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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3 thoughts on “Time off, time in, time out?

  1. Oh I love watching your videos. We miss Finn! And they make me so long for a time when Wesley will be talking, too (which at this rate might not be until age 4).

    I don’t have any advice to give, I’m afraid. All I can tell you is that Wes has been pretty challenging this last month as well. Of course the ear infections didn’t help…has Finn cut his last molars? Could that be adding to his frustration? Then again, he could probably tell you if he was in pain, no?

    And ditto on the diaper changing and the food issues. Wesley continues to eat his beloved fruit – but some days, that’s about it. I can hardly get him to eat a proper dinner most nights. I’m not really sure what to do about that…at least Finn’s getting his protein from peanut butter!

    We must talk soon and/or get together!

  2. I know exactly what you’re going through. Mia has been in that “everything-no” stage for some months now. I know how exhausting it is! The only approach that seems to work with her is negotiating. “If you get out of the tub nicely we’ll play a round of hide-n-seek.” Or even in the negative “If you don’t put your shoes on then no park.” Maybe you can also call it bribes, but its the only thing that works for us!

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