Long Days and Short Years

*I wrote this post sometime this summer. I am so terribly behind on blogging, but I wanted to share it with you today.*

These days are long.

These days like today, where this boy sent me on a roller coaster of emotions ranging from elated to exhausted to angry to proud to exasperated to in awe.

This boy who just today threw 3 temper tantrums, drank my Starbucks, opened and ate a watermelon in the middle of the grocery store, stuck modeling clay to his bedroom wall, stuck his penis through the hole of a CD, tracked poo throughout the house, dumped out an entire jumbo bag of cat food in the laundry room and then tried to put the cat in the bath.

Just today, I found myself apologizing to the grocery store cashier for the half eaten dripping watermelon he had to ring up so we could exit the store, and saying the phrases, “Please take your penis out of the CD.” “Why is there poo on your foot?” “How did this entire bag of cat food wind up on the floor?” “We do not put cats in baths.”

But on this same day, this boy said, “You are the beu-ti-est Mommy I eber seen.” And my heart smiled. Just today, this boy was thoughtful enough to pack a snack in his Daddy’s work bag and say, “Daddy, you can take this snack to work to share with your friends.” Just today, this boy and I shared a lovely evening walk.

Yes, these days are long.

But these years are short.

This boy will be three years old in September. In just three years he has changed dramatically from a helpless infant to a thoughtful, smart, challenging, adorable, child. He has formed complex thoughts and a personality all his own.

This boy has entered my life and it has been a whirlwind ever since. He has changed me completely, and my love for him at times is so intense that it feels overpowering. This boy has taught me more about life and love in the three years I have known him than I ever could have put together on my own. And I am so aware that my time with him is limited. It will not be long before his world expands beyond this one we have created together. It will not be long before he is old enough to make his own grocery store trips and buy his own Starbucks and take care of his own pets. It will not be long before Mommy and Daddy are no longer the center of his world and he is no longer my sweet little boy.

Yes, these years are short.

“The days are long but the years are short.” – unknown, but my favorite quote since becoming a mommy

Advertisements

What Do You Do All Day?

This afternoon, one of the neighborhood kids stopped by. She does that occasionally, and she is very nice and good with my son. Although her visits are always unplanned, I never mind them.

Today, as she was telling me about how her year is going so far in 5th grade, I mentioned that my little guy just started school, too. She said, “Oh no! Aren’t you lonely?”

I politely said, “No, it gives me time to get things done.” To which my son added, “Yeah, when I go to school Mommy eats and drinks and cleans.”

And then she said, “What do you do all day?”

I told her a brief overview of our schedule, saying, “Well, after we wake up I drop him off at school and then come home to do some cleaning. After I pick him up we eat lunch and have quiet time and then play outside for most of the afternoon. Then it’s time for dinner, bath, and bed.”

She just nodded but I kind of felt like I was being judged for not doing enough. By a 5th grader.

So, here’s the breakdown of what I actually did today. It’s probably going to be really long and boring, so you can stop reading now if you like. I guess I need to write it down as much for my own sense of accomplishment as for needing to tell the story.

8:00 AM: Wake up Noah. Brush his teeth, get him dressed, get him downstairs and set up with a cereal breakfast. Note that getting a toddler dressed is not as simple as “getting dressed.” It involves a lot of coaxing, hands on work, and sometimes bribery.

8:30 AM: Return back upstairs to get myself dressed. Which means throw on something somewhat presentable and put hair in a ponytail.

8:45 AM: Gather up all needed supplies and go out to car to put child in car seat. I had packed his snack and school bag the night before.

9:00 AM: Drop Noah off at school. Drive to Starbucks.

9:15 AM: Go to grocery store.

10:00 AM: Get gas.

10:30:AM: Return home, unload groceries. Do dishes, start a load of laundry, scoop the cat litter, straighten living room. Notice that the china cabinet is leaning a funny way and rearrange its contents.

10:55 AM: Head upstairs to do some cleaning. Which involved: putting away all toys, dusting all surfaces of Noah’s room, making up Noah’s bed (which takes forever), vacuuming his entire room including baseboards.

Then I moved on to the bathroom and since I was in an organizing mood I re-organized all of the upstairs bathroom cabinets including wiping them down, designating things to other places, and throwing things away. Then I dusted all bathroom surfaces and the upstairs hallway.

Moving on to our bedroom, I put all of the clothes in the closet, made up our bed, dusted, and vacuumed.

