“Is it Easter yet Mummy?” I think my 3 yr old needs a lesson in living in the moment

Since about January 2nd my three year old has taken to asking me lists of inane questions each morning (that always begins with “Is it Christmas again yet Mummy?” - how did he know so intuitively that this question would be so grating to me I wonder??) like some kind of slow torture designed to break down my defences and leave me open to attack when he asks for something he wants. After spending at least 10 minutes solid (I’m guessing this is like 3 hours in toddler time) every day explaining how far away Christmas is and all of the things that we would have to enjoy first, I walked right into another trap and mentioned Easter. So my new morning routine starts with “Is it Easter yet Mummy?”…I guess I should look on this as a positive improvement.

On a serious note, I have been finding it quite alarming that someone who has been on this Earth for less time than it takes a cheese to fully mature, is finding it necessary to pin his hopes on the things he has to look forward to. Have I made him look forward to things too much and stopped him living in the moment?? I obviously needed a new thing to worry about now that both him and his brother finally stopped their tag team sickness marathon. I won’t say it’s a resolution because we’re half way through February and I’m not too convinced I’ll be able to stick to it, but I’m going to TRY to encourage him to enjoy the moment a bit more. I know personally I could definitely benefit from doing this more, rather than always looking to the NEXT thing (although I find it is so hard not to do this when you’re always waiting for something nightmarish like teething or tantrums to come to an end and the only thing that keeps you soldiering on is the little twinkling light at the end of the tunnel that’s saying ‘one day you will get more sleep and not have to deal with meltdowns because the pyjamas with cars on are in the wash’).

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If you read my blog from the beginning you may remember that I gave myself a challenge from October (when I set up Stitch Me Happy) until the end of 2017, to try a different crafty activity with my oldest son each week and then I included a summary of it in my blog. I’ve been trying to think of a new weekly activity to do with Aubrey that could help him practice patience (don’t laugh - I know three year olds are not known for their patience - but I can dream) and to have a nice quiet thing to do while his younger brother is napping. So I have started teaching him to sew. Yes you read the last sentence correctly. The aim is to start off with a needle (a proper one but the chunkiest/bluntest type) and thread and work towards him using my sewing machine (!!).

He is VERY excited at the prospect of using a sewing machine:-

  1. because it has the word MACHINE in it
  2. it makes a loud noise (like building site vehicles do)
  3. because he seems to think that he will be able to ‘make’ himself new toys using it, specifically ‘a rubber (no idea how this material came to be selected by him) car that will drive around when he puts batteries in it’ (I tried to explain the inaccuracy of this but was met with a quizzical and frosty glare)
  4. he sees it as a VERY grown up thing to do and knows little brother Leo won’t be allowed anywhere near it

I did the first session this morning and was fairly pleased with the result. He did about 8 stitches, was quite impressed that he could make a X pattern and seemed to find the whole 7 minutes mildly amusing (although to be honest with you, 5 minutes of this was spent using the thread to dangle the ‘A’ shape I had cut out of felt for him to stitch on, saying in a gleeful (living in the moment?!) voice “the A is walking around on the table tra la la la la - you can’t catch it!” and breaking down into fits of giggles when I tried to get the A back. Baby steps. I have the feeling this project will be more about working on my patience rather than his; and maybe that’s a good thing since I have recently started teaching sewing classes (if you're interested and live in Norfolk/Suffolk check out the CLASSES tab on my website). If I can handle my three year old then I’d say I’m in a good position to teach a grown up who (hopefully) won’t mock me and demand snacks 3 minutes into the session.

Whether it’s trying to teach my 3 year old to sew, to persuade him (there is pretty much no form of bribery that’s off the table at this point) to put his shoes on quickly when we’re running late (at least 3 times a day, every day) to teach his little brother Leo to say more words or to stop pouring his drink through the gap in his high chair when he wants some attention, I will do my best to breathe and enjoy the moment. Ok maybe I won’t always be able to enjoy every moment; but at least to live in it.

Em x  

Emma Cruickshank