The Life Of A Toddler

Some random Sean moments …

The kid refuses to wear the baby sunglasses I bought him months ago — they wrap around the back of his head and don’t have the plastic arms. You know, so he can’t poke his eye out with them. But no … he insists on wearing the $12 adult-size “Terminator”-esque version he conned us into buying at Ace Hardware a couple of weeks ago. Not that he wears them outside. Or for more than two minutes at a time.

Toys? Who needs toys? I’ve got an empty milk jug and an old water bottle that leaks! (And yes, he pulled them out of our indoor recycling bin. Which means my kid was playing with trash. I can’t believe I just admitted that.) Just FYI: These two items entertained him all day.

And just what did he do all day? He poured us imaginary drinks, of course. Now if we can only teach him to use the bottle opener, Hubbs might just pass out from the bliss.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sean has officially dropped his morning nap. So this is what we do now: He gets his milk during “Sesame Street”. Of course, this is the after picture. The before picture would show him hounding me in the kitchen while I warmed his milk up, then running back to the living room, and turning his personal sofa into a bed. This whole process buys us about 15 minutes of being able to sit in one place.

And finally, a progression of images to entertain you …

And that is what happens to tissues — and their boxes — at our house. You might want to seriously consider whether you really need to blow your nose when you visit. (I’m kidding, we put out a new box — one that is out of his reach — for company.) But did you notice that he puts the tissues back in the box? That amuses me to no end.

Inspection

Now that the Peanut’s nursery is done, someone decided that he needed to test out … well … everything.

He does this every time the door his open: He’ll run in and pull on the fabric until I put him in the crib.

Then he’ll lay down and check out the bumper, sheet, and wall decoration.

And say “sheep” before tossing that poor lamb across the crib and dumping it overboard. The Dread Pirate Sean takes no prisoners.

Next, he tries to pluck the butterflies off the wall.

Before moving to the floor, where he thoroughly inspects the laundry baskets’ structural integrity.

They must be able to withstand being used as beds/mini forts.

And be versatile enough enough to double as bongo drums. He always finishes his tour by raiding the toy bin — but all those pictures turned out blurry, because he was too busy flinging the toys around the room. (Its impossible to be annoyed by this, though — he also puts all the toys back.)

I need to get one of those cameras that gets fast-action shots. I hate having to delete 50% of the photos I take because my kid streaks around like The Flash.

Learning

Some things I’ve learned as a parent:

1. Sometimes you just have to let them cry it out.
And its hard. Really hard. When you first bring them home, babies are helpless. The only way they can tell you they want or need something is to cry. Essentially, you become trained to jump up and run to them whenever they start to wail. (This is infinitely worse if your kid has any kind of medical condition. The ICN nurse warned me about it when we left the hospital.) And then when they’re six months old, you have to wean yourself from that way of life. Because now? Now they’re learning things.

Things like how to roll over, crawl, smile, giggle, and make your heart melt. Also? Things like how to train you. Hmmm … you mean that if I start crying, you’ll stop whatever you’re doing and will run to me to see what I need/want? And suddenly, your sweet angel is a mini Darth Vader, sending you commands from the crib. This is also when the pediatrician will tell you that you need to let them “cry it out.”

And its really freaking hard not to run to them. To not tell them its OK, you’re there. To not pick them up from their crib. Because they need to learn to fall back asleep by themselves. And you need to learn that they won’t hate you forever if they cry for five minutes while you go to the bathroom.

During this time, I really leaned on the Hubbs. Unlike me, he had/has no problem letting Sean cry. I’d practically be in tears, trying to stay in my chair and very nearly shaking and he’d put his hand on my arm to steady me: He’s OK you know. Look, he just laid down and went back to sleep. That wasn’t so hard, right?


Um, right. Tell that to the hives that just broke out on my legs.

And you know what? You’ll have grand leaps forward and steps backward. For the past week, Sean has been waking up in the middle of the night. Usually once before I go to bed and another time around 5 a.m. As someone who is now accustomed to not having him wake up in the middle of the night, I was very unhappy. And when you’re super groggy and sleep deprived, you don’t think. You just kinda blindly sleep walk and get stuff done.

So when he cried at 5 a.m. this past week? I gave him milk, laid him down, and went back to bed. BAD MOMMY.

