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Oh for fuck's sakes, that other mother needs to grow up and get serious. Kids do this type of thing. If she can't respond to the situation with dignity and be a grown-up what is she teaching her kid? I know the anxiety you feel now though - and it's unfair. You've done everything you can to make things right.

When my little boy was born, my nephew also pretended to be a baby for a while( he was 3 at the time) He would cry for bottles(?!) and want to be held in a blanket like my baby, and it drove us all nuts. He carried on like this for quite a while, and then it slowed down a bit. But he would still want to be treated like a baby.....When I moved here he immediatly got over it, but every single time I visit them, he gets jealous of all the attention my little one gets. I suppose it's normal? Going from being the "baby" with loads of attention, to a bit less. Anyway, since he's four now(a big boy) I can chat nicely and explain to him that everyone still loves him etc etc, they are just excited to see Keagan, and he's okay with that. He hides his jealousy, and is alot more caring and considerate.

I know moving away from Adam and Kate is not an option for you, lol, but maybe having a nice little chat with them will help? Making them feel like they are a big girl/boy, and they need to help you look after Max? Like they need to be responsible, etc.
I dont know, but it sort of worked in our situation.

Gud Luck!

Doubt this helps much, but at least you can be glad you aren't THAT parent....

When my little brother was 3 or 4 he was very tiny for his age. I'd guess he was about the size of a child a year younger. His daycare moved him up an age group at the beginning of the school year per policy. The other kids immediately pushed him around, mainly just because he was smaller and less mature. After a few days he had to move back to the younger class for a year. Why? Because another child bit him on the back. For no reason except that he could.

As for thumbsucking, no real experience. But I do know something that I was taught in OT school that stuuck. Apparently thumb sucking is extremely calming because there are so many nerve endings in the thumb and mouth that are all stimulated at once. I believe the recommendationw as to find something else to comfort before trying to stop it. What I don't remember is what was suggested. Little help, I know. Oh, I do know one thing. Beats me if it's a suggested way to deal, but it has helped me. I tend to pick at my nails and skin on my thumbs when nervous. Keeping the thumb covered with a bandaid for several weeks did help me stop because those things don't taste very good.

Been there done that. Dylan was a keen biter when he was younger but at 4 Adam should know better I suppose. All my friends had daughters so they were extra precious and Dylan would just decide to take a bite out of someone's arm or forehead. I know that bitch still looks at me like it was my fault.

D even as an only child has always loved doing the baby thing which is rather irritating and at 22kgs I still pick him up in the lying position (my poor back) and carry him wrapped in 7 blankets to bed. He can't resist looking at all the baby toys in toy shops - don't know what his reason is as there is no threat in our household!

SAHM you crack me up.

Tertia I unfortunately don't have any toddler experience, but I know in babies thumb sucking is a self soothe technique. I've sent a query to the people of Baby Sense and Toddler Sense and will let you know what they suggest.

You write lovely. A serious topic I guess, but was very entertaining the way you wrote it. We def need another book.

I am the type of parent who would be upset that my precious little one got hurt by a biter. However, if the parent of said biter reached out to the extent you did, even having the biter write a card saying sorry, I would respond in a possitive way. Way to go on your part T. You were kind to call, and teaching Adam to write a note of appology is really classy and a good way to teach manners and empathy. Maybe the mother just needs time to process and cool off a bit. Hopefully she will come around for your sake and her own child's sake. This mother is also teacher her child how to react when these things happen. I would be anxious too. These social aspects of parenting are tough!

All kids bite! And wait - thats not the worst of it either. MY son (4 years)- wee's in the school garden, shows the class his penis, stole sweets from the teachers surprise box, fights with the other boys - the list goes on and on. You would immediately assume we are a family of degenerates, but we're actually quite normal and nice (we think! :)and love our kids dearly. My son is also loving, and affectionate, and bright and thoughtful - he's just a normal little boy. So Adam is quite tame compared!! My daughter (2 and a half) is also a biter, and a scratcher, and a pincher - she just hates not getting her way. What can I say? Send the mother another letter and tell her to piss off, that's what I would do.

Also, before all your readers think I have horrible bullies for kids - they have also been victim to nasty bites (that HAVE broken the skin)etc, I have just realised and accepted that AAAALLLL children are the same, and I thank the dear Lord every day that my kids are spunky,lively, confident and outgoing. As for the baby-ish thing - when my daughter was born, my son went through a very bad patch of sibling rivalry. Being only two and bit, he couldn't express his emotions, and also went through the baby phase again. So what? We just made a point of giving him more love and attention and cuddles and special "alone" time with mommy and daddy - and he came around. It'll all be fine. Love your blog - you rock!!

For the baby voice I would tell them "use your big girl/boy voice or I am not answering to you and do walk away" Work for whining too LOL.

I just tell them my ears can't hear/understand them when they whine/scream/baby talk/yell/any other annoying non-talking communication. It takes a few days but eventually they give up.

Can't help you on the other 2, though.

Glad it's not just mine regressing. Although she was pretty good in the first 6 months, she's not anymore now that she's having to share toys and attention and stuff. Sigh.

"Do I ignore the thumb sucking? Do I ignore the baby talk (actually, both kids are now doing it) or can I say "stop talking like a baby, it's very irritating". Please can I say that? Because it is VERY uncute hearing a 4 year old talk like a baby. And what about the uppy? Is it ok to say "go ask your father, your mother is old?" And what do I do about the mother of the child who got bitten? Do I try say sorry again? Do I arrive at school early in hopes I never have to see her again? If you were that child's mother, how long would you stay cross for?"

