A Typical Day for a Three-Year-Old Tornado and his poor family

What is a typical day for a three year old?


Well, if it’s anything like our house, there are huge amounts of chaos, independence, sword fights, and energy.  It seems that people are worried about what a typical day is like.  There is no typical day, but I figured I’d give it a try and illustrate as normal as a day gets.  I encourage responses and other posts so that everyone can compare and realize we are actually making it up.


6AM: I’m woken up by a quiet voice asking if he can get into bed, and I sit up and make sure it’s 6am.  I nod, Evan curls up and then spring loads into “Oh What a Beautiful Morning!”  Evan bounces, rolls, and throws himself on me.  I am NOT a morning person.


6:15: Sean joins the chorus from his crib, anxiously awaiting his crib break.  If I’m feeling sleepy, I curl back into bed as the boys jump all over their father and me.  If I’m ambitious, I call Evan and take the boys downstairs for some Disney as I try to wake up.


7:00: TiVo pause Good Morning America and crank on the morning playlist.  Breakfast.  Depending on how quickly I can snap out of zombie phase, I might have baked a coffee cake or flipped some pancakes.  If I’m still a zombie, it’s frozen waffles.  I chase the boys down for breakfast as Evan tries to explain he’s not hungry or that he can sprinkle the snow sugar.  As the boys eat, I unload the dishwasher.


7:30: Naked playtime!  Evan throws off his clothes, which has become harder now that he is in his winter flannel button up shirt.  I do my morning exercises as the boys run around and sometimes try them.  I watch GMA as Evan sings at the top of his lungs and Sean hands me book after book to read to him.  If I’m really lucky, Sean will play with all the police siren toys, and Evan will jam on his musical instruments as I try to capture some part of the adult world.


8:00: My breakfast.  Which is a bowl of cereal, and I am surrounded by open mouth bird-boys chirping for a bite.  You ate a whole waffle and banana!  What more do you want?  Your mom needs to eat too!


8:15: Breakfast dishes in the dishwasher.  Boys wrestle.  Sean plays catch with me.  Evan sword fights with me.  Vacuum monster out (on every other day).


8:30: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!  Hurray!  Shower and get dress time!  Juice out.  Also as I brush my teeth, make bed, open bedroom blinds, and lay out boys’ clothes


9:00: Sean and Evan getting dressed.  I liken this part to hog tying, which on an 18 month old is so much easier.  Evan has to be caught, asked, persuaded, commanded, forced to pick an outfit and placed in it.  Sometimes this also includes a bath where the boys splash, drink, and spit water as I clean the bathroom and then try hard to get soap in their eyes as I tell them to look up at the stickers I placed on the ceiling specifically for them to look at.


9:45: Evan is FINALLY dressed.  I hover to make him make his bed.  Sean and Evan brush their teeth, wash their face (ok, I jam a washcloth in their face and swirl it around), and brush their hair.  Sean has perfect hair.  Evan needs gel that I never remember to buy, so he always looks like a mess.  Evan is forced onto the potty.


10:00: We are either on our way to some sort of store, the library, or released into the yard to make a mess as I call my parents.  If I call my parents, Evan and Sean chit chat happily with their Papi and Grandma until they want to hog the phone.


11:00: Lunch time.  PB&J for Evan. J for Sean.  For my sanity and the boys’ safety, PBS is on as I make the sandwiches and then when they eat them.


11:45-12:00: The beginning of naptime.  Dragging boys upstairs.  Making Evan go pee.  Changing Sean.  Reading two stories.


12:00: Naptime!!!  Lunch!  Blog.  Phone calls.


2:30-3:30: Wake up time.  Sean ALWAYS wakes up first.  Poor Evan never gets one on one time any more.  Depending on how they wake up includes what we do.  Lately Sean and I read books as we wait for Evan or we play blocks or he does his on thing.  But I better have juice ready when they get up or they might just turn to dust.  Evan is forced on the pot. 


3:30: If daily call to grandparents hasn’t been made, then we call.  We play school where I try to teach Evan to write his name or due a workbook page.  We do crafts to some success.  They enjoy playing in the sink with bubbles.  This is also filled with wrestling to get the “favorite” tricycle (we have three!), playing catch, sword fighting, castle building, fighting over cars (we have a hundred!), demanding more juice and snack, coloring, running around with underwear on the head instead of over the bottom.


4:00: I release the tornadoes (at least they both have on pants of some sort) on the world as we collect the mail and they run around tempting the boundaries of the front yard.  (EVAN!  STAY IN YOUR YARD!  SEAN!)


4:30: PBS as I begin to make dinner, which only catches Evan’s attention.  Sean snakes in and out my legs whining about starving to death as I try to pacify him with some sort of snack.  Evan hearing the commotion comes to investigate, who drags a chair to watch, hoping to burn his hand or get a finger sliced off.  Evan is denied a snack as it WILL ruin his dinner.  Am I channeling my mother, yet?


5:00-5:15: Evan has to set the table.  Some days this is easy.  Other days it is asking, persuading, coercing, demanding, threatening.


