Saturday, March 29, 2014

Temper Tantrum Tot Turn Smartypants

Sidekick is obsessed with sticks.  He loves collecting them anywhere we go.  He especially loves giving them to Dog because she loves them.  We were outside today, and he brought a stick back home for Dog.  I told him to leave it by the door and he pitched a fit.  I told him to leave it on his little chair by the door, and he pitched a fit.  The determination of a 20 month old never ceases to amaze me!  I was not willing to lose this fight, so I grabbed the stick and threw it on the chair.  I unlocked the door and walked inside.  When I turned around to make sure he was behind me, he had picked up the chair with the stick on it and was bringing it over the threshold!  Really???? 

His stubbornness is shining through in his every day life, and while it frustrates me, I have to remember that being stubborn, pushing his limits, and challenging me is his job right now.  But holy sh*t, he's testing me every single day.  It was worse when I had to take Tag away a couple of weeks ago, and while I think he is back to "normal", he still likes to show me he thinks he is in control (and I hold my ground, so he never wins!). 

Just when I feel like my sweet little boy came back after his sadness of not having Tag, I'll screw his life up once again when I leave this week for my trip to Cabo that I won for work. My best friend who moved away last fall will be coming with me.  I miss her so much!  No Momma for five days??!!!  I can't imagine what it'll be like to not see him for five days, to not read books to him at night, to now have to wake up and get in him ready in the morning, to not have to juggle him and Dog (no yard for her because we live in a condo), and to not have my life revolve around feeding Sidekick (does anyone else feel like all they do is feed their kid all day long??).  I haven't been on a vacation for about seven years (visiting family does not count!), so this vacation is well needed (and apparently well deserved since I was one of the top account executives in the country.)  Hopefully Grandma will survive her time with Sidekick, and Momma will come back relaxed, happy, and ready to take on her toddler once again!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Copy Cat

Sidekick saw me do this one time, and he is now obsessed with doing it himself.  It makes me smile to see such a little boy act like he is years older than he is! He was in the process of helping unload the dishwasher when his mind quickly switched gears after he found some trash to throw away. (Ignore the fact that the video is not straight.  My slightly intoxicated friend took it.)  Is every kid this helpful?  I sure hope that he'll be this way throughout his life.  I am finding that he likes things cleaner and more organized that I do. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Being Bad Cop

I am a very laid back Mom, but there are three things I'm pretty strict about because I have control of them and they are in the best interest of my child:

1.  Nothing in the crib
2.  The car seat faces backwards until he is two years old
3.  A daily/nightly routine

When Sidekick was a little older than one, I let him sleep with Monkey (monkey head with blanket as his body).  I also let him fall asleep with his favorite blanket that he calls Tag (because he loved the tag on the blanket), and then once he fell asleep I took Tag away.  I would put Tag through the slats of his crib on the outside with just a little on the inside, so when he woke up in the morning, he would grab it, pull it through the slats, and quietly lay in his crib until I got him.  One night, I woke up and looked at the video monitor, and he looked like this:

(I quickly realized that Sidekick was no longer grabbing the blanket in the morning.  He was in fact grabbing it at some point in the middle of the night.) 

Like any Mom, I woke up with a start and raced to his room fearful that I would find something awful, but thankfully, he was okay.  The next few mornings I found him the same way, so I decided it was time to take Tag away.  I switched it out for a smaller blanket and when we sat down to read books before bedtime, he asked for Tag and cried.  It broke my heart that I was making my sweet little boy so sad.  It was a difficult night, and he was very restless all night long whimpering and crying for me and Tag.  (Shortly after he fell asleep, I found him like this:)

The next night, I tried a different, smaller blanket, and he was up at least three times crying for me and Tag.  (Even when he was a newborn, he never woke up three times!)  My heart broke for taking away my little guy's comfort.  The next night I tried another little blanket with a tag, and that night was just as unsuccessful as the other nights.  The next day when I picked him up from school, his teacher told me that he was putting his blanket (which is just like Tag) over his head and that he could no longer have that blanket during nap.  So, that day, I was on a mission to find a small Taggie blanket for school and home and finally found one!

