A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: child misbehavior

But, the Mosquito’s Dead

I often describe touching moments with my children…surprising events…cute, funny things I want to remember always once they are too old to touch me in these young ways.

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(Pinterest clearly understands gloating my precious family moments.)

Today, however, was not such a day, and I’m torn between wanting to deny this day’s very existence, or write about it hoping I won’t continue to be ripped once I’m finally able to sink into the oblivion I’ve been chasing for hours.

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(Why yes, Ranker, you captured the day’s family portrait perfectly!)

It’s a challenging time of year. My parents are here for the summer, making Little Man a perpetual buzz of excitement, and Warrior Queen intermittently disgruntled because someone else will be holding her, yet I have not compensated for the Mommy time deficit. Days that are only the three of us usually leave me craving some type of documentation that I seldom have time to produce these days.

The immediate morning was an omen, and frankly I knew I was in trouble when feeling an unwavering impulse to give Mr. Man to a circus if I thought they’d want him.

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(If everyone in Wikipedia’s picture was prancing around in a diaper, this would be our family room.)

I assumed the stars would align because I completed five minutes past my general morning exercise goal…It was a horrifyingly sad tease, and I’m still kind of bitter about it.

I figured if we managed to shuttle out to the library music program we regularly attend, things would be fine…per my usual experience with a hyper, silly preschooler. Warrior Queen was disgruntled from the get-go because, of course, she was. I’ve been giving her unending carrots and crackers because they are the only things that have made her disposition tolerable for days now. She might be teething…she might have to take a dump…or she might just be fucking with me in a twisted competition with her brother on who can behave like the biggest douche face in a single day…It’s a toss up, and I seriously considered efforts to convince both children that it’s time to go to sleep for the night…at ten in the morning.

My parents met us for the program. I receive copious comments on the wondrous nature of having help for the summer. I enjoy seeing my parents, but days like today as a prime example of the annoying difficulty containing the boisterosity I encounter leave feelings of nostalgia for when I go at things alone. Threenager was throwing hard, solid plastic egg shakers in the air…because nothing bad can happen with that decision.

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(Pinterest knew our attendance was a hit at the program.)

Fifteen-month-old Warrior Queen decides this is the one time she isn’t interested in a tether to my lap. She was on the perpetual move by any means necessary to achieve escape.

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(Dreamstime.com saw Warrior Queen’s reaction to any attempt at corralling the impulse of adventure.)

Thirty seconds transpired when both children nuzzled me in the most wonderfully snuggle infused touching way…It wasn’t enough. It’s almost time to go to sleep, and I still feel I need to beat my head against a wall to make the pain of this day evaporate into a good night’s sleep.

I invited a couple of friends over after the music program. One friend is a regular, so we both knew Little Man would likely make both boys cry throughout the visit…I still can’t believe they step into our home willingly. But, my other friend was new to the experience, and Mr. Man did not disappoint. There were moments seeing both boys play, her son with giddy smiles…until my husband’s demon spawn caused the little boy to clunk his head on our wood floor in some wincing way. The other two boys remained on their Mommy’s lap the entire span of the Thunderdome experience…their crying was minimal; a blessed paltry miracle perhaps?

Despite three removals upstairs for a good chunk of time, my son absolutely could not contain his excitement at having visitors.

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(“I. said. MOVE!”)

The most maddening aspect of what occurred today is that my son is mostly well behaved, sweet, and so considerate when we are out, at other people’s houses, whatever. When people come over, this type of thing happens every time. He simply cannot manage. It isn’t just the issue with sharing, which is also a problem. Little Man is entirely too rough. He thinks he’s playing, but the other children are usually overwhelmed. Unfortunately, most of the time I host at my house. My friends indicate their boys of similar age to Little Man have almost identical navigations with friends in their own domain. I continue to apologize well after awkwardness should set in…thank goodness for text. My first-timer friend texted me when she arrived home; her son said he had a great time. I commented that I think he hurt his head more than she thought.

My son continued to vibrate in jumping, clumsy giggles until I almost sprouted exploding snakes from my head, sending him to quiet time thirty minutes early.

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(Okay, Pinterest, your accuracy is getting a tad unsettling…)

He passed-out immediately…so did Warrior Queen who had mostly been fine with such a full house…probably because I’m phasing out her bottle. The only time she can partake is at noon until she goes down for the afternoon nap. Realizing today that it seems I’ve reached the threshold of her mostly losing interest in her bottle. Most the day I urge a sippy cup. Today she was actually receptive to the cup and dawdled with the bottle, not drinking from the bottle and continually dropping it. The only reason I maintain this narrow window is that she had been consuming sixteen ounces of milk in two hours. As of today that consumption sharply diminished. It seems that after this week there will be no more bottles for Warrior Queen. I’m relieved and a little sad about this transition for absolutely stupid reasons. But, I digress…

Kids asleep; the house was mine…MINE!

