Monday, September 30, 2013

Mommy Mondays: How To Train Your Preschooler

It seems a bit risky to even mention this, like I'm tempting fate or jinxing myself, but here goes: I *think* we may have turned a corner in Jack's behavior. Four is only a few months away, and it appears - although this could of course be just a momentary lull or the calm before an unforeseen storm - that Jack is getting easier.

Don't get me wrong. Three has been tough. Maybe not as bad as Two (Two was pretty hellacious), but it hasn't been an easy year. Between potty training (nope, still not ready to talk about that), the true mastery of the art of whining, and a lot of adjustments on all our parts, we haven't exactly been a house full of happy campers this year. But lately, for maybe the last month or two, Jack has become a slightly more docile, reasonable, and obedient pet. Er, child.

For one thing, the kid is really getting great at traveling. He knows the whole drill, from climbing in and out of his car-seat/stroller at escalators and security checkpoints to raising his little arms above his head in the scanner thing at the airport (which, I have since learned, is not actually allowed for kids; Thanks, Russia, for repeatedly irradiating our child this past year). He knows that the Frankfurt airport means free pretzels in the Lufthansa lounge and, if he plays his cards right, a toy in duty free. Of course, it helps that John and I have learned from all our past mistakes and now pay the money and miles for upgrades and make sure to have a fully-charged iPad on hand. But honestly, Jack has been a trooper. It's made life a lot easier, considering how much traveling we do.

Jack, relaxing in style on our flight home to the US.

He also seems happier in general, and I'm not really sure what to chalk that up to. He's been extremely affectionate lately, voluntarily planting kisses on my cheeks out of the blue and insisting on extra snuggle time on the couch (we went through a dark period where he barely tolerated my kisses and then wiped them away with the back of his hand), and he's constantly singing and dancing, which can't be a bad thing. He's gotten very good at expressing himself, and he often remembers please and thank you all on his own. As in, "Mommy, get me out of this chair RIGHT NOW! Pweeeaaaaase."

I'm not saying it's all roses out here. Getting Jack ready for bed is an exercise in anger management - I swear it would be easier to put lotion on a 40-pound eel than it is to moisturize this child. He has learned, somehow, to play John and I against each other, blatantly ignoring my refusal of whatever he wants (generally more television) and turning directly to his father and asking as sweetly as possible. And he often makes unreasonable (and sometimes horrifying) demands. Here was a fun conversation the other day, while we were looking at ultrasound pictures in his baby book:
Jack: "Mommy, I want to go back into your belly through your belly button."
Me: "Sorry, buddy, that's not really how it works."
Jack: "It will be okay after I cut a hole in your belly and go back in."

So, yeah, occasionally it's like living with a tiny sociopath, but he's a very sweet, pleasant, and oftentimes polite sociopath. And really, what more can a parent ask for?

1 comment:

Leigh said...

Im just seeing this. Max STILL sleeps with the exact blanket. They are so not babies anymore but they sure do look like it when they are sleeping with the same blankets we brought them home in! Wow how time flies!