Thursday, September 30, 2010

Watch Your Mouth

Is it wrong that I let my child say inappropriate things because it amuses me? Probably. Oh well, too late.

Carter was an early talker, and he's a very verbal child. He's also part parrot because he'll repeat anything and everything you say. This is very dangerous...but sometimes very funny. I've never been good at 'watching my mouth', but I'm gonna have to start making a serious effort. I don't want Carter going to preschool and telling the teacher "I can't friggin stand you."

The thing about it is, you never know just when your words are going to come back and bite you. Its not always right after you say it.

When Grant was a baby and would cry Carter would run up to him and say "Aw! COME ON!" Number one on my 'to do' list? Be more nurturing towards the baby. Number two? Try not to say "I"m going to kill you!" to the dogs...cause that's not super cute coming from a two year old either.

My husband is no better.

One morning when I was changing Carter's diaper he pointed down and kindly reminded me "Don't touch your balls." Wow. Thank you, that's really good life advice. I say a lot of things, but I'm pretty sure I've never said that. MICHAEL!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Second Child Syndrome

All parents say "I'm going to treat all my kids exactly the same, no matter what".

Well, I have to say, expirience has taught me that this statement is complete crap. Loving your children the same and treating them the same are two completely different ideas.

I don't love one child more than the other...although some days I certainly LIKE one child more that the other. But its a totally different world when you throw a second kid into the mix. You are more comfortable as a parents (lets hope!) and maybe a little more relaxed (although if you ask people who know me they will probably tell you that the word "relaxed" does not now, nor has it ever, described my personality).

When Carter was a baby I wrote down everything he ate, drank, read, listened to or watched. I measured his bottles and food with the precision of an award winning scientist (to the point where, at his two month appointment, the pediatrician held up my color coded list and said "See this?  Stop doing this!") Carter always had on the right outfit and most of the time I had just taken the tags off it. I also bathed him daily.

Grant is the classic second child. One day I looked down at him and saw that he had a bruise over his right eye. "Huh, that's weird," I thought, "I wonder where that came from."  I literally had no idea what had happened or even WHEN it had happened!

Then my mind flashed back to the first time that Carter ever fell. I remember exactly what happened, what time of day it was and even what he was wearing! He was holding onto the coffee table and fell sideways, kind of brushing his head against the lip of the table. I immediately called the doctor, certain that he was concussed. I called in sick to work because how could I ever leave my poor, hurt little boy in the care of a babysitter (which actually happened to be my mother that day, not, for instance, some kid off the street!)

Now there is my little Grant! His last bath was...what day is today? He just finished his cereal, I don't know how much cause I didn't measure it. Now he's sitting playing happily with that big bruise on his face wearing hand-me-down clothes and a hat that says "Carter". My how times have changed!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm a yeller!

Know those softspoken mothers who never scream and are able to discipline their their children in a rational and composed manner? They're cute, aren't they?

Unfortunately for my children they did not get that make and model of mother. I'm a yeller.  I come from a long line of yellers.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that until I went away to college I didn't realize that there were other ways to communicate.  I'm trying to break this habit so I can be a model mommy.  Its really not going well...I'm raising another generation of yellers.

Case in point, if you ask Carter what Daddy's name is he responds "MICHAEL!", screaming the name at the top of his lungs. Is that what I sound like? Yes, my husband assures me, that IS in fact what I sound like.  I yelled at him for saying that.

Now Carter yells pretty much whenever somthing doesn't go his way.  Recently I spent the morning torturing him...oh I'm sorry, I mean  having his hair cut.  But if you ask my neighbors they'll back up my torture story based on the blood curdling screams coming from my house.   Also, he screams at the dogs whenever they bark, which is basically all day long. I'm pretty sure Grant must think the dog's names are "NO!" and "STOP IT!"

And of course when he gets to this point I naturally take a deep breath and... yell over him!  Yellers, we're all yellers.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"I know how you feel"

Every mother has had one of those days!

When you can't seem to get your act together and your kids are being impossible. When you are the mother of Carter "those days" seem to group themselves into weeks and months...pretty soon I'll have to look at other mothers and say "Oh, we're just having one of those decades!"

When I get stressed I cry, doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing. I'm not good at holding back the tears. One time in music class Carter was having a particularly nasty week and of course, the teacher picked that week to take a group photo.  He WOULD NOT sit with the other kids.  Naturally I started thinking there must be something seriously wrong with him...I broke down then and there!

It was at this depressing point in my day that another mother, who had twins a year older than Carter, took the opportunity to try and cheer me up...

First she said "I know how you feel."

This is normal motherhood speak for "Yeah, my kid kind of sucks sometimes too." Usually very appropriate comfort words for a fellow mom in distress.

As she was saying it, however, I happened to catch her son turning a musical instrument into a weapon and using it to beat his sister over the head.

Gee, thanks lady, but right now I really don't want to use your kid's behavior as the light at the end of my tunnel. See that little boy over there sitting quietly and listening to the teacher? Where the hell is HIS mom to tell me "been there, done that". Coming from her it might be encouraging.  Coming from you its...well, its not encouraging, let me tell ya.

