A Post Where Liza Sleeps and Eli Takes His Behavior to Another Level

New born babies sleep a lot. 18-20 hours a day, a lot. You would think that with Liza sleeping like the proverbial lion queen, Eli would relax and enjoy some focused mommy/daddy time. You would be wrong in that thinking. Eli has been fairly whiny for a while now. I’m guessing it’s a new baby thing. I’m praying it’ll be over soon.

The sad part is he’s actually gotten more attention over the past couple of weeks than usual. Someone has to swing him on the new play set. There’s a great opportunity for either Stephen or me to talk with him, or as we’ve been doing the past two days, sing 14 choruses of “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly.” This morning I helped him build a fort under the piano and piano bench with a blanket. He can hang out there and play with Casey the Kinderbot or snuzzle his blanket. We even moved his couch in there. It’s an awesome fort and I totally wish I could fit.
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The other behavioral issue we are dealing with is his inability to listen and follow directions. He used to follow directions so well. He was eager to please and wanted to do the things we asked of him. I don’t know if this is related to his new sister or to being three. I’m guessing it’s a three thing. Yesterday at Target when I put him in the buggy, I asked him to remember to keep his mouth off of the cart. (This doesn’t sound like a request I should have to make, I know, but with Eli it is a necessity.) While we were standing in the checkout line, I saw him lean over and deliberately lick the metal part of the cart. I was so aggravated I told him he had lost his computer time for the day. And then there is the incessant (Yes, incessant, sometimes I say things as many as 20-30 times a day.) repeating of instructions.

Here’s a short list of the kinds of things I’ve told him today or yesterday:

  • Head on to the potty and pull your pants and pull up down and get started, I’ll be there in just a minute.
  • Stop!
  • Please use an inside voice inside the house.
  • Why don’t you play with X toy instead of that?
  • No!
  • Please play with your own toys and leave Liza alone in the swing.
  • Head on to the potty and pull your pants and pull up down and get started, I’ll be there in just a minute.
  • Stop!
  • Please play with your own toys and leave the very sharp cheese grater alone. (This is a real request, I’m not making these scenarios up!)
  • Head on to the potty and pull your pants and pull up down and get started, I’ll be there in just a minute.
  • Why don’t you go get a couple of books and we can read those while I feed Liza?
  • No!
  • Please don’t push the buttons on the dishwasher.
  • Please don’t put your mouth on the dishwasher rack.
  • Stop pouring BBQ sauce on the counter.
  • Head on to the potty and pull your pants and pull up down and get started, I’ll be there in just a minute.
  • Stop!
  • Please don’t wipe your PB&J face on the fabric of the dining room chair, use your napkin instead.
  • Please don’t slam doors. We leave doors open so no one’s fingers get smashed.
  • Head on to the potty and pull your pants and pull up down and get started, I’ll be there in just a minute.
  • Music CDs aren’t toys, if you scratch them up you won’t have anything to listen to.
  • No!
  • Are you supposed to be playing with (or pulling, pushing, touching, putting your mouth on) that?
  • We do not jump on beds. We jump at JumpZone, not on the furniture.
  • Head on to the potty and pull your pants and pull up down and get started, I’ll be there in just a minute.

I’m not kidding, that’s a real list of things I’ve said. It gets old. I feel like the meanest person in the universe. I feel like with this particular behavior pattern, there is no end in site. I try to stay positive, both with my instructions to him and my own mental attitude. I try to remind myself that these battles are more easily fought now. I also try to remind myself that it’ll all be different next week. And at least Liza is sleeping through it all.

6 thoughts on “A Post Where Liza Sleeps and Eli Takes His Behavior to Another Level

  1. The need for incessant correction is probably the age thing, as he’s undoubtedly pushing his boundaries. That he’s now in competition for parental attention probably trebling it a bit, but my brother reminds me that Mom had to incessantly correct me, too…

  2. Thanks Suzan. He’s actually been pretty good so while this post seems like I am complaining he’s been better this week than he was last week with Sam here. He could not stay out of trouble while Sam was here.

  3. My only concern is that he’s going to hit his head on the piano. I’ve done that a few times reaching for a pencil. By the way, the pictures are very cute.

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