I want to take a moment to do a public forum here. Because I need some help!
I’m at my wit’s end with my 3-year old. Here is my situation. Judge as you may, but I hope you keep an open mind, because we are really doing the best we can.
I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. It was fine at first, but after I had my second child, it was clear we were outgrowing our space. We didn’t move, since we couldn’t afford a bigger apartment or house and we figured we could stick it out for 2 more years. We put Luke in our walk-in closet for awhile, then moved him to the bathroom. Yes, the bathroom. We cleaned it out really well and stopped using it. I put in a portable crib and with the darkness and the fan, he sleeps great in there.
Enter pregnancy #3. With just a couple more months to go, we decided to put Luke in with Will to share a room, so that the new baby could use Luke’s ‘room’ for the remainder of the time we live here (about 6 months.) It seemed to be working okay, but I’ve been noticing a gradual decrease in my 3-year olds good behavior, happiness, and even bathroom competency. I think it’s due to him not getting enough sleep.
We put them to bed pretty early, at between 6:30 and 7:30. Sometimes we stagger their bedtimes, but the other will frequently wake up when the other comes to bed. Then they giggle and talk for about an hour before going to bed and sometimes we have to go in there multiple times to tell them to go to sleep. But no matter what, Will is up at the crack of dawn, sometimes 6:30, sometimes 6, sometimes earlier. We have fans and blackout curtains, but his biological clock is set for him to be an early bird. He still takes a nap, but the longest is 2 hours.
And lately he has just been….how do I put this gently? Horrid. Absolutely. He is rude, yelling and screaming and talking back to me all the time. He cries about every little thing, and throws a huge fit when I dare put him in time out. And when I’m not around, he’s constantly doing naughty things I’ve told him so many times NOT to do. He loves to play with Luke, but doesn’t hesitate to hit or yell at him if things aren’t in his control. On top of that, he’s been having daily accidents with his potty training–sometimes multiple times a day.
I really don’t know what to do about him. Sometimes I think it would all get better if I separated them at night again, but it has to happen soon anyway, and since he is also deathly afraid of the dark, having Luke in there with him helps him to feel safe. (And yes, he has a nightlight.)
Help!! What advice do you have for me?