We are having our ups and downs with Alex. I am wondering if the terrible threes will ever end. She can be so charming, cute, and fun one minute, and then the next she turns into a little raging, tantruming tiger cub.
A recent quote I liked: "Mommy, even when you are bad, I still love you." When she gets frustrated with me or Sam she counts (just like we do with her) "That's one," "That's two," etc. Except she can't put us in time out when we get to three. :-) Poor Alex. When she doesn't like something I'm doing I hear a lot of "Mom, you're being BAD. You're NAUGHTY." I have tried to emphasize the fact that SHE is not bad, but sometimes her BEHAVIOR is bad, but in her mind, they are all the same, I'm afraid. I hope she doesn't internalize the notion that she is "BAD" too much, especially since she spends a fair amount of time in the time out chair. I try to counter it with positive cuddle time, rocking chair time, telling her often how great she is, and catching her being good. It is hard to know what is sinking in. Twice in the past week she has talked about being "junk" and getting thrown in the trash. What is this about?! Bryan and I have not the foggiest notion. We don't want to read too much into it, but it seems a pretty strange thing for a 3-year-old to say. We have never even joked about such a concept with her - so where does she get it? Hmmm.
The bedtime and potty battles continue. She really has a hard time accepting the rules and constantly tries to manipulate them. I don't get it - she knows we will make her go to bed every night and we follow a very predictable routine - yet when it's that final moment when we say good night and leave the room, many nights it's another squall with yelling and tears. She will not initiate going to the potty herself, and if we don't provide the motivation she will go only once or maybe twice the whole day. We're trying for 3 times a day - but lucky to make it two. We try to give her many other ways to have control, like allowing her to wear her pajamas everywhere, but it's an uphill battle.
I've heard this gets better when they turn four. On the bright side, she is really learning to play beautifully with Ava and other kids her age.