Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Carter Update- 3.5 Years Old

As I prepared to write this post I realized I've been writing monthly posts about Carter for 3 and a half years! That's a long time! He still picks up so many things each month, but not as much as he did when he was younger. I feel like it's time to stop doing updates every month and switch to a longer time frame. What I do each month is keep a note going on my phone and type up things to put in the monthly update. I plan to still do that and just have more things listed for a less frequent update.

Carter has always been really aware of his surroundings, those around him, and other people's feelings. He remembers places after only going a few times. He recognizes friends' neighborhoods after only having been there once or twice and asks if we are going to their house when we turn onto their street. He will tell me I'm not going the right way to go to a certain place when we make a pit stop on the way somewhere. Lately I've been impressed with little details he notices. One Saturday Ty got a haircut while Carter was napping. When Carter woke up and came out, the first thing he said to Ty was, "Daddy, you get a hair cut?" He also noticed Ty got new shoes the first time Ty came home wearing them. He is so sweet, he always asks Ty, "How was your day," when he gets home from work. He also asks Elise how her nap was if she wakes up after him. At dinner I ask him to tell Ty his favorite thing he did that day. It's so fun to hear the highlights of his day, his take aways, and what he remembers the most. After Hayden's visit, Carter was telling us all about how Hayden likes mustard while he likes mayonnaise (actually Miracle Whip). Hayden requested toast frequently while he was hereso for a few days after Hayden was here, Carter asked for toast with his meals.

At Christmastime Carter saw a My Little Pony castle at Aldi and really wanted it, so his Uncie J got it for him. Then my parents put a My Little Pony in the Easter Basket they gave him. Ever since then he's really liked My Little Ponies. He requests the show sometimes and plays with his castle quite a bit. My mom got out the My Little Ponies she saved from I was a kid for him to play with while we were visiting. He called them by the names of the My Little Ponies on the show, it was so funny. They are one of his favorite toys right now, along with cars and balls. His favorite thing to play with is the computer. I give him computer time every now and then and he absolutely loves playing games on pbs kids. It's so cute to watch him. His independence with the games has really grown since I started letting him play. He used to sit on my lap while he played and I'd help him. Now he can play without help other than if he accidentally clicks out of the game or needs help starting the internet or something like that. He doesn't need help with the actual games. Kitties is still his favorite game to play and he adds something new almost every time we play. He likes to crawl, rub his face on mine, meow, play with balls, purr, and just added licking my face. He doesn't like Elise playing it with us because she walks instead of crawls. He insists we crawl when we play kitties. Whenever he asks me to play with him it's usually kitties or cars. He doesn't really like me to play My Little Ponies with him, he prefers to play it alone. Naturally that would be the way it goes because it's the one I enjoy the most! He also likes to make up words, especially goofy names to call himself, me, Elise, and others. When he's feeling shy he also makes up words. Another thing he enjoys to do is sing. He likes to sing songs he knows as well as making up his own lyrics and making up entire songs. A lot of times he'll narrate what is going on or what he sees around him by singing.
Boy, he sure loves his sister! He enjoys playing with her. He thinks she is absolutely hilarious! When he wants to play pretending that he's a baby, he totally mimics her behaviors and sounds. That's when I realize how closely he pays attention to her. Of course, he still gets too rough at times and I've noticed when he's running through the house and gets close to Elise, she flinches as though she's bracing for him to bump into her or knock her down. He makes up for it with hugs and kisses as well as sharing with her. Whenever he gets himself a drink or a snack, he always gets one for Elise too. Sometimes he asks to sit beside her at dinner so he can be the one to put food on her tray.
He had some notable firsts this month. He went to his first gymnastics class which was also the first time he had a teacher other than me without me right there guiding him. He also made some great strides with potty training. He told me he needed to potty for the first time and has been doing it a lot since. The first time we were on a run and he told me he needed to potty so we stopped for him to go. He also went on his own while I was putting Elise down for a nap. I came out of her bedroom and his pants were off so I just assumed he'd had an accident while I was in there, but it turned out he had pottied on the potty chair and didn't feel like pulling his pants back up. He still has accidents every once in a while but they are becoming fewer and farther between, thankfully! Up until this point he was doing pretty well with not wetting his pants but it was basically only because I was making him go all the freakin time! He's gotten to where he can hold it for longer, thank goodness! Before I was having him go before we left the house and then again when we arrived at our destination. Sometimes he'd still have an accident on the way to the bathroom at our destination. Now he can go a solid 2 hours or more between going. It's so nice! I still have to ask him to go at times, but I feel like that's par for the course. In all of our struggles, I'm thankful that at least he got pooping down pretty quickly. If I had to choose potty accidents or poopy accidents, I'd go potty accidents all the way! So even though I've wanted to pull my hair out at times, there's that silver lining. And I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm hopeful that soon enough he won't be having accidents anymore. But then again, I remind myself I'd have students in first grade having accidents...
Bedtime with Carter man is so hit and miss. We'll have weeks where he goes right down and does really well. Then all the sudden he starts having trouble, screaming and crying when he goes down and pulling nonsense. We've found the key is that once I lay him down I cannot re-enter his room until I sneak in to give him a kiss as Ty and I are getting ready for bed. If I go back in then he just starts up all over again. He wants me to cover his ears with his blankets. Then he wants me to rock him. Next he started claiming he was hungry but we called his bluff when we took him a graham cracker in bed and he refused to eat it. So now when I lay him down I tell him I will not be coming back in and that seems to help. If I go back in at all, it is game over.  

I never would have guessed at 3.5 we would be where we are with potty training when Carter was a baby. I just knew with the right method, the right reinforcement, and lots of patience (which I have), it would be fairly simple. So not the case for us. Better luck next go around, I guess. Other than potty training and nighttime shenanigans, Carter is a laid back and fun little guy. There are so many moments throughout the day when I look at him and am just blown away by how freakin cute he is, how much I love him, and how sweet he is. The best part is that when one of those moments hits, he doesn't mind me kissing his cheek and snuggling up to him. I love that about him. The best, little boy!

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