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Posts Tagged ‘toddler’

Let me begin by saying that in my attempts to do some quick research to support my personal info on the “terrible twos” that apparently the established medical community doesn’t like this term and considers this abhorrent toddler behavior to be…normal.

Little C has fully entered into his terrible twos at just 18 months.  Our average day now includes such behavior as pulling all the books from a particular shelve, throwing toys at the dogs, and perfecting the charming “screaming while running” tantrum.

Now I’m all for C exploring his universe and learning about things like gravity and force, but not at the expense of my sanity and the dogs’ well-being.  As to the running tantrum, it’s all I can do not to fall down laughing (C gets really mad and literally starts running as fast as he can until he can’t go any farther and then turns around and runs the other direction at full speed.  All the while he is screaming and crying.  It would be sad were it not for the fact that his little wobbly run is adorable and the behavior is just so bizarre.).

To make matters worse, I’m getting a tantrum nearly every time I tell him “no”.  Not fun.  If C isn’t allowed to do one of the three things he always wants to do (dig in the dirt, watch Sesame Street on the computer, or pull things off shelves/out of cabinets)  I am the immediate recipient of ear-piercing screams and foot stomping.

It makes me so glad that I decided to devote my life to raising him.

The few somewhat legitimate websites about the terrible twos really emphasized how important it was to remember that the toddler is not being willfully rebellious or defiant, but is frustrated with the lack of control over their own life and their inability to communicate.

So I try to remind myself the my son isn’t purposefully trying to drive me insane, take a few deep breaths, and chase after him.

Until he outgrows this stage (in what? two to three years?) I’m going to try to redirect some of his energies into something more productive.

As of today, I’ve ordered a “rollercoaster” table (you know the tables with long wires twisted into shapes and curves, loaded with beads?) and I’m looking into some MyGym classes.

Any other ideas? I’m all ears!  I’m looking for classes, outdoor activities and entertaining toys if anyone out there has some suggestions.

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The Eyes Have It

(This may be my most vain post to date; just warning you.)

My son has the most beautiful eyes.  They are incredibly big, blue, and sparkling.  To make them even more alluring, C has the longest lashes of any child I have ever seen.

I am not alone in thinking this.  Every where we go, people lavish C with compliments.  “What big blue eyes!” “Why pretty eyes!” My chest swells with pride, a little.

Until things turn awkward.

How could things turn awkward when everyone is complimenting my son? Why would this be a bad thing?

It’s not a bad thing, at all.  It’s just at some point, whomever is complimenting my son will eventually look me in the eyes as I thank them.  It’s then that things get awkward.

Most people do a double take, or maybe a head tilt, like they’re not quite sure what they’re seeing.  Often their faces take on a look similar to my dogs when I ask them if they know where something is.  Whaaaaat?

Or if they don’t get awkward, I do.

(Here’s where I get vain.)

You see, my son has my eyes.  He has my exact eyes.  It’s as if God made a carbon copy of my eyes and plopped them in my son.  Everything is the same from the length of the eyelashes to the flecks of gold around the pupil.  It’s only one of two traits he has of mine, otherwise he is all his daddy.

Connor's baptism (10 months)

(This is not my favorite picture of me, but it definitely illustrates the eye situation.)

The fact that they’re exactly the same makes them more dramatic in my son, since his head is quite a bit smaller than mine.

Still it’s odd when someone says “What beautiful blue eyes” to my son and then looks up at me and sees the same pair of eyes.

People can’t really compliment strange adults on their eyes, though.  That would be even more awkward and inappropriate.  Those kind of compliments are meant for moonlit walks on the beach or to be whispered over wine glasses.  You don’t tell strangers how lovely you think their eyes are in the middle of the pharmacy aisle in Target.

No, instead, you smile awkwardly and walk away, decidedly avoiding eye contact.  Awesome.

Well, at least I know people like our eyes, even if my life is more bizarre because of it.

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While C was sick, he was extremely unhappy.  So much so, that C upgraded his normal fussy tantrum to the ULTIMATE tantrum.

It was crazy, over-the-top toddler behavior.  It was so bizarre that I had to completely focus my face so as not to laugh.

Let me paint a picture for you:

C would get worked up because, well, he felt terrible.  But he was so sick and tired and frustrated that his fussiness just kept escalating into tantrums that got worse and worse.

