The Three-nager

So we made it through babyhood, terrible two’s and about to graduate with the three-nager stage, it was dreadful, it was tormenting, it was fun. I heard from a friend who survived the trenches like us and has survived to tell the story, the best stages of parenthood is yet to come.
So the tormenting three’s huh.. a combination of a three years old energy and mentality but the attitude of teenagers 😊. 
Our son started of his three-nager stage by having little opinion from the start of it and has overgrown towards the end of it. We thought the behaviour is erratic but the fact of the matter is they merely express their opinions with a dash of irrationality and mixed temperament which they are yet to learn to achieve the perfect concoction. 
I remembered when L turned two a lot, even a bucket loads of information about terrible two’s, even warnings from grannies, mommies and bloggers. But where the hell is the unforeseeable predictions about three’s, it took us by surprise,  no one ever saw the tormenting three’s coming.
At 18 months we hear a surge of words that turns to verbal explosion, and at three’s? It’s not only a surge in length but a surge in why’s and a surge of bossiness.  It’s a surge of tormenting everything. But still the love prevails right?!
Common scene at home:
M: What do you want for breakfast? 
L: Toast with Jam please mommy, I want it cut like a triangle. 
M: WHY ARE YOU NOT EATING?!
L: hugggggggyyyyyyy,  hugggggggyyyyyyy,  hugggggggyyyyyyy..the shape is not right, uh uh uh, I want water please, uhm I want this I want that
M: (on the verge of shouting) eat now or il take it away.
Dealing with lots of tormenting situations at home made me well proofed for this. Sometimes I ignore the fact that he whines then he’ll eat it anyway, but I am not a perfect parent and I lose my rag sometimes.
I mean my son is very responsible, polite, outspoken (a little too much sometimes) and kind but he has his days too. There are days where he will absolutely cry for everything, have we been such naggy parents that we created a little diva, a little drama king, but hey these too shall pass.
The hardest part is, trying to negotiate  a deal but he would stop listening half way, is it a man thing? I mean selective hearing, my husband sure does that. Or why explaining things they would run, change the topic (he is getting better at it) or just pretend not to listen, but I think they do that selective hearing bit because they learn how to filter which things are beneficial and not beneficial to them. Or sometimes maybe I nag too much and just won’t leave him be. I think I should stop having that bad habit, it’s not healthy.
The best advice I was given by my mother few years ago was that rather than keeping on nagging at them we have to give them a little bit of liberty to decide what they actually want so there is an involvement and connection rather than just barking orders at them. So rather than saying here is your lunch now eat please, I would rather say, Please L what do you want to eat for lunch? We have chicken nuggets and cod fingers. It works out on most days but obviously everyday is different and everyday is interesting.
I made some investigations and found a really cool article from buzz feed. 
1. You live in constant fear of how to cut the shape of their sandwich or toast. Do they want triangles today, rectangles, squares? And when they do tell you, they change their mind right after you cut it.
2. They say things like (with hands firmly placed on hips), “I don’t want to clean up, I want to do what I want to do!”
3. You go through three or more wardrobe changes a day. Please just pick a already!
4. Your child goes boneless the second you remind them that a transition is coming, especially when they are asked to stop playing. By the way, when was this ability given to children? You know, lay limp and double your body weight so mom can’t move you. It’s a talent reminiscent of a possum playing dead…
5. They run away from you when it’s time to get dressed, or leave a play place, or do anything they deem unnecessary. In fact running away from you is their favorite activity.
6. To nap or not to nap, that is the question. A threenager’s answer will always be emphatically “NO!” Unless of course it’s time for school, and they crawl into bed because they’re “tired.”
7. They want three of everything because they are three.
8. At red lights they yell, “Go… GOOO!” Threenagers do not possess patience.
9. Speaking of the car, you have to leave 10 minutes earlier so they can buckle their own car seat by their “OWN SELF!”
10. You realize they’ll be a great trial lawyer one day when they’ve just negotiated their way out of a time-out.
When I saw that post I was laughing so hard in the kitchen that maybe at some point passers by thought I am a lunatic or I completely gone bonkers having to deal with two children, but yeah it’s because I can relate in every single one of them!
So mums we are not alone, take a deep breath, try to see the funny side and if all else fails I find going out is an absolute saviour to get rid of unwanted energy and attitude.

