Who’s really in charge here?

My kids. I’ve decided that my kids are in charge. Specifically the toddler.

(I’ll just never let them in on that little tid bit of information).

Who sets and alters bedtimes, meals, snacks and everything in between? Me. Who goes and changes things on me out of nowhere? My kids. I feel like we’re back in the “first year stage”, when things are constantly changing and you never know which direction to go as it’s hitting you upside the head – usually because you’re too sleep deprived to know which end is up.

I guide them, provide structure, allow them to sometimes fail to learn important lessons, praise their achievements and wipe their bums, but those little stinkers have a mind (and internal clock) of their own.

Just these past few weeks, my toddler has decided he’s done with naps or he’s going through a major case of separation anxiety. He basically quit cold turkey. I’m not all that surprised by this because he’s lived his whole two years of life in the fast lane (hello running at eight months), but what makes it worse is that he’s not at an age where I can reason with him. With the other two, if they didn’t nap, they rested. They needed that reset to function the rest of the day. How do you tell a stubborn toddler who’s way too eager to grow up that it’s time to “rest” or read quietly in his room?

No really, how do you do it?

Now I know I’m not the first mom to go through this (and some of you probably stopped reading after you read the words “my TODDLER isn’t napping anymore”), but sympathize with me for a second here. A major change in your child’s world takes a toll on everyone involved… Especially mom’s sleep.

I’m so tired right now. I’m physically jealous that he can just decide to drop a few hours of sleep while I crave a few more hours of sleep. Coffee and wine have been an essential part of my week so far.

So much so that I had to write “wine” on my shopping list this morning. But not just “wine” I had to remind myself to get four or five bottles of it. And that was after three cups of coffee. Sure two of the bottles are thank you gifts, but the rest is all mine – especially after pouring the last little bit of wine only to have my oldest run by and knock it over. I will never allow running out of wine ever again – especially when a kid messes up anything to do with sleep.

So cheers to my toddler for proving that, in the grand scheme of things, he has the power to rule the house (or at least the amount of sleep and work time I get).

Do you sometimes feel like your kids are in charge?

Hello, two’s. I’ve missed you so.

(sarcasm).

This is currently what goes on in my toddler’s head. I’m sure of it.

I want to walk.
NO. I don’t want to hold your hand.
Now, I want to run into the street just to watch your run after me looking like a crazy lady.
Haha. Crazy lady.
I want to sit in the stroller… No. Carrier. No. Stroller. No. Carrier. No. No. No. NO. NO. NOOOOOO!
My head hurts.
I’m just going to scream right now.
Oh, you like that?
Let me scream louder for you.
I’m going to climb into my car seat on my own.
NO! Don’t HELP me!
I do it.
I do it.
I do it.
I’m going to wear the heck out of this backpack.
If. I. Can. Get. It. On.
AHHHHHHHHHH SGJAFJHAGFDUGDKJSBFJYWFDJHVADJ
(Head explodes).
HELP MEEEEEEEEE!
AHHHHHH! BACKKKKKKKPACKKKKKKK.
NO! Don’t help me.
I do it.
I’m just going to throw this train now.
Oh, a bucket.
Look at me! LOOK AT ME.
There’s a bucket on my head.
Now I’m going to throw the bucket.
At you.
What’s that shiny thing on top of the bookshelf?
I’LL GET IT.
I don’t want a sandwich.
I don’t want strawberries.
I don’t want carrots.
I want a cookie.
I don’t want to sit in my seat.
(Head explodes).
MOMMY!
MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY!
Mommy?
What are you doing, mommy?
Oh! You’re going pee??!!
Pee? Poo? Pee? Poo? Pee? Poo?
OPEN THIS GATE!!!!!!!!!
I just have to know what you are doing right now.
OPEN THIS GAAAAAAAATE!
Pee?
Poo?
Poo?
Pee?
I give up.
I’m going to go throw something.

It only takes seconds

My 27-month-old said “I love you too, Mommy” for the first time today and I immediately broke down – hysterically crying, grabbing him and hugging him tighter and tighter. I didn’t want to put him down for a nap, I just wanted to rock him in the glider the rest of the day.

Everyone says it. Doctors say it, grandparents say it, your friends say it… Even you say it.

It only takes seconds.

. . . . .

I was scheduled to pick up the boys from school this past Friday afternoon. My husband called — just minutes before I was going to wake my toddler up from his nap — to tell me that his meeting turned into a phone meeting, so he could pick up the boys from school, just like he does every Friday.

Five minutes later, my little guy woke up from his nap.

Anticipating the arrival of daddy and the older boys, we opened up the garage, pulled out the toys and began playing. Earlier in the week I painted with chalk paint on part of the garage wall and after letting it dry for three days — Friday was the day we were finally able to draw on it. I had pulled two colors from the chalk box, but my insistent toddler wanted four colors. I set my phone down on a nearby chair and made my way over to the workbench on the other side of the garage — where the box of chalk was hidden the day before.

During the time it took me to put my phone down, grab the chalk, put a screwdriver away (before the toddler saw it and decided he must have it) and walk back to get my phone (checking it to see if daddy text me from the grocery store)…

He was gone.