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(A situation so special I’d shave for it…possibly even above the knee!)

I finished my well earned remainder of my exercise routine while reading my smut. Improving sleep and concentration, I had been returning to my more high brow classical and impressive nonfiction selections, but not today, my friends. Today I’m lucky if my thoughts are coherent enough to use a more extensive vocabulary than “fuckity fuckface.”

Occasionally my son and daughter sleep three hours. It happens regularly enough that it isn’t a pipe dream…unless I’m having a craptastic day. In such cases I should rejoice they make it the reliable two hours without some random insect removal or lawn company ringing the doorbell, subsequently disturbing two pristinely napping children. I bitterly celebrated when Mr. Man lasted exactly two hours…Warrior Queen an additional fifteen minutes…because she actually loves her mother.

Mr. Man continued to behave like I dusted all of his food in PCP until well into the evening. Naturally this would be the very rare evening my husband needed to work late.

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(Channel the flowers…CHANNEL THE FUCKING FLOWERS, JUSTINSONMIA…woosah!)

I’m fairly certain my children had dinner. I’m also fairly certain that I did not…unless you count the glass I’d been chewing every time I attempted to take a sip of water. The entirety of the evening spent with my son head-butting, kicking, and tackling his sister; jamming his fingers in my face (I’m not entirely sure where his fingers have even been, but I’m trying to push that query aside.), and dismantling our sectional sofa by dislodging every conceivable pillow into a random pillow henge around our family room.

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(History.com knows what it looks like when you stop caring.)

Such an array of padding came in handy when he continually launched himself into impressive swan sprawls into the air.

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(You guessed it, Pinterest…I feel like I have my own Mommy-House photographer documenting my entire day…)

His sister delighted jumping on the sofa springs, which was fine by me because she’d been unpleasant unless she was on my lap ingesting a cracker…There had better be an arrival of a new tooth come morning…

I somehow managed to bathe both children. It goes without saying the bathroom flooded, but not as terribly as it could have been. I’ll go ahead and call that a win. My husband eventually making the grandest entrance any spouse could possibly conceive, which consisted of him just showing up.

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(Something like that, thanks, 98.5.)

Soon after my husband’s arrival home I shepherded Warrior Queen to her shut-eye. She was ready for the day to conclude as well.

I finally managed to eat dinner entirely too late, and hanger, my friends, is real; I’m becoming frightfully familiar with the such a state of being these days. While the omelet wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as my random and absurd perfectionistic compulsion prefers, it was mighty tasty and contained cheese. But, the highlight of the day, hands down, was that damn mosquito I crushed with one artful hand clap before I was bitten. So, with my bloodlust quenched in a surprisingly gratifying way, I reflected on a day that, all things considered, wasn’t too bad.

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A Face without Egg, but Still Cracked

Sometimes I am on the cusp of losing my cool with my children in spectacular fashion, particularly with my upcoming threenager. But, I’ve learned something about myself as Little Man continues to develop a personality all his own…exploring the world in his individual ways. I can tolerate assholery from my children, and even find it amusing…or hysterical in some cases…provided the unpleasantness that entails does not affect me directly.

My son, for example, never really exhibited the typical toddler behavior of throwing random items into the toilet, hoping to see the object swirl down to a watery tomb. At least, that had been the case until very recently. It isn’t consistent, but when he is overtired the impulse to throw toys and other various items in our commode becomes a hellish dodgeball exercise while I’m trying to brush his teeth.

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(I think GOT WOD knows Gumby has nothin’ on me.)

One specific night in question had my husband taking the lead for the Little Man bedtime rituals. I was tending to my own when a giddy toddler barreled into the restroom while I was foaming at the mouth from an ambitions and overzealous tooth scrubbing.

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(Thank you, Soupy Trumpet. You get it.)

Whatever, my husband was in charge; I carried on in my own zombie-like exhausted state. But, in a second, Little Man launched for an item on the vanity, subsequently hurling my husband’s comb into the toilet. Maybe it paints me as a jerk, but my laughter produced streaked tears down my cheeks. My son was immediately shepherded out of the room, and I was once again left to my own devices.

Less amusing, however, was an incident a couple days later. I try to encourage my  son’s wishes to play, behave, or simply exist independently. One such risk is when he requests to remain downstairs while I shower. We went over the three rules and consequence for infractions. He recited all parts beautifully. He was set. Sometimes it’s fine…sometimes not…This specific occasion was the latter. I usually maneuver objects and such in preparation, but of course I would forget the steak knife in the dish drainer. When I made my way down the stairs after my shower, I was greeted with my husband’s child sitting in front of the refrigerator holding the steak knife in question in one hand, and clutching a bag of dates he scaled the refrigerator shelves to retrieve in the other. The kicker is he preemptively removed the chair he climbed to reach the cutlery, knowing I would take it away as soon as I saw him. So, I guess I’m consistent? And, that would be bad enough, but there is more to this tale. He also was surrounded by a carton-and-a-half of destroyed eggs fanned out to maximize the carnage, yet mostly contained to one room.

