The other day my son was really pushing it, not listening, throwing things at my head and generally driving me crazy. So what do I do? Yell “Keelan stop it right now! Mommy’s getting mad! You won’t like me when I’m angry!”
And then I realized I was quoting the Incredible Hulk, or technically Bruce Banner before he Hulks out.
I was at the point where I felt more like I was turning purple than green, but just the realization that I was turning into Mom Hulk made me stop and laugh at my myself. I was being loud and angry and felt like crushing puny humans.
Because what can you really do with a toddler? Yelling and threatening doesn’t help. Beating them is frowned upon. Reasoning doesn’t seem to work either. So I did the only thing I could think of and pulled out the old standard, “GO to your room! Time Out!” Mostly because I needed a time out myself.
It lasted all of a couple minutes before he poked his head out and said he wanted to play with his cars. Somehow that seemed to have pressed a reset button on both of us. I went back to my normal mild mannered self and he went back to his crazy but not too crazy toddler antics.
So what’s your angry mom tactics for calming the rage before you turn into a crazy green monster?
My life for the past few months has been a constant refrain of “Where does poop and pee go? In the potty. Poop and pee go in the potty. Are you sure you don’t want to potty? Why wouldn’t you want to put poop in the potty? I promise you can look at it all you want, just put some &%$# poop in the potty!!!”
Potty training has been tough! And then a few days ago, he FINALLY sat his butt down and pooped in his little potty. I was so damn excited I snapped a photo and texted it to my husband so he could share in the joy of the moment. I stopped short of posting it on Facebook, although I came pretty close to recording it as a “life event.”
So in all the months of begging and pleading for this milestone to occur, I hadn’t once stopped to think about what I was supposed to do with it once he actually succeeded. Suddenly I had a diaperless toddler with a dirty butt and a giant turd to deal with. I cleaned up the kid first and decided I’d deal with the turd later. He was begging to see his handiwork, so he got to supervise while I dumped it in the toilet. He looked so happy, so proud, pointing and saying “I did it! I did it!” I tried my hardest to keep smiling while gagging from the stench. It was rough, but I didn’t barf so that’s a win for me too. I let him flush the toilet and then his big reward was ice cream and going pantsless for the next two hours. And my big reward was cleaning the poopy potty bowl. And gagging some more.
I’m hoping this is a turning point in our potty training endeavors. It’s a big milestone at least! And a learning experience for me – I’m now encouraging him to sit on the real toilet with a potty seat. I’ve got enough crap to deal with already!
Anyone who takes on a teacher position, bless you. It takes an amazing amount of patience, imagination, ingenuity and intelligence to become a good teacher and really help others to learn. I’m only trying to teach one child and find it incredibly challenging. I can’t imagine how it is to be in charge of an entire classroom of little minds.
My son is about to turn three and wants to know what everything is and how it works. I’m thankful I have Google at my fingertips so I can look everything up and try and teach him new things. Every once in a while I feel completely overwhelmed by the fact that I have to teach him EVERYTHING. And I get worried I’m not doing it right, or not teaching him enough. And how do I know what exactly I should be teaching him?
I’ve been concentrating on counting, colors, shapes and letters. I try to expand on things he’s quizzical about, and I try to do it all in a way that makes it fun so he will enjoy learning. And in the middle of all that, I realized, “Oh wow, looks like I have yet another new job. Time to add teacher to the list.” (it’s a long list of mom jobs including things like chef, maid and butt wiper)
And that realization grew into a new respect for the people that actually go out and teach people every day. Their jobs are so incredibly important. A good teacher can change your life, or help shape a little life just starting out. So thank you to all the teachers out there! And to homeschooling moms…wow, that has got to take some dedication and hard work. You certainly have my respect as well. Each time I try to do some type of learning activity with the toddler my teacher respect grows…and grows…and grows…
In yet another installment of “I was wrong about everything,” today it’s about the way we talk to children. Before kids I didn’t understand the difference. I was like “Hi, small child. How’s the weather? OK, now go away.”
But now, I put a little enthusiasm in my voice and enunciate, ask questions about their toys, count and point out colors. I sound excited about silly small things. And they respond! I had always said if I had a child I’d talk to them like adults. None of this silly baby talk stuff. But I didn’t understand there’s something beyond baby talk, and communicating with your toddler in a way that’s tailored toward them not only gets their attention but helps them communicate as well.