I ran outside and looked towards one of his favorite hangout spots, my neighbor’s front porch. He wasn’t there. I ran around my car to see if he was by the gated walkway watching the cars go by on the busy behind our house. He wasn’t there. My heart sank.

I called his name.
No answer.
I yelled to him that I had more Pirates Booty in the house.
No answer.
I screamed his name.
No answer.
I cried his name.
No answer.

My neighbor across the street walked outside and asked if I needed help. I yelled back, “I can’t find B!” She ran down our street while I ran the opposite way towards the busy street.

The panic set in.

He’s not the type of kid that will quietly hide or turn down a snack.
I stopped looking near the busy street and ran back down our street, stopping five houses down. There was a lady vacuuming her car with her front door wide open. I asked if she could please check her house. I found another neighbor out playing football with his son and yelled for him to help. I ran back up the street hoping to find my baby back inside the garage but he wasn’t there. I pounded on another neighbor’s door and she ran out to help.

I called my mom and then my husband.
I couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t walk.
I collapsed to the ground every few feet.
Then, the horror set in.
9-1-1 was called and a deputy was dispatched.

It wasn’t long before every single person — that was home at 4:15 pm on a Friday — was on my street, in my backyard, in my house and asking me questions. I answered as precise and as quickly as I could between trying to catch my breath.
My friend grabbed me and hugged me as tight as she could and with a stern, confident voice, she told me that we were going to find him. She told me what I wanted to hear… She told me what I needed to hear so I could keep moving.

Another 10 minutes went by and I was started thinking the worst. I thought I would never see my baby again.
I couldn’t move anymore.
I stood in my front yard crying and screaming.

. . . . .

About a minute later, my neighbor’s front door opened and I saw a little silhouette out of the corner of my eye.
“Hi, mommy!”
My tears instantly changed from fear to relief.
I ran to him, grabbed his little body, stumbled to my neighbor’s couch and cried even more. He sensed my fear and allowed the embrace.
As I walked outside with him in my arms, I saw everyone walking towards the house. Everyone burst into tears when they saw him in my arms.

My neighbor had left his front door unlocked when he left his house earlier that day.

My curious toddler must have ran to his porch, tried the front door, found that it opened, then quickly closed it behind him. In less than 45 seconds.

Both my dad and the Deputy arrived a few minutes after I found him. Seeing the two of them was a welcomed sight instead of a fearful one.

While he is safe and unharmed, I will never forget the fear and anguish I experienced during those excruciating 20+ minutes. I never thought this would happen to me, I watch my kids like a hawk. This just goes to show you just how little time it takes for things to happen… and I was extremely lucky it wasn’t a bad thing.

Emotion faces according to a 2-year-old

 

This past weekend I asked my toddler to show me his different faces. A few faces in, I grabbed the camera.

For some reason (that totally makes sense to a 2-year-old), I would ask him to show me a silly face or surprised face or sad face and the word “face” triggered him to actually touch his face… which you can see above. You can also see that towards the end, his impatience took over and he decided he had had enough with the faces.

Try this at home with your kids! It’s fun, makes for a great photo montage (psst, Picnik is offering free premium services until they close down in April) and it’s interesting to see which emotions your child understands.

The Toddler Left Behind

Oh my poor baby toddler. He has a severe case of Third Child Syndrome. Never mind the fact that he can now climb out of the Pack N’ Play while I take a shower (oh, about 8 months earlier than his big brother did), or that he can eat more than his two older brothers combined, or that he talks like a 5-year-old and blows me away with his choice of words (and sassy facial expressions). My poor baby desperately wants to go to school!

He comes with me every morning, and every afternoon, to drop off and pick up his two big brothers– one in 4th grade, the other in Pre-K. We say “bye-bye” to the big 4th grader (as I try to pry him away from the huddle of big boys playing Beyblades) and head over to the Pre-K area of the school. There he plays on the playground like he is one of them (he is as tall as 90% of them), and wanders into the classroom… and don’t get me started on the hooks of backpacks.

CARS! WOODY! BUZZ! CHOO-CHOO!

The child gets an eye twitch when he sees the super cool (miniature) backpacks. Again, perfect for his size. Sadly he gets back in the car with me and we go… home.

Well, not all the time. Here are just some things we do together to make him feel special. To make him feel like he’s a big kid, too!

  • Go to your family’s favorite park, just the two of you. Your toddler will love the time that he or she usually has to share.
  • Sing songs, dance and jump like no one is watching.
  • Draw, paint and color in coloring books, on a low easel or on a roll of paper outside.
  • Take a walk without the stroller (just make sure you go to a safe area where there are no cars).
  • Snuggle up at TV time. We watch an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba together every day and it’s one of my favorite times of the day. The look on my son’s face is priceless when I start singing the songs with him.
  • Do housework together but pick and chose wisely. Chances are, you wont get a lot done but “folding” a small basket of laundry together can be a lot of fun.
  • Sign up for Mommy and Me classes- yoga, dance, swim, gym play… they are all a lot of fun and a great way to get your toddler interacting with children his or her own age.

This post can also be seen at Rated By Mom


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