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(Doesn’t cleaning sixteen of these look like a good time? I was PSYCHED!)

And, to keep it interesting, Little Man pointed out the two he shoved in the cabinet under the sink…SIX HOURS LATER.

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(Yeah, I’ll own it. Not my proudest moment. Thanks, Cryptid Wiki.)

Upon seeing the vein throbbing in my neck and the glare bestowed on him, my son independently identified he would not be remaining downstairs while I shower for the foreseeable future…again. I’d like to say that event was a one of. Sadly it was repeated five days later while I was upstairs for, literally, two minutes. Little Man is not allowed to have eggs for the near future, possibly until college. We talk about why they are forbidden when he requests French toast or “eggs ‘n’ toast” for breakfast.

My in-laws visited for a long weekend in the middle of the infamous egg incidents in the winter of 2017. True to form my son had a tough time, even if it wasn’t quite the same as when my parents are in town. Toward the tail end of the visit, Little Man finished his dinner, and persistently urged Daddy to finish eating so he could have a bath. Not wanting to waste time, as well as to hasten Daddy’s eating efforts, Little Man dropped full-Monty trough.

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(Yup, Duluth Trading guy will be my son some day.)

It was hilarious…little man tushie scampering about…Then he relieved a stupendous amount of urine I would question was his if I hadn’t seen the expenditure. It was all over the floor, but fortunately missed the carpet…barely. I had the only reaction one can expect from a parent: I folded over a chair in heaving laughter I couldn’t control while Daddy cleaned his son’s latest bodily fluid spill. The event was less funny two days later just after the house became ours once again.

It was the same day as the second floor egging…fifteen minutes after to be exact, and I was no longer in good humor. The story much less interesting, as it was one more event due to over tired misbehavior exacerbated from several days of overstimulation from visitors. Little Man was unhappy with his series of consequences in a short span of time. He found it hilarious to urinate on our white carpet in the upstairs hallway…until it resulted in his “quiet time” starting an hour early with no story. Kid passed-out in his tent on the floor within ten minutes easy. Nights continue to produce a very Daddy excited toddler. But, generally, we’re all feeling much better now.

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Routines, Rituals, and Other Things that Go Bump…All Day

I don’t have a vast familiarity with toddlers. Experiencing my son I can’t specifically speak to what is considered average development and what isn’t…for better or worse. He is two years-eight-months-old, and mostly garden variety, but I fully understand the compulsion to assume his growth weighs heavily as strokes of brilliance. Little Man constantly floors me with his leaps in development, but I’ve learned that’s what these stages are. That said, the limited number of professionals who’ve interacted with my son confirmed the few areas I thought were advanced or, at least, more unique to him.

I’ve observed and been told that Little Man is quite skilled in taking turns and sharing…to the point that he doesn’t understand when another child walks up and steals an object out of his hand. He never seems particularly disturbed when it happens, but will stare off befuddled for a beat before walking away to find an alternate source of entertainment. My son tells jokes and is chatty…telling stories to me throughout the day, especially relaying moments he was in trouble. I find this development funny considering his speech delay. Little Man looks to engage others in conversation; professionals working with him say that is unusual for a child his age.

Most interesting, however, is my son’s fairly sophisticated emotional intelligence. Little Man, probably beginning in the nine-month-old realm, possessed an uncanny ability to read others, and significantly alter his behavior and personality to what he correctly perceives others expect from him. Much of the time this serves as a manipulation tactic, and boy is it effective. Other times it seems to meet no other purpose than an intellectual exercise I find disturbing.

Part of this innate ability makes him fairly rigid and sensitive to shifts in his routines. I don’t have an overly complicated routine to our days, but any shift in what Little Man can expect from people and events leaves him struggling if the deviation is more than a day, two if I’m lucky. Some of this, I suspect, is simply toddler. But, I’ve heard early childhood workers in various capacities refer to Little Man as an “observer” or an “organizer.” It isn’t so much I think this merits a diagnosis, rather a personality quirk that makes him who he is.

But, with his need for routines and rituals and his ability to size up his world comes the price of anxiety. I wouldn’t say it amounts to a diagnosis, but times like the recent holiday season I’m reminded of how sensitive Little Man is to changes in his world, even when the change is fantastic and exciting.

At the ripe old age of nine-months, I noticed my son’s personality would change when we had extended visitors or his routine was off for too long. Some of it is age appropriate, but there were changes beyond the fussiness or lack of sleep that so many of my friends describe. Little Man’s temperament and general nature would shift in unexpected ways, but not globally. He would change his mode of interacting based on whoever was the primary personality in the room at any given moment, regardless if my husband or I were in his sights at the time. It’s difficult to describe this long out, and I would assume it was in my head if I hadn’t had practitioners working with toddlers relay what I suspected was a pretty interesting skill.

