Ground Control to Major Tom

So, you know what I’m totally tired of already (even though I have like 16 years of this  parenting thing left) (well, really forever because they’re always our kids) (and make that forever and a day if we have more kids)?

I’m tired of the whole not listening thing. Like, you know they hear you, you know they understand you, yet they do not respond and/or do not react accordingly!

I remember my own mother complaining about this phenomenon, the selective hearing. Why, just this afternoon, I repeated one of her favorites, “Why don’t you ever listen to me?!”

Ok, so I didn’t listen, and probably kids before me didn’t, and I should take comfort in that and therefore be able to deal with it when Bowie pulls the I’m-not-listening card. But, no, people. Really, no. It still sucks.

I often apologize to new moms or expecting moms for scaring them about the toddler years, but I won’t apologize here, you must be warned. Be prepared to repeat yourself approximately 75 times when you want them to do something or stop doing something or whatever it is.

You will be calm at first. You will think I am the coolest, calmest most collected mama on earth. I’ll just ask him nicely to not put the fork in the socket and everything will be awesome.

Gradually, the volume of your voice will increase, and the language will change (for instance, you may even begin to throw a threat or two in there) until finally you are MAMA, HELLBEAST OF THE APOCALYPSE.

Just do this for me though: don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that you are not the only mama to yell. And take comfort in the fact that you had the patience to ask nicely as many times as you did.

I have a friend who theorizes that a little yelling when they are young makes them think twice as teens. Now, who knows what our kids will do when they are teens, we were all loose cannons back then AM I RIGHT? But, use her theory to make yourself feel better, haha.

p.s. like the Bowie reference? yes, I’m super witty like that, thanks.

Routine? What’s that?

Funny thing about parenthood: just when you get into a routine, and you think you’ve got it all down, kiddo goes and changes the routine, and you once again have no idea what you’re doing.

For the better part of last week, Bowie didn’t nap. He napped yesterday, so I know we’re not crossing the totally napless threshold, but it’s not looking good.

When he doesn’t nap, it’s certainly not because he isn’t tired. The long, screaming, crying, whining afternoon is proof of that. And have you ever tried to keep a toddler busy for 13 straight hours? It’s, well, a challenge.

Also new in our house is the Diaper/Clothing Change Avoidance. Whenever he sees me coming with a diaper and wipes or an outfit, he runs the other way shouting, “WAIT!” Which would be super cute except no, sweetie, we can’t wait to change your diaper, it’s full of stinky poo that’s going to give you a horrible rash. And we have to put on the pajamas now because sweet baby Jesus, it’s bedtime. I’ve had to use all my strength to hold him down with one arm while wrangling a diaper and some clothes on with the other had.

And, ok, guess what else? Nothing in the kitchen is safe anymore. We baby-proofed the important stuff. Well, the stuff he could reach anyway. Only, now? He can reach EVERYTHING. Including items on the counter, and in the knife drawer. (Oh yeah, good thing I was paying attention that day.) At any given moment you’ll find about 30 DVDs, all the chips and crackers and all my pots and pans strewn about the house. Picking it up is useless, because it only takes him about 2 minutes to recreate the mess.

That’s life with a toddler. One day, you’re supermom, and you know exactly what to do and when to do it. The next day you’re a complete mess because you have spent the whole day running after the kiddo to change him, then to get something dangerous out of his hands, then to change him again, then to deal with his sleep deprivation tantrum regarding the cookies he found in the cupboard that you won’t let him have. Oh Bowie, let’s get past this Terrible Twos thing, shall we?

Full Contact Parenthood

Bowie has reached the I-can’t-believe-this-is-normal aggression phase of his toddlerdom. Everything, good or bad, warrants a slap, a punch, a head-butt or a bite. And there’s no waving a white flag here, until they learn to talk, this is how they communicate anger, sadness and frustration. And mine also for some reason expresses his extreme happiness in this way?

I’m trying to be as calm about things as possible. But, when you’re at the kids’ museum, and a complete stranger’s kid just accidentally bumps into your kid, and then your kid comes over and proceeds to beat the shit out of you, it’s hard to stay calm.

At home, I have taken to putting him in his crib so he can have a good freak out, and then I get to pick him up and assure him I love him and all of that. But, in public, what do I do? Putting him in his stroller exacerbates the problem.

The only sure-fire way I have found to make it stop is a treat. It’s usually a healthy treat, but a treat. I can’t keep throwing food at my son to make him behave, but I also don’t want to resort to physical punishment, or yelling, or any of the many things we’re often reduced to as parents when we have just reached the end of our rope. ESPECIALLY when I am in public. With all those other judgy mom eyes watching my every move.

What is everyone’s experience with this? I know there’s got to be something we can do besides investing in a face mask and shoulder pads and just rolling over and taking it.