Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Benjamin and Asher: 2 years, 11 months

Benjamin is saying "cheese."  Charlotte looks unsure of things.

My babies are almost 3!  They are pretty typical children at this point- I don't feel like they are toddlers anymore; they are growing into little boys.  They seem tall, and their faces are thinner, so that they really don't look like babies anymore.

They are enjoying testing the limits.  We have been doing time-outs as our main form of discipline, but it doesn't work too well.  If they choose to get up from time out, which they often do, there isn't much we can do to keep them in it, because there are 2 other children who need attending to.  At times they are easily redirected, and we can figure out what's bothering them and change the situation so that the undesired behaviors stop.  Other times they are just tired or crabby and no amount of talking or change of scenery will help. For me, nap time is the worst- if they don't nap and just get increasingly agitated because they are tired but refuse to sleep, I flip my lid.  Benjamin is really the worst around nap time- he almost never naps at home when I am here.  And mommy is not ready to lose that quiet time!  In any case, I have a book on order from the library about disciplining the strong-willed child, so I hope that it gives some helpful hints.  I don't believe in spanking- I just don't think it is effective and I think it would be more about my relieving my anger in a physical way than it would be about discipline or changing their behavior.

The most remarkable recent change, to me, is in the sophistication of their thinking.  I don't mean we are sitting around and talking about abstract concepts like religion, but just that I can see them make connections between things that I didn't know they thought about.  For example, Asher is good about talking about his feelings- he will get excited and tell me what things make him happy (seeing his friends, baking cookies, getting a present, getting hugs).  He can also say when something makes him sad (Benjamin poking him in the eye).  But the other day he told Eric he feels shy, and then said that he feels shy all the time.  In a way, this breaks my heart- he is a beautiful, lovable little boy who gets along well with all his friends and family members.  But I am also pleased that he is sensitive to his feelings and able to communicate about them.  I've noticed Benjamin making connections between things- we were in the car and talking about things in the sky, and he was able to name things that flew in the sky, like a helicopter and a plane.  They can categorize and make associations- an apple is round like the moon when it's full.  I am not sure how long these thoughts have been in their heads, since it is just in recent months that their vocabularies and abilities to talk have made it possible for them to communicate thoughts like this.  It is a pleasure for me to hear them think and learn.
Every night is a sleepover when your brother is your best friend

Right now, Asher loves to be helpful.  He helps with Charlotte, he helps unload the dishwasher, do the laundry, make coffee, and bake.  We encourage all the help!  Sometimes it is actually helpful, and sometimes there are coffee grounds all over the counter- but it is wonderful that he wants to do it.

Both boys are increasingly picky with food.  It drives me nuts.  You never know what they are going to eat, and what they will reject.  They will ask for something for breakfast, and 5 minutes later, when you give it to them, they don't want to eat it.  Tons of wasted food, and being a Jewish mommy, I worry that they are not eating enough and will waste away.  They are both very skinny, and you can see every vertebra in Benjamin's back.  I just wish they would eat with more consistency.

They do so much that makes me happy and proud as a parent- they love to read books and be read to, they play independently and with each other, they make friends with their peers and interact well with adults.  Most days I am a proud and pleased mommy.  And then there are days where there isn't enough chocolate ice cream in the world to help calm my frazzled nerves!  I guess that's life with 2 almost 3-year-olds (and a baby!).

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