This brings me to the two week hell that was the holiday season. Family had been in the area, and my husband took the week off. It’s all so thrilling. But, each time Little Man encounters a wave of such excitement, it throws him. His behaviors more concerning as he’s grown older. Most glaring this time around was the aggression. Historically, he’s consistently demonstrated gentle hands with his sister outside the exceptionally occasional snafu easily explained by hunger or fatigue. There have always been independent bouts of jealousy, but Little Man usually has the ability to keep himself contained. And, really, once I read him a story or two on my lap, he’s good to go. Throughout the two week holiday span, however, I worried any time he was around his eight-month-old baby sister. Hardly an encounter occurred without my son pushing or hitting the Warrior Queen. I’m used to seeing an uptick of impulsive and rough behavior when my husband is around, but the incidents escalated dramatically in frequency and intensity.

Sure, during tantrums I might be slapped in the thigh, but twice my son slugged me in the eye without provocation. The biting was out of control as well. Usually such events are reserved for those moments when we pushed out bedtime too long. As the days wore on, it was rare to have his mouth remotely close to skin contact without a biting incident. The entirety of the situation left me flummoxed. My son is a sweet, kind soul who is patient and tolerant, all the more for a toddler.

Frustratingly, the peanut gallery dismissed this crop of behavior incidents as standard toddler practice. The entire span of time that Little Man continued to spiral I asserted he was struggling…all of the excitement and change was too much for him. I defended that these events were not how he navigates his world when the three of us are doing our thing. No one believed me. I began doubting myself…maybe he really is this aggressive. Maybe he is changing, and it is for me to adapt, levering my head from the sandy beach I’d grown to love.

Toward the end of the uproar, I had a couple moments when it was only our threesome…maybe just me and Little Man. They were brief and achingly far between, but I’d have glimpses of the existence I was beginning to lose to the recesses of my memory. I worried if we would return once the world settled, but they were a welcome reprieve even they amounted to be fleeting.

As I write this post we are almost a week out from the avalanche of activity. I’ve come to understand that just as easily as Little Man swings to the reckless, he soars back to the son I know. Within a day we returned to our life…flare ups of impulsivity when he’s hungry or tired…or Daddy is home. Once again I enjoyed our outings, watching my son explore his world in delight. All as though nothing had ever changed, nothing occurred.

I enjoy it when I’m right, but perhaps relief is more apt this time around.

Life’s a…Scream

Dishes piled high; some in the sink.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Chocolate smeared faces, and coating the walls.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Toys strewn on surfaces; I massacred my feet.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Did the toddler just throw that? It dented the wall!

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Coated head to toe in baby mystery goo.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Lunch thrown together. Is grape jam a fruit?

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

The floor is sticky; not sure what it is.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Sofa askew, toddler stripped off his clothes.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Baby chewing a dog toy; no hope that it’s clean.

But, the kids aren’t screaming.

Is it nap time yet? I’m pulling patches of hair.

But, the kids aren’t screaming

Toddler gives me a squeeze. Baby smiles with a coo.

No longer am I screaming.

 

 

Unacknowledged Murphy’s Law No. 4

My son could eat through the entire contents of our refrigerator and cupboards until he reaches capacity, pushing away the remaining bits of his snack; but the allure of the spice compilation “trash” lords its power over my toddler. Not only is the food I tossed in the garbage a tantalizing treat that must be pilfered and consumed before I’ve managed to spring over all obstacles to be by his side,

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(if only...)

but Little Man seeks to have control over his waste dusting. On more than one occasion I’ve discovered my son throwing away perfectly tasty morsels that he subsequently retrieves from the bin. And, it’s occurred to me that the more appallingly rank the contents of the receptacle, the more appealing the food item. The other day it was marshmallows he placed the bag of used urine wipes.

 

A Day Like Any Other

Typical day, my four-month-old daughter awakens after a full eight or nine hours of sleep.  Such an occurrence isn’t every night, but often enough that when she deviates I become disgruntled.  My two-and-some change-year-old son joins us at almost seven.  This occurrence is less reliable, but happens enough that when he deviates I become disgruntled…or maybe I just appreciate sleep…profusely, and prefer to ease into my morning…even if it officially begins in the five realm.

I have yet another cold, although this one appears to be more garden variety.  I don’t know what the problem is, but I’ve had a steady stream of illness since mid July.  I think I’ve been sick more in the last few months than in the previous two years.  But, this one allows me to function, so I really shouldn’t complain no matter how gratifying it might be to do so.

By seven-thirty Warrior Queen was sort of snoozing, and Little Man finished his morning dress preparation routine that included commentary about the baby monitor camera.  Clearly discussing its working condition is fodder to consume five minutes before he tells me he needs cream to make the itchy on the bottom of his foot go away.  The final changing table discussion an assertion that he poops a lot.  I concur enthusiastically before we brush his teeth.

