Isabella at 3 Years, 3 Months

So, in the heat of last week's posts, I completely forgot to write Isabella's monthly update.

Isabella has had an interesting month. She's preparing for Oscar season not by catching all the great movies out now (of which I have seen none) but instead by prepping for her Best Actress in a Dramatic Role award. I'm not sure if she does it for attention, or to copy the babies, but wrong the child and she will burst into epic and completely fake crying jags the likes of which I have never seen before from her. It's easy to tell when she's faking and when the tears are legit now, because she can (and does) stop on a dime when she's crying to impress. She could be in the midst of an arm-flailing screaming fit, and if I were to say, "Hey-want a cookie?" she would immediately stop and say, "Sure!"

Little Miss is developing quite the sense of humor. My sister sent this hilarious book written by Andy Warhol's nephew (seriously, go order it for your kids right now. Thank me later) to the twins for their birthday, and Isabella has commandeered it as her own and makes me read it to her constantly. At one point in the book, Uncle Andy (Warhol's) cats take a nap in his wig drawer. A few weeks ago, I was getting dressed in my room and Isabella was with me. I said to her, "I don't know what to wear!"

And she said, laughing, "Look in your wig drawer!"

I love, love, love it that my kid has a sense of humor.

Last week, we had Isabella's room painted. If you remember, she wanted a red room. We ended up painting one big wall and one small, recessed wall red. I'd post a photo, but the room isn't finished and I am still on a desperate search for a cute red rug (preferably polka dot or striped) for it. The day after her room was painted, I went in to get her in the morning and I found her laying on her back, her feet propped up against her headboard looking at her red wall. I asked her if she loved her wall, and she said, "Yes, I really, really do." Score one for mom.

And speaking of scoring one for mom, I came up with a genius plan to get Isabella to start taking naps again (and it doesn't even include Benadryl!). Isabella began to give up her nap just before her 3rd birthday in August. Since that point, I've continued to put her in her room for around 2 hours from 1pm-3pm, and she's spent that time singing at the top of her lungs, rearranging her furniture, breaking my work concentration, and waking up her brother and sister.

So one day a few weeks ago, I told her that if she took a nap that day, she could stay up for a little while after the babies went to bed (they normally go to sleep at the same time between 7 and 7:30) and we would watch a few minutes of the Winnie the Pooh DVD the previous owners of this house left in the built-in cabinet in our family room.

Guess what? It worked. She napped, and we let her stay up for about 15 minutes while the 3 of us watched part of the DVD together.

And it has worked almost every day since.

I continue to feel as if I am short-changing her. I am constantly forced to tell her "not right now" when she asks me to play something with her that the babies can't be involved in. This rules out most of her toys, because so many have small parts that they babies would swallow faster than you can say mini Lego. I'm not able to read as much with her as we both would like. I can't engage with her on a one-to-one basis. I feel as if she is full of such incredible potential, and because of the neediness of the super-mobile twins, it's languishing. I don't understand how parents of more than one child can give each child what he/she needs. It is so difficult for me, and I feel like a failure at the end of every day.

But today was a good day.

She didn't nap (which is rare these days), and was calling me to see if she could get up. I went to her room, and she asked me if we could play with her dollhouse. Usually after naps, I bring the babies into her room, and we can play with the dollhouse for a few minutes while they entertain themselves with a train set I keep in her closet for exactly this purpose. But it's usually brief, and before long, the babies are scaling the walls, the furniture, and are getting into everything in her non-babyproofed room. But today, Luci and Nico were asleep. And I was able to give my full attention to Isabella and what she wanted to do.

And she (and I) had a blast.

Current Likes: Hiding under blankets, Dinosaur Train, stealing the twins' snacks

Current Dislikes: Loud traffic noises, string cheese, and the idea of sitting on Santa's lap (which we are desperately trying to talk up)

5 Responses to “Isabella at 3 Years, 3 Months”

  1. # Blogger Mom24

    Yippee for good days. May there be many, many more.

    It sounds like she's doing great. Great job on the nap reward, that's a great way to sneak in some special time too.

    I promise, you're doing better than you think you are. :-)  

  2. # Blogger Sunny

    Just put that book on my Amazon wishlist! :)

    I have to agree with Mom24, I am confident that you are an awesome mom. I'm sure it's really tough to give each kid their due attention, and I'm concerned about that myself already. But there are many of us who were raised with siblings close to our age, and we emerged without any trauma or feelings of neglect from our parents. Heck, I loved having my brother deflect attention from myself as we were growing up! :)  

  3. # Blogger Melissa

    I'm sure you're not the only one saying "just a minute" or "hold on" or "not right now." I do it all the time. And I'm sure you're not the only one who feels she's not giving each of her children the attention she deserves.

    BUT your children are living proof that you ARE doing a great job as a mother. :-)

    PS - I am still amazed that Isabella will stay for two hours in her room in the middle of the day, even if she's not sleeping!  

  4. # Blogger Cape Cod Kitty

    You and Isabella have achieved an amazing feat with the afternoon nap arrangement! Negotiation at its best.
    The drama crying so describes my granddaughter right now, too.
    You are really doing a wonderful job, and I hope time for you becomes a bit more free flowing soon. The balance is so hard to achieve.  

  5. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    She sounds so sweet. Little Elvis wants to give up his naps and hasn't napped for me this week. He's so mean when he doesn't nap, and I've discovered that I am terrible at negotiating with him. He gets all that he wants and I'm standing there with my pockets turned inside out looking clueless. Little Elvis is also a fan of dinosaur train, which I, for some reason, am not digging.  

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