Trials & Tribulations When Living With a 3 Year Old

Over the past four days, Justin and I have been looking after a three year old boy while the rest of the family skies in Colorado. Because I babysit for him regularly, the three year old knows me quite well. Unfortunately neither Justin nor I were prepared to take on the life of parenting quite yet, so we have had a number of surprises already in the very short time we have been watching him.

First and foremost, we had to take my car to get it looked at on Saturday. Because we had to take two cars, we decided to have a picnic with Charlie at Stone Mountain to make the day somewhat better. Charlie was so tired (or bored?) that he fell asleep in the car on the way to the playground at Stone Mountain. Then when we woke him up he wanted to play on his ipad rather than swing or slide... or whatever else. (Engineer in the making?)

So we decided to take him on the train... only to find out it was closed for the winter. :( As a last resort, we did the skyride and took Charlie to the top of the mountain. While he may have been slightly impressed, he claimed to be scared and wanted Justin to hold him. *shrugs* We tried.

The next day, while it was raining outside, we decided to take Charlie to Legoland. I'm really not sure who had the most fun... Justin or Charlie. They sat on the floor building lego cars for HOURS. I really think they would have kept going if Legoland had not closed on us.

Charlie was super excited to see Stone Mountain in the Legoland display of Atlanta built entirely with legos. 

However, while these little trips were fun, getting back to day-to-day life with a three year old in tow has been confusing and complicated. Instead of worrying about my own routine, I now have to worry about Charlie's routine as well. Justin has been a HUGE help, and, as difficult as watching Charlie has been with him, I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be without him.

Typically, Justin has left for work by the time I get Charlie up and ready for school. Charlie is very fussy in the mornings. (Neither he nor I are morning people.) I usually get him up and in front of the tv to calm down, get distracted, and eat a little breakfast. Typically, as he sits in front of the tv, I bring him some clothes to change into and his toothbrush to brush his teeth. Hopefully, if all goes well, we are out the door within an hour of him getting up.

I get the rest of my day to blog or do whatever until I pick Charlie up from school. Justin, my super sweet, amazing husband, fixes Charlie and I dinner. With Charlie being only slightly more picky than me, Justin fixes a wide variety of vegetables that we put on Charlie's plate. Typically a Charlie plate consists of steamed broccoli, steamed carrots, chicken, strawberries, macaroni and cheese, and a little something extra. Last night we gave him some French bread to try. The night before we provided some asparagus. Sometimes the trials are successes... sometimes they are not.

Our night routine typically includes Charlie taking a bath (playing with his toys in bath water), brushing his teeth, and me reading him a story while he sips on what he calls Go-go before I turn on his cd player, turn out all of the lights except for the nightlight, and stand over him encouraging him to close his eyes and go to sleep. Charlie, according to his parents, is a night owl, and Justin and I are doing everything we can to prevent that from being a problem.

Of course, as with most three year olds, complications to the routine (often called meltdowns) do occur. The best and only thing I can find to make this any better is to get rid of the cause of the meltdown before the meltdown occurs. (For example, Charlie brought home a bottle with beads in it yesterday which he promptly opened and got all over the place. Miraculously over night, the bottle and beads disappeared. Hmm... wonder where they went?)

So to all of you single moms out there, kudos. I cannot even fathom taking care of a three year old without my supportive husband to help with the cooking, dishes, and trash. He has been an amazing help, and Charlie absolutely loves spending time with him.

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