Steve made it back from North Carolina after bedtime last night. The three of us who remained up here made it through without him, thanks to help from the aunties, Kiki and Papa.
Caroline just loves her new “playground.” She runs full speed at her swing and flies on her belly, “wwwwweeeeee!” It’s a move that’s left her landing on her head a few times, but oh to be 3 again! She sails down the slide on her knees, her belly, her tush – flying off the bottom a ball of giggles. Connor is happy to swing gently in his swing, the wind blowing his little tuft of hair, belly laughs aplenty if you pretend to let him “kick” you. We had so much fun outside on Saturday thanks to the mild weather. Pink noses and rosy cheeks – were the cheeks from the air or from smiling so big for so long? It’s hard to know.
I tried hard this weekend to give the kids as much of my individual attention as possible. Special Nutcracker cards with Caroline while Connor slept. Time with Connor while Caroline helped Auntie C and Hokie prepare for a get together. Things between the kids have been hot and cold lately. Connor always wants to be playing with his big sister OR with things that she considers hers. It seems like we are dealing with a bit of a delayed reaction to his arrival. She will be playing nicely with him one moment and the next she is holding him by his legs to prevent him from moving or touching something she doesn’t feel like sharing. I’ve discovered the farm fridge moved to the top half and out of his reach. I’ve watched her in utter frustration clapping her hands harshly at him or swatting him on top of his head. We’re having trouble coping with Connor’s newly found mobility and increased curiosity.
I stood not five feet away from her while she held him still by his legs. I asked her to please not touch her brother, “let him go.” “Ok, big boy.” PUSH. Flat onto his face, while Maggie simpsoning a paci and oh the screams. From me, my poor boy, and his frustrated sister. I got her into her room onto to discover he was bleeding from the mouth. Another kid with a torn frenum. I stopped the bleeding, Caroline said she was sorry, but the behavior was just out of control. She had actually slapped and bit me the night before, something she has never done before resulting in a 6:30 bedtime. I drew a figurative line in the sand and told her we were flipping the page, moving on, with new and improved behavior and don’t even think I was not taking full advantage of the season and playing the scary, “SANTA IS WATCHING” card.
We welcomed Peter, our Elf on a Shelf, yesterday and he made his first successful round trip to the North Pole and back last night to report on all the things and unfortunate behavior he saw yesterday. We also finally picked up the Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart – something that has been sitting in my Amazon cart for MONTHS – and picked our responsibilities out. She’ll get a prize for getting all her smiles in one day, but I’m not sure that is even attainable? I put a couple easy ones in there that she already does to encourage her to keep working hard. They are practically guaranteed smiles – “get ready for bed,” “say please and thank you,” and “put your toys away.” The hard ones are going to be “stop whining,” “show respect,” “keep your hands to yourself,” and “share.” I’m hoping Peter and her chart will help get her back on course. I’ve been trying to focus more the positives I see than the negatives – spotting the far and few between instances of good sharing, catching her being a good sister, praising her for the little things.
Steve’s back and that is sure to help. She always has trouble when he is away. After Connor went to sleep we read Peter’s story again together in a new living room chair, snuggled up with her blanket. I ran my fingers through her curls. I told her that I knew how hard it was to be a big sister. I was afterall Uncle Bubba’s big sister and that was a scream because she did not get that AT ALL. I told her that Daddy knew too because Auntie K and Auntie C were his little sisters! “NOOOO!” She couldn’t BELIEVE it. I tried to relate to her from our shared experience, even though I don’t remember being three. I layed in bed with her and told her that someday when Connor gets bigger they are going to be such good friends, that he’ll be able to play with her, that she might even want to play with HIS toys. I reminded her that having a brother is special gift and even though it is hard right now, it is going to get better and better, and she fell asleep sweetly and I closed my eyes and caught myself two songs later still laying beside her.

1 comment:

  1. Kerri, I know you know this, but it can't hurt to hear it: Caroline's behavior is soooo normal! I watch my two nieces four days a week. The oldest, Caitlin, is almost the exact same age as Caroline and she reacts the exact same way to Ryan (her little sister is not old enough to be mobile yet)...once she is, and Caitlin has TWO little ones going after her stuff I fear she may lose it all together! Good luck! It sounds like you're doing a great always! You're a fantastic Mom!