After I found the Taggie blanket, Grandma came in town, and I left the next day for a three day work meeting.  Needless to say, Sidekick's life was turned upside-down.  He didn't have his momma and he didn't have Tag.  Fortunately, he rolled with the punches like he usually does and did great with Grandma for three days. I was so grateful for this, but I felt better knowing that Sidekick and I got through the worst of not having Tag before Grandma took over.  When I got back in town and picked him up from school, he was so excited to see me, but he quickly got over it and ran away from me like he always does.  My sweet Sidekick was the same little boy I left three days prior, and he didn't seem to hate me for taking away Tag and leaving him. 

I still feel badly that I took Tag away.  He loves that blanket and it was his one security thing (other than his two fingers) which he relied on.  I realize that he is old enough and would probably take the blanket off himself if he all of a sudden struggled with breathing, but I just couldn't risk it.  I have control of that, and as hard as it was on both of us, it would be harder and I would never forgive myself if something happened to him.  Plus, with my business trip last week and my upcoming trip to Cabo that I won for work, I didn't (don't) want to worry that Tag would constantly be covering his face and neither does my mom who is/was taking care of him.

I know that there will be many more times in his life when I will upset him, piss him off, or ruin his day, but this is the first difficult thing he and I have had to endure together.  Taking away his bottle was a piece of cake compared to this! I have very little control in his life, but when I can control something that is for his own good, it is my job as his Momma to protect him, make the right choices for him, and keep him safe.  Every day, I have felt guilty about Tag.  I know I need to get over it, but I know how much he misses it... all because of me. 

RIP Tag... One day you will be resurrected when I feel like my child is not trying to commit suicide. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Disciplining a 20 Month Old

I previously posted a video of Sidekick feeding Dog handful by handful which was so sweet.  He normally carries her bowl to the laundry room for me to put food in it and then he carries it back to her food stand and places it in there.  Yesterday, while walking with the food bowl, he stopped in his tracks and literally poured all of the food out of the bowl!  Poor Dog just started eating off the floor while I firmly told Sidekick that we don't do that.  He laughed. 

I then removed him from the scene of the crime and took him to his bedroom.  While I was sitting on the floor and he was standing looking at me (or rather, avoiding eye contact with me), I looked at him and told him that pouring the food out of the bowl made a big mess and he replied "Mess".  The kid doesn't like messes so I thought I would be able to knock some sense into him, but then he smiled at started laughing!  I put my head down so he wouldn't see me laugh because let's face it it was funny that I was trying to be firm, and he was just laughing at me.  When I composed myself and continued with my "lesson", he reached down, touched my feet, and said "Tickle, tickle, tickle."  I was obviously not making a strong enough point which made me crazy!  My kid doesn't take me seriously!  Really???

Is this what it's going to be like for a while?  We are four months shy of the terrible twos, but we are definitely knee deep in them. He challenges me, ignores me, fights me, and laughs at me.  My sweet little boy is forming opinions of his own and showing his incredible independence and stubbornness.  It is during these times that I wish I wasn't a SMC so that I could at least turn him over to someone so I can regroup from my frustration with him.  But then when he wraps his arms around me I melt. 

(Unfortunately, I've heard being the threes are not much better.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guilt (and Let's be Honest, Obession) about #2

With the snowstorm in process and the inability to go out because the roads are bad, being trapped with Sidekick is a bad thing for both of us!  We hate being cooped up, and being cooped up gives me too much time to think about things, a "thing" I just blogged about last month, so a lot of this is repetitive. (I'm seriously thinking I have a serious case of OCD!) 

I have mentioned way too many times my desire to have a second baby.  I've confessed that I want a second baby more than I wanted my first one (to justify that, when I was trying to get pregnant with Sidekick, I was worried if I could actually be a SMC financially, emotionally, physically, etc.)  For the majority of the time, I find being a SMC quite easy (I know, don't shoot me) and very rarely have I found it overwhelming (except when juggling work with a sick child, and my crazy work month this month with too much travelling and late day sales presentations that end after Sidekick's school closes).  Normally, when being a SMC is difficult for me, it just seems to be a random day here and there.  I contribute that to Sidekick's easy going personality and the strict schedule to which I hold him.  Since Sidekick was born, he has just joined me for the "ride" and hasn't turned my world upside down in a negative way at all. Sidekick has only enhanced my life.  So... if one is so wonderful, would two be just as wonderful?