The regression is normal but it is still crazy making. Ignore the thumb sucking or give her a safe alternative. Making a huge deal out of it creates stress and, since thumb sucking is often a response to stress, that can make thumb sucking worse.

Baby talk - simply say, "I'm sorry but I only understand big kid talk and I just can't answer you until you ask/say it properly."

As for uppy, tell them what I told my kids (but after they ask using real words), "You are just too big for me to pick up like that. You can sit in my lap for a few minutes though though." Gives them the contact they are craving but saves your back.

You've apologized. You've done all you can. I wouldn't worry about it anymore. After all, Adam is only 4 and these things happen.

Just my opinions (Been there done that by the way)

Do I ignore the thumb sucking?

**yes** (My daughter sucked her thumb to age 6 and stopped on her own.

Do I ignore the baby talk (actually, both kids are now doing it) or can I say "stop talking like a baby, it's very irritating". Please can I say that? Because it is VERY uncute hearing a 4 year old talk like a baby.

**Like the person above said, just pretend like you can't understand them when they talk baby talk. Also, let them "overhear" you tell Marko or Rose (or whoever) that you are so glad you don't have 3 babies because it's so fun to have older kids to have fun with, talk with, etc. Babies can be boring, etc. Make sure they think you don't know they're around. The more they hear this the better.**

And what about the uppy? Is it ok to say "go ask your father, your mother is old?"

**I'm guilty of still carrying my 4 1/2 year old up the stairs when he asks me to. Believe it or not, they won't always want you to carry them! I cherish every opportunity I get to carry him, but he's my "baby". I have no one younger. lol Maybe allow one special "uppy" per day.

And what do I do about the mother of the child who got bitten? Do I try say sorry again? Do I arrive at school early in hopes I never have to see her again? If you were that child's mother, how long would you stay cross for?

**You have gone ABOVE AND BEYOND for this mother. It's up to her now. If she gets over it, she does. If she doesn't, it's not your problem. I wouldn't do another thing.

You asked:
We only have one little one in the house (4 1/2) so he did not regress, but he does whine. Not all the time, but that was his main way of communicating (crying/whining) until he learned how to "use words." Sometimes he still whines and I just say, "Please use words like a four year old." And I explain that I cannot hear/understand him. That usually works, but if it doesn't I just repeat, "I am so sorry you are upset, when you calm down and use four year old words I will listen." Then I walk into another room and do some task.

I would handle the "uppy" request the same as saying, "Oh you want me to pick you up? Can you ask like a 4 year old?" If he did then I would pick him up as a reward and then sit down with him on my lap or place him on a table or counter to be the same height as I am. If he asked in an age appropriate way I would reward that. Then guilt my hubby into a long back rub followed by a long hot bath.

As for biting, our little one has never biten or been biten. I would be horrified if he was biten, but would try to use it as a learning experience the best way I knew how. If he did the biting I would be equally horrified and let him know that biting is for little kids that do not know how to use words. I would then do a couple of roll play examples and try to encourage other means of coping/communicating. *I was biten at the age of 4 and I bit back harder. I was punished because I broke the skin, but she never bit me again.

As for thumb sucking, I do not know. It is very soothing and maybe just a phase. If ignoring it does not show progress I would talk with her and explain again that 4 year olds do not suck their thumbs. I am not one for a lot of external rewards, but if she would trade thumb sucking for a sucker or something she really wants I would try that. It may be easier to transfer the habit to one that can be broken easier.

Last thought, I do use the age thing with ours to wean him off behaviors and to introduce other behaviors. Now that he is 4 1/2 I tell him that he will turn 5 on his next birthday and 5 years olds do not do. . .or do. . .(whatever the behavior is). This really does work for us, but understanding his behavior and being consistent with our behavior is what I found to be most successful. By the way my hubby is the most inconsistent person on the face of the earth, so it is extra time consuming for me to be even more consistent. But it works. Then I am on to the next phase/stage. Good luck and keep us posted.

You could tell Kate she will get bucked teeth and that'll put her off. She's old enough to understand. I told my son he will get yellow teeth if he doesn't clean them and so he cleans his now - it helped that mine are not pure white and so he could see. The mother of the kid that got bitten should get real and stop living in a fantasy world. This type of thing happens at this age. It was nice of you to go to so much trouble to apologize.

Oooooh, I have been there and still am there at times. The worst was when she started walking and then we moved him to South Africa. But we are dealing with the baby talk right now since little sister is now making an honest go of talking. My son is only a few weeks older than your two, and my daughter will be 2 in just over a week.

Some of it I have sympathy for and give in - like his blanky. Still pack the blasted thing where ever we go, let him drag it around the house when he is tired. We made efforts to give him more "alone" time with a parent, extra lap time etc.

The picking up - I asked him how much he weighed, he told me, I said, "exactly."

The whining and baby-talk drove (drives!) me nuts. Telling him we disliked it / please stop did not work. We have reduced it big time by refuse to engage in conversation / answer his needs unless he talks like an almost 5 year old. This is actually rather hard since they can be so persistently annoying! (And others give in because they take pitty).

No clue what to do about thumb sucking. Don't know if making an issue would make it worse. Then again, given what you said about Kate, if you ignore it will she just carry on as she pleases? She does seem like a strong minded young women (I mean that in the positive sense.)

I don't have any assvice on the thumb sucking or baby talk. If it were my child I think I would just ignore it...