Know why? Cause then that little Vader brain comes back: If I wake up at 5 a.m., I get MILK. Guess what he did the next night? Oh yeah. Except instead of just crying, he screamed Mama? Mama?! BA-BA! Which is Sean-speak for: Woman, give me milk. NOW!

And its 4:30 in the morning. And I’m so not awake. And so I mumble: OK baby, Momma will get you milk. And I hand it over. Again, BAD MOMMY.

And so yesterday, I took to Facebook to ask some of my mommy friends for advice. And the one that hit me in the gut was from my friend Tree, who said her son, now 4, gets up every morning at 6 a.m. or earlier (egads!) and expects to eat breakfast because she made the same mistake I was currently making. Her advice: Let him cry it out. You don’t want this to become the norm.

Amen, sister.

So last night, Sean woke up twice. The first time, around 10 p.m., I went in, laid him back down, tucked him in, and handed him the sippy cup of water we had placed on his crib in case he got thirsty. And Vader was enraged. He screamed and shrieked at me as I closed the door behind me (telling him I love him and to go back to sleep). He stood up and hollered at the door. He screamed and shrieked some more. For about five minutes. Then he plopped back down onto the mattress, picked up a binky and the sippy cup, took a drink, laid down, and went back to sleep. Hubbs held the monitor the entire time, and helped me weather it out.

Then he woke up at 5 a.m. Hubbs was fast asleep. So I turned the monitor on mute and watched, refusing to even sit up in bed. Sean cried for about three minutes, then picked up two binkies, stuck on in his mouth, laid down, and went back to sleep.

He stayed asleep until 7:15 a.m. I’d call that success.

2. You need to learn your own limits.
I’m not even close on this one, I admit it. I’m horrible at asking for help. Always have been. I’ll keep my chin up and soldier on until I randomly collapse into a puddle of tears because I’m overwhelmed and tired and can’t do it anymore.

And then Hubbs looks at me like I’m completely insane and asks: Why didn’t you say anything earlier?

Excuse me, but that’s just a way too rational question. I don’t think you realize that I’m having my Tom Cruise freak-out right now. Except that instead of jumping up and down on a couch like a hobbit on crack, I’m crying and blubbering and not making any sense. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you when the pregnant hormones decide to ease up a little bit.

I do things like decide to throw a BBQ at our house when I’m 7 months pregnant. Then get it in my head that I’m going to make macaroni salad and potato salad the night before. And when I say this to Hubbs, he cocks one eyebrow at me and says, Um, WHY? And I’m sitting there, mouth gaping open like a fish, and he continues: You’re 7 months pregnant. Just buy the macaroni and potato salads and save your energy.

And then he shakes his head to himself as if thinking, the woman who can barely haul her butt off the couch each night just so she can get into bed is planning on making time-consuming salads for tomorrow? Is she stupid or just crazy?

I think we all know the answer to that one sweetie. BOTH.

Booyah!

The nursery walls got painted (again) last night and I finally got all the matte spots. So the walls are done! (Cue happy dance.) Also, I washed all the baby linens and just need to throw them in the dryer when I get home. That means that tonight, I can start doing the final stuff in that room. Sweet.

I also need to buy newborn size diapers so I can get the diaper changing area ready and marvel at how tiny they are before holding them up to Sean and saying sappy stuff to the Hubbs like: “Can you believe how small he used to be?” and “I can’t believe he EVER fit into these!” And then Hubbs can nod in my general direction and secretly roll his eyes about how loony tunes I am.

But loony or not, at least I don’t have gestational diabetes. I passed that horrid 3-hour test I wrote about the other day. So … ice cream is still on the menu!

Its also bath night for Sean. Which means that its also bath night for me, since he always manages to soak my clothes by the end of it. It also means excitement. My kid loves baths. When he heard me turning on the water on Monday, he came sprinting into the bathroom, looked at me, giggled, then went sprinting for (and crashing into) Hubbs. Hubbs’ job on bath night is to turn Sean into the nekkid baby and bring him into the bathroom while I get the water prepped, the toys out, and towel ready. (We tried switching jobs once and the Hubbs was emotionally scarred for life.) Then, while I get the kid clean, he gets the crib ready (at least 3 binkies, Zhu-Zhu, fixing the pillow’s placement, etc.) and makes Sean his milk for story time.

And then I get to pull the kid out of the tub. While he cries, screams, and stomps his feet in protest. In Sean’s perfect world, bath time would never end.

