And Now I Know Why They Do That…The Great Kid Mystery Explained

If you’d like to skip to the end for the answers, it’s because they’re kids. And no matter what my mother says, they are all little monsters at times. It’s possible my mom got off easy and I was actually the quiet little well-behaved angel she describes. But she set the bar pretty high with the way I judged children. And of course now every one of those judgements is flying back in my face as complete crap while I watch my son run from room to room squealing and whacking things with a stick.

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That time our friends came to visit and their two sons managed to disable our TV remote, break a wine glass, set the fire alarm off at dinner and later grab our toothbrushes off the counter?

I get it.

That kid I saw dragged off the playground today screaming at the top of his lungs? Been there.

Also that time I just couldn’t understand why our 4 year old cousin grabbed a hurling stick and just started bashing it on the ground until it busted? Well I have seen that reenacted right here at home.

So all these “awful” things that had me horrified about these unmanageable crazy children…well now I realize they were just being children. And every time I realize that, I feel a little sheepish for my previously uninformed judgements. I don’t even question the crazy anymore. I understand now it’s just some childhood instinct that kicks in and they act insane. I also understand that it is just going to keep happening no matter how “good” anyone’s parenting skills might be.

Because they’re kids. And That’s why they do that.

So, what crazy thing did your kid do today? 

 

The Real Reason Toddlers Have Tantrums

My 3-year-old is going through some intense development right now, and the resulting tantrums are quite impressive. I am lucky they are short-lived because the decibel level of the screams could possibly cause some eardrum issues. If I have any future hearing loss, I’ll be telling my son he did this to me as a toddler. I’ve read a lot about it being the result of them not being able to communicate, and then the frustration manifests itself as a screaming demon. The articles didn’t actually say “screaming demon,” but I know what they were getting at. So I’m going to unveil the mystery behind what really causes tantrums:

  1. You gave them the cookie they asked for. It was the wrong cookie.
  2. You gave them the right cookie, but you put it in the wrong spot. Cookie is now on the floor.
  3. You picked the cookie up off the floor. No!! They were going to eat that.
  4. We’re done with cookies and now want cars. You can’t find the right car
  5. You found the right car, but put it on the table and he wanted it on the floor.

Do you see a pattern here? It’s obviously us. We’re doing it all wrong. Our mind reading skills are just not sharp enough. Some days we get it. And some days, you just have to hand them the whole darn bag of cookies and walk away.

toddler tantrum

 

20 Minutes of Freedom, or Why I’m OK with Screen Time

Most of the shows my son likes to watch last about 20 minutes. He gets bored pretty quickly and will usually watch just one episode before yelling “The end!” And turning it off.

For a mom with a toddler that doesn’t nap, those 20 minutes are incredibly valuable. I can use this time to take a shower, fold laundry without it being unfolded and strewn about or get on the computer and work on a blog post without interruption. So to me, screen time is a magical gift, the proverbial electronic babysitter, where I know exactly where he will be and what he’s doing for at least 20 minutes.

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PAW Patrol and snuggles

The other benefit, if I’m not running around trying to get things done, is often screen time  = snuggle time! I’ll watch PAW Patrol for the millionth time if it means a few moments of cuddle time, snuggled up quietly on the couch. My son rarely sits still so it’s a treat for me and totally counts as quality time.

It also helps me to get to know the characters so I know what he’s talking about. (and he’s ALWAYS talking) Then we have conversations about the shows he watches.

I think because I don’t restrict his screen time, he doesn’t feel the need to watch it to excess. It always seems like kids who aren’t allowed to watch TV are the ones that will watch it any chance they get. Of course, if he started watching it hours at a time I’d have to regulate.

OK at first I’d be like, “Woohoo! Let’s get some laundry done and check my e-mail!

And then at some point the mom chip kicks in and I would think, “Hmmmmm I should probably go check on my little TV zombie.”

And to be honest right now I’m kind of fantasizing about him actually being quiet and sitting still for an hour.

But that’s not my life. It’s loud, messy, noisy and hectic. And I have TV to thank for being able to get things done, 20 minutes at a time.

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P.S.- **ATTN Jacksonville Area Readers!!! FREE ticket giveaway on my Facebook page right now! Just click the post below for details on entering to win 4 Free Tickets to see PAW Patrol Live!