And I’m not talking about using made-up words and baby stuff here, I’m talking about really communicating. Using real words, pronounced clearly so they can understand what things are and how to say them. My two-year-old can speak clearly enough to ask my iPad to play car videos for him. He actually has practiced saying words so he can speak to the iPad and get what he asks for almost every time.
So I guess I do speak to my child like an adult after all. Just a really happy, excited, observant, quizzical adult that loves pointing out colors and counting things.
*** Updated Intro – Funny thing about this post. I ran across it in my drafts and realized I’d never published it. This post is from the viewpoint of having a freshly minted two-year-old. I now have an almost three-year-old and it’s a world of difference. A lot of these toddler dreams are slowly coming true! Seems maybe they do finally come around after driving you crazy the first couple years. Oh, I’m sure I’ve still got plenty ridiculous toddler antics in store for me. But I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It does get better!
*** Original post – Before I had my son, I had no idea what it was like to have a child or even be around one. I went into this whole parenting thing about as clueless as you can get. I managed to dream up all these wonderful things we would do together, and now I get to watch my son systematically destroy each sweet toddler fantasy one by one. I keep telling myself things will change as he gets older. I’m really hoping there’s a sweet spot between crazy toddler and rebellious teenager. So here’s my list of my silly mama dreams and the crushing reality.
1 – The Dream: We will read books together, he will love them and it will be magical.
The Reality: He prefers to try and eat them, kick them, always has to see the last page first and rip a few pages out for good measure. This doesn’t stop me from trying, but it did stop me from getting any more books with fragile paper pages.
2 – The Dream: We will take fun classes together like “Sway and Play Yoga.”
The Reality: He threw all of the scarves at the girls, tried to get them to chase him, then ran out of the room making dinosaur noises.
3 – The Dream: I get to dress my son up in all kinds of costumes! I finally have an awesome baby accessory.
The Reality: I can’t even get him to wear a hat more than two minutes, much less a costume. So he now has an impressive collection of costumes that just require a t-shirt.
4 – The Dream – We will go to museums and learn things! We love learning!
The Reality – We went to a neat science day at the Museum of Science and History. He didn’t want to do any of the crafts and just wanted to throw the cotton balls out of the sensory bins. And we had to go stare at the dinosaur 17 times instead of watching the cool science show.
5 – The Dream – I will raise an adventurous eater!
The Reality – My son is trying to prove you can survive on a diet of hotdogs and air. Far from adventurous, he won’t even dip his hotdog in ketchup. He hates trying anything new unless it’s chocolate in a different form, or made of a gummy bear type substance.
6 – The Dream – I will raise him to be bilingual and speak Spanish!
The Reality – Why I thought my two semesters of Spanish and being able to ask where the bathroom was qualified me to teach a child to speak Spanish is beyond me. I was super thrilled when he just started stringing English words together! I do still actually intend to teach him the basics when he gets a little older though.
7 – The Dream – I refuse to believe everything I’ve read about boys being potty trained later than girls. My son is going to be out of diapers by the time he turns two.
The Reality – Ha! Ha. Ha. Ha. Bwahahahaha. Wow was I clueless. We are heading into three and though we’ve made some progress, the only thing I can get him to do regularly is put Iron Bear on the potty. He’s like a poop surrogate I guess.
8 – The Dream – Brightly colored kid stuff will not take over my house. We will keep it tidy and neutral.
The Reality – My house has brightly colored, blinking, music playing things in every corner. You can’t go anywhere without bumping into or stepping on something that springs to life and starts making noise. And everything is rainbow colored of course.
9 – The Dream – Speaking of noisy toys, none of those for us!
The Reality – Yeah, so you may not buy your child noisy toys, but everyone else will! My cousin got my son a guitar that plays 30 different songs and my son’s favorite song is five seconds of every single one, over and over again. I can’t think of one thing I’ve done to her to have deserved this.
10 – The Dream – We will go everywhere together! I love having a little sidekick.
The Reality – I never thought there’d be a day when the highlight of my week was going grocery shopping by myself. And it’s been so long since I’ve been to an actual store to try on clothes, I’m starting to think Amazon was created for moms so they wouldn’t have to wear the same clothes the first few years.
For all my complaining, we do have plenty of good times. Even our adventures that don’t go as planned (roughly 98% of them) are still worth the effort and make for (mostly) good memories. I haven’t given up on any of these dreams, I just realize now that they all take a lot of work and nothing comes easy in the real-life parenting world. And if all this stuff did come easy for you…you probably have a girl, lol. Because I also had to accept all that stuff everyone says about having boys is TRUE. But that’s a topic for another blog…