The biting. My daughter was the recipient of biting many times from the same child. Not only would he bite her, but he would seek her out to bite her.

OMG, this made me furious. But you know what? I didn't hold the parents at fault (ok, maybe I did at first). I realized, thanks to my wonderful early childhood specialist mom, that kids will do this sort of thing. I got over it. So, this parent of the kid that Adam bit? Unreasonable if you ask me. You did the right things, now it's up to her to grow up and talk to you directly if she still has a problem.

I've noticed that my kids don't just regress when one is born, but they tend to regress when a younger one reaches a new milestone. So my 2 year old is potty training, and my 7 year old is acting 4. My 10 month old is trying to walk, so my 2 year old is back to crawling and using pacifiers (which he NEVER used as a baby).

It's all annoying, but it passes, every time. Gently correct the behaviors that you can't stand because it makes YOU feel good, but know that the baby talk and thumb sucking are probably temporary and will disappear on their own.

If my kid was bitten and the other mother called me, i wouldn't pick up the phone. I hate talking on the phone, and it's even more awkward when someone is calling to apologize and i'm annoyed. Because then i'm annoyed at whatever they're apologizing for plus annoyed that i have to talk on the phone.

I bet that in a short amount of time, she'll get over it and be fine when you see her in person.

I'd nip that baby talk in the bud. I don't think you need to be passive, though, and just ignore it. I would make it very clear that it is to stop. I find there are few child behaviors more grating than that one.

i just have a suggestion for baby talk. i have friends who went through this with a 5 year old who suddenly decided to use baby talk. like you, they did not think this was cute or amusing. so every time he did it, they would say: 'i'm sorry, sweetie, i don't understand you', or 'could you say that differently, please' and continue whatever they were doing. they were acknowledging him, but also letting him know that he would get their full attention when he acted/talked his age. (it worked.)

My 5yr old has never ever sucked her thumb, but her new BFF *roll eyes* of 6 does (not sure why she is still doing it at age 6 though?).
Then of course my LO started doing it to copy BFF and I just told her that she would get very ugly buck teeth (like Kim also stated above) and tried my best to illustrate to her what it would look like.
Of course the next day she told her BFF that SHE is going to get ugly teeth (must still work on being tactful lol) and hasn't done it since. BFF is still doing it however.

On the biting - I remember my LO got bitten 3 times when she was about 2-3yrs old. I was pissed off with the child and the parents, as you always think it's the parents' fault (don't we?), but I got over it in about 4 days.
If however one of them attempted to apologise to the extent you did, I would've really appreciated it and made contact with you.
The mother is acting rather childish and is not a good example for how to deal with life.

PS. I *think* your 2 are coming to the same school where my LO is, albeit a year younger, so I'll warn her now already......LOL!

I'm sorry about the other mother not responding....I know how much that would stress me out.

I would ignore the thumb sucking. I would also ignore the baby talk - as in, when they talk that way I would pretend I couldn't hear them at all.

I would hold Adam on my lap, seated, so he didn't break my body but he got the comfort he needs. I would try to spend some one-on-one time with each child every day to help them deal with their feelings.

Sibling rivalry really started, in my house, when the baby started doing things - around 6 months old. Until then, she was sleeping all the time and kind of didn't hit my big kid's radar.

I think things leveled off here when the baby was about 10 months old. It may be even faster for you, because your kids are used to sharing you already.

I wouldn't give the mother of the bitee a second thought, because she sounds like an unreasonable bitch - kids are kids, and for her to get angry at you for what your kid did is crazy. Just pretend nothing happened - you've done enough! Oh, and make sure you dress Adam as a vampire for the school Halloween party, because that'll just be funny.

Well, kids do bite sometimes...that's reality. It was nice of you to help with the note. If he keeps up the biting, you might get writer's cramp after awhile, though. ;) One of my kids was a biter sometimes, and the other never bit anyone. And both of my kids were bitten by others on occasion. I did not blame the parents--honestly, now is a good time to realize that you are not your child. So the other mother needs to chill, because her child is going to do things that she is not responsible for either. ;)

Good luck with everything!

The advice I got was to just give a lot of love, involve them and ignore the regressive behaviour, I did, and it all settled about 5 months later.

As to that mom, gosh, she needs to grow up! My goodness, biting happens in the best of schools and in any circumstances. I bet her kid also bit someone sometime.

I was a thumb sucker, i only stopped when i was 10 yrs old, and i got teased endlessly. How i stopped was by my mom dipping the thumb in bitter allow, it tastes discusting, even after washing it off. Try that. Also i had to have braces because i had buck teetyh from sucking my thumb (well thats what the orthodontist said it was from) so try the bitter allow, or something that tastes just as gross. Good Luck

Yes, you can say it's annoying! Because it is. My kids both try to baby talk and I'll say "I can't hear you." It usually worked.

Never had a thumb sucker so I don't know on that. But, at that age, I'd certainly want to break that habit. There was a girl in school who was still sucking her thumb in 3rd grade! She was often picked on because of it.

As far a biting. I can remember those days. My dd got 2 bites one day and I was livid. She wasn't even 1 yet. But, when she became the biter I wanted to hide. However, our school did not tattle on the child that bit to the other's parents. They filled out a report on it and that was it. Of course, at 4 I guess the child could very well say who bit him. They'll come around eventually.