12:20 PM: Quickly run downstairs, grab keys, and go pick up my child.

12:35 PM: Arrive at school to an excited toddler and listen to his stories about school and soccer. Drive us home for lunch and to let him watch one episode of “Peep and Duck” while I also try to cram in lunch in between switching the laundry load, making Noah’s lunch, and sorting through his school bag.

1:20 PM: Read Corduroy to Noah. He requests, “Again, Mommy!” We read it 3 times.

2:00 PM: After 3 stories and much arguing from the toddler I finally get him to lay down for quiet time. (We are past napping.)

2:20 PM: Noah decides he is done with quiet time and jumps up to play. I reluctantly get up.

I’m not sure of the rest of the time-table for the afternoon, but at some point the mailman comes and we read the mail. We play with leftover yellow birthday balloons. (Yellow birthday party pics coming soon!) We line up magnets. We pretend to fix computers. We have a chasing session. We also go upstairs briefly to get a book (I thought) but instead the toddler sees what I have done to his room and promptly unmakes the bed and arranges his blankets into some kind of fort on the floor. Sigh. We cuddle. We laugh. We marvel at the size of my son’s poot and I wipe his bottom. We vacuum the living room and I switch laundry again.

Around 4:00 we have a snack and then decide to go outside. That is when we run into our neighbor and she comes over to play. She plays with us while we ride tricycles, take a neighborhood walk, swing, slide, and ride scooters.

5:30 PM: Neighbor leaves and we come inside for dinner. Except that transition results in a MAJOR tantrum screaming fit and we do not actually make it inside until 6:00. Ridiculous.

6:00PM: Toddler has a personality change and says, “I will be nice now, Mommy.” What the….?

6:30 PM: I serve a lovingly prepared meal of hotdogs and grapes (for Noah) and a Healthy Choice microwaveable meal (for me.) Cooking is not my thing. I also prepare my son’s snack for school tomorrow.

7:00 PM: I put the toddler in a bubble bath. We make “party decorations” with wash cloths and play with a toy shark and lizard. I wash his hair and we sing silly bath time songs.

After drying off and putting on pajamas we brush teeth and cuddle up in my bed to read Corduroy one more time. There is no trying to get him in his own bed on nights when Daddy isn’t home. We also read Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See and an Elmo book. We then get all snuggled up, I turn off the light, and my little guy drifts off to sleep.

8:00 PM: I leave the toddler and come to my computer to catch up on email, which involves a lot of correspondence I need to deal with for my new role of Parent Council Chair at my son’s preschool. I alternate between working on that, checking Facebook and Twitter, and trying to catch up on blogging (which I am terribly behind on.)

8:55 PM: The toddler wakes up. I comfort him and am able to return to the computer work after about 15 minutes.

9:30 PM: The toddler wakes up again and this time does not settle easily. After rocking, singing, and getting him water he finally drifts off into a deep sleep right before 10:oo.

Before I can settle at my computer again I go to let the cats in that have been left outside in the rain that just started. Oops. They are ok. Just a bit wet and mad.

Now, after 10:00 PM, I am finally hoping to get caught up on Parent Council emails, some blogging, and some social media. I hope to be asleep by midnight.

Of course, this isn’t the way it is everyday. There are some days when I clean other parts of the house or run other errands or go shopping. There are some days I pay bills or make house administrative phone calls or deal with some pressing paperwork issue. There are some days when I choose to actually take some me time while Noah is at school. After today, I am hoping tomorrow might be one of them! There are some days when my husband is around. There are some days Noah does not have school and we do play dates or go to parks or the children’s museum. There are also some days I actually get adult interaction.

But most days, this is a good description of my life. This is currently day 11 of no husband home to help. He is a medical resident and his current schedule is a stretch where his shortest shift is 12 hours, but most days it has been 16. Either way, it means he’s gone before we wake up and home after we are asleep.

I don’t mean this to be list of complaints. I love getting to spend so much time with my son. I love that I am able to have such a clean house. I love that I can go get Pumpkin Spice lattes. I love evening walks and cuddles with my little guy. But days like today are the perfect descriptor as to why my life is both elating and exhausting.

And that, my friends, is what I did all day.

How did you spend your day?

Coming Home With Croup

It’s official; my little boy has croup.

We have been incredibly lucky to have a healthy little boy who rarely gets sick. We have had our share of ER visits and one surgery, but very rarely does my little guy get a cold or a real illness.

