Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hugs first!

Being three is hard. Especially if you're a younger sibling and you're trying to assert your own independence not only with the parental figures, but from a bossy older brother too.

Being a parent to a three year old is hard. Especially when you're a million months pregnant and the aforementioned three year old avoids potty training at any and all costs.

Fortunately, it's not all tough. I think the most accurate way to describe my precious three year old is this: when she's sweet, she's the sweetest of all sweet things; when she's sour, she's the sourest of all sour things.

Belle and I had a "Girl Party" the other night, which is clearly more fun than a Girls Night Out, which is what I attempted to call our ice cream date. 

Belle is in a pretty strong mommy-phase right now. I can only assume this is because she knows that her life is about to turn crazy in a few months. But this also makes her SUPER affectionate with her actions and words. I'm soaking it up. My favorite is when she stops in the middle of playing and we have this conversation:

Belle: You're Mine!
Me: Well, good! Because you're MINE! 
Belle: For forever?
Me: Of course! 

The best way to keep things sweet in our house is to do our best to conform to the terrorist-type demands and procedures that are really important to her. Such as using a certain brush, keeping certain items in exactly the right place, and most importantly-- her bedtime hug and kiss routine. To ensure a smooth bedtime experience, it's best to follow the proper procedure:

  1. Hugs First!! (She'll say this every time just so you won't forget). This is her giving you a hug. 
  2. She'll give two kisses: one on each cheek. She may or may not perform a "scratchies" test before giving kisses, even if you're not Daddy. 
  3. Tuck her in. 
  4. You may now hug her. (She's laying down at this point)
  5. You give her kisses. You'll ask if she wants 1 or 100 and she'll chose one hundred. You'll kiss her like crazy, she'll giggle. 
  6. Say Goodnight. 
  7. She'll repeat it back.
  8. She'll say, "I love you!" Important: She must be the first I-love-you sayer. 
  9. You need to reply, "I love you, too" The "too" is VERY important. If you say "I love you" first or if you forget the "too" you'll likely get a lecture that includes tears, so PLEASE remember. 
Disruption in any of these events may end up you starting back at step 1 plus the extra task of deescalating the emotional aftermath of messing things up. 

Writing all of this down really makes me chuckle. I'm sure it sounds like I'm exaggerating here, but I promise you I'm not. Isn't she funny? 

Ultimately, the best way I've found to help Belle regulate her emotions are to offer more snuggles, more hugs, and more one-on-one time at the beginning of a meltdown or when I am making her do things she doesn't want to do, like taking naps and eating vegetables. I think it's good for both of us! :)


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