Katie is now 3 years old. I am not sure how three years has gone so darn fast.....all I know is my little Katie bug has all of a sudden found her personality, and boy oh boy is it a big one!!
She has always been more outspoken and a natural leader than some of our other children. She was born with a beautiful personality that truly draws people to her. I am just lucky to be her mama, and get to spend each and every day with her. Hearing her silly remarks and stories, watching her grow into a little girl and not a toddler.
They say when a child hits 2, they go through the terrible twos. I beg to differ. It begins a bit earlier than 2, and doesn't magically go away when they wake up on their third birthday. Lets be real here.....after about 13 months, the terror begins!! My oldest son Nicholas will be 13 next October.....he is still going through his own phase of fits. I don't think it ever really ENDS. I think we just grow and learn how to handle our feelings and emotions. I'm 27 and I still have days when I feel a little frazzled and would love to stomp and kick and cry for a good 10 minutes. Maybe 20. :) So for the new moms out there.....don't say I never warned you ;) A good mom just LEARNS how to handle a childs temper tantrums, emotions and frustrations. It's normal, and it took me a while to figure that out. Each child has to deal with things differently from his or her siblings.
Laura was so easy. She was my first baby and a delight! She had it made though. Nicholas went to school all day and Laura had 100% of my attention while he was away. When he would come home from school, Laura would be thrilled to see him and to have a playmate. Then Katie came into the picture. She and I had our special mama/daughter time when Laura started preschool. After we moved here and William was born, that all changed. I feel guilty to say that she had to share the mama time, and was no longer the "baby" of the family. She did great with being the big sister for a while and then about 4 months ago started having some big fits. It killed me and I immediately felt guilty.
Katie is in preschool, and with 3 siblings, she doesn't get 100% of my attention 100% of the time. I'm one person, trying to give 4 kids the love, support and guidance they all need from their mom. Laura did great becoming a big sister and not being the baby.....Katie is a different person and will respond differently to some situations. A couple months ago, she threw the biggest fit, stopped to her room and slammed her door shut. My THREE year old. Yea.....OMG! So I immediately run to her trying to hug her and fix it. I quickly learned this doesn't work for Katie. She is more independent than that. I can easily fix things for Laura and she is happy and will move on. Katie however I have learned to take a different route with. I have to give her a few minutes to herself before going to her. She is literally telling me she wants to be alone to figure out her emotions by walking away. I give her about 3 minutes and sit next to her. Usually I begin with something like "You were trying to get mama's attention and I was making lunch, changing a diaper and on the phone. You wanted me to get you a drink and I didn't help you did I?".....she will usually not look at me and said "No" as mad sounding as she can possibly get. With Laura, I can easily fix it right there by saying "I'm sorry hunny, lets get your drink now". Not Katie. She wants an explanation, she needs to be talked down. It is so simple, but it took me a while to learn HOW to talk her down from feeling frustrated. With Katie I have to say "Oh my goodness, how did that make you feel when I didn't hear you?" and she will say "mad" or "sad". I will respond with "Katie I'm so sorry I didn't hear you. I would feel sad too if you didn't hear me. Mommy will have to put on better ears for next time." I will give her a hug and say "I love you so much and I'm so happy that you are my baby girl, now do you know how we can act next time instead of stomping and yelling?" By now she is calm, thinking clearly and more rational than 5 minutes before. She will be looking at me and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS say something like "I'm sorry I stomp and yell mommy.....but I not like you when you cant hear me".
LOL. Yea, that's my girl. She says it like it is. I'm pissed too when someone cant hear me, or I cant get someones attention. I just don't have the guts to say to someone "I don't like you right now because you aren't listening" LOL! Wouldn't that be something! ;) Katie is special in our family. All kids thrive HUGELY off of positive reinforcement and praise. Katie thrives off of it 100% more than any child I've ever met. Maybe it's because she is a middle child. She has a hard role to play. She wants to still be the baby.....(she will always be considered the baby to me) but she want so to be considered older like Laura. She doesn't know how she feels some days, and some days she has too much emotion that she doesn't know what to do with it. I'm proud of myself for finding what works with her. Talking her down from feeling angry. Isn't that what we all need? Katie has taught me so much this past year.....how to be more patient, that people are ALL different, that taking the time to have a little chat means so much to even a three year old. She has even taught me to actually say what I REALLY think. I think there are times that we all bottle up what we are feeling so we don't hurt someone, make someone mad at us, or simply so we just don't have to deal with it.
I said before that Katie started running off to her room and slamming the door. I would try to bring her to the living room to sit with me (like I would have done with Laura) but it wasn't right for her. It wasn't and isn't what she needs. She needs you to sit next to her or in front of her and just.....talk. Figure it out. Work through it. How amazing is that.....a three year old can learn so much from a fit all while teaching her mama something too.