Saturday, March 28, 2015

Momma's in Timeout

I hate being a parent today.  I despise it.  I was stretched too thin today, especially since I had to work ON A SATURDAY and take Sidekick with me for a few hours.  That was fun (insert sarcasm).  Sidekick has just done everything wrong today.  It started with him peeing on his carpet (he has never had an accident!).  I stripped him down naked after he woke up, and he was supposed to go potty instead of play while I was getting ready.  About five minutes later, he asked me to wipe him, so I assumed all was good until I stepped on a few big puddles (13 hours worth) of pee when I walked into his room to get him dressed!  Really???  I switched to an earlier soccer class because I had to work, and he didn't listen very well to his soccer coach. He did a pretty good job while I worked, but he enjoyed being loud in the echo-y school cafeteria and didn't want to use his "inside voice".  After all of this and a short nap, I was looking forward to going to church so I could get an hour break and just sit and listen.  Wouldn't you know it... his class at church did not have room for him so I had to sit in the lobby while he enjoyed all of the space to run and be wild, and I pretty much missed the entire service because I was too focused on him.

If there is anything cute and funny about the day... since Sidekick couldn't go to Kids Ministry, I took him into the church with me to listen to the music before we moved into the lobby to watch the actual service.  He enjoyed jamming with the band and listening to the "bootiful music".  When the music was done, everything was quiet, and we headed out to the lobby. Not once, not twice, but three times, he yelled, "Goodbye, everybody!" and waved excitedly. Sidekick has left the sanctuary.  I'd be lying if I didn't say there were plenty of people laughing. 

We got home and I found myself yelling at him... he wasn't eating dinner fast enough, he was being too messy, he wanted to play and not eat, he wanted to walk Dog before dinner, not after, etc.  Seriously... I lost my patience big time.  I yelled and yelled and yelled, and then I felt guilty.  Big time.

I finally put myself in a timeout (literally) on the stair where Sidekick's timeouts are.  I put my forehead in the palms of my hands and breathed deeply. Timeouts really are good.  They are kind of cathartic.  I finally asked Sidekick to come over to me, and I told him that I was sorry for yelling at him and making him sad.  I explained that being a Momma is sometimes hard.  What did he do?  He gave me a big hug and told me he loved me.  Tug at my heartstrings. 

I don't know what my problem is today, but holy shit, I hated today. Hated it. I hated the parent I was.  I know that Sidekick's "job" is to do just what he did today.  He's a normal 2 1/2 year old, but because he is typically so good and so easy, I just can't hold it together when he has a day like today. I don't know how to handle it. 

I am thankful for tomorrow... for new days... days in which we look at the present and forgot the shitty past that was today. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reassurance from a 2 1/2 Year Old

I think we all wonder and worry if we are doing a good job raising our kids. Since Sidekick only has one parent, I am especially cognizant of the pressure I sometimes feel to teach him how to make the right choices, to demonstrate the right ways to behave, to raise him to be a happy, polite, and successful man, to feed him the right foods, to expose him to the amazing things in the world, to make sure he is getting enough of my undivided attention, to make sure I love him enough each day, etc. The other night after I laid him in his crib and was closing his bedroom door, out of the blue he said, "Momma, you doing a good job." Wow! I don't know how I got so lucky, but damn, this little boy just melts my heart. Even at 2 1/2, our kids know that we are doing our best and trying our hardest to make every day a good one for them.  It's nice that someone acknowledges this.  : )

I haven't wanted to "rush" fun and special things with Sidekick so that he can be old enough to appreciate them. We have yet to go to a movie, bowling, Build a Bear, etc. because I want him to appreciate these things, spread them out, and make the excitement of things last longer. If I do it all one after the other, what will be left for him to do? I see so many friends just doing one fun, exciting thing after the next with their young kids, and I wonder if their kids even remember that they did something.  Plus, I don't want Sidekick to think that these "special" things are a regular part of our lives. 

But I digress... Last weekend we went to Lego Kids Fest and Sidekick had so much fun!  He was so excited because it was different from our "normal" things like the park, children's museum, soccer, etc. He had so much fun building things, and I discovered that he liked to take things that other kids made and left and claim them as his own (while taking credit for the work).  Smart little dude.  What I realized is that as he kept doing this from "station to station", his creativity got better and he began to build things on his own. Pretty intriguing.  It's like he needed a little inspiration to get the juices flowing.  All of a sudden, he became a great builder!
At the same time as Lego Kids Fest, the convention center also had a trade show for Halloween.  The people that attended it are people who put on the big haunted houses. Sidekick was so interested and wanted to see the scary things, so he poked his head into the exhibit hall to take a peek.  Imagine all of the massive displays, people dressed in scary costumes walking around, etc., and my child so excited to see it all and squeal with delight!  The crabby old lady "manning" the door didn't seem very entertained by Sidekick's enthusiasm, and I'm sure she thought I was a horrible mom for letting him see that stuff. However, people were laughing at him because I think most kids would have been terrified by it all.  Not my kid!  I think he may have had more fun there than Lego Kids Fest!  Four days later, he still likes to talk about the "scary monsters" he saw. 

