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It’s parenting, not a nightmare.

My name is Colleen. I’m a mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old and have come to the conclusion that even though they drive me nuts, I am going to thoroughly enjoy my crazy, willful kids and be a happy mom. What follows are my revelations and how I plan to make my house a happy one, no matter what tantrums come my way.

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Precious

1sryk311I love baking days.  To have an excuse to make something yummy and indulgent just makes me happy.  It’s like another art form for me.  A truly happy-inducing project.

Kind of like when your kid is working on something, maybe a block tower, maybe Legos, and they’re fully in their happy zone.

But then another kid comes over and starts to threaten the survival of the project.  ‘I’m gonna knock it down!’  ‘Here comes Godzilla!’ And your kid freaks out, right?  It’s a common reaction.  They’re thinking, ‘I’ve put so much time and effort into this, you are not going to wreck it!’  It’s truly precious to them.

Well, guess what, kiddo?  Same goes for my cake!!  Don’t even pretend to poke a finger into it!  And if you come one step closer with that light saber, it’s all over for you, man!

I guess some things we just don’t outgrow.

 

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Fleeting

471166263-612x612My 2-year-old has been more than a handful today.  Nothing is keeping him entertained for long and most activities end with a bout of bad behavior.

Oh good, they’re playing Legos together.

Nope, he just demolished his brother’s project.

Oh good, he’s reading books.

Nope, he just threw the book and hit the cat.

Oh good, he’s doing puzzles.

Nope, he just smacked his brother over the head with one of the boards.

I’ve been steadily losing patience and hope since I got up this morning.  My 4-year-old seemed to sense this and took the initiative.  Before lunch he ran all over the house putting away toys and cleaning everything up until even the book his brother was holding was put back on the shelf.

It may have been a fleeting moment of very good behavior, but it somehow managed to recharge my tolerance battery a bit.

Hey, kid… How’s about you do a quick once-over through the kitchen?  And I wouldn’t say no to a foot rub.

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Mr. Manners

13pet600.1Turns out I have more rules at the dinner table now than in any other situation.  I’m beginning to feel like I’m overdoing it, but…

Manners have always been important to me.  My kids learned to say please and thank you as some of their first words.  And now that they’re talking to each other all the time, I have more issues coming up in the manners department.

The list of “bad” words at the table now include ‘poop’, ‘pee’ and ‘yucky’.

The first two, I don’t think I need to explain.  Why talk about bathroom activities at the table?  It’s not great dinner conversation in mixed company.

But then, the third one… I tell them that I don’t like them saying it because it sounds like they’re criticizing my cooking, but that’s not really it.  I guess it’s just a basic fear that we’ll be at someone’s house for a meal and the first thing they’ll say, and continue to say, is ‘yucky’.  Now, I know that it’s just a funny word to them and not a true expression of their opinion on the meal, but I don’t want it misunderstood.  And there’s really no other way to interpret the word ‘yucky’.

Overkill?  Maybe.

Planning ahead for any possible scenario that most likely will never be an issue, but my brain convinces me it is?

Gotcha covered.

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Come Again?

Funny-Owls-26We have reached the point in our 2-year-old’s speech that he thinks he’s saying complete sentences.  If you’ve ever tried to decipher entire, strung out ramblings of a child under the age of three, you know the struggle.

Basically I’m just trying to keep from agreeing to things blindly.  He’ll talk and talk for a few sentences worth and then end it with a question.  ‘Okay, mommy?’

Uhhhhhh….

Whatever you do, don’t just say yes!  God only knows what you’re saying yes to, and chances are you’ll regret it later.

‘No, don’t eat that!’

‘But mommy say yes!’

Oh shit.

Just say ‘I don’t know’ in a light, non-committal tone.  That will answer almost any question they could have asked and you’re covering your butt.  You may come off as a bit of an imbecile… not the brightest crayon in the box… but ultimately… you win.

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A New Idea

image-2018-04-24-1-390x220Lately we’ve been putting our 2-year-old in time-out more than ever before.  It seems like every time we turn around he’s doing something destructive or hurtful or just downright defiant.  And of course, he now no longer takes time-out seriously.  It doesn’t matter how stern you are, what you say to him, how long you make him sit on the couch, he won’t see it as a punishment like he used to.

This meant a complete reevaluation.  If he’s acting out this much, there must be some other reason than him suddenly turning into a little gremlin, right?  Sure, he’s picking up how to stand his ground around his brother and figuring out ways to test his limits just like every kid does, but this was different.  It was reactionary.  So what was the reason?

He’s bored.

He’s further along mentally than his brother was at that age and he’s running out of things to keep him occupied.  My husband and I were talking about it and trying to come up with ideas of things we could present him with to see if he really is ready for bigger challenges.  I suggested puzzles.  He’s beyond the wooden cut-out puzzles, so why not try something more complex?

As I’m talking about this, with our 2-year-old sitting five feet away looking at books, he immediately drops the books and pulls out a 24 piece puzzle.  He begins to try fitting pieces together, chatting to himself about it the whole time, happy as a lark.

Significant looks between me and my husband…

By jove!  I think we’ve got it!

Day two of experimentation with this tactic and so far, so good.

Now… when to test him out on small appliance repair?…

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Overtime

a99412_animal-hug_2-teddy-bearMy husband is working extra shifts this week.  Never a fun prospect, but somehow it can bring about some beautiful moments.

Yesterday we visited with grandparents and went swimming, had a picnic and then a micro-nap in the car on the way back.  Not wanting to go home yet in this heat wave, we spent some time at the library first.

My 4-year-old spent more than his usual amount of time and effort coloring a picture.  He worked hard for several minutes and then solemnly handed it up to me and said, ‘I want to give this to my daddy.’

I’ve never been fond of the idea of absence making the heart grow fonder, but I think our kids are showcasing its meaning.

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Where have I heard that before?

monkey with mirrorI feel like I could reread all of these posts and categorize them into just a few simple columns.

My Kids Melted Down

Mommy Melted Down

The Funniest Thing Happened

and What the Hell??

As it turns out, parenting is just a basic soundtrack on repeat.  The details change as time goes on, our knowledge grows along with our kids, but it’s the same trials, the same frustrations in new costumes.

So what I want to say is, I apologize if I repeat myself, but I’m stuck in the loop and there’s no escaping the soundtrack of my life.  But at least we parents can make an effort to turn down the volume sometimes and maybe even throw in a love scene once in a while.

The show must go on.