The next part is my favorite.

She followed up her opening line with "...and it doesn't get any better as they get older."

Honest to God!

I felt like saying "Wow, are you some sort of therapist? If not you should be, cause, I mean, I suddenly feel SO MUCH BETTER!" Was I supposed to thank her for this little pep talk?

She should have just said "See my terrible children? Yours is gonna turn out just like that...and there's nothing you can do about it!"

I don't know if this motivational routine is something that she rehearsed, but I gotta say, it needs work.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Carter at Class

This time of year is very busy because classes all start up again. Its nice to have something to do, but usually I'll just sit there waiting for the inevitable moment when Carter will do something to embarrass me...

Usually its something fairly innocent, like he'll steal a toy away from another kid. But that kid will be devastated because he is now forced to play with the yellow hula hoop instead of the red one. Sometimes they cry and I'm thinking, "He took your hula hoop, he didn't punch you in the face!"

But by the time I realize what's going on, Carter is across the room and I'm stuck with the screaming kid, arms extended, longing for the days when he was in possession of the coveted red hoop. Hey kid, do you know there are entire villages out there full of children who've never even SEEN a red hula hoop? You'll play with the yellow one and you'll like it....

Then you get the mothers who speak to their child just loudly enough so that you are meant to hear it, but not meant to think its directed at you. "Its ok Johnny, Carter didn't mean to steal it..." (Yeah, no, I'm pretty sure that's EXACTLY what he meant to do) "I'm sure he'll give it back if you ask nicely..." (HA! Good luck with that, sister!) At this point I"m probably expected to run an intervention...

See how stressful this is?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Psychic Sue

Last night I went to a psychic reading party. I normally wouldn't. I'm a born skeptic and have to have everything proved to me five times before I'll buy it...which was the first thing she said to me.

When she started talking about my kids I was excited and wanted to hear something about the vacation house in Hawaii they were gonna buy me for being such a nurturing and selfless mother. This is what I got instead...

She told me my first born is stubborn. Check. That he's older than his years. Check. That he's going to be extremely hard to potty train. Yeah, tell me something I don't know! No really...tell me something I don't know cause that's what I'm freaking paying you for.

Then she tells me that "He likes to win." Now most mothers would probably nod and smile knowingly as they picture their little strong headed offspring. Not me. I'm concerned. Primarily because guess who else likes to win...ME! I'm foreseeing the battles that are to come and I'm thinking "Am I mentally prepared for this?" I mean, after all, I'm getting older and that little shit is a god damn sponge right now. I need to work on my mental prowess before he senses my weakness and formulates a plan of attack. Better start doing some Brain Age or something.

She ends the reading with "Good luck with him". Really? Good luck with him? That's your sage advice? Super.

Thus Far...

Ok, so tried the whole blogging thing and I've realized something.  Blogging is a lot like parenting...sometimes you aren't sure that your not just talking to yourself!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Time Out!

Ah! Time out!

The age old tradition...well, actually, its not really "age old" is it? Back in the old days kids got a wack and then they never did that again. Who the hell came up with this time out idea, again?


Time out for Carter is a joke, and I mean, who can blame him?

Yeah he has to sit on the step for (gasp!) TWO MINUTES! Its not like he's in isolation, there is still stuff going on around him. So he just sits there, watches what Grant and I are doing, and it's probably really peaceful for him.

I wish someone would walk up to me and say:

"Oh! Time out! Go sit somewhere and not have any contact with anyone for half an hour."


 I would probably ask what I did wrong so I could be sure to repeat the offense again sometime real soon.
I've tried to make it an actual punishment for him...there was the one day when, after I put him in time out, I took out all of his trucks and played with them in front of him. Saying things like "Wow! Trucks are so fun! I'm glad I'M not in time out!".

Or the day when he yelled from his step prison "I'm mad at you", and I turned around and yelled back "Oh yeah? Well I'm mad at you too, pal!" (Please note, this blog is not a 'how-to' on perfect parenting...clearly).

Well, until he learns to modify his behavior...or until I learn exactly what actions on my part will actually get under his skin...I guess time out is the best we got!

Having a selfish mom moment...

Know those mothers who bring their kids out to classes or playgroups when they are sick?  You kind of have to fight the urge to spit on them...or at least the urge to call them at 2am when your kids wakes up with a faucet nose.  I have many vivid scenarios where I tell these women off  "Um, can you please get slimer...oh I mean the playground before he infects the entire town!  Have a nice selfish, mean lady!" 

Well, Carter has gym class today and he's a stuffy mess!  But gym class usually results in a three hour nap which is a great time for me to clean the house, do the laundry...hahaha!  No, just kidding, but I do have a lot of DVRing to catch up on....

Alright, I won't bring him.  But you can't stop me from cursing all the other mothers with happy, healthy kids who are at that class.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Um, toddlers eat weird things...

Carter found an old (and by old I mean antique) bag of rice cakes in the cabinet.  Their historical status did not seem to keep him from eating half the bag before I stopped him.  Stale is just gross, right?  I mean, its not actually bad for you, is it?  Either way, after some impressive protest on his part...I let him finish the bag.