Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Of course you encourage your child to be himself and feel good about it except sometimes you want to yell JUST STOP BEING SO...SO...YOU

There's this bizarro parental amnesia that happens to me every night while I'm asleep and every day while I'm at the office.

I wake up excited to see him. And I go home excited to see him. At the end of the workday, I can't wait to get home and see my boy. I can't wait to see his sweet little face, to kiss his chubby cheeks.

Somehow, in my mind, it's all more sparkles and puppies and rainbows than it actually is in real life. Because toddlers are opinionated and nay-saying and opposite-direction-running. And they will try your last nerve.

But I'll be damned if I don't fall asleep thinking how cute he is and hurry out of work all excited to swoop him up and give him a big kiss.

I met Betty and the boy in the park last night after work.

I arrived and my mom said that they'd lost his new hat. We successfully owned it for approximately four days. He likes to take it off and throw it out of the stroller. Nick had found it in Rock Creek the day before, but yesterday, no luck.

So, I don't know if you've ever tried to do anything systematic like search for a hat along a specific path with a toddler. If you have you know that it's kind of impossible in that you say, "Let's go this way!" And your toddler response by running the opposite direction.

When you run after him and pick him up, he might kick and scream, yelling, "Aaaambulance!"

Because of course, every siren to him is a potential ambulance, and ambulances are to be sought out. And if DC is full of anything, it's sirens.

Plus the shrieking of "Ambulance!" really means "PUT ME THE FUCK DOWN, WOMAN! I'M RUNNING AFTER SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT."

He punctuates it all with the flailing leg kickkickkick!

Our entire walk home was like this. Until we spotted the number code lock thing on the fence of an apartment building.

"Ooooh! What's that?"

"A lock."


"That's not a phone, honey. It's a lock."

"PHONE! Hello?" He proceeded to press numbers, repeating hello every few seconds.

This went on for a good 10 minutes. Until it was really really time to go home. At which point he tried to escape into the shrubbery, giggling gleefully.

Finally, kicking and screaming, I carried him home, up the steps, in the door. And left him with Betty, poor woman, while I went back to look for the hat.

As soon as I was out the door, I called Nick.


I hissed at him through clenched teeth.

"I CANNOT STAND YOUR SON HE IS MAKING ME CRAZY AND I JUST CAN'T STAND HIM RIGHT NOW." (He's always HIS son when he's driving me crazy. Also, when I am very worked up punctuation seems superfluous.)

"I'm sorry, honey."


"What is he doing?"



  1. Every siren for Kyle is a firetruck. Together, they're almost an entire emergency scene!

  2. i had a very similar day yesterday, complete with the following text to the huz: "dude, your kid kinda sucks today". the weekend was perfect, and then yesterday it was as if he had been replaced by a kicking, hitting, screaming, wailing...octopus? albatross? something wriggly and neck-coiling-y. sigh...(oh, and i too rush home on the days i work, only to declare "i'm going back to work!" ten minutes after i arrive.)

    it's coleen, btw- i switched my google id to a not my real name one- sorry to confuse!

  3. Oh yeah. My daughter was born knowing her own mind and doing just exactly what she damn well pleased. She's nearly 6 and she's still that way. While I applaud her stubbornness, and her outgoing nature, and he gift for imagination, it's those things that make me want to beat my head against the wall, too.

    As J gets older, you'll be able to sort of figure out your parenting, taking into consideration his personality. You can get them to do what you want, you just have to know how to get there.

    But, at 2ish, you just have to hope that everyone survives!

    FYI -- My brother used to tell his son (When he was a toddler and didn't understand it anyway) "The only thing keeping you alive right now is the LAW" Very true sometimes!

  4. I know that nighttime, workday dream of which you speak. And also that toddler who makes you want to pull out your hair. They are infuriating little dictators sometimes.

    As my husband says "it's lucky you're so CUTE."

  5. they have the things called leashes. very useful.

  6. Is it bad that I sometimes feel this way about Shawn? I mean, I love that he's so talented musically but sometimes when he's all tap-tap-tapping out a wicked new drum beat on every available surface I just want to tell him to stop being so HIM for 5 minutes so I can have some damn peace and quiet.

  7. Makes me wonder what my mom went through with three sons...might be why she had all that white hair. Don't worry, he'll get better and you'll look back on this and smile.

  8. If it helps, it's no easier with girls. My two are 5 and 3 in a couple weeks. and they fight constantly. I continously lose my mind over it. a few weeks ago it was "Sit on the bottom step and hold hands and act like you love each other until I say stop!!!!!" which worked.... the first time.

    Tonite it was standing between their twin beds in the room they share saying "This is your only sister and some day she won't be in the bed next to you and she'll be in some apt halfway across the country and you'll desperately long for this night back and wish you'd been nicer!!!" Sadly, my 5 year old starting crying and said, "you're making me sad mommy" which led to me crying and saying "me too!!"

    This, too, was after I raced home from work b/c I missed them so much.

    I'm not sure I'm going to survive their "emotional" teen years combine with my inevitable menopause at this rate.

    Hang in, drink more, enjoy the moments when you can,


  9. I've always hoped that when/if I have children, I'll magically develop this martyr-like patience. That is clearly not the case. My future non-existent child is DOOMED.

    Props to you for not running off and joining the circus. It truly is the hardest gig in the world, isn't it?

  10. I feel this way nearly every day at some point about each of my four children (and my husband). It's normal, isn't it?

  11. Oh, Alex. Alex is so good. Alex rarely kicks.

    Because he's too busy slapping us to kick.

    Toddlers, man.

  12. Toddlers are so tiring. I never took naps until I started caring for a toddler. I saw home videos recently of me at two years old and I can't believe my parents didn't strangle me. Gracie listened to no one.


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