My son wanted Mini Wheats, which is lovely because I wasn’t feeling the whole eggs ‘n’ toast thing this morning.  Funny thing though, I always celebrate that he wants cereal, yet it becomes a cereagedon coating on the floor every time.  Regardless of the plethora of reinforcement, amnesia or delusion, I’m not sure which, washes over me in private celebrations when he requests it for breakfast.  It doesn’t seem to matter how large or substantial the actual cereal seems to be.  It will have the same result:  an unnecessary amount of particles to clean off our floor.

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(Turbosquid.com’s image could be my son’s breakfast, and it would still be in crumbly pieces surrounding his chair.)

Did you know that Mini Wheats is notorious for a hideous amount of debris?  I do…because such knowledge is fortified every time he eats it.  This typical morning was no different.

Developmental milestones are a miraculous thing, but not when it means my son can open the bathroom door by himself or pry a Tupperware container I struggle to separate.  It was just a second of me attempting to retrieve milk from the refrigerator when I hear my blessed and quite dexterous son say, “Big mess.”  I look over.  Yes it was.  It was a big, big mess of whole grain goodness coated in sugar all over the floor.  At least I didn’t have to nag Little Man to clean.

As I was sweeping, my intermittently chill daughter starts griping that I haven’t walked over and smiled at her for thirty seconds.  Moments like these typical ones immediately conjure Fatal Attraction.  I can almost hear Warrior Queen, “I will not be ignored, Dan!”

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(Thank you Pinterest for reminding me that we will not be providing this particular animal companion for our children.)

After reaffixing her pacifier, I marvel at the control her smiles have over my mental state.  I find myself humming before I hear her indicating that she is in the process of relieving her bowels.  I wait for her to finish…because sometimes I cease and desist from repeating mistakes.

But, as soon as she is flat on the changing table, it becomes apparent that this particular nature’s call was a blow-out.  Okay, this piece of my morning is not so typical, but I appreciate a party like anyone.  Little Man, however, decides that he requires front row seats to this particular brand of celebratory performance art, and, oh good, he brought snacks!

Even sick with residual sleep deprivation, I know where this is going; it doesn’t matter how many times I tell Mr. Man to eat at the table.  It’s sweet; he wants to be with his family, and I’d find it touching if I wasn’t elbow deep in poop, and he wasn’t harboring what will be a part of a poor excuse for a balanced breakfast in the carpet.  Typical morning, typical result…full bowl of fucking Mini Wheats and their entrails all over and imbedded in the carpet.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to nag Little Man to clean, but there is only so much a helpful toddler can do before the situation is exponentially worse.

I drag our prehistoric vacuum from the closet.  I’m not sure when it was purchased, but I know this is a relic from my mother-in-law’s childhood.  It still works, but my lack of engineering proficiency translates to more time than I should admit attaching the pieces to proper working order.  Even all these hours later, I’m surprised the thing didn’t explode on me.

We left the house at the appropriate time.  I know about glaring at gift horses and all, but how did that happen?  I even managed to eat breakfast.

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(Thank you, sales2.com, that’s exactly the sentiment I was thinking at the time.)

The traveling entertainment was typical as well.  My son discussed more thoroughly about the need for cream to squelch his itchy foot.  Of course, he reminded me that he poops a lot…because I’m prone to forget such things…  I shouldn’t be dismissive though because several times he gave me his tell tale drawn out “Oh,” indicating the gravity of his agreement.  Our outing was not all that dramatic if one were to exclude the older toddler I had to reprimand for almost beaning my infant daughter in the head with a toy…on purpose.  He apologized rather easily, but likely it was due to the voice coming from this:

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(Couldn’t have explained it better myself, charl-gfx.deviantart.com.)

While playing with the Jetsonesque doll house furniture, Little Man brought me the washer and dryer, as well as a couple of toilets.  As he carefully lined them in front of me in a very specific order, he sang, “This is the way we go poop poop.”  It seems this was his first lyrical creation for what may very well be the beginning of many, many fine future productions.

We arrived home without incident after a couple hours of play.  My son a bit punchy toward quiet time, but the house is still standing, so all things considered…  Warrior Queen rolled to her back for the first time today, not so typical, but I might be more impressed that I actually remembered to give her tummy time.  My accomplishment aside, still pretty cool, although not quite as cool as my son eliciting my fierce girl’s first belly chuckles yesterday.

Last night I lamented over text the cyclical nature of my current compromised constitution.  She commented that maybe I’m spreading myself too thin.  Maybe, but it isn’t like I encounter all that much stress…typically.

All’s Well that…Ends

It was inevitable.  Actually, few things are as inevitable as this, yet I found myself watching the initiation of events occur in disbelieving slow motion.  The entire two-and-a-half hour car ride to see my husband’s family was blissful, aside from the brief stop to reattach the car seat after my son worked his magic.  My daughter slept because she’s good that way.  My son slept briefly, but when awake entertained himself with passing vehicles and singing before sleeping the remaining half-hour.  My husband and I chatted like married couples together over a decade do…when they still like each other despite mutual sleep deprivation.  The party also went well.  No other children but ours were present, but Mr. Man didn’t seem to notice.  Warrior Queen was vaguely unhappy all afternoon, but that isn’t terribly new.  She can be that way.  But, with every passing minute of content experienced by my family of four, an increasing creep of foreboding seeped.

