SO I had an epiphany of sorts today concerning one very grumpy, angry and overall nightmare three year old I know.
Do you see this face?
He’s perfected that face don’t you think?
Well, we’re seeing it more and more. And it usually comes with a big scream or hit or even a bite he delivered for the first time ever recently to poor Parker. Overall he has just become this awful kid who I’m constantly embarrassed by.
But do you see this face?
Sweet sweet kid. Loving and funny and active and smart.
That’s the kid I miss on days like today when all I got was the beast.
The epiphany came as I was driving away from his preschool where I left him SCREAMING and KICKING his teacher.
It’s all about attention. I think.
When Bailey was three years old she had a one and a half year old sister and a newborn brother. I was so concerned about her feeling forgotten I made sure to pour attention on her. As Parker got a bit older I was constantly worried she’d end up being the forgotten middle child so I poured love on her. Grayson has been so easy and go with the flow I realized today he’s been nearly forgotten. By me at least.
This morning he came into my bedroom while I was getting dressed and leaned on my leg asking to cuddle with me. I was running late so I brushed him off and told him to go get dressed. Because I fully expect my three year old to go pick out his clothes, take off his jammies and get dressed alone. When that wasn’t happening and my yelling wasn’t making a dent I asked his sisters to get him dressed while I made three lunches and breakfast. It ended in him getting a spanking for not listening to anyone.
And it just got worse as the morning went on.
But the more I thought about it the more insane my expectations of him are. Which is funny b/c when Bailey was his age, as the oldest, I had a house full of babies so she got treated like a baby OR like she should have been for a young three year old. Sippy cups and cuddles and book reading and playing on the floor made up our days. Now carpool and homework and errands and work fill so much of our days I can’t tell you the last time I sat on the floor and just played. Which is ok for the girls b/c we sit and color together or read and we have our time together. But Gray doesn’t do any of that. He plays. He gets dragged along to all of the “big kid” stuff we do and we’re sort of forcing the toddler/preschooler right out of him.
This hit me hard today as I thought back on all the times he’s really acted out vs. the good attention I give him. He’s pushing my buttons b/c he knows he’ll get a rise out of me and get attention, albeit BAD attention. And it made me really sad.
The silver-lining is that he IS only three and it’s not too late to change. Me and him. We’re going to have to work together at this. And it’s going to start by some undivided Bubba-Mommy time!