The last couple of months have been SO. MUCH. BETTER. with Wes and his…um…behavioral issues. I mean, it’s been a rough few years going from one bad phase to the next, but I think – as we approach 5 – that the demonic part of the toddler years may be fading.
We used to celebrated if we got THREE smiley-face days in a row. It was something SO RARE that we would all freak out and scream on that third day when we got to school and saw ANOTHER smiley face! We set his goal at 5 in a row for a few months and we couldn’t ever get past three. Then, a month or two ago, BAM! Five started being a piece of cake. Our record now is 8 in a row. 8 days of good behavior in a row is something I NEVER thought was possible before.
He has decided the “reward” he wants for he next goal (10 smile-face days in a row) is a pedicure. Our little walk-in nail place has seats especially for kids to get pedicures. He saw them when Nikki got her FIRST manicure for reaching her AR goal a month or so ago. Ever since that day he’s been wanting a pedicure, so that’s his reward if/when we get those illusive 10 good days in a row.
He still hits a lot, it seems to be a little-brother instinct that he has developed as a response to Big Sister being mean. It’s like he knows he can’t beat her in hand-to-hand combat so he just jumps the gun and hits her first whenever she pisses him off. Which is quite often. But his tantrums are almost non-existent now. And when they start? They’re much easier to stop. There’s no restraining necessary. I pretty easily pull out a trigger word or phrase or tone and he will chill out. The most he’ll do now is stomp off or run away, but he comes back with a command from me. He hasn’t dropped to the floor wailing or kicking or punching in months.
I guess I’m just trying to give everyone who is in the trenches of the ages of 2-5 that there can be better phases around the corner. I don’t know when, Nikki got better around 4, but don’t feel like if your child is punching you in public like mine did before Christmas, that your life is going to suck forever.
Wes and I have actually had some good quality time lately too. Just some nice rational conversations that don’t involve threats of timeout or being punched in the gut. It’s so nice when the bad parts lead into good parts because it’s so easy to forget these are humans we’re raising…with thoughts and feelings and intelligence. They’re not wild animals who we’re simply hoping will stop crapping under the dining room table.
So, things are much better. I can focus more on the good and the love and the fun, which is kinda nice after 3 years of contemplating how I’ll tell my family when Wes is jailed at age 6 for assault.
Under all of those tantrums lived a sweet and kind and smart and funny boy, and it’s been nice to spend some time with him lately.
(P.S. My life is insane right now. I’m working on minimal sleep as I help E’s school prepare for their musical that opens next week. If this entry has more typos/misspellings/grammatical errors than usual, please forgive me. I can not vouch for the quality of content here over the next week. If there’s anything to read that is almost in English? Then I’m doing well.)