We were thirty minutes into our return home.  My son was telling tales of the traffic.  I humored him with my agreement because I had no idea what he was saying.  Little Man was increasingly past the threshold of exhaustion, so what started as good humored giggles and pointing, amounted to other less endearing forms of entertainment.

My son gagged himself, belly chuckles with each more involved effort.  It was attention seeking, so my husband and I ignored him knowing full well where such things were headed.  We braced ourselves, and looked back that final time to see patriotic themed vomit flowing from his mouth from the berries he had earlier.  Cheer turned to sobbing spasms as we sought a rest area.  Kid clean-up was my responsibility; my husband taxed with the car.  Both were reasonably uneventful.  My daughter continued to sleep in the car…miracles do exist…  Mr. Man finally getting a grip, demonstrating all the sweetness that comes when a child wishes to lessen the potential angered rage of parents.  Tired and covered from random second hand vomit debris, I held my son as he cuddled into me; we waited for my husband to finish.

With everyone buckled, we were once again on our way home, almost an hour delayed.  The remaining journey blessedly uneventful if you exclude Little Man picking his nose and wiping his findings on the window.  My husband repeatedly pointing to the residual protein spill on my dress for the remaining duration of the drive…because that never gets old…

Once home, my daughter immediately awakened, screaming.  All annoying events include poop, this event no exception.  I happened to change her mid movement, but even as I anticipated the final remnants, it oozed everywhere and splattered, some on my eyelid. Mr. Man eventually turned in. Warrior Queen eventually stopped screaming. I eventually achieved a shower.  The final pieces of the evening a blur before I was able to greet my eyelids, but nothing was else was more welcome.

The Sum of Our Parts

There was an incident today.  I was wrong, completely.  I’ll spare the details because I’m already struggling with a hefty dose of mom guilt over this, and I don’t want to risk further, albeit unlikely, battery in my comment section about the error of my judgment.  To avoid, however, the annoyance of a post entirely too cryptic from the get-go, suffice it to say it involved a soiled diaper changing location that was not ideal.  I felt uneasy about it at the time, but determined it was the best option in a series of problematic options.  I was reported to personnel for a judgment call by an individual who, apparently, decided I was not up to her high standards of parenting.

I wasn’t intending on a post of this nature.  I don’t want to come across as blaming and deflecting to detract from my impropriety.  I don’t want to make excuses for my actions.  I get it.  I was wrong for my decision.  It wasn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last.  I would continue to feel bad even if an employee was not called to redirect my behavior.  I was doing the best I could for my children, and that’s the point.

So, here is my rub that is prompting me to immortalize a memory I’d rather forget.  I’m balancing between a two-month-old infant and a two-year-old who is impulsive and cranky.  While I try to be good humored and natured about things, I’m clearly struggling.  As a mother with a youngish child of her own at the same establishment, what prevented her from offering to help instead of taking the punitive route?  On my end it would have been a valued offering, such gestures usually are.  How do I know?  I try to be that helpful parent.  Maybe there isn’t something I can physically do, but at the very least I’m the one to crack a joke when I see another parent in public with his or her child who is in the throws of an impressive tantrum.  Maybe I risk the joke falling flat, but in every instance of the many, I see relief wash over the parent’s face.  In that moment I’ve communicated that I get it; the parent is doing the best he or she can.

I will end with that.  While there are other pieces to this other mother’s behavior that are troubling, I hope this post inspires others to reach out to those visibly struggling.  I don’t know if it would change the world, but that lowly individual would probably appreciate it.

Hitting the Fan

I don’t think I truly could call myself a parent before yesterday.  Apparently, a two-year-old sleep regression is a thing, and Little Man is in the midst of one.  I suspected from the get-go this wasn’t a transition eliminating his naps entirely, but he isn’t napping nonetheless, despite his marked Walking Dead audition sequence for the last week.

Until yesterday his sleep deprived state mostly had him wanting to increase his Mommy time with me reading or singing, sometimes just sitting next to him while he plays quietly on the floor.  He would save his death and destruction until Daddy returned home from work.  Yesterday, however, the day of his delirious chaos initiated immediately after returning from his favorite playground, prompted me to send him to a very early nap.