Yesterday was a pretty lazy Sunday filled with building blocks, running a few errands, and some yard work. My son was his usual playful self.

Last night, he developed a bit of a runny nose. That’s really not a big deal, but for my son it is.

As the night progressed, he continued to become more and more congested. I was up with him multiple times and he woke up crying a few times. He was having trouble breathing, but my husband and I just passed it off as congestion.

This morning, my husband left for work early as usual, but something in the way my son was breathing would not let me settle back to sleep. He was wheezing, gasping for air in between breaths.

I didn’t want to wake him, so I let him sleep a bit while I texted and cancelled our morning playdate. Then I called the pediatrician’s office hoping to squeeze him in for an appointment at some point during the day.

While I was explaining things to the nurse, my son woke up and began the dreaded barking cough and was wheezing audibly enough for the nurse to hear him over the phone.

“Is that him?” she asked me in a bit of an astonished tone. When I said yes, she said, “Um, you don’t need to come in to the clinic. You need to go straight to the ER.”

In a multi-tasking move I’ve mastered since being a mother, I managed to get my son and myself dressed all while calling my husband. As I was packing up the last of my son’s bag my husband walked in the door from work and we all drove off to the ER.

Within forty-five minutes of walking into the hospital, we had a croup diagnosis, my son was given a dose of steroids and got to pick out a book, and we were on our way back to the car.

Croup is an upper-respiratory virus that constricts the airway. It causes children to have trouble breathing and have a very distinctive barking cough. It usually gets better during the day and is the worst at night. The steroid dose my son got at the hospital should help open his airway, and then at home we can sleep with a humidifier and try hot showers for the steam or taking him outside into cool air at night.

We have dealt with croup once before, on my son’s first birthday. It was a similar experience; difficulty breathing resulting in a trip to the ER, a steroid shot, and some long nights at home.

Watching my son have trouble getting air is such a scary feeling. And I know that feeling; that gasping; that helplessness. I had severe asthma when I was growing up that resulted in frequent illnesses and hospital stays. I always had to carry an emergency inhaler with me, had to take a preventative inhaler, and remember many childhood nights sitting on my parents’ bed doing my nightly nebulizer treatment.

Every day, I am so very thankful that my son is healthy. I really don’t know how my mom handled the stress and exhaustion of constantly taking care of me when I was always so severely sick.

Croup can be very scary, but I will gladly give up a week of sleep and playdates until he gets better.  And I remain so very thankful that these times of illness for my son are so very rare.

Who’s Embarrassed?

So last week there was a link up going around about how your child has embarrassed you. I missed it because A) I’m a master procrastinator and B) I was in a sappy mood. (This is why.)

But of course the primary reason that I wasn’t able to link up was that my child never embarrasses me. I mean, he’s just always so socially cuth.

Like the time he kicked a woman in the head during a Christmas Eve service at church. (It was an accident and the woman was super nice about it, but I’ve never gone back to that particular place. God knows where we live. And we usually don’t kick people in the head here.)

Or the time he very loudly discussed the fact that girls do not have penises at a local park.

Or the time we were walking in Target and passed a bra display where he loudly exclaimed, “Mommy, look! I never seen such beauty bras before!” It’s cool, I love for random Target patrons to know that all of my bras are old and ratty.

Or the other day, when we were just going to go grab hamburgers for dinner because I burned supper and the hubs is on nights run a quick errand so I left the house with my hair in a pony tail and no make up. As we were getting out of the car, my son looked at me and said, “Um, Mommy? You look scary. Maybe you should put on some make up.”

And of course, my favorite story is when my kiddo peed in the ice cream. Which was not in public, so maybe it wasn’t embarrassing, but it definitely ranks up there with outrageous kid stories.

See what I mean? My little dude is always so socially appropriate. I’m going to go hide under the covers now.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day!

Style Evolution

I just stumbled across this blog tutorial on how to do hair and make up and my first thought was, “This girl does not have kids.” It’s an adorable blog, with a lot of great tips, and I was memorized for hours a while, but who puts this kind of effort into their looks? Oh, women who are not mommies. And who have time. And who care about their appearance. Kind of like me, when I was 18.

I wish I could blame my lack of style and hair and makeup knowledge on being a busy mom and never having enough time, but that just wouldn’t be the truth.

The truth is, I lost my style long ago.