Lately there are so many people in my life telling me I "have" to have another one, that it's not fair for Sidekick not to have a sibling, and that I'm meant to have more than one child. Ugh!  As if I wasn't already stressing enough about this, I have people telling me to have a second child.   On a side note, having a sibling doesn't mean they will be best friends, or even friends.  My sister and I have never had a close relationship at all (and at the moment, we don't have any type of relationship), so I oftentimes feel like I am an only child. I know I can raise two children quite easily, so that's not the hold up.  When I have these conversations with people, I ask if they will contribute to daycare and college, and they quickly shut up.  Haha! 

The owner of Sidekick's daycare and I have a great relationship.  She has told me she would give me a good deal if I have a second child. Whenever this conversation comes up, I ask her what kind of deal, and she tells me to get pregnant and we'll talk.  What she doesn't understand is that I am pretty financially savvy.  I started saving for daycare before I even started trying to get pregnant.  By the time Sidekick started daycare, I had 15 months of daycare saved up, and I continue to contribute every month so I have a cushion.  I'm too much of a planner when it comes to my finances.  I have zero debt (except my condo, if that's considered debt),  and if I can't pay for something, I don't buy it. So, I have to financially plan for a second child in my head and even on paper, and not knowing what kind of "deal" the owner of daycare would give me makes planning for Baby #2 a bit challenging.

I am putting my condo on the market the beginning of April.  While I'd like to put in on the market in March, my life is way too crazy with work (travelling and sales presentations).  I can't worry about keeping my condo clean all the time, worrying about people taking care of Sidekick and them having to keep it clean and ready at a moment's notice for a showing, and needing to get Dog out of the condo for a showing in the midst of all of this.  That is Way. Too. Much. Stress. While I could have another child in this already cramped condo, I really can't.  Dog, a toddler, an infant, Momma, and a home office is way too much to cram into 1050 square feet.  Not to mention all the stairs and no yard for Dog (which sometimes already poses a problem).

The other challenge I face is that even though IVF is covered under my insurance, I refuse to go down that road.  It took eight IUIs for me to get pregnant, four of which were with injectable fertility meds (which I didn't want to do).  I am now three years older, so my age will definitely work against me more than it did last time.  My fear the first time of using fertility meds was that it increases my likelihood for multiples.  I was originally pregnant with twins with Sidekick and it freaked me out! A follow-up ultrasound showed I had lost one.  (In a lot of respects, I was happy about that because I didn't know if I could raise/handle twins).  Looking back, I think I could have handled raising twins on my own with no family in the same state to help, but at the time it seemed impossible... not to mention the financial aspect of it!  Ugh!  See... I'm back to finances.  So, unless I was willing to do IVF where we could control how many embryos I implant, I would have to do fertility meds which would increase my chances of having twins, and I cannot have three kids! 

The other thing that adds fuel to the fire is when I previously blogged about feeling guilty about wanting to be a SMC without thinking about how this may affect my child down the road:  Was I Being Selfish for Wanting to be a SMC?  So... am I being selfish for not giving Sidekick a sibling?  (I think that'll be it's own separate blog entry next.) 

I go over and over about all of this in my head daily, and I hate to admit that it occupies a big chunk of my brain.  Do I let the practicalities of having a second child override my heart?   Religious friends tell me when I talk about the financial aspects of having a second child that "God will provide".  What the heck does that mean?  Will God reach down and hand me $20,000?  If so, I'll go for it! 

First thing is first, I need to sell my condo.  Until that happens, this baby thing has to be on the back burner.  Maybe after Sidekick, Dog, and I get settled in our new home, this desire to have #2 will fall by the wayside, and I can just be content to have Sidekick.  Don't get me wrong, I am very content with just having Sidekick, but the idea of having two sounds so very wonderful.  I'm so worried I'll regret not having Baby #2. 

Am I the only one who obsesses about Baby #2 this much?  Am I the only one too freaked out about finances to take the leap?  Seriously... what is my problem?