It’s time for a stay at home dad update! It’s been a few months since our son started preschool and I’m happy to report that he is doing well there after the initial adjustment period. The one persistent problem we have is when he gets frustrated, he’ll throw toys or hit other people, so we are working on that with the teachers. Anyway, he made some good friends his age and he is enjoying preschool overall.
The truth is that life is much better for both of us on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend. Currently, he goes to preschool from 9:30am until 1pm on Tuesday and Thursday. On the weekend, Mrs. RB40 spends some quality time with him so I can go to work for a few hours after lunch. Those days are good because we get a little break from each other.
Winter is tougher because we’re spending more time indoors. We have been stuck at home since Thursday due the recent sleet, snow and ice situation in town. We did enjoy the snow this weekend. It was a rare treat and hopefully, the town will get back to normal on Tuesday. Generally, it’s much easier in the summer because there are so many things to do within walking distance.
Don’t do that!
It’s tough to keep your patience all day with a rambunctious 3 year old boy. He is a good in general, but he just wears me down. It seems like I had to tell him “don’t” every few minutes throughout the day. It’s a long list and here is a small sample:
- Don’t hit, kick, or push
- Don’t throw your toothbrush
- Don’t touch that yellow snow
- Don’t chase and scream at the cats
- Don’t Gangnam style in the street
- Don’t climb on the wine rack
- Don’t slam into the fridge and dishwasher
- Don’t push random buttons on the DVD player
- Don’t bite mama’s hair (while playing horsey)
- Don’t throw cat toys at mama
It must be hard being an active 3 year old boy as well. He has to hear a constant stream of don’ts and I’m sure he tunes out most of them… We send him to timeout once in a while, but not for every little thing. He’d be in timeout all day if he’s sent to his room every time we say don’t do that!
Kids are full of energy
RB40 Jr. is the most active boy I know. He is always running around and I can’t keep up with him all day. Whenever I sit down, he’d use me for a jungle gym. He is also napping much less these days so we often don’t get a midday break. The funny thing is when it’s bedtime, he seems to rev it up another notch. Especially on those days that he didn’t nap, he’d be running around screaming at 8:30pm. I guess some kids are like that when they get really tired.
As for us old people, we get worn out much easier than that. This is why it’s good to have kids while you’re young and energetic. We waited awhile to have kids. Many of Mrs. RB40’s high school friends have kids who are heading to college already! We would have felt double or triple the stress if we didn’t feel financially ready to have a kid. So we feel like we made the right choice in waiting, even though we are feeling our age these days.
Jr. is good at many things. He is potty trained and never wets his bed. He can communicate well and he is very chatty. He is also really good at physical activities like climbing and jumping around the playground. He is assertive and isn’t afraid to express his opinion (a little more about this one later).
On the other hand, he has his challenges. At school, he’d rather play than eat and usually he only takes a few bites of his lunch. We have to finish it after we get home. His teachers probably think we don’t feed him at all. At dinner, we have a hard time keeping him in his chair and he takes forever to eat. He is also getting pickier about food these days. I think he gained only 1 pound over the last 6 months. That’s not good.
Brushing teeth is another point of contention with us. He doesn’t like to brush teeth and he doesn’t listen to my instruction at all. He doesn’t spit out the toothpaste so we use just a tiny dab. He also does a terrible job brushing so I end up brushing his teeth for him after he chews on his toothbrush for a while. He also wants to run around while brushing teeth… Anyway, I guess it’s not a huge problem, but it’s always a frustrating end to a long day. Hopefully, he’ll be able to brush his own teeth soon.
Dilly Dally King
I don’t know if this is the same for every kid, but I suspect so. RB40 Jr. just takes forever to do anything. Everything is a game to him and he doesn’t have any sense of urgency. It can take him 5 minutes to put on his underwear and pants after going to the bathroom. Every time we get ready to go outside, we’d have to plan for a 10-15 minute delay…and this is just to get out the door. Luckily, I am not in a huge hurry these days but I still get irritated about the delay. When an adult is ready to go, they want to go now. It doesn’t work that way for kids. I suspect if I was still working and had limited time, I’d be much more impatient with him. These days, I’m much more relaxed and I usually don’t mind the delay that much.
Jr. is very stubborn and insists on doing certain things himself, which can contribute to the dillydallying. He also wants to do things that make Mrs. RB40 worry about him getting hurt. He insists on closing the front door when she leaves for work, and she watches him closely to ensure the door doesn’t close on his little fingers. He wants to close the kitchen cabinet doors by himself, but forgets to push in the sliding shelves first. (Note: we remodeled the kitchen a few years before Jr. arrived, so the missus is a little sensitive about things getting damaged). He wants to scoop the dry food to feed the cats himself and throw a fit when Mrs. RB40 gives the cats food herself. Like I mentioned before, he is very assertive and I hope we can turn that into leadership qualities as he get older.
It’s fun, but not easy
Being a stay at home dad is the best thing ever, but it can be challenging too. Spending the whole day with Jr. is exhausting and I’m really thankful that preschool is working out. It gives us a little time apart and we appreciate our quality time more. It would be nice if Jr. listens to us more, but I guess no kid is perfect. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this update.
Do you have any stories about kids? I don’t mean to scare anyone from having a boy. Girls seem so much easier at this age from what I’ve seen.