And so it begins. I came home from work the other day to a nice, teeth sized bruise on Emerie’s arm. The next day a similar one showed up on Reagan! The girls are now comfortable with the idea of using their eight front teeth as weapons, wheedling them against their sisters when they are upset or don’t get their way.
This month’s theme in our household is sweet and sour (yes, like the candy…it is October after all). The girls can be so sweet one moment, to each other, or you, or the dog; and the next moment that switch flips and BAM! They are beating each other with a toy, stealing one and running away with a sneaky laugh, or trying to lock those teeth down on a sibling while throwing a screaming fit.
Sour: These are not the first miniature bite marks we’ve come home from work to see, but it goes to show the toddler attitudes are continuing to emerge daily. For example, the light bulb switched on for everyone regarding hair. All of a sudden, all three at some point in the evening attempted to pull handfuls of hair off their sisters’ head. I guess it was the day for them to notice the blonde hair atop each other and try to grasp it. Obviously that was not met with giggles and smiles; but rather some rage and screaming and Craig and I hollering at them to stop it.
Sweet: Not every moment is the sour side of the candy, they can definitely be sweet too and we gain more of those moments each week. As I wrote in my last blog, Harper is a great hugger now- not only will she give you a nice bear hug throughout the day, but she also goes over to Reagan and Emerie when they are upset and will rub their head gently until they a calmer. It’s a very sweet gesture. Similarly Reagan, the main sharer of the three, will try to cheer up her sisters by bringing them a toy, book, or sometimes a random goldfish she found on the floor. It’s the thought that counts right? Emerie is more often the recipient of the sweetness, but has her moments as well.
Sweet kisses are shared now! No more (or as least much less) of the full face licking kiss we saw during late infancy. I wouldn’t exactly call that a kiss but it was a cute attempt at one. They won’t always respond when you ask for kisses, but sometimes they will come over and plop a sweet on on you.
Sweet AND sour? A new sport in our house is toddler wrestling with a side of baby giggles. This activity is becoming more common as they grow and produces both joy and rage depending on the outcome. When you mix three sets of arms and legs there is generally at least one casualty by the end, whether that is a kick to the face, someone getting stepped on or smacked, or a bonk into nearby toys or furniture.
While several months back I recognized that “nothing is safe” in our house, now I really mean NOTHING IS SAFE. An example of 30 seconds out of sight of the children, who are freely allowed to roam the living/dining room and kitchen (with furniture and stairs blocked off, cabinets locked, and dog door safely closed. I walked through the baby gate, closed it and went downstairs to pull a load of clean laundry out of the dryer. In the time it took me to do that, pick up the basket, and walk back upstairs; I returned to this:
I mean COME ON. We are now in the habit of stacking the chairs on the kitchen table or pinning them between the wall and the table…otherwise…well…this happens. If they had been gifted another minute, I probably would have found them playing with bottles on the countertop.
It also doesn’t matter what type of chair is left out…a grownup one or child’s…because they’ve all discovered things are movable and can be used to reach new, higher heights and opportunity! This newfound methodology very quickly expanded to anything else that can hold a baby’s weight- toy bins, foam blocks, pillows; you name it. We’ve removed some extra playroom toys for this very reason- they are using them to climb to new places, or potentially over the baby gates- I am hoping to squash that learn-able life skill for a least a bit longer. So would you call this sweet or sour…
I’m also finding with multiples that they love on each other almost as much as they fight. Earlier this week Emerie had a total meltdown after Reagan wouldn’t share her book (that she had been carrying around a while). She sat on the floor and was screaming bloody murder; I let the scene play out. Harper got up from my lap and walked over to her raging sister, stood there, and patted her head until she stopped crying. It was the sweetest thing and even helped Emerie calm down!
As a first time parent, it’s quite amazing the things that will come out of my mouth before I really realize how funny they are. For example, in the last couple weeks alone, Craig or I have said all these ridiculous things:
- Don’t bite your sister!
- Don’t bite me!
- Get off the table!
- Stop licking my belly button!
- Put your shirt back on!
- The inside of your shirt is not a food pocket!
- Don’t bite the dog!
- Let go of her tail!
- Don’t suck on my shoes, that’s gross!
- Stop licking your snot! Stop licking the dog!
- Thank you but I do not want the half chewed goldfish from your tongue.
- Put your food in your mouth!
- Stop pulling her hair!
- It’s not nice to drag your sister around by her shirt…or her glasses…
- It’s okay, your foot will not come off and throwing a fit won’t help!
I mean really, who thought such monstrosities would come out of one’s mouth before they had children? They aren’t even uncommon anymore. I’m amazed they don’t say the word “stop” yet…we sure seem to say it enough. They still mimic “not nice” at us when we say it.
Other cute happenings in the Douglets household:
Dog door: Every night we open the baby gates and the girls walk upstairs to the nursery for bedtime. One of the funny parts of that march is once they’ve climbed the stairs from the family room into the dining/living room. Like clockwork, every night, all three go racing over to the open dog door (since we were downstairs so it was open) and whoever arrives there first grabs the door part off the table and runs back to Craig or I, hollering the whole way. They always want us to know that the door is unlocked, even though they are more than willing to climb through it without permission. It is the funniest thing.
Binkie wars: One of the only ways everyone potentially stays in their crib at night and during nap time is with several binkies. This may be a bit out of control at this point, because each crib has three or four now- this helps when they roll over in their sleep and are reaching around, eyes closed, looking for one; and that often solves their fussing without parental intervening. We’ve now noticed at bedtime, once parents have exited the room, that they will throw those binkies back and forth in each others’ cribs, on the floor, all over the place. Fingers cross this entertains them for a while and they don’t start trying to climb out!
Books: We are SOOO close to reading books instead of chewing/throwing them. Reagan expresses interest in reading one specific, Alaska animal book while the others will sometimes bring one over to look at, but it still only lasts maybe a minute. I’m excited that we are getting closer to reading time- something I did a ton of as a kid.
Creative play: Imaginations are expanding and it’s fun to see. Whether it’s pretend eating the play food, climbing into laundry baskets, or flipping face first off the couch into pillow, they are all getting more creative. Everyone plays with the foam blocks and understands how they go together, and we are starting tower building on the duplo blocks now that they are more interested. They think ice is the coolest thing and walk around outside trying to collect (and eat) it.
Puppy time: When we play out in the backyard the girls now entertain the dogs. They throw the ball or dog toy, will tug on them with Koda, and produce lots of giggles. Both dogs are great with them and Kalli seems to be much happier now that they are a little older. Harper likes to take the toy from Koda, toss it a few feet, then take it from her again, and repeat. All very monitored fun. We opted to keep both dogs for now and have a dog walker coming twice a week to burn some energy. This seems to greatly help their attitudes day-to-day.
My “sweet and sour” babies continue to be one or the other at any given moment. Thank goodness it evens out, because life with three toddlers is certainly an emotional roller coaster and we still have a few toddlering years to go. Emerie has another ear infection, making her more “sour”, with a mood improvement once the medicine kicks back in. Everyone is a littler “sweeter” than last week when snotty noses maintained the mood factor.
And I am happy to report, for the first time in longer than my short-term, mom-brain memory recalls, Emerie slept ALL night in her crib the other night. One night is not a trend, but man is it a welcomed improvement! Reagan woke up at three and other than that, the night was uneventful. It felt oddly weird. Now THAT is some sweet news!