In high school, I was stylish. I was in the popular crowd, I knew what clothes were acceptable and what weren’t, and I even prided myself on never wearing the same outfit twice. I also spent hours doing my hair and make up, which involved a long routine of shower, blowdry, flat-iron, and curl. And of course, occasionally style up in some way, but only after completing the above process. My make up routine was equally involved with foundation, concealer (for what I don’t know…my 18 year old self would be appalled at my now nearly 30 skin) powder, blush, 3 different layers of eyeshadow, two different eyeliners, mascara, lip liner, lip gloss, and shimmery highlighting powder. Whoo, just writing that made me exhausted.

When I went to college, I discovered this horrible thing called the 8 am class. That meant I had to be up and ready to go by 7:15? Usually after staying up until wee hours the night before? That hair and make up routine got dropped pretty quickly. My college uniform quickly turned into jeans, a college t-shirt, a ponytail, mascara, and chapstick. I still knew how to get pretty for evening activities, but I never made any friends in classes. I was into sleep more than impressing co-eds.

After college graduation, I took my first job as a nanny. No need to dress up for a newborn, a 3-year-old , and a 5-year-old, right?

When I got my first teaching job, it was in a pre-school/day care environment where you could not wear jeans (oh no!) but you could wear scrubs or “professional sweat suits.” I don’t know what that means either. I took it to mean gray sweatpants, t-shirts and soaking wet hair ponytails, and got away with it. I am actually still terribly embarrassed that I went to work like that.

For many reasons, that job wasn’t a good fit, and I interviewed and got hired by a “real” school, a local public elementary school. There was a professional dress code here! You had to wear stuff like khakis and real shirts! (I also had things like a salary and benefits. I was a grown up!)  But I was still teaching Kindergarten. So my wardrobe became fitted with all things Old Navy and Target. Khakis and v-neck t-shirts people. Outfits of the stars. (Seriously. I think my class was the shining stars…or something like that.) I also upped my hair and make up routine by wearing my hair in a deep part, low side bun every day and actually wearing make up! But this time, the routine consisted of Bare Minerals foundation, mineral veil, eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss. So quick, so easy, and I looked so presentable every day! Amazing.

A year and a half  later, the stay at home mom gig started. I would go for DAYS without putting on a trace of make up. Or getting dressed. Or showering. Or touching my hair. Yes, my husband is a lucky, lucky man.  Fortunately, the baby didn’t care.

As I started to feel better and get back into the world, I realized that I honestly forgot how to do this. This body was different. This hair did not style the way it used to. This skin does not conceal! Seriously, having this baby changed EVERYTHING!

Slowly, I found my way back to the deep part low side bun ponytail. Bare Minerals saved my life. And I only had to invest a million dollars use a few resources to get back to a wardrobe I’m comfortable with. Which now involves jeans, v-neck t-shirts, and the occasional print blouse. I know, my style is so enviable.

I have also discovered that I need to keep my hair at a manageable length. Although I love my hair long and styled, long with a baby just meant daily ponytails. But too short also means daily styling, which just doesn’t work. So a medium length gives me the freedom for ponytails often, but also the capability for a down do every once in a while. I also learned to keep make up in the car. Parking lot mascara anyone? The toddler even knows to wait just a minute after we arrive at a destination so “Mommy put on make up and not look scary.” He’s a charmer.

So I am not the most put together mom, and even though the morning ritual of lets-fight-about-putting-on-socks-and-shoes definitely interferes with my make up time, having a toddler isn’t the only reason I’m not so put together. My style has just been a constant evolution. My adult life has been devoted to the caring of children; often in non-structured environments. And it’s just so hard to put forth the effort to get all done up when you just don’t have to. (And when you have little people yelling at you. Like right now. The toddler needs juice.)

I suppose it is something that will continue to evolve and change as my life does. But it kind of also looks like I just might not be as girly as I used to think I was. A style evolution and a personal revelation; who saw that coming?

So, my friends, do you have any style advice for me? As long as I can still do the pre-school drop off by sitting in my car with no bra and sweat pants, I would love to take you up on suggestions. 🙂

Nicholas Sparks Is A Liar

“You deserve to be kissed every day, every hour, every minute,” comes the line booming from the TV complete with the sexy undertones of Zac Efron’s voice and a romantically themed musical score.