Finally, the Peanut is big enough to make my entire stomach quiver, shake, and jump when she gets moving. Which also means that her kicks to my bladder have become more dangerous. Just one more sign that we’ve turned a corner and the finish line — although far away and hazy — is finally in sight.

Randomness

I can’t really put a cohesive thought together today, so here’s some tidbits of what’s floating around in my brain:

1. I’ve officially hit the third trimester of this pregnancy: 28 weeks or 7 months. That means two things: That I only have 12 weeks to go and I’ve only got 12 weeks left to get my collective mess together before this little girl makes her debut.

2. Last night, Hubbs said he thought it would be cool if babies ate their way out of the womb. As in, eating through the belly and emerging around the belly button area. And then he made chomping noises. Um … yeah. On another note, I had a dream last night that pretty much looked like Ripley’s nightmares from “Aliens” … except a child burst through my chest AND KILLED ME.

3. My belly button has officially gone from an “innie” to an “outie.” And the sight of it weirds out the Hubbs to no end. He actually cringed, turned his head away, and tried to cover my belly button last night — because I don’t have enough body issues right now. In retaliation, I’ve decided that for the remaining 12 weeks of this pregnancy I’m going to hitch my shirts up so he can always see my belly button. Love ya baby!

4. I failed the first glucose test of this pregnancy, so I had to take the 3-hour version yesterday. For those of you not in the know on this (and consider yourself lucky), the 1st glucose test consists of you drinking 10oz of a flavored drink (get the lemon-lime!), and getting your blood drawn one hour later. If you fail that, you get to take the 3-hour test. This consists of getting your blood drawn four times: When you walk into the lab they take a “fasting” draw. Then you have 5 minutes to drink a more concentrated 10 oz flavored drink (much harder than it sounds), then getting your blood drawn after 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours. (In other words, bring a book.)

For this latest test, I found out that the only available flavor was orange. Do you remember Triaminic? The orange flavored one? Yeah. That’s what this tastes like: 10 oz of Triaminic syrup. I barely choked it down in five minutes. Also? I’m what the phlebotomists call a “hard draw.” That means they can rarely find my veins. I’m the person who goes in and gets warmers on both arms, my inner forearms and on the tops of my hands before they find a vein. So once they found a vein, they stuck to it: I had all four draws from almost the same spot/same vein. Which now means my entire arm hurts. And I look like a junkie.

5. I re-painted (for the third time), the cover-up spots in the nursery the other day. But because of the light, I missed a ton of spots and have to do it again sometime this week. (Note to self: Use a larger roller this time.) I am no longer amused by this. But at least I know that I bought the right kind of paint.

6. Sean loves being kissed: He thinks its hilarious when I smatter both his cheeks with kisses then lift his little body up so I can do the same to his tummy. Apparently, this is the greatest thing ever. It also prompted him to give me kisses yesterday, something he hasn’t done in months. (I get hugs all the time, but kisses are rare.) There’s something about your kid grabbing your cheeks and putting his mouth to yours while saying “mom, mom, mom” that completely melts your heart.

7. Sean loves being kissed part 2: At his cousin’s 1st birthday party a couple of weekends ago, he hadn’t napped all day and was playing the hyper-clingy shy boy part all night. But when we were saying goodbye to my extended family, he suddenly opened up. Why? He got kisses goodbye from all his aunties and his great-grandma. Apparently, all you have to do to get a smile and a giggle out of him is to tell him you love him and kiss his cheeks.

8. Sean is also starting to say “bye” to people. We’d get a sporadic “bye” from him for the past six months, but now? He holds his little hand up and curls his fingers in while saying “buh-eye”. Last night he said it and waved to the little girl from day care, her mother, and his day care provider.

9. I’m convinced that “Sesame Street” puts kids into trances. Its the only time we can contain him to one room when we’re home. (It also contains us to that room, since he insists on sitting on someone’s lap during the show.)

10. Just to see if I could do it, I ignored the text on almost all of Sean’s bedtime books last night and did them from memory. The end result: Not bad. Apparently my brain still works.

Room Update

So … remember how I had to go buy new paint yesterday and put it up on the walls? Well … I got the wrong finish. I got flat paint. The wrong paint was glossy. Apparently I need semi-gloss paint.

Why does it feel like I’m going backward with this?!