I’m THAT Mommy

I’m beginning to spend more late nights awake wondering if I’m “that” mommy. 

When I take my kid places, am I the mom that people look at and think “Oh my goodness… her kid is such a ______.”  (Insert your word of choice here.)

You know the type.  Fit throwing.  Unnecessarily.  In public.

Doesn’t necessarily play well with others. 

Attention seeking – any way he can get it.

And while I rack my brain and read and watch and research, nothing really seems to work on him.  But what I’m noticing on occassion is that it all appears to be a show, just for me.

Today I went to pick up the kids from daycare, and I could hear them having a FANTASTIC time inside before I even got to the door.  Sure enough they were dancing to songs and tossing soft balls in the air and trying to catch them.  I right away found my little boy, cuter than a button, throwing his ball in the air and trying to catch it.  I watched him for a moment before the crowd of kids shifted and I noticed my 11 month old, waving her ball around by its tag and dancing to the music, and I spent another moment marveling at her balance and how quickly she’s picking up this walking thing. 

Then it began.  Ollie came closer, saw me, and his face changed.  And he suddenly chucked the ball across the room as hard as he could.

Calm.  Cool.  Do not give him the attention he seeks.  I ignored him.  So he ran off and started yanking toys out of the shelves.  And this is where it gets confusing.  I can ignore the behavior and not give him attention for it, but no matter how much I do that, it doesn’t seem to change things.  So maybe it’s not attention.  But then what is it?

Now it’s Thursday night, and tomorrow morning is the ECFE Play and Learn class.  I’d love to go – they have awesome toys and activities, and it’s nice to be around other moms… but I’m worried that my giant 2 year old is the kid that everyone wishes wouldn’t show up.  He’s like a bull in a china cabinet.  And he has to run from one thing to the next to the next.  Plus he certainly does not want to be held back.  (That doesn’t mean that I won’t hold him back…. I have no problem trying to calm him down or get him to focus.)  We’re struggling with the sharing concept, too. 

I guess I just don’t know what to do.  I don’t want him to make enemies now, at age 2, because this is a small town, and if we stay here, he will only have a few classmates.  I would hate for him to not have any friends… especially if this is a phase.  Or maybe I’m totally overreacting, and 2 year olds are not going to hold the things that other two years old do to them against them.  Maybe he’s semi-normal.  Maybe he needs more time around kids to learn how to behave.  I don’t know what the answer is.  Does anyone?

No Sleep for the Next 18 Years

People say it all the time, and it doesn’t click.  I mean, I guess you think “Oh, sure, because they’ll wake up a lot when their babies, and they’ll be sick sometimes and you’ll stay up through the night, and when they are teenagers you’ll be worrying about them being out late…”

But it still doesn’t quite sink in. 

Ollie has slept through the night well.  When he doesn’t, I know there’s a reason why.  That’s not the problem.

The problem is that my son is 2, and some days I just don’t know what to do with him.  I feel like he might be one of “those kids” that you see in the store and go “Why doesn’t that parent DO something?”

This is where the lack of sleep comes in.

Half the time I’m awake because I’ve done everything I can think of, and I either am looking for new ideas online or racking my brain.  Then there are nights like tonight, where I’m just mourning the loss of the bond we had before he became so independent.  I’m sure that this will happen more often than once as he grows up, where I sit and look at pictures of my little baby boy and think “What happened, and how do I get it back?”

I can’t get it back.  I know I can’t.  So the next question is “How do I make this good, despite how hard it is?  How different it is?  How EVOLVING it is?”  Because it is always evolving. 

Perhaps I need to take solace in the fact that we started off rocky, with lots of screaming and unhappiness, and a lot of a very strained mommy desperate to do anything to make her baby happy.  Then things changed for a while, and we were so close, and he was happy (once he could run around), and I was happy, and things were just good. 

