know which is worse. She’s also been very rude, is as though all the manners we’ve been teaching her flew out the window. I have had to put her in time out twice in a week, and I never used to have to do that. She is definitely testing our limits. I do understand sometimes her misbehaviour stems from jealousy and wanting more attention from me. I don’t know what else I can do. I want to spend more alone time with her, but no one else can take care of my son because he rejects bottles, only I can put him to sleep, and at 6.5 months he is starting to show signs of separation anxiety. I try to sacrifice my nap times these days to play with her when the baby sleeps … that’s all I can muster for now. It’s not much since my son doesn’t nap long, and needs me to put him back to sleep.

With my daughter, I followed a strict routine. I had all the time in the world to establish it with her when she was a baby. With my second child, I have been more relaxed. Probably because I feel it isn’t worth the stress anymore because the dynamics are different when you have two young children to look after. There are ups and downs, but I try to remind myself they are only young this once. While I am becoming more strict with my daughter as she is growing older, I do love the moments where I see her in the mornings on my bed (we bed share. all of us!) … the way the baby and her smile at each other when they wake up … the way they laugh and play together … It’s very tiring and exhausting,  but it is worth every single moment of love. All I wish is for them to be healthy growing up, and safe from this crazy, neurotic world we now live in. How long can I protect them? How far can I go with them?


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