I was having a down day, and because I was in the middle of crying while watching my DVR recorded season finale of Up All Night, (which involved a tear jerking proposal that I had to watch because oh-my-goodness-I-LOVE-that-show), I was already a sappy mess. And then here comes this commercial for The Lucky One. I was completely wrapped up in it. I was mesmerized by the intensity and the passion and the love story. My mind wandered and became wistful. No sooner had Zac Efron delivered his line then my husband let out a loud disgusting burp simultaneous with the sound of my toddler yelling from the bathroom, “Mommy?! I pooted! Wipe my bottom!”

*sigh*

I think if it weren’t for the fact that I knew crying over the culmination of that moment would just make me look like an unstable mess, I totally would’ve broken down right there. But instead I just sighed and asked my burping husband if he might go handle the toddler’s bottom wiping needs.

So you see, The Lucky One-based-on-a-novel-by-Nicholas-Sparks, suggesting that the leading lady needs to be kissed every day, every hour, and every minute, is crap. I don’t have time for kissing every minute. I have stuff to do. You can’t just let toddlers sit around with poo on their bottoms. And who really wants to engage in a kiss with a person who just freshly burped? Gross.

On top of that, if I’m getting kissed every minute, when would I have time to do other stuff like dishes or laundry or drive my kid to preschool or, I don’t know, watch totally ridiculous romantic movies?

You see, it is these kind of movies that get our hopes up. That make us think that somewhere out there is this guy who will love us so intently that he just can’t wait to kiss us every minute. Who will love you with an unwavering passion and create a love story worthy of a movie. That one day we will grow up and meet Prince Charming and live happily ever after. I am not falling for it.

Maybe there’s some of that intensity in the beginning of a relationship, but then it becomes a marriage with real life things to deal with and babies to take care of and it’s hard to find one minute alone with your partner, let alone multiple minutes in which to kiss them.

Why can’t we be more realistic about this? Why can’t we make a movie where the leading man strides up to the leading lady and says, “Hey baby, I know you’ve had a long day, why don’t I clean the livingroom while you sit on the couch. And I promise I won’t try to kiss you because I know you are not in the mood after dealing with the toddler all day.”

Or something else wonderfully romantic, like these amazing Ryan Gosling memes from digitalmomblog.com.  Swoon!

15 0 15 Sweet Words for Moms from Ryan Goslingoriginal image source: bangersandnash.com

01 0 15 Sweet Words for Moms from Ryan Gosling
Or my favorite,
06 You Look Great in Your Sweatpants: 10 Things Any SAHM Would Love to Hear
source: Babble.com

And can we please be realistic with our story endings? Nobody lives happily ever after. They LIVE. Which means ups and downs and successes and failures and happiness and sadness and monotony and excitement and elation and exhaustion. (Did you catch that? Shameless blog plug.)

Why don’t we say “and they lived mostly happily except on the days when they never got any sleep because of the baby and money was tight and the house needed maintenance and the husband never remembered to pick up his dirty socks.” Or something else more clever and less cryptic than “happily ever after.”

I’m not a total romantic movie hater. Nicholas Sparks was my favorite author for years and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read The Notebook. And that movie? Swoon! (Or maybe I just have a thing for Ryan Gosling.)

Either way, I was into all that a long time ago. Before I got married. Before I really understood that this love and marriage thing? Is hard. 

Aren’t we doing ourselves a disservice by romanticizing the realities of long-term relationships? Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment when our real lives can’t measure up to the love stories we see portrayed on TV? Or are these movies meant to re-inspire that part of ourselves that gets lost in the daily business of real life? Do we still yearn for this type of romance even though we know it’s not realistic?

I may not have all of the answers, but I maintain my original stance. The “you need to be kissed every minute” line? Is bad. I just don’t have time for that, people. I have poo to wipe.

Sick and Mad

Sickness has descended upon our house for the past week. I am an expert at following my own how to get sick advice. A full seven days of runny noses and coughs and tissues and humidifiers has really taken its toll. The toddler seems to be feeling better and just a lingering cough remains. The hubs had to call into work and I have not left the house in the past week except to drive the toddler to and from preschool. It has been a nearly impossible task to keep the toddler entertained and the house in a somewhat decent state while both adults are out of capacity on the couch.

The grumpy factor is at an all time high. Seven days can feel like a long time. With the whole family at the end of our ropes, this conversation happened this morning:

Me: (to the toddler) “Will you bring Mommy a tissue please?”

Toddler: “No, I will not. And Daddy will not either.”