I wouldn't assume that the mother is angry with you. There may be other explanations for her not rushing to embrace you (have you actually witnessed her actively ignoring/avoiding you?), either by phone or in person. Perhaps she wasn't even home when you called? Perhaps the apology note never came home from school with her son? Perhaps she is so totally NOT upset about it, that she's not responding to your apologies because she can't fathom why it's such a big deal? Possible? If I were you, I'd greet her warmly the next time I saw her at the school, and gauge her reaction. If she leaves in a huff without acknowledging you, THEN perhaps she deserves to be written off. ;-)

As for the regression at home, I suggest really talking up the POSITIVE aspects of being older. Perhaps A&K are too focused on Max's "advantages." Do you take them on outings without Max ever? Like to a park or zoo or something? Maybe some Very Fun, Grownup Activities are in order, leaving Max at home with Rose for a little while, all the time pointing out to A&K how lovely it is to be able to do *xyz* together because they are Big Kids. ;-)

No suggestions on the thumb sucking, as Lindsay (at 8.5 yrs old) still resorts to it when under stress. Which is often, but never during daylight hours - during the day, she bites her nails and picks the skin on her fingers instead. *rolleyes* It is clearly due to her General Anxiety Disorder, for which she is on Zoloft, but it apparently isn't completely eliminating her stress. :-( Sounds to me like Kate-E-E is experiencing a stressful phase right now, and hopefully when the stress is alleviated, the thumb sucking will stop. Good luck on that!

Sorry you are dealing with this Tertia. At least you knew to expect some kind of regression so you're not shocked!

So, my assvice (I am slightly qualified as I have 9 y/o boy/girl twins, a 5 y/o boy and a 2 y/o boy).

1. Uppy - Tell them no, and that they are old enough to walk if they are old enough to play with -insert favortite toy here- and if they want to act like a baby, no more favorite toy.

2. Thumb - tell Kate that she can suck her thumb all she wants in her bed, but is not allowed to do so in public, warn her of germs, etc.

3. Baby Talk - tell them sorry, but you can't understand them when they walk like a baby and ask them to use their big boy/big girl voices. If they keep on with the baby talk, reiterate that you can't understand them and walk away.

Numbers 1 and 3 I had to deal with in my home and those solutions worked for us. Good luck!

So many questions! I have a useful answer for only one of them.....

In our house, the kids know they won't get a response of *any* kind unless they use an age-appropriate, non-whining, polite voice. When they say something in a whiny/babyish/mean way, I ignore them or tell them I can't understand them.

They get tired of that right quick. Works like a charm. :)

Hi Tertia,
My 4.5-year-old girl (5 in November) has also suddenly taken to the baby talk. She has a 3-year-old sister and we haven't had any other major life changes lately that I can blame this on. I simply respond to it with this: "I'm sorry, I can't understand you when you talk that way. Please use your big-girl words and voice and we'll try again." It's worked amazingly well so far as both her dad and I just don't respond or engage when she talks that way. It is frustrating, especially when I know how well she CAN communicate!

My 3-y-o girl has also bitten - thankfully only her sibling so far. I think when kids are frustrated and can't express themselves another way that happens. Not sure how to handle it - at home we have immediate removal from the situation in time-out and serious talks. It hasn't escalated or progressed but I know it would worry me in the school situation. I hope the other mom can communicate with you better. Best of luck to you!

In my kids daycare we aren't allowed to know who the biter/bitee was. So that alleviates the having to apologize part. As far as that goes I'd drop it.

The thumb sucking? My kids are constantly putting fingers in their mouths when tired or upset and I always say get your fingers out of your mouth. The littlest one still has a nuby and a blankie that will be going shortly.

The baby talk? I can't understand you when you talk like that.

You already have heaps and heaps of good advice here, so I just wanted to agree with what works for me. For the thumbsucking, telling my daughter that she can only do it when it's time for a sleep, and if she has it in her mouth then ask her if she needs to go lie on her bed because she should only be doing it when she's ready to sleep. For the "uppy" same as others, I can't pick you up but if you want to sit on my lap for a cuddle that is just fine. And for the baby talk, I can't understand you if you don't talk in proper words.

My brother used to bite EVERYONE when he was about 3, and my mum tried everything to get him to stop. Eventually, she bit him on the hand and he instantly stopped. Not quite sure thats the kind of advice your after though!

The baby talk can be annoying, but it is very normal. They see Max is getting more attention and they think by talking like him, they will too. I say each day spend some time just with Katie and Adam. Whenever you see them, hug/kiss. I went through that with my son when my daughter was born. I find some one on one time, even just 10 mins each day really helps.

The thumb sucking I would say to try to stop it. Our almost 9 year old daughter didn't stop until last year when the orthodontist installed a metal bar in her mouth that made her stop. She really messed up her jaw with thumb sucking.

On the baby talk, I think you should try to talk to the twins about how you love that they are older and can do things with you that only older children can do and how you find them lovely when they talk and act their age. Try to find some time that you can spend with them cuddling and such and they may feel better about all the time you spend with Max. BTW, I find that I need to do this for my poor 9 year old wonderful daughter who now has twin brothers occupying most of my time. I try to make sure we get some special time every night after "the boys" go to bed.

And I think you did great about the biting thing. Just let the mother cool off. I love that you had Adam write the apology note. Very good thing for him to learn.

