Tag Archives: preschooler

It Might Be Time To Let Her Grow Up…Just a Tiny Bit

If I could freeze time and forever keep my kids little, I wouldn’t even hesitate to do so.

I love the squishiness of their little bodies and the wonder that they see in everything.  I love holding them and feeling the way that they just melt into me.  I even love the way that they are still dependent upon me for so many things.

I won’t even pretend that I’m one of those moms who eagerly awaits the first day of school, sleep away camp, proms, graduations, and weddings.

I’m the mom who truly mourns the end of babyhood and toddlerhood and I’m often in complete denial that my children are getting older.

I’m starting to realize, however, that it might be time for me to fully acknowledge that Katie is a preschooler and as such, she is ready for some big girl stuff.  (Thank goodness for Craig’s calm demeanor and his encouragement to let them grow and change.)

This is a picture of Katie’s bed:

Katie's bed as it was when we brought her home from the hospital and as it still is.

Yep, our three-year old still sleeps in a crib (and yes, we still use a video monitor on her).

I’ve often joked that we were going to keep her in her crib until college. And while that’s clearly an exageration,  we did plan to keep her in her crib until Matthew was sleeping through the night, as we thought it would be easier to handle one nighttime challenge at a time.

Well, that day has come.  Matthew’s been consistently sleeping through the night for a few weeks now.

My list of worries for why making the switch from a crib to a toddler bed worries me is long.  Here are several of them:

  • Will she still nap?
  • How will we make sure she stays in her bed?
  • Will our great sleeper suddenly start waking in the night?
  • Will bedtime be stressful?
  • Will she wake us up at say, 5:00 am, by standing at the side of the bed and giving me a heart attack?

Although my worries are plentiful, I’m beginning to feel that the list of benefits to her being in her own big girl bed is growing longer.

And as much as I dread the switch, there’s also a tiny part of me that is eager to see her face as she realizes that she’s being given a bit more independence.

There will be tears…and they will all be mine.

If any of you have any tips on how to make the transition go smoothly, I eagerly welcome them.

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The Biggest Mistake I’ve Made Lately…

…was downloading the Little Miss Spider Tea Party app for my iPad.

Now, all I hear is, “I need my iPad, Mommy.”

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A Repeat Performance and Separation Anxiety

We have always gloated about loved the fact that Katie is a champion sleeper.  If there was an Olympic event for sleeping, she would take the gold.  She goes to bed at 7:30pm and doesn’t wake until 7am.  She also still naps from 1pm-3:30/4:00pm.  We are blessed.  {Please don’t hate us–Matthew is another story entirely.}

She used to lunge for her crib at bedtime and has always put herself to sleep.  For the first couple of years of her life, we lured her into her bed by making it the only place where she could have her pacifier.  When we took her pacifier away at 21 months, we replaced it with a little pillow, her first blanket, and some stuffed kitties, all of which we allow her to have only while in bed.  Things have been smooth sailing until about a month ago.

Now there is major drama every time we put her down to sleep.  She’s doing this new thing where, when I leave the room and I am closing the door, she says, “Goodnight, Mommy.  I love you.”  I then tell her goodnight and that I love her too.  I close the door and she repeats the process.  At first I indulged her, thinking that she would tire of this routine once she knew I was on the other side of the door.  But it has completely gotten out of hand.  One night I did it nine times.  NINE!  We now tell her that we’ll say it once and then we’re going downstairs to “pick up” (code for relaxing.)

When we don’t follow the script the second, third, and fourth times, she flips out, and goes from choked up to bawling in 3.2 seconds.  While she typically only cries for five to ten minutes and then falls asleep,  nothing makes me feel worse as a parent than having her cry herself to sleep.  We’ve always tried to ensure that her bed is a safe, secure, and happy place.

She’s also showing some distress if she thinks that one of us may be leaving to run an errand or something.  She  quickly escalates from nervous to panicky.

We’ve had an emotional, chaotic past couple of weeks, with uncharacteristic breaks in our routine, but these insecurities were present prior to that.

{We have chosen not to speak with her about Craig’s mother’s death, as we don’t believe that she is emotionally mature enough to process that yet.  Since she is incredibly attentive and observant, we have been careful to shield her from our discussions.}

I distinctly remember when I was a child, I was fearful to be the last one awake.  I would call to my mother repeatedly to ensure that she hadn’t fallen asleep.  I’m still this way.  When Craig shows signs of being tired, I stop whatever I’m doing and hurry to bed.  I’ve not really analyzed why I am this way, I’ve just accepted it.

But this thing with Katie is sudden and intense.

Has anyone else gone through this?  We never saw any anxiety in her when she was younger and we thought that we might be out of the woods now that she’s three.

Help? Reassurance? Tips?

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Fear and Brownies

Fear is such a complex emotion. What may seem trivial and inconsequential for one person, can be positively horrifying and inexplicable for another.

If adult fears are difficult to rationalize, then childhood fears are seemingly impossible, as a child’s ability to distinguish between real and perceived threats is isn’t yet fully developed.

Katie is brave about so many things–she has no fear of monsters or darkness (yet)–but garbage trucks simply terrify her. The truck passes by our house no fewer than four times each Monday, beginning around 9 o’clock and wrapping up around noon. Over time, she has become increasingly concerned about the truck’s whereabouts. It has now reached a point where she trembles as it approaches and begins to tear up, begging to be held.

We’ve tried rationalizing with her, offering up the following standard, predictable reassurances:
The garbage truck won’t hurt you.
The garbage truck can’t fit in our house–you’re safe in here.
The gentleman who drives the truck is going home now to see his kids.
Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t let anything bad happen to you.

None of these have worked.

BabyCenter has a helpful article on preschoolers and fear, with tips including acknowledging your child’s fear, working with her to problem solve, and using pretend play to work through the fear.  We’ve tried several of their suggestions, with little success.  Today we employed the article’s suggestion to “explain, expose, and explore.”

Since we’ve done about as much explaining as I think we can do, we moved right into exposing and exploring.

I wondered if we put a face to the driver and she could speak to him for a few moments, if she might be less afraid. So yesterday we got serious and made him some brownies. She was so excited that it was nearly all she talked about all day.  She stirred and chatted with me about how much he was going to love her “yummy brownies.”

This morning was spent listening and waiting, pacing and anticipating.  We heard the truck rumbling down the street and Katie was equal parts excited and petrified.  She waited, in my arms, as he approached, brownies in hand and the sweetest, most timid smile I’ve ever seen.  We waved him to a stop, they exchanged names, and we gave him her brownies.  As he drove away, she was smiling and appeared less afraid, but I don’t think she is over her fear by any means.

Does anyone have any tips or stories they’d be willing to share, just in case the brownie trick didn’t work?

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