With the monitor sound on it was a strange nap forty-five minutes in.  As has been the case for the last week, he refused to lay down, choosing to stand and sing to himself, but then he professed squeaks of displeasure.  Maybe he pooped.  I climbed the stairs to check.  Nope.  I quickly reassured him, and subsequently left the room.  Another forty-five minutes into his performance had him crying suddenly.  A bit more swiftly I climb the stairs to a diaper greeting me on the white carpeted floor.  Within the open diaper was a rather substantial offering, and the room stank.  Upon my entry, Little Man increases his wails thinking I’m mad at him.  I can’t say if any emotion registered, but I plucked my son who was giving his best impression of a lobster retrieved from a tank.  Starfish limbs and me holding him a bit out from me, I take him to the changing table.  My son is screaming, “Diaper, diaper,” with tears streaking his face.  The poop on his fingers made him all the more distraught; within seconds he wiped them on my bare arm.

My son was bathed…again, but without the earlier dramatics of him flooding our bathroom.  Even with a new diaper he continued to chant, “Diaper, diaper.”  When I indicated my awareness of the full one on his floor, he stopped.  Surprisingly, there was no poop anywhere on his crib or the floor.  Not sure how that was managed, but sometimes it’s better not to question heavenly gifts.

Another day of a failed napping attempt, and we sat on the sofa; Little Man selecting the new potty training book I purchased to get his head in the game.  He’s been obsessed with it for three days now.  Huge smiles as I repeated the story, and my son uttering his toddler articulation of, “Shit.”  I tried deluding myself for a few of his utterances, but realized I’d have to address the situation in such a matter that didn’t perpetuate this first ever bit of profanity usage, or nurture the path for continued repetitions of colorful words I didn’t realize he overheard me saying.  It was a successful intervention for the moment, but considering that it reinforced my suspicion that he now can and does say, “Shit,” I probably shouldn’t celebrate this particular behavior management achievement.

Once things were cleaned and settled, I took both cherubs for a drive so my son would possibly sleep for a bit.  The deprivation seems to be taking quite a toll on Mr. Man, and I was exhausted after a week of two children rising early and no break during the day.  The thirty minute snooze wasn’t enough for him, but the house was still standing by Little Man’s bedtime, so it was a good call.

We entered the house; my husband home early knowing I hadn’t trusted leaving my son scurrying around while I showered poop residue off my person.  He had a few minutes of work to complete, and the Warrior Queen expressed her desire for a bottle.  Within a minute of me gazing lovingly at her beautiful face after the feeding, she spits-up all over my torso, offering a wide smile in its aftermath.  I guess she wanted to get in on the action, and, really, once one is smeared with fecal matter, what’s another bodily secretion?

 

Travel Log

There is one significant distinction between schlepping one kid around and the addition of another.  With one child any daily traveling was mostly uneventful.  I could go an entire outing not having to change a diaper or even stop to eat…But, I love to eat, especially out, so Mr. Man luncheons were often superfluous additions to our schedule…  Sure, there was the occasional public tantrum that amounts to a belly flop dive in the middle of a main walkway, or my son jamming something horrible in his mouth as I do a Matrix style freeze frame deciding on what level my freak-out should be.

With two, however, dumb shit happens just about every schlep; It’s pretty remarkable, actually.  It isn’t so much that things become heinous or terrible to endure, but as events unfold I’m acutely aware of how stupid and unnecessary the situation is, yet completely unavoidable.

The toy-play bonanza historically was my go-to, especially during pregnancy.  Reliably uneventful, mostly free from stupid stuff occurring.  Now, however, I carry two.  I took my little ones to a different one to vary things.  I’m still adjusting and stick to the reliable and pleasant…for me…  Things were going well.  I’m dancing around to the surprisingly good and kid friendly music with the almost six-week-old Warrior Queen snoozing away in my carrier.  I feed her without incident.  My daughter is pro spit-up, so lasting through an entire feeding without such an event occurring is remarkable in and of itself.  It was time to go, so I didn’t bother to tuck her back into the wrap.  I carried her and began my trips to and from the car that I parked just outside the door.  Little Man was last, and so far mostly oblivious to my actions; his girlfriend was working.  Warrior Queen was buckled in, and I hustle to get Mr. Man who tantrumed for a brief moment for show…all moving according to plan…until I smelled it.  No way I’m leaving my girl in the car while I take my two-year-old to the bathroom to change the noxious lump he was harboring in his diaper…car trunk it is…  The change was awkward, but easier than usual…I didn’t get kicked in the face and Little Man giggled as the wind danced across his bare bottom.  The situation wasn’t catastrophic or all that unmanageable, but stupid nonetheless.

