Remember When

Bowie has been making me so crazy lately. No, seriously, I mean CRAZY. If he’s not screaming at top volume because one of his toys is stuck under the couch, then he’s biting me because I won’t let him completely rip apart the detailed model train set at the Conservatory of Flowers. Or perhaps screaming so loudly in the car that, even though we have all our windows up, and the car next to us has all their windows up, they all still turn to see what creature is emitting that horrific noise. Repeat, day after day, hour after hour, except the blessed 7 hours he sleeps at night.

But, the other day, to make some space for piling wrapped presents in preparation for Christmas Eve, I had to move around all of our framed pictures on the mantle, of family and friends and whatnot. And one of those framed pics is Bowie’s ultrasound picture.

I remember when I was pregnant, right after we came home with that picture, I could not stop staring at it. I felt like I had gotten to meet him that day, and I couldn’t wait for him to come out and be with us. And I would imagine the kind of baby he would be, and the kind of man he would grow up to be. I was completely smitten, and all I had was that grainy picture.

I’m trying to remember how I felt back then, how grateful I was to have a healthy baby growing inside me. Before he was yelling and screaming and hitting and biting and throwing toys. Their childhood is so fleeting, I want to try to enjoy every single second. It is so tough, you all know that it is. But I can do it. I think.

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.