Hubs: “That’s not very nice. Why won’t you bring Mommy a tissue?”

Toddler: “Because I am mad at Mommy. And Mommy is mad at me.”

Me: “I am not mad at you.”

Toddler: “Yes. Mommy is mad at me every day because I made a mess. And I am mad at Mommy.” (walks over to me and in a very mad voice says,) “Mommy, I am mad at you because I made a mess.”

Me: ….

Hubs: “Come on, let’s leave Mommy alone for a minute. We need to go clean up your mess.”

Toddler: “I need to pee!” (goes to bathroom) From the bathroom we hear singing, ” I will never clean the living room never ever. I will leave the living room a mess. I am ma-aaad. Yes sir.”

Me: “Can someone please bring me a tissue?”

Toddler: “I will Mommy.” (brings me a tissue) “It’s ok, Mommy. I am not mad at you. I love you.”

Me: “I love you too. I am not mad at you either. Thank you for my tissue.”

Hubs: “Ok, now we need to clean this mess in the livingroom!”

Toddler: “Uggggghhhhh!!!!!”

Sigh. I realize, that this week has been a week of ignoring the toddler because we just don’t have the ability to play with him. When we are up, we have been fussing at him to clean up all of these messes he’s making while we haven’t been able to supervise. We are exhausted and sick, and frustrated by having to clean up every five minutes from our toddler tornado, when all we really want to do is lay around and sleep in a clean-ish house. The toddler is frustrated by lack of stimulation and that every time he does come up with a creative game, (ie, throw all of his crayons all over the floor, unload all of the kitchen cabinets, cut up bits of paper all over the house, etc.), we want him to clean up the mess.

This cycle is exhausting. The hubs is ready to go to work, I am ready to have energy back to entertain my son and keep my house clean, and the toddler is just ready for some interaction. And probably for some activities outside of our house.

Here’s hoping that whatever this super cold is will leave soon. And that the toddler will stop being mad at me because he made a mess.

A Bumped Head and A Heavy Heart

I feel like a terrible Mommy. My little guy had two trips to the emergency room last week. Once last Tuesday, when he fell backwards and hit his head. There was so much blood I panicked, but by the time we made it up to the hospital it had stopped and revealed that it was really just a small cut, nothing major. We weren’t even admitted.  I felt so silly, but everyone was very nice and reassured me that it’s ok, scalp wounds are usually not major they just bleed a lot, which makes them scary.

Then Saturday, after taking a shower, my little guy was wrapped in a towel. He slipped on the bath mat and fell face first on the edge of the step into the walk in shower. He got a huge gash in his chin, and once again, a lot of blood. This time, the hubs was home. We tried to treat it at home, but quickly realized that a band-aid was not going to solve this problem. With the fear that he needed stitches, we went to the ER. They decided it wasn’t quite deep enough for stitches, but it did need Dermabond and steristrips, which are basically just stronger adhesives to hold the wound together until it can form a scab itself.

Then, on Monday, he was being a little rambunctious during the weekly music class we go to. He was trying to climb on me but he pulled too hard or I didn’t hold tight enough, and somehow he fell, bumping the back of his head so hard on the floor that it made an audible bump, causing all of the other mothers and the teacher to look at us and gasp. I took him outside and comforted him.

But I also needed some comfort myself. The hubs says it’s ok, he’s just a boy, boys get bumps and bruises. But three head injuries in one week? I feel terrible. It’s been ok, and he’s fine. But today, I had to send him to school with a note explaining the band-aid over his steristrips to make sure he doesn’t pull them off. And that’s when I felt like a terrible mom. Because it’s humiliating to have to send your little guy to school with a big band-aid and a note that basically confesses: I’m not a good mom. I didn’t protect my child from falling, and he is hurt.

I know he’s a boy. And he’s fine. And accidents happen. But I still wish that I could somehow be a better protector of this sweet little boy that I love so much.

Don’t Eat the Ice Cream

It was late at night (read: 7:30 pm) and everyone was exhausted from the day’s events. The husband had chosen to unwind by watching some show on TV that the toddler that I would never watch, so he sat alone in the living room. I decided that I would catch up on a little blogging and twitter before our impending 8:00 pm bedtime deadline. The toddler was content beside me in the computer room, playing with his train table. Thomas was just descending down the bridge section of the track for the 897,039th time when the toddler decided that he needed ice cream.

