People often talked about the ‘Terrible Twos’ but truly two wasn’t too bad at all.
Now 3…that’s proving to be more of a challenge. My amazing little girl is strong and has a mind of her own and even though most of the time she listens willingly, there are also times on a
daily hourly basis when she chooses to exert this new independence. Sometimes we just go with the flow and other times…oy! It’s tough!!
Most of this blog is upbeat, fun and shares some of what we do. Today I want to share another part of our life right now that isn’t as much fun but I still want to record it as someday I know the memory will fade…even though today I wish it would!
Daycare pickup continues to be a challenge. It’s only a 5 minute window but still a challenge almost every-single-day! Ugh!! (She’s fine for Mom when she picks her up on Thursdays. Hmmm…) Ange and I are working together to figure out how to help Hannah through this transition but so far have yet to figure out a good solution. Ange now has her boys say goodbye as soon as I get there and they go into the family room which is helpful but the challenge continues to be Hannah. I think it’s a combination of her having fun with her friends and not wanting to leave along with her way of showing me that she’s not impressed that I left her for an entire day. Add to that that it’s 5:15 and she’s getting hungry and we have the recipe for challenge.
Hannah shows her independence by not coming to the door or if she does she then turns and runs away. When I finally have hold of her she’s often uncooperative with putting her coat on and her legs turn to spaghetti when it’s time to put her shoes or boots on. What should be an enjoyable time of the day as we’re back together again is a daily challenge.
Once she’s in her car seat she’s great once again and happy tells me about her day. It’s only the transition time that is rough and by that time in the day I’m tired and hungry too so my patience is decreased.
Today she was particularly upset about having to leave the sandbox she was playing in even though I gave her two countdown warnings that we’d need to leave. When it was time she did her normal routine of saying, ‘No’ and not moving. I moved to her, explained that we needed to go and took her hand. With a little coaxing she came out of the sandbox but then did the spaghetti leg routine and crumbled at my feet. I reached down, picked her up and the wiggling began, complete with kicking her feet thus causing her boots to fly off. I put her down and asked her to put her boots back on which was met with a whining, ‘I don’t know how!’ After one more request I picked her up plus her boots and headed to the car. She was not impressed!! As we made our way between the houses on the way to the front yard she was yelling, wiggling and then to be sure I knew she meant business she reached up and slapped my face!
Oh baby, this mommy was doing her best to stay calm but it took a lot of effort on my part!
To avoid being hit again I slipped her into a football carry and took her to the car that way, all the time the wiggling, kicking and yelling (no more hitting) continued. I put her into her car seat and got into the driver’s seat. She didn’t even ask for her car snack as she knew that was long gone.
Normally our drives are upbeat and happy but today it was quiet….very quiet. She was still mad and I was still trying to calm myself down. I can take a lot but when the hitting begins it takes conscious effort to stay calm.
When we got close to home (about 5 min drive) I attempted to quietly talk about what had happened but Hannah was having none of it. She was still ticked off as her body language of crossed arms, head to the side and eyes firmly closed told me. I told her that she needed to cooperate at daycare pickup and when it’s time to leave she needs to come with mommy.
That was met with a resounding, ‘NO!!!’ so I knew she needed more time. I’m pretty sure it was at that point that I yelled back at her so mommy needed time too.
I wanted to drop something off at a friend’s house so stopped by our place to pick it up and then headed there. My friend Carol was just going in her house when I drove up and collapsed in tears in her arms. I try to stay strong so much of the time but there are times when this mommy gig is just tough and it’s ok to cry! We went back to the car and I shared with her some of the challenges and she listened quietly and offered her support. Her kiddos are teenagers now but she remembers the time when they were little and the challenges that it offers. She was a great listening ear at a time that I really needed it and was also able to offer some new ideas of what I might try to see if we can find a new calm at daycare pickup. Thank you Carol! I appreciate you so much for so many reasons and today was just one of the many. Love you!
By the time we got home Hannah had calmed down and told me she was sorry. I told her I was sorry too for yelling when I was upset. I told her I forgave her but knew that I was a little quieter than normal after that. I hate that this daily transition is so difficult and wish I could find a way to make it easier for both of us.
I prepared supper for us and we enjoyed that together and talked a little more about daycare pickup and what is expected. Normally once something is done, it’s done and I don’t bring it up again but this has been a challenge for a number of months and we need to find a resolution so we talked about it when we were sitting close, calm and fed.
Tomorrow is a brand new day and I’m hoping that today’s challenge and what we learned from it will make tomorrow’s daycare pick up go more smoothly.
Here’s to a brand new day!
Have any of you struggled with this or something similar? What worked for your family?