The blog post 46 Reasons My Son is Might Be Freaking Out is starting to resonate with us...a lot. Although Eli had some blow-out tantrums just before and just after he turned two, he actually never became the whirling, tantruming dervish known as a "terrible two." Recently, though, he's had his share of meltdowns in the last few days. I've noticed online that many are referring to this as the "threenager" stage...while many have said that this is worse than the twos...I still have trouble picturing Eli as anything except my sweet, sunny boy. However, he has had some interesting emotional breakdowns lately. From sobbing because I made him wear the shirt he picked out to wear, to crying because he wanted to clean the table and it was "too clean already," to crying because we wouldn't let him wear dirty socks to school, to crying because we wouldn't let him step on Grandpa's hand again, to crying because he wanted to feed the dogs again (immediately after feeding them), to (my personal favorite) crying because there was no clean laundry left to "fold."
Luckily...all of his tears seem to be short-lived. He cries for a minute...then he gets over it. He knows that we have limits, and that while he might sometimes be sad that the world doesn't bend to his will, that's okay. There are some great benefits to his current phase/stage, though.
For one, Eli is determined to be helpful. Folding laundry? He doesn't quite have the skills, but he will sort it into stacks of clothing type (one stack for pants, one for shirts, etc). He loves to practice matching and folding his socks into a ball, and he likes to mimic me and practice when I am folding pants/shirts. He will also help me carry clean laundry to where ever it goes in the house. He also loves dusting. I gave him a damp cloth and let him "clean" his booster seat and a window while I swept and mopped the kitchen; he thought that this was an awesome treat. When I told him that he was all done and to go play...he broke down into tears because he wanted another job. He has gotten to be great at one particular chore, though: feeding the dogs (we have 3 large shepard-looking mixes who currently worship the ground Eli walks on). And he LOVES to feed the dogs! He can open the door to the garage, collect the dog bowls, open the pantry door, scoop the right amount of food into each bowl, take the correct bowls to each dog's crate & let them in. He does need help closing crate doors, but he needs only minimal supervision with this task now...and his pride in his work and ability to "help" really shows.