With Marley, it was her two's that were challenging - literally, she challenged everything. Three seemed to be the magic age for her.
I thought I was home free with Jake's 2's being a breeze.
A few weeks ago the naughtiness started.
One night this week Marley came home sick and I wasn't feel so hot myself. Jake threw all the pieces to a game and every matchbox car he owned. I knew he wanted a reaction, so I ignored it. When it was time to get ready for dinner, I told him it was time to clean up.
Jake, you need to clean up all of your cars. Let's see how fast you can do it.
Opening, the box. Here Jake, I'll help you.
What am I supposed to do? I mostly wanted to follow-through out of fairness to Marley - if there is such a thing as fairness with siblings. Really, he's old enough to not be treated like a baby. It's really not the mess that I don't like, it's the defiance. And really this is a snapshot into 1 hour of our day. I could recount the entire day of No's and mischief.
Finally I told him to go to time-out until he was ready to clean-up. I had to take him back several times while I was cooking dinner but I mostly just tried to not give him attention. Finally, I hear him call out that he's hungry. I called back that he could eat when his toys were cleaned up. I turn around to see little Jake scurrying around, gathering all the toys. In 5 minutes, it was clean and he was up at the table eating.
It ended up working, but not without a power struggle. I really don't like those and don't want to start down that road.
Today I tried a new technique. He was being unkind to Marley. Poor Marley is plain emotional when she's sick and he loves all the squeals and reaction that his taunting her brings. Of course when I asked him to stop he just said, "No!" I asked him to follow me to the bathroom while I brushed my teeth.
"Jake, can you help me with something?"
Eyebrows raised, "Yes!"
"Marley is sick. Will you help me take care of her today?"
"I'll change her diaper."
"Uh, she doesn't wear a diaper, but you can find her favorite books and blankets."
"I want to change her diaper."
Jake's 3's might be the new 2. :)