I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on how child development works- I learned a lot about it while in college- I got a crash course twice in infant development. I even took Cameron to class once for this and of course, he had the beginning of strep. Everyone loved him anyway, because he was an adorable baby, just a little cranky.
Sleep: How does this work?
Cameron was a terrible sleeper when he was younger- we had to drive him around at night. He was the kid that made me debate if I wanted more. Apparently, he is now catching up on all the naps he refused to take as a toddler. Much like a preschooler who stopped taking naps, he’s a bit cranky later in the day. He takes a nap just about everyday around 4 and if he doesn’t get it, he complains about not getting his sleep. I giggle because he has no clue of the sleep Matthew and I missed out on trying to get him to sleep.
Good thing he’s so cute while he sleeps, right? The other two are great sleepers- Lily still tells us she’s going to bed and once she’s in bed, there is no waking her up.
Food: The eternal struggle
I’ve touched on picky eaters before in Parenting Pet Peeves. Lily and Julian have been picky eaters since they were small. Both had sensory issues, which creates its own chaos. Lily has since gotten past this, but Julian’s, of course, are permanent. He won’t eat french fries that have potato skins on them, people. That’s where we are right now. I’ve met and worked with a lot of preschoolers that won’t eat a lot of things for many reasons but this one is up there on the wildest things I’ve heard.
We have learned to pick our battles, split Julian’s fries among the rest of us, or try not to get him fries at all and move on. It’s not worth the fight. Preschoolers love to fight their parents on food-related things, and it can get exhausting.
Growing Way Too Fast
This one bugs me the most. When did Lily need a bra? When did Cameron and Julian graduate elementary school? Cameron’s about five minutes from finishing seventh grade. Preschoolers tend to do this before we can blink. I barely remember my kids finishing preschool because it went by so fast, between Julian’s broken arm and other assorted injuries, Lily being the cutest thing in her class and Cameron going off to elementary school. It was a blur. Preschoolers sing songs and make stuff when they graduate, probably to make it a little easier on us.
Cameron’s 5th grade graduation
You notice he’s almost as tall as me in the pic, right? Fast forward two years and he is taller than me. Ugh.
They Love Animals
This house is an animal friendly house. So far, pet-wise, we have had a handful of turtles, three mini-hamsters, one dog (Tiger), a rabbit (Bugs), and the very spoiled Tails and Miss Purr. They also love going to zoos and seeing other animals. Cameron wants a koala or a panda, Lily loves jellyfish and snow leopards, and Julian likes almost anything but penguins, because they stink. Every preschooler I have ever met loves animals. They may not like petting them but they definitely like animals.
There is a nearby free petting zoo and we go quite a bit when the weather is good.
Lily’s 9th birthday party was at a local animal shelter and everyone loved it. We got to play with cats, and that was the highlight of the party.
Lily petting a cat at her birthday party- a blast
Exploring is a MUST
My kids, for the most part, love to get into things. Julian is usually the kid that is most likely to get into something he shouldn’t be. His cousin, Chase, used to tell him, “Don’t do it, Julian. Your mom is gonna be so mad.” Chase is a pretty cautious kid, and he was usually right when he said that. I think he stopped saying it because he realized it wasn’t going to stop him, so he just waited to see what was going to happen next.
Matthew and I took the kids to Natural Bridge a few years ago and we loved it. Lily hated the walk up and complained the whole way. The boys loved it.
Cameron climbing out of a small cave he found at Natural Bridge.
Preschoolers get into everything they can and squeeze all the fun they can into a day- same thing about ten years later. My kids have all the fun they can, as they should, because adulthood comes far too quickly and then you have to pay bills. Yuck.
They scare the hell out of you.
This award goes to my boys. Cameron wins for his heart condition, because SVT (you can find info here) is scary. He just got off a month-long monitoring for this and we are thrilled no issues were found. The scariest day I’ve ever had as a mom was the day we found out about the SVT in 2015. He passed out at school after playing basketball and an ambulance was called. The school staff thought he’d had a heatstroke (it was early June) but once he was at the hospital, it was quickly seen that it was not that but something else. After a second major episode in March 2018, he had to have a small procedure to stop these issues, and it was successful.
Before Julian’s ADHD and autism diagnosis, he broke his left arm, right foot, had a concussion, and cut a finger with garden clippers. He did all of this before he was four. He has since calmed down, thanks to a diagnosis and meds, but has still had a few injuries-nothing terrible.
Kids of all ages will scare you, sometimes starting with the day they are born. Preschoolers are interesting little people. They have no fear, will try almost anything and just don’t care. This ends badly, especially when they take a flying leap off a bunk bed, which is what resulted in Julian’s broken arm. That ended in resetting his left arm.
They will steal your heart.
When you aren’t settling fights, wondering when the fidget spinner fad will end (it’s still a thing at my house), or doing one of the other many things you do to keep your kids in one piece, your kids will manage to steal your heart. It happens. I think it’s normal?