Monday, March 07, 2011

The last 3 hours of your day

Sometimes I think I write a highly idealized version of what life with little kids is like. I mean, all the cute conversations, all the "Life is good" tags, all sweet photos and some of the other bullshit...
I think we are hitting a rough patch with JB- he is talking back, rolling his eyes, and acting like he just learned the word "no" and we just took the keys to his car away all at the same time.

Tonight was a night that I'd like to erase from the books. It went something like this:

5:23pm - Arrive home from work. Kate is at the stove. ML is running around, JB sees me when I open the door. He stops cutting construction paper and looks at me with a 1/2 crooked smile. I have no idea what is coming, and I assume he is going to break into a grin, run up to me, and throw his arms around me (like he does on most nights). Instead, he holds his dull, kid-scissors up in front of his eyes and says, "If you come any closer, I'll cut you." When I get over my shock, give him a low-key reprimand, and convinced him to give me a hug, he brings his knees up high and kicks me in the chest a couple of times.
5:25 - JB is in time out.
5:26 - With the sweet sounds of JB SCREAMING in the background, I attempt to wrangle ML into a greeting, but he's marching around like that kid from parenthood (the movie) without the bucket on his head

"He likes to bonk things with his head"

5:28 - Time out is over, but JB is still SCREAMING AND SOBBING, "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!RIGHT NOW!!!" So we have to determine if we are going to give the kid another 3 minutes. I try a different tactic and I go to him and lay down on the floor next to JB so that we are face to face. I stroke his face to dry his tears...
Me: Did you have a bad day?
Him: no
Me: Do you need any help?
Him: no
Me: Can you stop crying so that you can come out of time out--OUFFFFF

(ML has jumped on my back making the same noise with his body that you hear in a Mission Impossible movie, when a short Scientologist throws his body from the top of a tractor trailer onto the roof of another moving vehicle)

5:32 - ML marches over to the stove and attempts to stir the pots that are simmering over his head up there. To get closer to the danger, he tries to pull the oven door open. It doesn't matter that Katy and I are standing right there, we can barely stop him. He starts WAILING.

5:34 - Strapped into his high chair, ML is finally quieted when an appetizer of raw avocado is placed in front of him. JB takes a butter knife and starts to stab at the pages of a book that is on the table. I tell him to stop.

5:35 - JB has picked the knife up again and is stabbing at the pages of a book again. I raise my voice and then take the knife away

5:40 - Dinner is served. We all sit down "Taco dinner"

5: 42 - ML throws his plate of taco meat onto the floor. While we are down picking it up, he showers pieces of taco shell on us. Katy reminds him, "Only six more months before I get to put you into time out."

5:45 - We have been offering ML other food: cheese stick? JB wants one too. Applesauce? JB wants one too... ML shoves 1/2 a cheese stick into his mouth and laughs when Katy tries to get him to spit out the too-big piece. He finally spits it out and while never breaking eye contact with his mama, he dangles it over the side of his high chair tray. We bark, threaten, and scold... He smiles and let's it fly...

5:48 - ML gets put into the corner for "Baby time out".

5:52 - After gagging his way through 2 sugarsnap peas, JB had "earned" the applesauce he requested. ML's tray has been cleared of food.
6:16 - ML is crying because Katy is washing his face with a soft, soft wash cloth. Mommy and the boys roll around of the floor for a while. Until ML drops a load in his diaper.
6:52 - After chasing him around for all this time, ML finally consents to a diaper change. JB demands a "SHOWER, NOT A BATH" (Even though he shouldn't get his way based on how he is acting and how he is speaking to us, both parents agree: "whatever... It's not worth making a federal case") We act like we intended to make him take a shower all along.
7:07 - the bath was fun and pleasant, and a clean ML, acts as if the world's softest sleeper contains some type of chemical that will kill him if he allows himself to be clothed in it...

7:15 - Baby ML is only half dressed
7:22 - Both kids are dressed for bed. Humidifier is filled.
7:25 - Teeth are brushed, hair is combed, baby is finally calm and happy; ML wiggles out of a mom's arms and bangs his head on the floor (Cue screaming).

7:40 - ML is calmed, has been soothed, watched a little TV with his brother, and accepts that it is bedtime

7:45 - our hero, Handy Manny is there for us in "The big race"

8:15 - JB goes to bed




Deb said...

LOL - Thank you for sharing!!!

Marilyn Sargent said...

What a treat your writing is! I'm a fan. -Lauren's mom

Tracy said...

I love Lauren, and now I love Lauren's mom!
Thanks for reading!!!

amber said...

thank you. thank you for reminding me that not everyone except me has it all together. that sometimes, some nights, mornings, what-have-yous, are a struggle from minute to minute.
thank you for keeping it real and taking me back to my "i do not have to be a perfect mama to be a great one" mantra.

Rebecca said...

I'm guessing JB's about 3 now? As my incredibly wise sister-in-law once said: it's not so much the terrile twos that are hard; it's the fucking fours. Or more to the point another friend: the only parents that talk about the terrible twos are the ones that killed their children before they were 3.

Tracy said...

Thank you for that... I'm LMAO!
And for the record, JB is 3.5 years in 11 days!

Rebecca said...

nice. I have to say, 4 is actually much better, at least for my J....

Sarah said...

Great post. Feels pretty familiar, except for the time outs which don't work for us. "Some days are just like that, even in Australia."