“I can have ice cream Mommy?” he asked earnestly on his way to the kitchen. Unfortunately, I had told him he could have ice cream earlier in the day, but the day became busy and the ice cream was never eaten. While I was debating on whether to agree to the ice cream because I want to keep my promises to him, or to say no to the ice cream because it was right before bed time, my son took matters into his own hands. Before I realized the events that were unfolding, my son showed right back up in the computer room with the entire container of ice cream straight from the freezer and two spoons. “Here’s ice cream Mommy!” he exclaimed as he opened the lid, and then stood up. As I was getting out of my chair and trying to compose a thought similar to “thank you”, HE PEED IN THE ICE CREAM.

We consider him fully potty trained, he has free access to the potty, and usually doesn’t need prompting to go. He had not mentioned anything to the effect of “I need to go to the bathroom,” so who knew that a freshly opened ice cream container would make a toddler’s mind think, “I need to pee in that.”

My reaction must have been memorable, because I have never seen my husband jump off the couch faster, coming to save me from the pee-soaked ice cream.

“What happened?” he asked.

“He peed in the ice cream!!!” I exclaimed, still in a bit of shock from what I just witnessed.

“Why did I pee in the ice cream, Daddy?’ asked our son, watching as I gathered the pee filled ice cream container, the two spoons, and used a towel to wipe the excess that got on the floor.

Leaving the husband to deal with the age-old question “Why did I pee in the ice cream,” I went to the kitchen to wash the spoons and the towels and dispose of the ice-cream-container-turned-toilet.

Which led to a melt down. “Why did Mommy throw away my ice cream???? I want eat ice cream!!!”

Doing our best to calm our child and explain the values of eating food not covered in pee, the hubs and I finally managed to get him upstairs, just in time for that 8:00 bedtime. After brushed teeth, pajamas and stories our little guy finally drifted off to sleep and all was well in our world.

The first thing my toddler said to me when he woke up this morning? “Mommy, ‘member when I peed in the ice cream? That’s funny.”

Yes, dear. It’s pretty funny.

Snakes and Worms

We are fully potty trained here. All 3 of us. It is a major accomplishment.

By fully potty trained, I mean EXCLUSIVELY big boy underwear. Or naked.

We gave away our last pack of diapers and I still have half a pack of pull-ups. I intended for him to wear those to sleep in, but he really doesn’t need them. We have always talked about the potty and been pretty open about going potty in front of him. We got serious about training in late December, and by the beginning of February he had mastered it! I wasn’t expecting to do it so early, and was a little apprehensive at first, but he just decided he was ready. He is only 29 months old, and I’ve heard rumors that boys take longer, so I’m very thrilled to have reached the latest milestone in parenting. We are officially out of the baby stage and into the full on little boy chapter of life.

Now that my little guy is potty trained, we have run into a different sort of challenge. My kid likes his poops.

After going poot in the potty, he will look at it. He gets very excited and thinks that he has made snakes or worms. Yesterday, after a pretty impressive potty session, he said, “Look, Mommy! I made a ‘nake!” He was beyond proud of himself. I responded with appropriate excitement over my child’s bowel movement and then said, “Ok, let’s put it in the big potty.” It was time for a melt down. “No, Mommy! Don’t flush my ‘nake!!! I love him!”

How do I explain to my child that although he has, indeed, made a masterful creation with his body, it is still poo and it is going down that toilet.

I think I said some variation of that. Somehow, the snake made it in the toilet. But then we had to admire it in the big potty. “Can I touch it?” my son asked while he reached into the toilet. “NO!” I responded and grabbed his hand out. “But why Mommy? I want play with my ‘nake!”

“Because, child, it is poot. We do not touch poot.” And with that, we tried to flush the toilet. But we couldn’t. Because it clogged. Before flooding the bathroom, we hightailed it out of there and moved on to another activity, such as refusing-to-get-dressed-because-“I want be naked.”

Fast forward to today, when he made another impressive creation. (Seriously. How does such a little person make such big things?)

This time, he made a worm, apparently. So we went through the same routine of being impressed and trying to get it in the toilet and my son being distressed as to why we had to flush his worm. Except this time, he managed to touch it.

So I got to clean up poo from his hands, his bottom, his little potty, the big potty, and the bathroom wall where he tried to wipe it off.

I’m kind of regretting the whole potty training thing. On the plus side, I can now add “snake and worm wrangler” to my resume.