I'm not sure what has gotten into the girls lately but it's been a rough couple of weeks. Well we are past a couple of weeks going into, when-will-this-ever-end thoughts. I think it started with talk about them turning 4 soon. We talked about things four year olds get to do, like drink without a sippy (yeah, I sort of delayed that one!) We can now walk in the parking lot NEXT to mommy, instead of holding her hand, we can get dressed by ourselves, we can pull our own covers up at nighttime, we can play in the bathtub with mommy in the room next to us, we can play in the backyard by ourselves, we can play upstairs by ourselves, the list goes on. With that talk I think they realized that they were growing up too and that they were no longer babies.
Which resulted in more babytalk, whining, fighting, saying "NO!" like a 2 yr old, temper tantrums and just meltdowns for everyone involved. This has been going on for weeks. We give a privilege and then end up having to take it away. Today I realized that I had pretty much stopped time-outs because they just didn't need them for the longest time. Things were for the most part groovy. So I started a Discipline Bootcamp today and I'm enforcing everything without the tons of leeway I normally give. I used to be able to be generous with discipline because for the most part they are great kids. But things have gotten too slack so we're going back to basics.
We've had several time outs this morning. We have to hold our hands on our head when we put things in our mouth that don't belong, we have to hold our tongue if we scream or whine. We did one time out together holding hands until we stopped fighting. This has been amongst some fun moments this morning too. It's been a busy day. Right now they earned the right to paint after cleaning up their toy room without any fights. Izzie thought about it a few times but she quickly started cleaning when she realized I wasn't joking and Maddie would get to paint while she could only watch. (I'm personally SO glad she didn't test me on that, but I would have stuck by it.)
I'm sure hoping they both take a nap today because it's been mentally and physically trying today. It's crazy how much brainpower is used to keep up with two almost 4 year olds! And they are still little enough for me to haul them to time out.... just barely!
Oh and a creative way to encourage them to clean up the toy room that sort of got out of hand... earn a small sticker on a chart for every single toy you put up. I sat there and supervised (not ideal, but still needed sometimes when the toy room is that messy.) Everytime Maddie put up a toy she got a sticker on her side, and same for Izzie. The competition really kept them going.