Dear Tertia,

I went through the same. The 'uppy' thing, the biting, thumb sucking...all of it. And it is still there in minor forms, even though my youngest is 2 yrs old. In addition, my youngest is now old enough to imitate her sister's bad behavior. My 2 cents.
(1) Relax, it's part of the game, when you feel you are getting too annoyed have a good laugh at yourself and your children.
(2) The 'uppy' thing is annoying but it is not harmful, it's just a call for attention and care. And it may go on for as long as the little one gets 'uppy'. I just joke with my oldest about her wanting to be a baby. Sometimes she wants to be like her baby sister, sometimes she wants to do things all on her on because she is a big girl.
(3) The thumb sucking is an unhealthy habit for many reasons. My youngest has been a thumb sucker since birth and my oldest for a while started doing it too, even though it was not really her thing. I would not let that pass and took her thumb out of her mouth, bribed, denied ice-cream, told horrific stories about germs...it worked.
(4) Biting. My oldest daughter has been both the biter and the bitten at different times at school. It happens, no need to worry so much. This mom...ignore her. But you must be stern about the fact that biting is not tolerated so that it doesn't happen again, especially because at some point he may(will) try to bite baby Max. At my older daughter's preschool they have a no-biting policy: you bite, you go home. So when J bit a friend I had to go pick her up. The teachers made a big deal about her not being able to play at school for the rest of the day because she bit, and she cried all the way home. No special treats that day, but I did not punish her in any other way. It never happened since. It also helped that for the next few days the teachers made an effort to reward her for good behavior with stickers.

My baby is now 13 months and I'm still dealing with the post baby fall out around here. At least your kids are toilet trained, we were almost there when A was born, but both of the twins slid right back to square one and we're just getting back into underwear NOW, and they'll be 4 in November.

The funny thing is that the "introducing your older child to the new sib" books all said that having a new baby after twins was easy because twins have each other. Yeah, right, what a load of BS.

N frequently talks in baby talk, or just screams in frustration instead of speaking, D often asks to be picked up and carried, and D has bitten N on the arm TWICE, and before A was born they never bit...ever. I tell N to "use his words" or I won't respond. I tell D he is too big to carry, but that he can sit on my lap. D got punished severely for biting and he hasn't done it since. However, now that A is starting to walk they have become more aggressive with her and each other. It only gets worse at 1, I'm afraid :(

ok, so on the bite: the other mom will, or will not get over it and you, honey, have no control over that. if it was me, I'd be over it by now. Second, the bite may or may not be about the sibling - kids with sensory issues (like my son who is 4 and a half) may be more prone to that stuff. My son is (but only with his sister, not at school...yet). Third, let the uppy go, the sucking go, the baby talk go -- the only thing I say sometimes are things like, you wish you were still the little one in our house...or, its hard to have a baby in the house...I love the book siblings without rivalry - a quick read and very helpful even at baby stage. just think, when Max is crawling, things are going to get really interesting. And then you will get to the toddler stage when Max will go up to Kate and Adam and, gasp, take things away...have not gotten further than that stage but just to give you a little preveiw....
hang in there...

Both of my kids used to think it was cute to do 'baby talk' sometimes "Me want that, me go there, etc" - I just told them that we don't talk like cavepeople and that I can't understand them until they talk like regular people, and you'd be surprised how quickly they quit doing it. Once they were getting zero response, it wasn't fun anymore.

As for the thumb sucking - neither of mine did that, but I've heard that putting foul tasting things on the thumb will help - soap, spices, etc.

And as for the biting incident - maybe talk to the kids' teacher and ask her advice? It sounds to me like you've done what you could, if the other mother is honestly holding a grudge then I'd just ignore it - maybe she's just not organized enough to respond?

When my son (3 1/2) started doing things like this I told him that if he acted like the baby (his younger sister is now 4 months old, we were pregnant at the same time) he would get treated like the baby. This was with baby talk, using the potty, sucking thumb...anything that could be considered a "baby" act. I told him he would not be able to sleep in his big boy bed. He would not get to watch his shows on TV as babies don't watch TV. I told him he couldn't play with his "grown up" toys because babies don't get to play with those. He wouldn't be able to read his books etc... This usually ended up with him telling me he didn't want to be a baby, he wanted to be the BIG BOY. "Then you have to act like a big boy to get the big boy privileges..." Worked for us.

As for the mother of the bitee, like everyone says here...she needs to get over it. You did MORE than you needed to to make the situation right.

I know that my pediatrician got his daughter to quit biting her nails by telling her that people who go to school just don't do that! It worked. Something inane like that might work. Other than that I have no ideas.

As for the mother of the kid Adam bit, Margot said it all. Holding a grudge against a child is inexcusable and something best ignored and forgotten.

thank goodness adam's not biting the baby - which is also common, and normal. yeah the other mother has to handle it - it happens, and even worse to come as they develop. probably the hardest thing to accept about our kids is how horrible those darling little buggers can be.

with the baby talk, people have already given great advice, but i would just add that it is probably his way of signaling that he wants something more from you, and he doesn't have the skills to say it in an easier to manage way. also, you are best not to sound upset or pissed off about it, but rather to talk to him in the way that you want him to talk to you. also, could you set a little time aside to play 'babies' with him - like, make up a baby bed on the floor and tuck him in and be all cootchy coo and kissy and affectionate, and really ramp up the baby talk with you doing it too - perhaps for 10 or 20 minutes depending on his attention span - he would LOVE it (both your kids love dressing up, and playacting), and then revert to your preferred speech once playtime stops - so that he learns there is a time where that kind of speech is okay? like, not when he wants a glass of milk etc? you would love it too, and there would be truckloads of giggling and tickling and cuddly type stuff which would fulfill his sensate needs? that way you get to play with him (super vital) while meeting his specific needs - plus, the play would alleviate anxiety and stress for him (both kids in fact - you could fully revert to their early baby days) and for you. i think sometimes we work so hard at being 'good' mums that we forget how to just be with our kids, and how to let go and have mindless fun.

thumbsucking - yeah, has to stop - probably a hangover from the binky days - she knows that she can self-comfort that way - but she is old/bright enough to do an exchange - like, you could say "mummy doesn't want you to make your teeth crooked, but if you don't do it for (a week, two days, today - depending on what you reckon she can manage) then we can (add whatever will appeal to her and make it worthwhile to stop the behaviour))

good luck!