Now it’s not that things are never good, and it’s certainly not that I don’t love him, because Iwouldn’t be sitting here with tears streaming down my face if that was the case.  It’s just that as he challenges me and as he acts out and learns and does things that (from what I understand) normal two year olds do, I feel as though our days are flying by, and so much of it is wasted with time outs and talking-to’s and “Please don’t do that” and stress and pain and hurt.  I’m sure the mommies of older kids reading this are going to say “You have so much more to come”, and maybe I do.  So then, mommies ahead of me, how do I make less time about the negative and more time about the positive?  How do I catch just a little bit of us, happy, playing, having fun, and less challenging?

Perhaps things will get easier.  Summer will come, there will be more playing outside and fun things to do.  Emmie will become mobile, and we can all play together.  Walks and parks and fishing and camping and swimming and fun.  Maybe my problem isn’t that my son is two, or isn’t that I have a very difficult time with the toddler attitude, but that it is February.  After all, I usually spend the entire month of February blaming everything that isn’t good on cabin fever, simply because it is February, and I think everyone has had about enough snow and cold by that point.  I call February the “crazy” month.  Everyone gets a little nuts.

When it comes down to it, it may be February, he may be two, I may have too much going on, and he may be getting his molars.   But what I know for certain is I just want to be a good, good mommy, and want to always do the right thing for him, and sometimes I know I don’t.  I don’t know all the answers.  I don’t know the perfect solution.  But I hope someday he knows that I sat up at night trying to figure it all out – just because I love him that much.

Is it Possible to Not Slack as a Mom the Second Time?

With Ollie, at about six months we started enforcing “bedtime”, where he was put in bed to go to sleep. He was pretty easy, and we moved his schedule in just a few days, but it was just a minor change – he always went to bed consistently and woke up consistently and slept all night long.

Emmie was a little more difficult, but I’m still thankful she was easier than many of my friend’s babies. But I think I’ve failed this time. She’s 10 months now, and every night I let her fall asleep on me. It happens anywhere between 7-11, and I’ve just passively put up with it.

It dawned on me today that she’s ten months old now… nearly a year old. Not just that, but I don’t want this trend to continue. I do not want to end up with a three or four year old who has no set bedtime – especially while I’m enforcing bedtime with her brother who isn’t much older, really.

So tonight, about five minutes ago, I brushed two sets of teeth, tucked Ollie in, and then immediately went to Emmie’s room and tucked her in, too. She was quietly talking for a few moments, but now she’s yelling at me. So here we go, with the strategically spaced visits. I need to stick to this. I can do it. I can bedtime train my baby.

I hope.

Welcome Readers

After pushing out a 9 pound 7 ounce boy in July of 2009, I was handed a large, spiral bound book at his first pediatrician appointment. You know that saying that kids don’t come with manuals? It’s a lie. I have one. A giant one. It’s really good at collecting dust on my bookshelf now.

Welcome to the world of a mommy who is just not… textbook.

Monday

First, I have to throw this out there.

Dear Mother of Two in the Target Parking Lot –

I could do nothing less than deeply sympathize with your plight in the middle of the Target parking lot in Cambridge earlier this afternoon.  As I watched what I presume to be roughly a three year old boy stare you down as he slowly stepped backwards away from you, I instantly felt a connection.  After all, it was like looking in a mirror.  Well, in a mirror on a day where my kids were with me and not at home with my sick husband.

You stood your ground, and I commend you, Mother of Two!  You insisted that he return to you, and were scanning and watching to make sure he wasn’t backing into danger (because after all, he wasn’t looking where he was going, just giving you the stare down).  Eventually you emerged victorious, never stepping a foot towards him.  Congratulations, mom.  You rock!

Sincerely,

Fellow mother of a “spirited” little boy.

Okay, now onto usual business.

I came home today to two kids napping and my husband waiting patiently for death.  How I have made it this far without getting sick, I may never know.  But as I settled in (Lying on the bed wishing I could get a nap but far too caffeinated to fall asleep), my son started waking up.  And when I heard Ollie knock on his door through his monitor and say “Mommy, where are you?” I melted.  Awwwww….. he missed me!  So what do I do?  Go running to his arms?  Pick him up and smother him in kisses?

No.

I continued to lie there and listen to him.

Oh, come on.  You know you have done it at least once.  He continued.  “Mommy, come get me!  Mommy, are you at work?  Moooooommmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyy where areeeeeeeeeeeeee youuuuuuuuu????”

