So, we've had a rule of no bike riding in the house. You know, one of those rules you would never think of having until you have children and realize the number of things you need to specify. For Christmas, Santa brought our 5 year old a scooter and our 3 year old a 12" bike. There has been snow on the ground and the weather has been freezing cold - not ideal conditions for riding bikes and scooters. I never considered our house that large, but apparently our long hallway and kitchen covered with linoleum are ideal conditions for bike and scooter riding. So we are bending the rules in celebration of Christmas. Every day, several times a day, they ride up and down the hallway. I'm sure it's not ideal treatment for my floors, but if it keeps my kids happy and burns off some of the extra energy they have from candy and not enough time spent outdoors, I'm happy to bend the rules. Let's just hope come summer they don't still want to ride indoors.
My 5 year old daughter has decided she wants to take a shower every night instead of taking a bath with her younger brother and sister. This is one of those things you never really consider, but makes you realize how quickly your little kids grow up. I know it's a simple shower, but I felt like saying "No! You're too little! I want you staying in the bathtub with your siblings forever!" I didn't say those things, of course, but it did make me kind of sad to realize she's old enough to do something simple by herself like bathe herself. Of course, she still needs a little help with shampooing her own hair in the shower. And, with kid #4 coming in March, it will be a little difficult to have 4 children all sitting together in the tub at bathtime. I understand logically all of these things, but it still made me a little sad. Maybe I should blame that on pregnancy hormones.
My 3 year old son has taken to narrating his playtime. I don't know if he's seen too many Thomas the Tank Engine movies or we've read too many books written in 3rd person, but it's fairly entertaining to listen to. Especially because it's frequently when there's no one else around.
I'll overhear him playing with his toy trains and saying things like this:
"'You're going too fast,' said the blue train. He needs to slow down. He goes up the hill now."
Or he'll be playing with the kid's nativity saying and saying things like this:
"Mary and Joseph need to stop at the manger. The bad guys are coming."
Perhaps it's time I start playing with them a little more and doing some role playing rather than reading books!
I've found myself falling back into a threatening mode towards my children. This is one of those things I have to make a conscience effort to avoid. I frequently find myself saying things like "If you don't clean all the books up, I'll have to take your stuffed animals away." Really, I'd probably get a better result if I phrased it as "If you put all of your books away, you can go play with your stuffed animals". I react better to incentives than I do to threats, and I'm pretty sure my children are the same. An early New Year's resolution, I guess, to focus on encouraging the positive rather than punishing the negative.