Time off, time in, time out?

Ahh… time off work, time with my Finch, time with family and friends. We played, we rode bikes, we socialized, we ate, we laughed. We visited a friend with a pet chicken named Hilda and a pot-bellied pig named Charlotte.

We enjoyed Finn’s first tree swing and jump on a trampoline.

The past five days have been simply lovely.

Mostly.

There were, of course, the other kinds of moments, too. The ones that look more like this:

In fact, aside from the fun of the last few days of vacation, things have been quite challenging around these parts throughout this past month. Let me rephrase that: Finn has been quite challenging around these parts throughout the past month. Screaming for no reason. Refusing naps altogether. Rejecting previously loved green beans, avocado, pears. Demanding peanut butter for every meal. Resisting both diaper changes AND toilet training. Disagreeing with ANY suggestion that comes from Mommy or Daddy. Throwing things… and then crying — tears, snots, the whole scene — because what was thrown is now on the floor.

Keith and I try reward systems, diversions, time outs. We try lots of time-ins. We praise good efforts and frown upon undesirable behavior. We attempt to ignore whining. We use lots of humor, but respond seriously to tantrums. We let him know that his actions have consequences. We try to be consistent.

Still, regardless of what we do, Finn’s behavior seems largely dictated by his mood, and sometimes — many times — it seems there’s not much we can do about it. One of his new phrases is “Finn’s getting frustrated.”

So is Mommy. When Finn turned two, we thought, “Hey, this isn’t so bad. The terrible twos? What a misnomer!” I was so thankful it wasn’t worse. Now I’m thankful when he’s willing to get out of the tub without a struggle.

But then he’ll do something unexpectedly silly, like when he was looking at his book of old cars and suddenly said, “Coupe rhymes with poop!”

Or he’ll do something unexpectedly sweet, like tonight at dinner, when he reached over to softly rub my arm just because.

And then there are all of those things he ALWAYS does that make me smile, like try to incorporate spanish words on his own (Finn’s sleeping in a cama!) or finish my sentences when we’re reading KITTEN’S FIRST FULL MOON or ROAD BUILDERS.

The truth is that as bad as the “terrible twos” get, I can’t help but be thankful for my Finch.

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Halloween Fun on South Beach

I doubt anything will ever quite rival last year’s shark costume, but Finn still made a pretty cute bat this Halloween. Thanks for making the costume, Daddy!
He had such fun flapping his wings up and down Lincoln Road, uncharacteristically brave. The only things that seemed to stop him cold were the ten-foot-tall clowns walking around on stilts, and a colorful disco dancer, who, for the record, wore his daily attire. Finn actually only stopped for a second to stare at the dancer — and then joined in, bouncing and turning in circles to Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”
Perhaps Finn has a future on stage…