Wait a second people - Why are you assuming the other mother is simply not responding because she's a pain in the ass??

You guys are assuming that she's deliberately ignoring Tertia because she's pissed. You don't know that. And frankly, what is she supposed to do? Sure, an acknowledgement may be nice, but really? Come on, people. PErhaps as far as she's concerned, its a non-issue. Its not like the teacher told Tertia that the mother said to keep her boy away from Tertia's wild children.

Perhaps she was too busy to answer the phone? It does happen, you know!

Perhaps her son (the bite victim) did not share the apology note with her.

Lets all take a deep breath and remember that we do not have all the info. Tertia does not have all the info. For all we know, she is pissed at her own kid for not fighting back. Or she's worried about her husband loosing his job, and since Adam (and Tertia apologized) she just as soon move on and worry about other things.

Yes, unacknowledged apologies can be a sore problem. But until you know the person is DELIBERATELY and MALICIOUSLY withholding the acknowledgement, then you need to step away from the kool aid and breathe deeply. Don't turn this into a lynch mob.

Ref the biting - the other mother may feel aggrieved but really needs to get a grip and realise it just happens, you have made amends and she needs to move on. She needs to teach her son to accept the apology and put it to bed.

Ref the regressing, oh man. I had blocked that out of my memory but it all came flooding back after reading your post! Thanks ;) I found the best trick was to ignore it. We had it for the first year (sorry!) and it Drove. Me. Crazy. My son was 22months when my daughter was born, and I swear I thought I would go crazy. Particularly when he got to 3.5 and I knew that he knew better. BUT. I just kept on with emphasising the praise when he did 'big boy' stuff (without comparing), and asking him to repeat something he said in baby speak as I didn't understand him when he spoke like that. I made sure I gave him long 'baby snuggles', sang him Rock a bye Baby just like his sister (but drew the line actually rocking him after he got past 14 kilos!), and emphasised that he got to go to bed later (by 5 minutes!!) as he was older. I still do that, and now he has gone to big school (he only just turned 4. How does that happen?!) he is really into being the 'big kid'. Phew - finally!

Good luck :) It does stop... eventually.

ps what CUTE kids you have, I swear they get cuter every day!

Re: talking like a baby. " I'm sorry, I can't understand you when you talk like a baby! When you're ready to talk like a big kid come ( tell me, ask me, whatever)

Re: Thumb sucking. Ignore it. She is self soothing because she feels a need to be soothed. Let her do it, she'll quit when she's ready. And don't let Marco shame her out of it, that's not the way you want her to stop. ( thumb sucker till I was 11, and for good reason, and it didn't harm me at all)

Re: Biting. Gah, who knows. I've had both a biter and a bitee, and both sides of the coin BLOW. I will say though that when I was doing daycare I dropped a little boy because he bit. I could only watch my super special snowflake daughter get mauled so many times before I put an end to it.

I told my 2 year old she could talk to the baby using baby talk since he could understand her, but she had to speak normally to everyone else. When she did it after that I said "oh that's so nice you're talking to your baby brother" and it ended pretty quickly!

Advice on the baby talk...when my 3 year old daughter whines or cries for something, I just say, "I'm sorry, I can't understand you when you talk that way. Can you say it nicely so I can understand?". She usually repeats herself with a little less whine and a "please" at the end and then we can do what she's asking. It seems to work for us, it isn't mean and it helps her to understand that she isn't behaving in an acceptable way.

My (usually) gentle son bit his best friend at preschool when they were 4. The girl was taken to the doctor and put on antibiotics since her skin was broken. I was mortified. My son apologized and made her a get well card. Thankfully her parents were understanding and the kids are still friends. I am pleased to report that my son is not a serial biter as there have been no repeat offenses.

My 2 cents about the thumbsucking (against the advice of my pediatrician and teacher sisters) is that you should tell them to stop it. I have 3 kids who all, at some point in their lives, stuck a finger in their mouth, and I always called them on it (they didn't do it much.) On the other hand, my 2 sisters have late, late, late (embarrassingly so) thumbsuckers. One niece had to have an appliance put in the top of her mouth at age 12 to stop the thumbsucking, and she will STILL be caught with her thumb in her mouth, on occasion. The other niece, started sucking her thumb after her sister was born (the third sibling), and has done so much damage to her palatte that it will take a ton of orthodontia to make it right (she still sucks her thumb at age 8, because God forbid we say anything.) I don't see the harm in telling a kid to get a finger out of their mouth -- I think it is germy and disgusting -- I know where their hands are all day, and they are NOT washing their hands before jamming them in their mouths.


When kids talk in baby talk I always say, "Sorry, what's that? I can't understand you when you talk like a baby? What are you saying? Use a big girl/boy voice and then I can understand you". If they are really motivated to communicate with you they'll "grow up" really fast.