Park and playground outings are becoming more reliable sources of entertainment as my son has started liking the outdoors.  I’m still hesitant to go to them as a mainstay occupation, as he doesn’t endure all that long and I don’t like bugs.  I will, however, take him as an auxiliary activity, especially if I can rope in a friend or two to join us.  One particular playground outing occurred in our town.  The structures are new and the area expansive, as the playground is part of a larger recreational area.  My son was running along the field and the perimeter of the woods selecting and handing me random rocks, acorns, and pine cones.  I’m not sure why; he started acknowledging that I toss them almost as soon as he hands them to me.  He doesn’t seem to care even when I’m not all that covert about the sudden nature expulsion.  I don’t know what dead animal my son eagerly grabbed, but he managed it full fisted…I calmly asked him to release the decayed bit of fur or feathers while internally running though the possible diseases leading to death my son exposed himself to…and that’s why parents carry hand sanitizer…except this parent.  I clearly need to get on the bandwagon…

I really haven’t been carting two children for more than a few weeks, this week was the first time it was my show for the duration.  How can such a short time span yield so many stories because I’m not all that interesting of a person?  Mondays we tend to go to a free library program that is pretty good and short.  This particular Monday I’m describing, though, had us leaving the house late, but I couldn’t say why this day was such a problem.  I’m pretty good about getting out of the house.  I guess it was just a lot of dumb little things like a bag of crayons getting tangled on my purse strap (They are both inanimate objects.  How did that even happen?), and the same purse getting caught on the garage door knob as I was exiting carrying the bucket car seat…I need to get a different purse.  We arrived at the library just as the program started, but it was at capacity.  I take the kids to the walled in patio because it would be safe from anything eventful, right?  Wrong.  My torrid tangle of toddler managed to dump over three pots of dirt that looked to be a children’s group planting project before I even had a moment to register the destruction before me.  I wonder if they have “Wanted” signs at libraries.

Another day later during the week, we were on the way to the bonanza.  I missed the drive thru turn, so decided it would not be a day for an iced tea…totally changed my mind after the following disaster.  Then, I was on a mission.  But, the initial pursuit was not meant to be.  The later attempt not much better, sadly yielding empty hands.  No lemon, fine, but then they tried to hand me an iced green tea.  I have a newborn.  What’s the point of that?  The cashier tells me that they were out of the regular.  I think they just messed up my order.

In between the depressing iced tea fiasco, I took my children to our less frequented indoor play spot; it was Little Man’s girlfriend’s one day off…bad sign.  Usually my son handles disappointment pretty well…for a toddler, which translates to him refraining from burning down the establishment.  But, this day it was bad enough his squeeze was absent, but he REALLY was unhappy we could not join the music class in the back room.  I get it.  The guy had a guitar, and Mr. Man will be the next frustrated musician complaining about the industry and poo-pooing the latest talentless rage while he continues to live in our basement.  For the first time ever he wanted to leave after only an hour, but it was time for my fierce girl to eat, so my son would need to wait.  Not usually a problem, c’mon, this place has toys, slides, and a bouncy castle…  But, alas, he started launching a wooden toy that might be a Jetsonesque lamp for the full size doll house.  I had to stop feeding the Warrior Queen so I could snatch my son for a time-out.  As I tended to him, my girl started exerting her hunger battle cry, which oddly is less dramatic than the poop one.  Holding my son’s leg with one hand, I plunked the bottle back in my daughter’s mouth with my other hand.  I did that twice before my son gave in and demonstrated dramatic “gentle hands” with every object he selected from the floor.  Not soon enough we are able to leave.  I tried to be quick, but my Mr. Man completely lost whatever miniscule cool he had.

Ten or so minutes from home we drive past a pretty good playground.  I had been feeling bad that on such a beautiful day I chose to take the cherubs somewhere inside.  It was still early, so we stopped.  My son doesn’t last all that long on playgrounds, but it’s always more than ten minutes.  Little Man enjoyed the swings and wanted to leave much sooner than the typical thirty minutes he usually indulges before running cattywampus on every structure he can manage.  Sounded good to me though.  I was schvitzing up a storm.  But, on my son’s lead, we enter a grocery store and proceeded to roam aimlessly like crazy people before he fell and slammed his face on some part of the cart with a car front stores started getting in solidarity with parents…kind of, have you tried maneuvering these things?  Maybe the real reason for fleets of them is so at the end of a long shift employees can watch and amuse themselves even if they have to perpetually fix displays.  Regardless, my son could sport a shiner badge of honor for his clumsiness…

Everyone buckled in the car for our journey home, the drive surprisingly quiet.  Both kids wanted to be fed almost immediately upon entering our homestead…because they always want to eat at the same time.  Some day that will be sweet, but not this day.  Little Man finishes his meal, my daughter lagging.  My son was tired exhibiting his telltale impulsiveness.  He climbed on the table winging his unfinished and half chewed food everywhere.  I ignore him and continued to feed his sister.  The only indication of my annoyance was the vein about to rupture in my forehead.  Mr. Man either realized his commotion wasn’t working or he developed a last ditch appreciation for my mental state, climbed down from the table and in a sleepy daze snuggled into me while I sat uncomfortably in a mild contortionist pose at the kitchen table.  I couldn’t resist giving him smooches.  After all, everyone is a douche when cranky…pretty sure I’m not an exception, but I’m hesitant to ask my husband.  Maybe I can’t avoid dumb shit from happening now that we are a troop of three, but at least I earn my sofa time.

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