talking to a 3 year old

It’s very odd, amusing, sometimes delightful and often frustrating to talk to Miriam these days. Not sure if it’s a universal 3 year old thing, or just my nonsensical silly girl.

Take for instance the recent exchange about a peach. I wanted to know if the peach she was eating was the one I gave her (she is notorious for taking a bite and then trading it out). So I said, “Miriam, is that the peach I gave you?”
“Yes, Mommy.”
“Did you take another one out of the fridge?”
“MIRIAM. What did you do with the peach I gave you?”
“I put it in the fridge, and I get trouble, and attitude, and I say yes Mommy.”

And then at lunch time, I was in the kitchen making them their “peanut jelly and butter” sandwiches when Jireh said “I want green.”
I ignored her and Miriam started piping in. “Mommy, Jireh wants green. Please can you get two green?”
“Green what?”
“TWO green.”
“OK, two green WHAT?”
“Mommy, PLEASE, can you please get two green?”
and on and on…
It was only after I gave them a pink and yellow plate, respectively,  and they again complained that they wanted two green, that I realized they were talking about green plates.

This pretty much happens every day… any suggestions?

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5 Responses to talking to a 3 year old

  1. hursthouse says:

    I have no idea—Josh would have chided them a bit and given them two green beans or two green stalks of broccoli hoping that might enourage more specifics :):):)

  2. joyandryan says:

    That’s hard.  We go through that all the time (with different things).  Sometimes she expresses herself so we can understand, and other times she’s simply not clear, resulting in her being really, really frustrated. And sometimes I’m in the mood to “trade out plates” and sometimes I want to teach her that she eats on the plate I gave her, no questions asked.  The latter usually results in a tantrum.  Now I just try to head it all off with thinking everything through from the beginning, predicting what kind of reaction she will have, and adjusting what I do in order to keep the peace.  Who knows.

  3. klovato says:

    I have put all the plasticwear in a bottom drawer and the kids pick out their own dishes now.  I tell them if they will need bowls or plates and forks or spoons and they grab their own.

  4. Momof2js says:

    well, this is mild compared to Jacob at 3 who couldn’t control himself when we’d have a frustrating dialogue.  It was like he became this child who had never seen discipline a day in his life.  I hated 3 way more than 2.  I use the phrase “show me” a lot to try to help myself figure out what they are wanting.  Otherwise, I use the phrase “this too shall pass” on myself! ha ha.

  5. bubbelcat says:

    Ugh!  I was just commenting to a gf yesterday how FRUSTRATING that age is communication-wise.  My standard go to (already even with my 2 year old) is “show me what you mean”.  I’d say that works about 1/2 the time. 

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