Being a girl who sucked her thumb religiously until EIGHT years old...I am not a good one for advice on that one.
As for the biting - you did MORE than you needed to. Screw the other mom. She is clearly clueless as to what kids do. Period. Try not to give her another thought. Trust me...I am a teacher and I am VERY confident MOST parents, at best, would have just talked to their kid about it. You should pat yourself on the back for how you handled it!

For the babytalk, i'd tell them i can't understand them-but say it in a neutral voice. eventually they will want something badly enough that they will talk in their regular way for it. Thumbsucking, hmmm, offer her a new lovey ( i am a strong believer in big borther/big sister presents after a new sib is born) and suggest she hold it instead of sucking her thumb so she won't mess up her beautiful teeth. Do't push too hard, though, or she'll want to do it more. Remind them of all the cool things big kids can do that babies cannot do--like eat ice cream, ride trikes, etc.

As for the biting, you have done all you can, the otehr mother needs to get a grip and at the very least tell you that she appreciates you acknowledging how wrong it was.

when you meet her, bite the kid's mum. when she freaks out say, "finally! i've got your attention!"

As far as the other mother goes, you've done all that can possibly can be done and how she deals with it is her problem. We cannot control other people's feelings or reactions, so don't give the situation any more power than it already has - just move on.
The regression I understand completely and it's a very normal part of growing up. You do feel it more when it's being played in stereo, though. My daughter was three when her twin brothers arrived and what worked with her was us constantly reminding her of how grown up she was and how proud she made us anytime she did anything even slightly positive for the babies. She became hooked on praise and that was great.
Another thing that works is saying things like "Oh, dear, Mrs Preschool teacher would be so sad if she knew you were asking for baby things! She always tells me you are nearly ready for Bigschool!" Mrs Preschool teacher should probably be enlisted for assistance in this regard as well, its all a part of the school readiness program she will be putting into place, anyway.
Your kids are soooo typical of their age group! You are doing a fantastic job with them, Tertia. XXX

My two cents worth -

Baby talk - ask them to speak in their big girl/boy voice. My son also spoke in baby talk when his sister was born - so I reminded him about the big boy voice (about 7 million times), also told him that we all have to teach his sister how to talk so we can't do baby talk.

Thumb sucking uuuhm - I bought my 2.5 year old a bracelet and told her she can only wear it if her fingers aren't in her mouth ... it seems to have work ;)

Biting happens... the other mother should get over herself!

Tertia sorry to hear you are having such a k*k time, all I can add is that thumb sucking is done to seek comfort and maybe the baby talk and uppy are too, just spend more time, give more cuddles and afrim constantly that you love them, it will alll sort itself out, as for the woman, you have done more then enough, let her go, she needs to grow up.

Soliciting advice from the internet people ... must be really bad! Don't treat the symptoms, treat the cause. Take each child on a special outing with you on their own and give them your full attention. Try to give each child 30 minutes of undivided attention every day. I don't know if you can combine these things because they are twins - you can be the judge of that.

I think it is equally important to teach kids to apologise when they have done something that hurt another, than it is to learn to forgive someone that is truly sorry. You have done as much as you could with regards to the biting incident (a really normal behaviour for kids, b.t.w., and typically there are TWO involved in the evolution of such an incident, even though one ends up being the biter and the other one the bitee). You can just do that much, then you have to move on, whether you're the toddler that apologised or the parent trying to find peace with an upset mom. Geez. It's not like he took a gun to school. Her kid will live.

Sucking thumb - - Ignore. It will pass on it's own. It's a security thing. The more attention to give it, the worse it will be.

Baby talk: "I'm having a hard time understanding what you're saying. Can you say it another way?"

"Uppy" - - "You're very, very tall and it hurts my back to lift you. We can sit on the couch together, if you like." Or, "we can hold hands while we walk, if you like."

Don't draw attention to the negative behavior. Give them a positive alternate possibility.

I think you should ignor the regressive behaviour as far as possible.
The Mom at scholl should just get over it,kids are kids,it could heve been her kid that bit Adam....What would you have done.I remeber when Ben hit Sam with a cricket bat about 2 weeks after she started with Aunty'B'...didn't even mention it to Kerry....some of us are grownups and others,well.......
Have a great weekend,miss seeing you at school,Tania asked what happened to you,you've been AWOL for ages

Marko is going to stress Kate out and she will want to comfort herself with her thumb even more. Weren't they sort of late to give up the dummies? She remembers how it comforted her back when she had one, and her dummy isn't retrievable. He needs to ignore her as well, as she may be using thumb sucking for attention.

I agree with the idea that babies don't get to do four-year-old things, and don't let them do anything that "big kids" get to do. They'll get over the regression quickly that way.

I had a whining, whinging four-year-old, and the annoying behaviour ended when I told him that I could not understand him, nor could I help him until he told me in a voice I could understand.

In my experience, my kids have always done SO well when a new baby came into our family...for about 4 months. When my newest hits 4 months old, stuff starts happening...potty accidents, clingy-ness, crying, whining, NEEDING...even the newest babe changes sleep routines (waking up more in the night). It has happened with all 4 of my kiddos. That's my strange sibling regression story. LOL

Ok good, everything sounds normal, so my son is normal like everyone elses. My son hit some kids in headstart and the teacher made me feel bad, like he was a little miscreant.

Try paying attention to your children once in awhile instead of worrying about what kind of car you are going to buy or how much weight you have gained. This is what happens when selfish people have children.

