Monday, January 9, 2012

Tot School is hard with tantrums

Man Alive.

My child has seriously exhausted me the last 18 days. 18 days since he attended his normal 2.5 hour preschool. That is 432 hours...not that I'm counting or anything. But he has been a NIGHTMARE all the time. Seriously! I have a behavior chart with a bunch of tasks, one of which is whining. I haven't been able to give him a star for not whining since putting the chart up. In early December.

My son is 39 months, or 3 years, 3 months (for those of you who wish to keep your addition/multiplication/division at a minimum unless doing helping your kid with his homework). When he was just shy of hitting the 2-year-mark, I was trying to convince my husband to start trying for another baby. Then C hit the terrible two's. And that just never stopped. Needless to say, I think if C becomes a big brother, he might be in kindergarten by the time I give birth. And he has a late birthday, so kindergarten is 2.5 years away. :)

Needless to say, the pics are slightly chaotic. Its hard to take pictures when your child is having a full on kicking-and-screaming tantrum and throwing things at you. Oh yeah, my kid's a thrower. I'm proud. Especially of the red dry erase marker line on my arm after he barely missed my face earlier.

One great thing I did was buy a large dry erase board and hang it on the wall. Its basically right above the trim so my son can either stand, kneel, or sit and fiddle on the board. I bought a bunch of different colored glass gems (hit up the floral department of Hobby Lobby: lots of times they are 50% off and you can get them for only a couple bucks). Then I bought some circular magnets and glued them on. The gems typically have a rough back which means the magnet tape won't stick on them perfectly, so I just add some gorilla glue...those suckers aren't going anywhere. :)

My goal has been that C enjoy playing with these things, but also learning about shapes, colors, and following directions. So I would draw a line or shape and ask him to put the magnets ON or IN the shape. He didn't much care for putting the magnets on the line, but loved outlining the star. Go figure! (my mom told me today that, duh, a line is soooo not fun. Shapes are more fun. Umm, okay.)

Over the weekend, in an attempt to get a cute idea that would involve a lot of creativity on his part, I drew a snowman shape and had him glue cotton balls onto the shape. To say he was THRILLED with the glue stick would be an understatement! But, do you know how hard it is to explain to a 3-year-old how a glue stick shouldn't be jammed into the carpet? Note to self: glue sticks only given AT THE TABLE.

According to C, a snowman doesn't need two eyes. It needs a gazillion, all over its body. And one on its arm.

Due to his enthusiasm with the snowman, I quickly just ripped up a piece of paper and asked him to glue them onto a new main piece of paper.

I have to admit, this required more of my husband and I than my son. He really just wanted to play with the glue stick. He, of course, had a tantrum when I took the glue stick away.

Looking for a cheap toy? This one can't be beat! Take a drink container (this is the WalMart version of Crystal Light). Cut a small hole in the lid. Put a $.99 container of small pom poms in. Give to your kid. Watch the fun.

C is in love with anything that requires dumping and then putting back into containers. That is why I can say he's actually quite good at cleaning up toys. He loves to put stuff back. He's now started helping us empty the dishwasher...obviously we only give him his plastic cups, bowls and plates to put away. But he thinks he's pretty cool helping out.

Dump 'em out, put 'em back in. Awesome fun! (excuse the horrible glare off the tv, my husband was searching the schedule for something to DVR).

Very intrigued with the lid and the hole. I made the hole slightly smaller than the pom poms, because I wanted him to have to WORK to get the pom poms into the container. This is a great task for working on fine motor development. He also loves taking the lid off and putting it back on, another good thing for fine motor skills. Our dog apparently felt the need to get involved. If you think he's big, you'll enjoy knowing he's not even 9 months old yet. The vet who told me he would "only" be 40-50 pounds is full of it! I can't even lift him anymore, I think he's at least 60 pounds.

Capping off the week with more dry erase board fun. C is definitely left-handed, so I positioned all of his magnet letters on the right so he has more than enough room to draw and be crazy with the markers. His favorite color to work with is definitely red.

Some other activities we completed this week but didn't get pictures of included working more in our Toddler Book letter A stuff, playing with stickers in a lined notebook I've decided is only for his stickers (another great fine motor game!), painted with water colors and paint daubers (my water baby was much more enthralled with the small container of water I had on the table for the watercolors...although he didn't quite understand why the water wouldn't show up with the amazing colors I could produce when I actually painted correctly. :). My camera had a coniption fit and "locked" for some reason, so I couldn't take pictures for a few days. Him working with the Letter A stuff is pretty cute. I've decided to hold off on printing the Letter B packet, and instead printed the Winter Tot Pack and The Snowy Day printables...I just have to get to a bookstore to buy the book. :) Or, incontinuing my desire to stay cheap, maybe I'll see if the library has it.

For next week, C GOES BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! Oh Joy. Now, I know there are moms out there who will be aggravated with me for being excited about that. But he goes to a fantastic preschool within the local elementary. Their resources are things I could NEVER give him. I'm not trained in physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. ALL of the ideas I've posted over the past two Tot School posts have been things I've found online. The preschool also means my son has fantastic opportunities to engage with other children. He has a "best friend" in the classroom, who is the same height and blonde like him. Its really quite cute.

Having him in school also means I will have more time to devote to a couple of at-home jobs I do. I sell Stampin' Up, as well as write for a couple of local newspapers. It brings in a little extra money, which means I get to stay home with C and not have to think about him being in full time care. Plus, my son LOVES school. He loves the way they make him think, the fun activities they do, and the great amenities that my house just doesn't have. They have a big gym with lots of toys and whatnot, plus a P.T./O.T. room with swings, gym pads, and lots more. The improvement he's made since beginning preschool in mid-October is phenomenal. I'm so glad we live in the place we do, and that his teacher chose to come back to preschool developmental delay when she did. Having 2.5 hours by myself each day isn't bad either. :) 

This post is linked up with Tot School over at 1+1+1=1. Amazing stuff over there! Lots of the printables we work with were from there!


Bronwyn said...

Your post reminded me of my eldest daughter around the same age - yes, glue is lots of fun and gets onto everything! (Just wait til he gets hold of scissors - we had a "fun" time then) Looks like he did some fun educational things this week. And yes getting some time to yourself is always great so I totally understand.

Eileen Rhoadarmer said...

I saw your post over at Tot School and came to take a look. We're not starting preschool until next year (although my oldest is only a few weeks younger than yours) but I'm already looking forward to having some time, not completely to myself since I have another, but with less to worry about. I'm a writer, so any time I can get to myself with my computer is grand. Your son seems like a fun handful, which reminds me of my own. Here's hoping school wears him out enough that he makes fewer tantrums next week!

Feel free to stop by Science Fiction Mommy anytime. We can commisserate. :)