On a side note that crosses my mind every single morning... Sidekick will be three in July.  He's been potty trained since December and has been dry every morning since before he turned two.  I still put a diaper on him at night.  Is it safe to assume he doesn't need one anymore? The kid is a camel and can go 12+ hours at night (even though he drinks quite a lot of water before going to bed) without needing to go potty.  Why am I such a freak about NOT putting a diaper on him? Should I continue with the diapers or just stop using them?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Strangers (and St. Pat's Day)

It's funny that Sidekick thinks that St. Patrick's Day is a birthday party.  At 2 1/2, I guess every celebration is like a birthday party.  He kept singing "Happy Birthday" all morning long.  I love skull and crossbones, and so does Sidekick, and when I saw this shirt last year, I had to buy two!  It's fun see how he's changed in one year:

There was a kidnapping last week in the neighboring town, and that got me wondering when is the right time to talk about strangers without scaring Sidekick?  I started giving him scenarios and asked him what he would do.  For example:
Me:  What if a man/woman comes up to you and tells you he has a lot of puppies in his car, and he wants you to see them?
Sidekick:  I say NO and run to my momma.
Me:  What if Hunter's mom sees you outside and asks you if you would like a cookie?
Sidekick:  I say yes please.
Me:  Why?
Sidekick: Because she is nice and our friend
Me:  What is Ms. Lisa (teacher at school) is at the park and asks if you want some juice.
Sidekick:  I say No.  I can't have juice.  Can I have milk please?
Hahahahaha!  Just when I think I'm ahead of him, he proves me otherwise.  Anyway, he loves playing this "game" and wants to do it all. The. Time.  I'm running out of scenarios.  "Strangers" scare me, and while I know the likelihood of someone taking Sidekick is so small, it is something that truly worries me. 
While I was getting Sidekick ready for bed the other night, he said in a very serious voice, "Momma, look at my eyes." (This is what I say to him when I really want his attention.)  "We do not. Talk. To. Strangers. Ever."  Wow!  Out of the blue he said this to me.  I'm impressed that he thinks about it. I guess things I teach him do stick in his little brain.  :)
The days of being gone until the sun sets is so far away from the reality of where our world is now.  Our children are losing their innocence, their sense of adventure, and their freedom to experience everything we were so lucky to do as kids.  I don't think the idea of being snatched up on the street ever crossed my mom's mind when I was little while riding bikes, walking to school alone, going to the park alone, etc.  I know that Sidekick is never out of my sight, and when he's older, our discussions will get "bigger".  The truth of the matter is, if Sidekick was ever in one of the scenarios, someone could easily pick him up and run, but at least he is learning that we don't trust everyone we see even if they have puppies, cookies, candy, etc.  Ugh! I hate thinking about this.  I really do.  It just makes me sick to my stomach.
I remind Sidekick all the time that it's my job to keep him safe, happy, and healthy.  When I really think about it, it's such a big responsibility.  He has no idea what a responsibility that is, but he knows that I would do anything to protect him.  His newest thing to say after I tell him I love him: 
"I love you 'too' and a half."  because he is, after all, 2 1/2 and not just 2!

Monday, March 9, 2015

In a Groove and Having Fun

We are in a good place right now.  A place in which Sidekick listens to rules, doesn't have temper tantrums, is super sweet and funny, and our weekends are full of fun things to do.  If we are in such a good place, then why the hell am I so damn tired?  Seriously. I'm exhausted.  All. The. Time.  I'm sleeping through the night (I sound like a baby, but I normally have bad bouts of insomnia), and I'm actually getting more sleep than I normally do because I'm falling asleep faster and sooner.  I'm working out more and eating better.  Apparently everything good that I'm doing is NOT good for my body because it's reacting the opposite way than it should (haha). Rebellion at it's finest. Go figure.

This weekend was gorgeous!  We were outside a lot and loved the fresh air. We were both happy running around at the park, drawing with chalk on the driveway, and blowing bubbles.  Last weekend we got hit with a big snowstorm and went sledding.  Before the snow came in, I searched several stores for a sled and could not find one!  Lo and behold, right when I was about to give up, I stopped at a mom and pop hardware store and found a large selection.  We were set and Sidekick had so much fun!  Who knew that carrying a 30 pound toddler up a huge hill over and over again would be so exhausting?!

Sidekick's little brain never ceases to amaze me.  Things that come out of this kid's mouth make me chuckle.  Here are a few recent conversations:

Me:  "I love you, *Sidekick*"
Sidekick;  "I love you too and a half, Momma."  (Because he is after all 2 1/2 and not 2 anymore!)
It was "Wear Blue or Red" at school the other day.  I explained this to Sidekick and dressed him in a red and blue striped shirt.  Here was our conversation:

Sidekick:  "Momma, I have to wear purple today."
Me:  "Why?  Today is blue and red day."
Sidekick:  "Because blue and red make purple!"
In addition to "Wear Red and Blue" day, he had crazy hair day that same week.  He wanted purple and blue stripes, "Like a zebra, Momma."

Finally, while I was frantically looking for Sidekick's shoe this morning because Dog loves to carry our shoes around, Sidekick said in a loud, whiny voice with a mouth half full of oatmeal, "Momma, *Dog* is licking my paw!"  I guess I've done a crappy job distinguishing feet from paws.  :)
It's my "busy" season for work, so I've had later than normal work nights.  Fortunately, Sidekick has been able to go home with a friend from school, and I've made it to pick him up from school two minutes before they close.  Phew!  I feel badly and I miss him, but fortunately Sidekick just rolls with the punches and nothing seems to bother him. So... life is good, we are happy, and spring is (almost) here. What more could a girl want?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

"I'm keeping it warm"

Sidekick has always been a kind, loving, giving boy.  He likes to "take care of" me and Dog.  He likes to make people happy. Apparently, he likes to make sure his fruit is taken care of as well.  Love his sweet concerned voice.