Celebrating MY Independence – A Daycare Story

I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled funny little stories to confess I totally broke down and cried several times last week and I’ve just had it. This stay-at-home-mom is waving the white flag. I had tears streaming down my face and ear-piercing screams in the background as I typed “childcare” into the search engine over the weekend.

I have a husband who travels way too often and no family nearby, and I just can’t take the strictly SAHM gig anymore. I need more. I enjoy working and having my own income. Being completely dependent on my husband is just eating away at my soul. I feel better and am a happier person when I am productive, so I am doing something about it. I found a “drop-in” kind of place that doesn’t require a schedule and is actually affordable. My son is there right now as I’m typing this, giving it a try for the first time. If all goes well, I’ll officially be a new WAHM (work-at-home-mom).

I’ve finally gotten to where I need to admit my blog is now a business. I’ve started to make an income off of it, and I absolutely love writing again. It’s taken me a long time to get back into it after college squelched my desire to write. My mom experience is what inspired me to write again, and my time with my son is a never-ending source of material. However, I crave time to myself. I don’t think being able to hear my own self think should be a rare privilege, but that’s how it’s been for THREE years. I kept telling myself it would change, and it certainly did, just not in some magical way that gives me my time back. So I’m taking it back.

So right now I’m going to take a break, go shower without jumping out to make sure Paw Patrol is still on, schedule my blogs for the rest of the week, clear out my e-mail inbox, maybe pick some toys up off the floor and not have them end up back there in five seconds and just take a moment to be ME.

Happy Independence Day everyone! It’s a good day to celebrate 🙂

quotes-about-being-independent-mom-always-taught-me-about-having-inner-strength-an-being-independent-but-also-never-be-india-independence-day-quotes.jpg

The Mystery of Making Mom Friends

see-you-have-created-a-tiny-human-i-too-have-18047322I originally posted this last year, but there have been some updates! I still suck at making mom friends, but I have managed to actually meet a few new people, who happen to be moms and even consider them to be friends. This is progress!

Original post: Let’s start this by being honest and saying I suck at this “mom friend” thing. It’s just like trying to make regular friends (not so great at that either) but harder because you probably have nothing else in common except your mom status.

* I do thankfully have friends who just happen to also be moms, but I’m talking about meeting new friends.

I started by joining mom groups on Facebook. I concentrated on one active one thinking, hey I’m making connections! But then I got kicked out, right on the day I was having a total mom breakdown because I hadn’t had much sleep in two days and K wouldn’t stop crying. Previously that week I had tried to do a meet-up at the zoo with them and totally failed finding the meeting spot and tried to be like, hey no big deal, we’ll just play here at the water park area. Apparently that was seen as “blowing them off.” See? I had no idea how horribly offensive I am.

I also joined a local place where kids can go and play, and in all the reviews it talks about how people just LOVE going there and have met SO MANY great mom friends! But unfortunately I have not met one other person in the 3 months we’ve been going there. Oh, I say hi and smile. Ask the obligatory “How old is he/she” while hoping I got the gender right because sometimes I can’t tell and that seems to be a conversation killer right there. Then we both go off running in separate directions to chase after our kids. And therein lies the problem. Even when I actually do meet up with another mom, we get maybe a few whole sentences in the span of a couple hours. I’m starting to suspect people who make mom friends have kids that stay still and aren’t trying to hurl themselves from the top of the jungle gym or throw toy cars over the fence.

Also, moms are busy. They are terribly hard to set up a date with and easily cancel due to a million different things. The more kids involved, the harder it is to meet up. And no matter where you met up, it’s like hanging out with someone with a severe case of ADD.

So maybe I am a little sad I never had that magical moment where your eyes meet across the playground and you become lifelong pals as your kids grow up together. (That’s how it happens, right?) But at least I’ve got my little buddy to keep me company so I’ll never be alone on the playground.

8/22/17 Update: Check out Dorky Mom Doodles, who reposted this blog along with spot-on illustrations. She gets it 🙂

6/21/18 Update: OMG I made a Mom Friend! And we actually DID meet on the playground! And then we became friends because we are both in the weird situation where we left careers to be stay-at-home-moms and our husbands travel ALL the time. We met on the playground and then ended up going to the same gym, because we were both taking advantage of their 1.5 hours of free child care! I wanted to repost this just to give you guys some hope if you are in a similar situation. It can happen! You can find your mom friend buddy. Just as long as you find someone doing the exact same thing you are, at the exact same time, with a kid nearly the same age. See? Easy peasy. lol.