The 4.5 Year Old Monster

Everyone told me that 4 was a Wonder Year. And oh-my-god, it has been. Declan has been a total joy from the minute he turned 4 in September. Except for the last month.

Seriously, is there some Half Year Disease that biologically creeps out of their pores as they approach their half birthday? All we have been getting lately is No, But, Tears, Stomping and Arguments.

I do remember reading somewhere about a developmental stage at 3.5 where kids have another adjustment period. Do they do this crap every year?

In Declan’s case, he is obviously pushing for more control. As a control freak myself, this is both easy and hard in that I understand his need – but hello. *I* like to be in control.

For example, yesterday he was cleaning up his room. And he decided he would pull all his shoes out of his hanging shoe tree and line them up against his wall next to his bed. Anyone who knows me knows that ain’t happenin’. So, I tell him that while his idea is really creative, his shoes need to go back in the shoe tree. He resists. We start a verbal tug of war that, in recent memory, would have ended in an argument. So I sit down next to him and say these words. “Well, what do you think we should do?”

And he gets this gleam in his eyes and says, “Let’s put the shoes in the shoe tree in the exact order I have them here on the floor.”

Um, okay.

Maybe the monster just needed some kibbles and bits.

This article has 6 comments

  1. Tree

    GREAT approach. Good job!

  2. joansy

    I have two that are 4.75 years old and one is definitely on that “monster” bit and has been for a few months. She’s pretty good for everyone else, but she saves up her defiant behavior for me in a huge way. Lately we’ve been at a bit of a struggle over her crying every single time she doesn’t get her way and her insistence upon 38 or so hugs or kisses before I leave in the morning. I’m all for hugging, but at some point I actually need to get dressed. Her twin sister, however, is as easy going and laid back as could be and seldom has monster moments – meaning either it’s a personality thing or that twin A snagged all of twin B’s monster traits while in the womb. Whatever the cause, I hope it ends soon or my darling child will spend most of her waking hours in time out as my tolerance level is at about zero.

    Ok, there, I just dumped all over your comments. Thanks for the opportunity.

  3. aimee / greeblemonkey

    LOL, J! ūüėČ And thanks T!

  4. Anonymous

    LOL, mine is a monster all year long.

  5. Builder Mama

    You know, I think I remember on WMR that everyone said that 4 was the worst year. I tend to agree. The little darlings are not only a lot more assertive, but now they can actually tell you their demands in an intelligible manner.

    Great approach though with the shoe issue! I found that by giving Monkey Man more choices (which totally kills the control freak in me) we were both happier. Or at least he was.

  6. g-man

    Thats was a good bit of mommy’n.

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