5:15: DINNER!  Depending on what’s for dinner may make it more pleasurable.  As Evan refuses any vegetable except corn, it can be assured that every night there is some sort of skirmish and a begging of some sort of treat.


5:45: I hate winter because now it’s too dark here to let the boys play out back as I put up the meal, which means I have to either turn on the TV to keep them where I see them or I allow them to run amuck in my house.  Usually they take this time to test their category 3 wind skills.  I would prefer them to test them out in the back yard, but then I would have to figure out a different reason why we can’t play outside at 8pm other than it’s dark.


6:00: Simpsons.  It’s like homework in my house.


6:30: DVD time or cartoon time or play time, depending when Daddy arrives home.  Most days it’s a combination of all three.  I pop in a DVD to calm them down only to have the boys couch sliding within fifteen minutes.  Sword fighting and ball throwing take place.  Even a book or two are read.


8:15: Clean-up time, where I ask, persuade, convince, cajole, command Evan to pick up his toys.  Some days are better than others.  Sean is learning to help.


8:30: Round up for bedtime.  Wrestling pajamas on, reading books, prayers, and lullabies.


8:45-9:00: The borage of “I’m thirsty; I need water,” “My bed’s too hot,” “Can I sleep in your bed,” and “I can’t sleep”


9:00-11:00: Relaxing down time.  As in sweep, dishes, clean the kitchen, daily chore (mop or boys’ laundry or our laundry or dust or file or scour bathrooms or finish cleaning up the mess), putting away the finer details of cleaning toys, straightening up the desk.  Maybe, just maybe some Daily Show and a book.



Now just sprinkle a few “Evan, do you need to go potty,” “Evan, don’t hit your bother,” “No, Sean, no candy,” “No, Evan, get out of the marshmallows,” “Sean, we don’t throw balls at people who aren’t paying attention,” “Evan, we don’t swordfight when the other person does not have a sword,” “Pick it up, please,” and “no” along with some crying, running, randomly picking things off the ground and such and you have a full day.

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What’s that noise? or he’s just happy, not choking

There is a stage that occurs when the baby is six to nine months of old that scares the crap out of a parent.  This is when the child learns to gasp, making a new sound.  The first time it occurs the child will be safely buckled in the rear facing car seat and you, the mom, will be driving along singing the ABCs, singing to the radio, or just relishing the silence.  Then the child gasps.  WTF?  What could you poor little baby be choking on?  The stuff animal that is always in the car?  The card books left in the car to entertain the baby? An unsuspecting marble that somehow got in the car when you weren’t looking?  Or did some stranger open the car door and give your child a piece of popcorn or peanut when you weren’t paying attention?  You pull over at the first chance, a gas station, a neighborhood street, a church parking lot.  You frantically take off that infernal seat belt, shove open your door, and rip open the back door. . . to find your baby smiling and gasping at you.  Now that you have done a comic routine only dreamed up by the best writers of MASH, The Simpsons, or I Love Lucy, your child will repeat this process to see you perform again and again.  Within moments, the gasping becomes ordinary to you and returns to the background noises that clutter your existence.


Until it happens to your husband.  Then he freaks out, demanding instructions to CPR or the choking method because he was too busy doodling and dreaming of sushi during the child safety class to pay attention.  His frantic concern, distorting his face in the most comically genius-way making the baby laugh.  Your husband looks to you for an answer to this new noise, and you shrug and say it’s a testing of sound and reaction.  This time the cruel joke is on him, and he too quickly tunes out the noise so that he can go back to watching football or the latest crazy pundit on the Fox News Channel.  This process goes down the line through relatives, friends and babysitters, until no one acts in outrage and fear.  The baby loses interest with the noise and moves on to the next stunt to get more attention.  Hopefully it’s the first word and not trying to walk.


That is, unless, your baby is Tornado S.  Tornado S was not rewarded with as grandiose comic gestures as his brother because I remembered distinctly pulling over in a church parking lot to check on a smiling, living Tornado E, but none the less, Tornado S loved gasping.  It must be because it is one of the few sounds made with inhaling.  He still gasps with joy, and he is quickly nearing his 18 month birthday.  Nothing makes the heart jump into your stomach like the sounds of gasping coming from the crib.  Though when you enter you act as cool and confident as a cucumber (yes, they are rather confident) so that you don’t give your child more comic fodder, you were still mentally checking everything in the crib and in the room as you ran up the stairs, praying that Tornado E didn’t somehow get to the marbles on the top shelf of the closet.  Damnit, I knew I should have thrown them out, but they were a gift.  The noise wakes my husband up in the morning to hurry to check on Tornado S who just stands holding the railing, smiling from ear to ear, waiting to get out of bed.  It also happens when he is presented with his favorite food, his favorite toy, something he likes, something funny on TV, basically when ever he’s happy.  He does laugh too, but he always relies on the gasping.


Maybe he’ll out grow it in a year or two or he’ll be giving his pre-school teacher a heart attack.

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