How to Like your Kid(s) 3 ~ Pre-School

// November 1st, 2012 // Uncategorized

     Sometime between two and four, we see that our baby isn’t a toddler anymore, but a walking, talking preschooler! How the heck did that happen?

     Break out the Candyland, small playground balls, and crayons and paper. At first, she will NOT follow the rules of the game. It’s an emerging alien concept. The part about taking turns at mixing bowl in the kitchen {might} get transferred to the game board—but counting squares will take longer to grasp. I pretty much let the little ones wander all over the board, even when we play with the older ones. It’s a good lesson for the big kids. “See where you used to be? Wow! You sure have grown!” usually, the little ones wander back and forth to play with something else before the game’s over, and that’s okay, too.

     Contrary to popular 70s tradition, I love coloring books. As they get older, we talk about tracing and staying in the lines, but there’s something beautiful about a scribbled up page, too.
I was so strict with my first one, that I didn’t give him doodling material. At four, he took one of my small tablets and a pen from the kitchen counter, making tiny multi-circles all over many of the pages. My friend saw it. “I can imagine him furtively glancing over his shoulder while he did this.” Live and learn. After that, I bought kids their own art supplies. I kept paper and pen {along with a few matchbox cars}in my purse for unexpected boring times, too.

     By now, there might be a sibling in the house. Big brother or sister can be lots of “help” fetching clean diapers, checking on baby, and singing to him. There are sure to be moments of jealousy, but they don’t have to dominate the house. While nursing it’s easy to snuggle with your bigger “baby” and read a story, or even tell a story {maybe about when she was a baby}. While Nick (#3) napped, I often asked Amy what she wanted to do. “Play Barbies!” We stretched out on the living room floor, play-acting with Barbie, Skipper, and the crew.
     When Amy’s second child was a napping toddler, there was so much to do, and some things she didn’t feel like doing with Kirstie. I finally confessed, “Remember when we played Barbies while Nick napped?”
“Yeah! I loved that!”
“Well, I really hated playing Barbies!”
“Oh! I never knew.” She got the point. Sometimes we sacrifice what we want to put time into the bank of Relationship. It pays greater dividends than an hour on the sofa reading.

     Don’t get me wrong. We NEED the reading/crafting/whatever ME time, too. Without enough ME we can’t give to THEM. But we have to find the balance between the two. And giving a block of one-on-one time goes a long way in easing jealousies.

Not really representative of the post, but it IS a brother and sister having fun. 🙂

Amy-4, Nick-2 at the Del Mar Fair…1980 


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