We went to the dr. yesterday for the boys' well visits. Luckily we were able to do both at once this time. That was fantastic. The less I have to be a the doctor's office, the better, as far as I'm concerned!
Dean has had an aversion in the past to the doctor using a tongue depressor to look in his mouth. He's also had issues with the doctor looking in his ears. So, two days ago Dean and I practiced "going to the doctor". We first pretended that I was the patient. He greeted me and signed me in, weighed me, took my temperature, looked in my mouth with the stick, and looked in my ears. He also reminded me that we needed to use the stethescope and check reflexes! After he was the doctor, I took a turn and we did all those things. I felt like it was pretty productive.
So, when we were there, it was pretty funny when she didn't have to use the tongue depressor (since he was 3 and big enough to open wide and say "ahhhh" without it). He was very cooperative. They took his blood pressure and he was very good and still while it gave his arm a "hug".
Dean's 3 year stats
Weight: 30.5 lbs (36%)
Length: 37 1/4 in. (37% ) I think he's a little taller. He wasn't looking straight ahead.
Head Circ. 19.5 in.
BMI: 15.45 (30%) Really? They give you their BMI at age 3?
Blood Pressure: 100/59
They changed one of the shots that they'd previously given him, so while he wasn't due for any shots, he had to get one. =P Poor guy. He was very courageous. He cried a little, but got over it quickly with the help of a sucker. By late afternoon his leg was REALLY hurting him, and by bed he was a puddle of tears asking me to carry him to his bed. Matt told him that he could have some medicine and he declined multiple times. Matt also told him it should feel better in the morning. When I went in this morning at 6:30 when Walter woke up, Dean was laying in bed in the dark, awake. I asked him how he felt and he said, "Dean's leg still hurts. It's not morning yet." Poor kid. But by preschool he was walking normal and by the time I picked him up, he was running around.
What is he like at 3?
Well, he is very smart and completely drawn to the computer and electronics. He has navigated is way through almost every game on PBS.org, the friend online, and has completed all of the levels of the world of goo. Luckily all of those things are highly educational, right?
He is going through a very, very difficult and aggressive stage right now. Body bumps, hitting, kicking, stabbing with "swords" (remember pencil incident), shooting fake guns, and throwing big tantrums when he doesn't get his way. And while it's not malicious, he is OBSESSED with spitting. The rules with spitting in our house are: only spit outside, in the trash, or in the toilet. I've even caught Walter spitting, trying to copy Dean (and Matt). His aggressive streak started a few days before his birthday. I was very disheartened by this new change in his personality. I just didn't know what to do because time outs were not effective (though he fought them tooth and nail). I thought it was hard when he turned two and was suddenly very head strong. This has been much harder.
I was feeling pretty low this past weekend, feeling like a failure parent, and struggling to figure out where to turn and what to do. My mom has been a great support, calling me every day this week to make sure I'm doing ok. I've been listening to the Saturday afternoon session of conference while I fold laundry during nap time, and it's helped me change my outlook tremendously. One particular talk by Richard Edgely really spoke to me. He spoke of choosing faith and choosing peace. We have to work for them. They are not free gifts. We need to choose faith in Christ over doubt, over fear, and over the unknown. We need to choose it over pessimism. As Alma said in Alma 32, we need to awake and arouse our faculties and experiment upon the word. We need to desire. We need to plant. I took out of this that my faith in Christ can carry me through this aggressive period. I may not know every good parenting technique, but if I pray and try and follow the spirit, I will be led in my parenting and will be able to guide him to a happier time. I need to experiment and try my best to do what I think will help him. Some things may work, some things may not. I need to choose happiness, choose to be a peacemaker and not feed into his aggression. I need to be a good example in how to handle anger or frustration. I also took it (and other talks from that session that I've listened to this week) to mean that I needed to seek out parenting helps from the Prophets and leaders of the church rather than only turning to "experts".
Since reading this and other church articles, I'll still do time outs, but I've also been taking away a privilege every time he acts out violently. Yesterday morning with a succession of hits and what not, he lost computer privileges on my computer for the day, I took his little "laptop", he lost his blankie, and he lost all wii time. He took the consequences fairly well, but he was very much missing the computer come late afternoon when I started making dinner. It seems to be working a little bit better, though he still hit someone at preschool today. We will make it through the 3's, I'm sure.
In other topics, he is completely capable of going on the potty and often does when we're in public (at the store, at church, at the park etc.) However, he won't at home any more. He says he's never going to wear underwear. All of our cloth diapers lost their elasticity so we're back in disposables until I can fix them sufficiently. 2 boys in size 5 diapers is too pricey for my liking! I just need to back off, and I HOPE that I don't have to potty train Walt and Dean together! Whatever though. There are worse things in life than a 3 year old in diapers I guess.
He can be really sweet and helpful. He gives great hugs and kisses. He knows can recognize numbers 1-12 as well as some of the 20's. He can count up to 22. He has been staring to sound out words lately. He really loves starfall.com, and I think that's helped with the phonics and sounding out. He can do a decent job tracing numbers and letters, but he doesn't care much for drawing or wielding utensils. He's been very interested in signs and what they mean. "What's this say mama?" "That tells you not to put your hand or foot under the lawnmower because there's a sharp blade."
He had been getting better at eating dinner, but during this past week we've taken a step back a little (trying to swallow things he doesn't like in one big bite and then throwing up because it's just way too much to swallow at one time). He will eat almost anything to get his milk in the evening. A lot of times he'll say, "Dean doesn't want any milk. Dean is done." But, I usually reply with "Ok. That's fine, I'm setting the timer for 10 min. and if you haven't eaten or aren't working on your dinner, it goes in the trash along with your chance for milk tonight." and he ends up quickly coming over and eating the required few bites of everything I've made.
He's been imitating Walter a lot. He will copy the way Walt talks and do what I tell Walter not to do. For instance, we were at the library on Monday. I was looking at books and FOOLISHLY didn't strap one of the two boys into a stroller. Walt wandered away from me and I asked Dean to go look if Walt was ok. He checked on him, came back, and said, "Walt's pulling books off the shelf!!" I finished up what I was doing quickly, but not quickly enough. Right after Dean told me, he went back and emptied THE ENTIRE SHELF of books all over the floor. Grrrr. I was not happy about that one. The only books I checked out that day were from the stack that he pulled out and we left immediately. It's not been a great bag of books, I must say. =)
He's been taking naps on Tues-Thurs. and Sunday really well. On those nights he ends up having a slightly later bed time (about 7:30-8). Basically because those are the days he interacts with others. I think that wears him out enough to get him to fall asleep. It has been very helpful to have them both sleep in the afternoon at the same time half the week. If he doesn't nap, he goes down for bed 6:30-7pm since they're usually up by 6:30 am. In my book, 12 hours is enough awake time for a 3 year old!