Eventually Nick and I wandered down the hallway, where we dropped to the floor and crawled to the end, peeking under his doorway.  He either heard or spotted us, and immediately did the same.  He was so excited to see me!  He came out and gave me a big hug.  I love that kid.

Then he proceeded to run past both of us, bust through Emmie’s door and scream.  Thanks a lot, Ollie.

Emmie was excited to see me, too, mauling my face like she does when she’s excited.

Overall, it was a nice day to come home to my kids.  They’re pretty wonderful.

"Mom, I Have to Pee"

So Ollie insisted that he had to pee.  Outside. 

Okay, fine.  We’ve tried this before.  He’s great about pooing on the toilet and telling me when he needs to go, but we need to work on peeing in the toilet every time.  So if he has to pee, and he wants to do it outside, and it may mean that I don’t have to stress about potentially special ordering size 7 Pampers and going broke because of it, I’m all for it.

Besides, I get a price break at daycare if he’s potty trained by 30 months.  He’s got 5 months, or I’m kicking him out.

So I told him to remove his diaper, and as he yanks it off (yes, yanks… he doesn’t take the time to just pull the straps off….) I open the door.  He runs outside and (in his socks) takes off across the deck, down the stairs, and into the grass.  There he freezes, staring down at himself.  I step onto the deck and start making cooing noises at Emmie, trying to keep her out of the sun and happy.  Ollie comes running back towards me, and says “Ohhhhhhhhh…… ickyyyyyyy…..” and stops dead on the steps to the deck.

He pulls his hand from behind him.  His giant, bear paw hand, which was now covered in poop.

Begin bawling.

At first I freaked.  I look into the yard and there’s a pile where he was standing that he somehow (miraculously) managed to not step in.  He stood on the second step, bawling, holding his hand out to me, and then I hear an unmistakable sound as more poop hits the step.

Mom-mode commenced, and I immediately deposited my not-so-happy daughter on my living room floor and grabbed hand sanitizer and baby wipes.  Poor Ollie just continued to cry.  I don’t think he realized at all that he had to poo when he told me he had to pee (he’s pretty good about letting me know poop is imminent), and I think it freaked him out.  I wiped him up, telling him it was okay. 

Then my husband came across the yard, surely because he was convinced I was probably punishing our son for some crazy thing he did.  He stops dead, stares at the steps, and says “Ummmmm….. there’s poop on the stairs.”

That’s when I lost it.  I started laughing so hard, I’m sure our neighbors heard.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  There was a trail of poop, left by my two year old all the way up our stairs, in our yard, and all over his hand.  He felt horrible, was crying, and here I am, craptastic mom that I am, laughing my butt off. 

I cleaned him up, wiped the poop off the stairs with baby wipes, and took him inside and put him on the toilet.  He doesn’t seem too tramatized, thank goodness.  I hope he knows mom still loves him, even if I was laughing at him, not with him.

Reasons Why Ollie Needs A Sibling

(This is my own selflish list, just so you know, and some of it is jokingly. Okay, well, not really, but still…)
1. I hate bleeding 1 out of every 4 weeks.
2. I miss eating Hardee’s three times a day and still losing weight.
3. My fingernails are beginning to break again
4. I didn’t have to worry about “looking fat” in clothes, because I was supposed to!
5. I miss being warm.
6. I’m getting muscley now, but just imagine if I’m carrying Ollie and a baby in my belly!
7. Maybe if I have two I won’t have to hide at home just to be able to hold my baby.
8. I hate having two weeks out of every month where it looks like a warzone on my face from the breakouts.
9. My belly wasn’t flabby, it was rock hard.
10. My skin complexion blows now.
11. Now I have saggy boobs.
12. I liked it when I couldn’t eat hardly anything because there was a baby taking up all the room where my stomach used to be.
13. Nick bought better toilet paper, because I had to pee constantly
14. Not having to buy feminine hygenie products saved us loads of money
15. I think, overall, I was a less angry person. Although I’m not as bad as I used to be. But the hormones made me happy.

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