Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I think I may be raising a mountain goat...

and I have to admit, I’m not sure I know the best method for doing it well. Perhaps I should explain.

The “mountain goat” in question would normally be called our Angel triplet - although again, the nickname Angel should not lead you to believe that she wears a halo very often, she just looks like she should.

Our mountain goat climbs everywhere and figures out how to get on top of things before we’ve realized how to make anything safer. Her response to “no” or redirection is laughter and to simply do it again. I’m sorry to admit it, but we’ve resorted to a swat on her backside at the 25th (I’m not exaggerating) or more redirection from something that could hurt her worse than the swat. The reaction is still laughter and more of the same behavior. If you raise your voice, she smiles and does the behavior again.

A recent escapade ended up leaving a triplet sister sitting in the midst of broken glass while Tripped Up Daddy was out of room grabbing clothes to change them into. She had climbed to the top of the entertainment center and knocked off everything that was there. Unfortunately, that included an empty drinking glass. (That resulted in a “time-out” of sorts in her crib – which has a crib tent she can’t get out of – Tripped Up Daddy was ready to keep her there all day, I think. After calming down & cleaning up broken glass mess, that went down to just 20 minutes).

She’s figured out how to defy many childproofing techniques. We keep the door to the kitty litter/food area closed and have a kitty door for our 3 cats to use. Angel has figured out how to squeeze her little body through the kitty door and go in all areas that aren’t childproofed. We locked the kitty door – she broke the door off the hinges.

The other mountain goat similarity? Angel triplet puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. As much as we work with her to keep that from happening, she smiles and pops a bunch of clover or grass (dirt, pens, any “found” item at all) in her mouth, and runs away as you attempt to get to her. And she’s super fast. If you try to take something away from her, it all becomes a chase game. Putting her in a “timeout” doesn’t work because she simply waits you out and then goes right back to the activity.

Perhaps it’s an attention need – so you try to give her more attention - you tickle her, read to her, catch her and snuggle her. That really helps while she’s getting the attention, but at some point, you have to care for 2 other toddlers at the same time, you have to make them food, etc., etc. If she wants to, she can sit and look at a book, or play with a particular toy for a really long time, she’s incredibly intense. Also, if she decides she wants to do a particular thing, God help you, it will happen, she never, ever gives up.

Like the other girls, Angel triplet will be 3 in November and although she’s still not talking much at all, she does surprise us with a word here and there. (Like “More Appa” - more applesauce - at play group this past week.) Whenever Angel triplet moves forward on her milestones - although late, she’s usually perfect – she crawled perfectly, rolled perfectly. She observes a lot, then suddenly one day decides to do something you’ve never seen her attempt before – and it’s perfect. 

Angel triplet has no fear of anything. Tripped Up Daddy’s brother, at age 3 or 4, was found on the roof of the garage of their home – because he was curious. I’m beginning to be afraid that mountain goat is just in the genes.

If you’ve even read this far, please know, I’ll take advice. I must admit, before the triplets came along, my experience with temper tantrums with Lotte was really easy. (She simply would lie face down on the floor and refuse to move - no tears, no screams, just silent protest.) In general, she was always on the compliant side of things, and my experience in “willfullness” feels completely inadequate now.

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