First, who has seen the amazing parental gift that is this video? https://youtu.be/Mh4f9AYRCZY
I watched it at least 25 times yesterday. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why exactly I loved it so much until I realized… it’s because I no longer have to deal with this same kind of scenario myself. Hallelujah! I’m finally out of the baby woods!!! But I can relate so very much from my experience with raising P&G over the past few years. Fortunately, at 3.5 P&G are no longer strolling into random rooms in walkers, completely unattended for a few seconds until I catch up with them (oh the horror on the mom’s face as she slides into the room in her socks!). They’re no longer having stiff-as-a-board-lying-on-the-ground-tantrums a la the toddler at the end of the video. All I could think while watching was ‘That poor, sweet mom’. At first glance she looks like a drill sergeant, yanking her kids around the room. But us moms, we know. We KNOW sometimes you have to move swiftly. And it just hit me like a wave of relief. Those days are – JUST barely – behind me (for now).
P&G are almost just like little adult humans at three and a half. They have conversations with me in which they attempt to reason (Mama I need the big stick of butter. No, not a small piece, the big stick. It’s for my pancakes).
They hug each other all the time. They genuinely love each other. And, as they are becoming more independent, they are nurturing and taking care of each other, too.
No, they could not cook their own meals. But if I’m taking too long to get them a glass of orange juice in the morning, I turn around to see one of them standing in front of me holding the orange juice, which they retrieved from the fridge, in one hand and a cup in the other. “Mama, please, get me my juice.” Or as P likes to emphasize anytime he wants something now, “Please please pleaaaaaase!”.
Although they can dress themselves, have full conversations, and (almost) nourish themselves and each other, the hardest thing about this age has been the arduous process of potty training. Neither one is accident-free at night, so they still wear pull-ups to bed and my attempts at switching to underwear overnight have led to too many late-night laundry loads and sheet changes to count. P is still not accident-free during the day either, and on any given day may just refuse to attempt to go on the potty altogether. We’re working on it. Progress with toddlers is such a contradiction; slow and quick at the same time.
But the best thing about 3.5 is that it just might be the magic age. I finally feel that they understand me and I understand them both, almost 100% of the time. This was not true even two months ago, now that I’m reflecting back. They have blossomed so much and their new autonomy is astounding. I have been pleasantly surprised. While I was waiting to get to 4 (the supposed “magic age”), we have quite comfortably settled into such a level of ease that I barely noticed it happening.