Wow. Who is Marie? Delete that post, please.

My daughter sucked her thumb until she was five, and then she just gave it up. I wouldn't worry about it. When we were out and I was worried about her handling dirty things and then popping her thumb in her mouth I carried lollies around with me and stuck that in her mouth before the thumb went in. I know the dentists in the crowd will probably hate me but it worked.

They all sound fine. Don't worry about the biter either, he's just being uh, A KID. Everyone has someone around them that did this, both my kids got bitten in pres-school and yep, I was happier to be the 'biten kid Mom' than the biter Mom. I think I was nice to the Mom of the biter kid though,at least I hope I was...

ROFL. Marie must have read, like, half a post once. Anyone who's read you for any length of time knows that paying too little attention to your children is not one of your problems! I bet she linked from that woman in AZ. BTW, did you see that her husband is big news here now for saying he wished the president would die? Such lovely people who decide to stalk you.

I was 12 when I stopped sucking my fingers, my kids were 12 when they stopped sucking their fingers. It did no damage at all, yes they had orthodontic treatment (that was when they stopped), but it was for overcrowding, and not for buck teeth. So have I shocked enough people now? - ha ha ha!

My SIL still sucks her thumb, she is in her thirties!

I haven't been on your blog since my fertility struggle. I had a singleton, then problems, then twins after infitro. I soooo prayed and wished with you, that you would have your own singleton to enjoy....more normal situation. If I understand correctly, that is what happened in the meantime! I am estatic, I am in tears! So happy for you. I definately had more time with my eldest daughter, than with Riekert and Lieske individualy. Leandri is sick and still pleads with me for her dummies and even the breast!!!!! I let her drink her tea out of a old baby bottle to not feel left out. Sometimes she act like a baby and we put on a nappy for her as in a fantasy play game. We also pick her up out of the bath like we do with the babies when she 'playes' she is one of them. But luckely all this doesn't happen to often....my back won't handle it either. We try to give her enough attention and otherwise it has not been to difficult and she has enjoyed most of the time being the eldest with more 'priviledges and obtions'. I am a newborn person and wish I could have enother baby aswell, but hubby won't agree ever. Three is keeping me very busy anyways. Enjoy your three little humans aswell. Love Anri

Leandri is six(and not 'sick') o my dear, sorry, struggling to think in English

I'm a mom who can honestly say I didn't love the newborn stage nearly as much as I did ages 4 months and onward (with one to two years being my absolute favorite!). My mom and sister both adore newborns - those squeaky noises, old man faces, startle reflexes, rooting around for the boob, etc... Me, not so much. I felt incredible guilt every time someone would come over and snuggle my newborns into their necks and say "don't you just LOVE this age?" I would think, "actually, I don't". I'll never forget running into a friend a the store when my daughter was about 8 weeks old and she kept raving over and over about how wonderful motherhood was, how sweet and precious newborn babies were, how much she loved that age, etc. She asked me, "Isn't this the most wonderful thing you've ever experienced?" I walked away and cried because at that point it honestly wasn't the most wonderful thing I'd ever experienced. Having two very colicy babies who had their days and nights mixed up for months certainly didn't help my appreciation of those early days, but I can say I enjoyed 4 months and on much more than the true newborn phase. I'm finished reproducing, but in hindsight I would like to have had the opportunity to try it once more with a laid back, easygoing baby just to see if I actually like newborns or not!

OOPS! Somehow I posted under the wrong topic!

As far as the biting.... Kids will be kids. My son was bitten and my son nor I ever received an appology from either the child or parent so you have done everything you can do. I personally didn't get pissed because as you say it happens.

As far as the kids acting like babies. I don't know if there is any right answer. You know your kids do what you think is best. My first thought was maybe taking each of the older children to the side or even tucking them into bed and just reassuring each of them that you love them as much as you love Maxie it just that Maxie is little and you have to do everything for him unlike your two big kids who are so independent and can do thing all on their own. Maybe tell them how proud you are of them. Knowing you and how much you love your kids you have already done this. It just sound to me like they need reassuance.

Hang in there!!!

I hated the newborn stage! Oh, it was such a shock! I thought I would walk around all day in a haze of baby bliss after finally achieving my dream. HAH! Sam screamed nonstop for six months, I cried buckets and I thought for sure I was a failure. When he made a total personality switch that seventh month, I thought I had been reborn. Parenting has been so much more enjoyable since then and I genuinely love it these days. You are not alone in hating the newborn stage!!

And Marie must have done everything perfectly. Good for her! But one day something will come along that far outclasses her abilities. I wonder how that humiliation will leave her feeling. Probably pretty low...and with few friends to turn to. Sad.

ha ha ... Marie is probably one of Zsuszie's friends!

I have to say that with both of my kids the newborn phase sucked ass, equally. The second time I was a more experienced mother, but the second time I also had a 3-year-old to take care of, so they kind of cancelled each other out.

Now that my daughter is 8 and son is 5, life is completely dreamy, 90% of the time. Their cuteness combined with their increasing self-reliance is the perfect combo. Guess I'd better enjoy it before the teen years hit.

Put me down as one who loved having newborns, at least once my nipples adjusted to breastfeeding! I liked having them so tiny, light, and portable, and the little noises they make when they eat. Sure the sleep deprivation was no fun, but mine were letting me have 4-5 hour stretches at night after the first couple weeks or so, so even that wasn't so bad...I can see that wouldn't ever work with twins though, so I'm sure your first experience doesn't even begin to compare with mine.

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