He would begin by whining.  Then he would move on to crying.  Then C would graduate to wailing, complete with big open mouthed howls and giant crocodile tears running down his cheeks.  He would toss his head back and forth, shaking it furiously as if to deny some fact I was forcing him to accept.  NO! NO! He seemed to be saying.  I won’t accept evolution! I am a creationist! You are making me so upset by forcing this “science” on me!  (Or at least that’s how I re-imagined his reaction to make sense of it since his denials and tantrums made not logical sense, much like creationism.)

I (or some other loved one) would attempt to soothe him.  I would pick C up, rub his back, gently hushing him as I rocked him to and fro. It was a true example of mothering patience and comfort.

For this I was rewarded with kicks to the stomach and thighs, accompanied by piercing shrieks in my ears, as C violently threw himself around, trying to break free from the prison of my arms; though minutes before he had begged to be held, rushing at me with open, upraised, pleading arms.

In response to his violence, I would put C back on the ground, to which C’s immediate response was to amp up the screaming.  C would stamp his feet, usually making himself turn in a small circle.  So mad!!  He would then turn and run the opposite direction from me, finding some boxes or pile of blankets to hide behind, throwing himself on the ground, crying and crying and crying.  He would sit there and furiously kick his little legs up and down on the carpet, screaming in frustration (It was extremely difficult not to laugh at this since it was just so ridiculous!).  Finally, C would look up, see me, and get up and run away from me again, repeating the whole thing all over again.

When C had sufficiently bruised his heels from kicking at the ground or was simply tired of being alone in his box forts, he would seek me out, arms upraised, face wet and red from crying.

If I was lucky, C would simply rub his snotty, tear-stained face into my shirt, snuggle into my shoulder, sigh and eventually sleep.  If I was not so lucky, well, then….let’s just not think about that again.

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or what I like to call “just an average Saturday”.

Like oh, so many things, the day started off relatively well.  (We’re still waiting for that final molar to push through, so C is pretty grumpy, as well as covered in drool.)

Every so often I get inspired to do things with my son.  Today, I thought, would be filled with fun activities as we zipped from place to place, running errands, shopping, enjoying the cool SoCal weather. I could see it all! We would be so happy!

And we were, for about an hour (out of four).

We started out with the Tent Sale at Borders.  $3.99 books! Too good to pass up.  Plus I had a 25% off coupon (for my whole order), so I splurged on a few other non-sale items while we were there.  We got a few children’s books, a couple puzzles, some YA novels.  All in all, a good haul.

C enjoyed playing with the toys in the kids section.  Well, he did at least until a little girl came up to join him and C was suddenly possessive of the toys.  Every time she moved something, C would try to move it back.  If she moved to get a better angle, C moved to get a better angle.

I tried to explain he didn’t understand how to share since he’s only 16 months old, but the girl looked confused and annoyed.

Things started going downhill fast when a group of kids, all under 5, joined C and his arch-enemy at the toys.  C suddenly had several children to contend with, instead of just the one.  He decided to stake out a certain territory since trying to guard against all the toys being touched was futile.  If another child moved into C’s space, he saw this as an attack and moved to take back whatever toy they had touched or moved.

I kept saying “share, C, share” and telling him “no!” whenever he grabbed a toy or pushed a child out of the way.  But with each syllable that passed my lips, C’s frustration level ratcheted up another level.  He would look at me like “it is so unfair! these kids are touching the toys and I was here first!”

When finally, he started stamping his little feet after I stopped him from pushing a little girl out of the way, it was time to go.

We checked out, got a free bouncy ball (which delighted C) and made our way to the car.

After loading us all up, I decided to push my luck a little bit and check out the “Block Party” the mall was throwing.  Retailers were giving away prizes with purchase or offering coupons.  Several stores had refreshments or crafts and demonstrations. Pinkberry was giving away frozen yogurt! We headed over to where the main festivities were.

C was excited about his cocunut yogurt topped with kiwi.  Yum!  We walked around a little.  Checked everything out.  C kept up a steady stream of conversation the whole time.

And then I decided to check out one of the sales.  Once inside the store, C’s mood began to deteriorate.  If we stopped the stroller, he began throwing his pelvis out against the safety belt, trying to break loose.  If I handed him a toy, he reached out to take it and then flipped it onto the floor.  If I asked a salesperson a question, C began whining.  We left quickly.

I wondered if maybe his grumpiness was due to hunger.  We then headed over to a little bakery that was celebrating its anniversary.

“Oh,” I thought, “I’ll be an indulgent mommy today! I’ll get us each a cupcake in case he doesn’t like one of the flavors.  I’ll even get a chocolate chip cookie for later!  I’m so nice.”

