The other day was one of my more frustrating day's as a parent. I'm not sure what was going on with me, maybe just normal parenting issues, but no matter what happened, I just felt like I had no petience. We have had my brother in law living with us for the last 3 months and it has not been easy. In fact it is definitely one of the biggest stressors right now. The other big stressor is potty training and trying to get my health back.
Potty training is probably the absolute worst developmemtal stage that I have gone through so far. I'm sure there will be worse, but in 3 1/2 years, this is the worst. The kids are definitely into going on the potty, but they are not quite ready to go without us telling them to go on the potty every so often, like every 1/2 hour or so. Sometimes, we have great days and there are absolutely no accidents the whole day. Sometimes, it seems like all we do is clean up pee and poop. I is finally seeming like Michael is getting it. He will go into the bathroom and either sit on a potty or pee in the toilet. He has even pooped twice on the potty after bringing himself to the bathroom with no prompts from us as parents. His biggest issue is that he loves to pee in any container he can find. This is one thing I am working really hard to try to break. I love his aim, but he needs to learn that there are places to pee and places not to pee. The twins are good about going when we bring them, but no so good about telling they have to go. Though, I have to say, Eva Rose woke up twice last night and after going on the potty went right back to sleep. I think we will just keep on moving forward and hope that they will get it soon.
Lastly, not only are we dealing with the terrible two's times two, but a three year old also. The behaviors and the whining are absolutely driving me mad. I can handle crying, but whining is not something I handle well. I am also not digging the defiant behavior of Thomas. My sweet little boy has all of a sudden started saying no when I ask him to do something. I guess he is just asserting his independence and I just have to remember my favorite developmental theorist, Erik Erikson states that people have different conflicts in life that they need to resolve in order to move on to the next stage of development. My kids are in the autonomy vs doubt stage, at least the twins are. They need to figure out how to have a sense that they are able to have some control over their environment. I guess, I need to figure out how to maintain some independence without giving them free reign. Michael, on the other hand, should be moving into initiative vs guilt. This almost seems like a continuation of more advanced independence and that is exactly where Michael seems to be. As I re-read some of the negatives, I think this may be what we are seeing with Michael's frustrations. He is learning to master different tasks and be much more independent and when he is unable to achieve a goal, he becomes frustrated.
Wow, writing this post has really made me feel better about things! I really like Erik Erikson's theories. I know that there are some people that criticise them, but I have always liked his theories. I actually used them in my theoretical perspectives paper in grad school. It's good to start looking at things again. I may need to start looking at more child development to help me feel better about my parenting skills and to help me remember that what my kids are doing is probably just normal developmental tasks that they need to achieve.