Things I Did Today

I hauled myself out of bed and (miraculously) got on the exercise bike. It’s gotten to the point where it’s almost mechanical now. The day isn’t right if I don’t do it.

I epilated for the first time in far more weeks than I care to say. I did this while sitting stark naked in our bathtub with a three-year-old playing with the Paw Patrol on the bathroom floor next to me, constantly complaining that my “machine” made “too much noise.”

I piled the threenager into the car and went to the grocery store. Found some Spanish jamon serrano which I’d forgotten about until now and now I desperately want to pull out of the fridge.

I put some laundry into the washer. Then moved it to the dryer. Then left it there.

I obsessed over why, despite eating meals heavy in proteins and veggies and some carefully chosen carbohydrates, I’m still feeling hungry after my meals? Is this all in my head?

I ate four cookies (and wrote it down–though first I only counted it as two because two of them were really small, but then I thought the point of writing it all down is to really write it down).

I glanced at the clean and dry bedsheets hanging over our bar stools (to avoid wrinkles) and considered folding them. Then didn’t.

I finished a book.

I took the boys to the playground where I continually shooed them away from me and told them to go play, no, Mama is not “safe”, stop jumping on me, ouch, please go play, we are at the playground, there’s a jungle gym, you guys can climb on me at home. Finally, I fended them off with my knitting needles.

We saw a really really really big snake crawling through the playground. I managed to scoop it up onto a long stick and toss it into the bushes. It was kinda scary and cool. My boys weren’t impressed.

I cooked one meal for the Chico and me and another for the boys. I couldn’t face their complaints, meltdowns and grossed-out faces. The Chico devoured his meal and had seconds. God bless him.

I played the piano. I wrote to friends. I’m writing here.

It’s been a busy day.

And Yet…

When I think about some Big Important Things I should probably be doing, it seems like I have been wasting my time.

At least I finished a book. Time to start another.

We’re Doing Just Fine

You can’t make me believe in “terrible twos.” Nope. Impossible.

To us, terrible two doesn’t exist.

Our boys were absolute DOLLS at the age of two. They were sweet, loving, caring, fun and funny. We can’t remember any huge behavioral issues at age two, and even tantrums (few and far between) weren’t a big thing.

They both potty trained at two or shortly after. They had big changes in their third years (a baby brother for the big guy, and moving to another country for the little guy). They exploded with language and really started speaking in both English and Spanish at or before age two.

It was wonderful. A dream!

That was two.

Fast Forward to Three

I once heard someone use the term threenager.

That’s a mash-up of “three” and “teenager.” It means emotions are BIG. They’re OVERWHELMING. They’re OVER THE TOP.

Attitudes are big, too. Eyes roll, tempers flare. Transitions become nearly impossible.

For example, when it’s time to leave the playground: Meltdown.

When it’s time to stop playing and come set the table: Meltdown.

When it’s time to get ready for bed: EPIC MELTDOWN.

We try to mitigate the meltdown by giving ten-minute warnings for transitions. “Ten minutes until we have to leave, boys! Ten minutes!” Five minutes later, we’ll give the five-minute warning. Then, if things look like they’ll be rough, a two-minute warning.

The warning system has helped to get our kids used to the idea that a transition is coming. It doesn’t always cut off the tantrum, but it often helps.

It’s Relentless

Because of this threenager behavior, we need to keep a couple steps ahead of the game in an effort to help manage these enormous feelings.

But we don’t always do it right. Sometimes, we’re tired. Sometimes, we don’t have the time to think about how an upcoming event (even if it literally happens at the SAME TIME EVERY DAY) is going to break upon the beach of our three-year-old’s mind.

Doing this dance all day, every day, is very tiring. Despite having adopted better eating and exercise habits, cutting out sugar and other unhealthy foods…

I am still exhausted.

It Has Its Moments

It’s also unpredictable. Sometimes, it’s a battle. Other times, he hops-to and does whatever we ask him. He keeps us on our toes! It’s always a guessing game!

At times like these, we try to praise enthusiastically and effusively. It may sound corny, but it works.

And truly, despite the exhaustion, despite the relentlessness and the overwhelming emotions of our three-year-old, he is still our sunshine.

He’s sweet. He is so over-the-top in a very funny way, and he often has us in stitches.

Every morning, he rises and truly shines along with his brother. Each day when that happens, it’s like someone has hit the reset button, and I feel nothing but delight and joy.

Some days that lasts longer than others.

We’re going to be fine.

Cake Exhaustion

I’m too tired to write.

Why? Because I decorated a cake today.

And then ate too much of it.

Our Bear turned three today, and BOY is he three. You know. A threenager. He’s adorable, hilarious, fun, funny and EXHAUSTING.

He requested a Thomas-themed birthday with a “Thomas cake.” Luckily, what a “Thomas cake” actually was was up to me.

Inspired

I wanted my cake to look like this beaut’ from Living Well Mom:

What I got was this:

Two things are evident here:

  1. My phone is old and the camera is crap;
  2. My cake decorating skills are not as good as Living Well Mom’s.

Here’s another view for good measure:

The Reception

“It’s Thomas!” he shouted as I approached with the cake. He was delighted.

But then he realized that the Thomas on the cake was actually his toy mini Thomas (thoroughly washed before being placed on the cake). And he was none too pleased about that.

Here he is, removing Thomas from the cake:

The cake was delicious. The buttercream frosting was particularly tasty.

(It helped that the cake was the devil’s food cake box from Betty Crocker. Hey, my time and effort went into the decorating, NOT the baking.)

Happy birthday to our little man. Here’s to another waltz around the sun with you.