Well, C hated the bakery.  He hated the cupcakes.  He literally spat them out.  The cookie he crushed in his hands and then smeared on his face, clothes, stroller.  He drank his juice and then threw it on the ground.

The only thing he liked from the bakery was the balloon they gave him for being such a naughty…I mean, darling boy.

He entertained passer-bys with high pitched squealing accompanied by waving the balloon around wildly.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.  Tomorrow I’ll entertain you with the completion of this story which includes a meltdown, a blow-out, and some public urination.

I know you just can’t wait!

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In all the aches and pains of motherhood (sometimes literally painful), it’s easy to forget the wonderful feelings being a mother brings.

These last few days I have been laid up with a bum big toe, a result of my sesamoiditis and possibly a build up of uric acid due to the high protein/low carb diet I’ve been on for the last 9 months.  Essentially what this all means is that my foot was achy all week, then suddenly I woke up Thursday morning unable to move my big toe, with some serious swelling and pain happening.

Now I know this doesn’t really sound like a bright spot in motherhood, as I’m partially holding chasing after my active toddler responsible for aggravating my injury. Just hold on, I’m getting to it.

The treatment for my foot injury was to rest and get a cortisone shot right into the inflamed, painful joint (yes, ouch!).  My podiatrist was very adamant that I devote myself to rest at least for one day, meaning my foot was to touch the ground as little as possible.  In fact, he said, I should elevate it and relax (he gave me a very pointed look when he said this).

Luckily, it was thursday and one of the two days I lampoon my cousin A to watch C so I can actually get some stuff done, like laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  Yesterday, I don’t think I got anything done, but she was good enough to keep C busy while I rested, even going above and beyond by helping me put him to bed (we then celebrated by having a mini-True Blood marathon and ice cream).

Today, my mom came to help for a few hours, leaving me time to rest my foot and take some pain-killers.

Yet, during my “rest” time, it was as if I had a magnet embedded in me, since C was constantly drawn to me.  No matter where I was, trying to keep my foot elevated, C would find me, run in and quickly climb on to whatever surface I was laying on.

And every time C saw me, his whole face would light up in a smile.

He’d run to me with his arms open, laughing or giggling or joyously repeating “Om, Om, Mom!”

Every time he sighted me, it was as if it had been years since our last meeting.  He was so enthusiastic in his love!

And, I must admit, I felt exactly the same way.  My heart, and I’m sure my face, lit up the same instant I saw my little boy.

Though his climbing on to my sick-bed was bound to mean pain for me, I couldn’t tell him no, as I was just as happy to see him as C appeared to see me.

When he climbed into my lap, sending my pillows cascading to the floor, skewing my bed rest entertainment by crumpling pages or kicking laptops, I actually, truly didn’t mind.  I was too happy to cuddle my little man.

So maybe motherhood can be a pain in the….toe, sometimes, but everyday my baby reminds why it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

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Of the many thing motherhood means, it often means time management.

I know, exciting!

But seriously, an hour here, 20 minutes there, can mean the difference between a good day and a no-good dirty rotten one.

Let me give you an example:

In my never-ending quest to turn Baby C (now Toddler C) into a better sleeper, I am constantly obsessing about time:

nap time

bed time

the duration of sleep

wake up times

the time between nap and dinner

the time between dinner and bed

the time it takes to fall asleep

the time left before I lose my mind….

My ideal day with Toddler C consists of an 8 am wake up, 12:30 lunch, followed by a 1:30-3:30 nap, ending with a 7-8pm bedtime.

If things go even slightly off schedule, my whole day seems to go slightly off kilter.

If we get up too early, C tries to sneak in a nap before lunch or simply becomes unbearable with the extremely tired whining.

If we get a nap too early, C won’t go down for a second nap and then becomes unable to hold his head up after 6pm.

If C tries to go to bed at 6pm, he’ll wake up at 9pm thinking he’s just had a great nap (ya!) and try to get up.

If I somehow keep him in bed after he wakes up at 9pm, he’ll wake up at 3 or 4 am feeling completely refreshed and ready to start the day.

If C tries to get up at 3am, I then take him to bed with me, hoping we can sleep until 6am, praying he’ll take 2 naps that day so I can get some dang sleep, and close my eyes.

You can see how things sort of snowball, all stemming from just an hour off schedule.  Just an hour!

Imagine what happens when things get really off schedule.

And people wonder why I look tired all the time!

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