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Wizards Brew

Today we were so bored so remembering I bookmarked a certain activity which I know my son will be so interested at. Note to self: Do not underestimate toddlers, I never thought having such an activity will be so much fun for a two year old, I thought it’s going to be so complex thinking he is too young for a simple acid base reaction activity. But then again I embrace defeat.

Children are so inquisitive and very smart, remember the saying “curiosity killed the cat”, they get so over the moon when they see something colourful, bright and fascinating. At this stage you don’t have to explain anything as observation from the chemical reactions speaks it all. I am linking the original source as well to acknowledge where we got the idea from .

Materials:

Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) (base)

Liquid watercolors or Food Colouring (we used food colouring)

Glitter (omitted that bit otherwise the little one will start eating it)

Washing up liquid

Vinegar (acid)

Glass Jar/ Mason Jar

Small Plastic Containers

Tray/ Plate

Instructions:

Fill the jar halfway with vinegar (acid)

Add  few drops of one colour of food colouring and glitters if using some.

Squeeze a dash of dish soap

Add baking soda, my son says bombs away and stirs crazily and screams whenever it foams out.

*the difference between the other acid base activity I posted is that the dish soap in this activity makes it foam rather than fizzle.

To make it change colours we poured a bit of vinegar and added few drops of the preferred colour and repeated the steps again.

*In the latter part of the activity my son discovered that he can put loads of baking soda and stir like crazy making it overflow and he loved it.

Wizard’s Brew

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@ TWO

So my little son is already two and it’s hard to keep him entertained as he really gets bored with things that we do over and over and over and over again. I’m not too sure if he got it from me or from his dad but all I know is I was like him when I was little. 🙂

Well to get started he can name the alphabets and count 1 to 10, he can basically play alone ( in the garden of course!), but always in the look out as one slight gap he always targets mommy’s beautiful plants. He is a clever little pea, so sometimes I make planned activities which works out well especially the chemistry experiments that we usually do such as the elephant toothpaste and the reaction of  NaHCO3 and CH3COOH (acetic acid).  

Now for a mom to explain that to a child can be very difficult obviously I cannot say, Hey son! here is an experiment of Acid Base Reaction- which is a neutralization reaction where enough base is added to an acid to neutralize it into a salt and water, then you get a paper and scribble in it writing:
A. CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ===> NaCH3COO + H2CO3
(vinegar)    (baking soda)  (sodium acetate)  (carbonic acid)
B. H2CO3 ===> CO2 + H2O
(carbonic acid)  (carbon dioxide) (water)
Overall:  CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ===> NaCH3COO + CO2 + H2O
(vinegar)    (baking soda)  (sodium acetate) (carbon dioxide) (water)

Compound Reaction – reaction where there are intermediates that are not in the products or reactants
Decomposition Reaction –  separation of a chemical compounds into elements or simpler compound

Exothermic Reaction – a chemical reaction where energy is released in the form of heat or light.

So how in the world can I explain the reaction to my two year old son? simple, as my partner’s advice be truthful and just tell him that it is what is it is and as he gets older repeat the experiments and explain further details to him in such a way that he can understand it, obviously you have to imagine yourself being in a child’s shoe rather than with a teenager (which is still a child in such a way, of course). Be careful not to bore the child as well.

I have been doing lot’s of researches on how to entertain my little boy but not all are successful of course! When all else fails, dirt is always the answer, basically I just allow him to dig and dig in the garden up to the point that he’s almost eating worms, not!

Also, since my partner and I are of different culture and origin and the only similarity is English we are struggling to teach the little one to learn all three languages. But this little man is like a sponge absorbing everything in a snap. So we’ve been teaching him few words per day Dutch- English- Filipino and vice versa, he gets confused by it all but he is really really coping well. You can see that when we ask him a certain word it clearly shows he is thinking because it takes few seconds before he responds, but in the end he gets most of it right, and we’ll keep doing it until he can speak all three languages or understand it even more.

I am really not good in categorizing activities but some of our activities I will publish for mom’s that are struggling to keep the toddlers entertained. I will keep you posted how it goes.:)

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Here are some of the activities we do when all else fails 🙂

Flower picking

Nature trails

Shoot that coin

gardening