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Archive for January, 2012

Oh yeah, the temper tantrums are here. And here to stay I think. Here’s the thing that amazes me about this: Google the phrase “terrible twos” and see what pops up. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now, google the phrase “terrible 16-month-olds” and see what pops up. Again, waiting ….

 

Aha, you got it right? Right? It’s like the same damn results list, isn’t it? Why didn’t anyone tell us about this!? I already know the answer to that: In order to save the human race, moms-to-be are lead to believe that the years prior to that second birthday are blissfully tantrum-free. Saves the risk of people dropping out of this whole parenting gig.

The tantrums started earlier this month, while we were in Ohio visiting Nana and the rest of the fam. The first in a series left me totally bewildered, and with a trio of fresh bite marks on my arm. (Oh yeah, the biting blog is coming up!) It’s amazing isn’t it, that transition to a demon-child that not only bites, but kicks and screams and is completely inconsolable.

The kicker this week was our hunger tantrum that imploded in the service area waiting room of our local Kia dealership. How embarrassing is it to catch the look of alarm on an also-waiting-grandma’s face, when the cute kid she was just playing peek-a-boo with is now on the floor, kicking and screaming away, while his mother is inspecting her arm for the latest teeth marks?

What to do? My method that works 50 percent of the time is to remove Max from the situation, and sit him down with a glass of water. He’s been after drinking from a cup pretty much since we started the sippy, so it will usually focus him away from his hysterics. (The other half, the backfire half, is when he wants to take said cup ‘o water and run with it, which just gives us new tantrum fuel.)

This little article Stop Temper Tantrums in Their Tracks was cute, and I may try a few of these soon.

In the end, my inquiring parenting mind wants to know WHY? Here are a few answers:

  • Failure to communicate. Kiddos like mine that are still sans words will kick, bite and scream their way to get what they want, or say what they have to say.
  • Attention, attention, attention. Tantrums certainly can achieve the attention they seek. I think this is when the walk-away- and-let-them-scream-it-out method works best.
  • They (gulp) like the excitement of aggression. Or alternatively, your child is not evil, he or she just thinks that biting or kicking is “playing.”
  • Sleep deprivation. Since toddlers don’t have a set schedule (mine does not) this can be hard to spot. They need roughly 12 to 14 hours of sleep per 24-hour period, so in some cases, adding an extra nap or earlier bed time can help reduce tantrums.
  • Separation anxiety. Although Max and I are rarely apart, I know many of my mommy readers are dealing with this issue.
  • Cavemen/cavewomen. Yep, a few docs out there say our little ones are just too right-brained, acting with just the impulsive, emotional side of their little noggins.
  • Frustration. In our house, these are mini-tantrums, whining or crying when he drops a toy, or can’t get something open.
  • Independence. Ned and I saddled Max with this one, big time. Toddlers want to start doing it themselves, feeding, reaching an object, you name it, they want to control. When they don’t get it … watch out!

Phew. Maybe I’m not a bad parent after all. I feel better. Now where is that kid? I think we need a second little nap …!

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My son is currently lying on his back on the family room floor, happily kicking the wall with his feet, one sock on, one off. Singing “Ah! Ah!” and “Gag a gag ag agaa!” quite happily. This is, by the way, his second pair of socks for the day. The first pair is in my pocket.

Midwinter, one of my favorite times of year, and Max is habitual about taking off his socks and chewing on them. This hasn’t happened since teething began. Normally a good momma would just put his socks back on; unless they’re wet, hence the multiple pairs per day. He “tries” to put them back on, by touching the tube of the sock to his toes, just like a boy, as if it will magically pop onto his foot.

This is not the only crazy toddler behavior I’ve been observing lately. The kid has figured out how to spin in a circle, which I always associate with little girls and tutus, spinning with arms wide open. A little sparkly background and some type of ballet music in the background …. No, my son spins like a man: a little turn around on his inside foot, as if he’s got a baseball bat sitting under his forehead like he’s on a Japanese game show or something.

Also, he now runs around a room, head bent down so he’s looking at the floor, just shakin’ that melon back and forth. I say he’s “playing football.” Really, I just hope he doesn’t start doing this next: He likes to butt things with his head.

My favorite, by far, is when he’s messing around in a laughing fit, and you’re on the floor or the couch, and suddenly he gets a huge giggle, and smiling like a total dorkface, starts running/crawling toward you/over you with such glee, and you think, “Aww, he really loves me,” or “what a little snuggler,” … and then he pokes you in the eye. And you say, “Why did you do that?” And he answers you by going after the other eye, and then you’re laughing and checking him out with one eye open saying, “Stop that!”

Ah, motherhood.

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Mommy brain. It’s officially here.

In my house, on a daily basis, I ask the question: “Where is my phone?” To which my husband replies, “Have you seen my glasses?”

It’s a family joke. Lately, with moving across several states, setting up a house, getting ready for the holidays, traveling to Ohio, and generally settling in, apparently my brain has too many things to keep track of. Not to mention the usual day-to-day tasks like caring for a very active 16-month-old, working and trying to find time to write a new blog.

This forgetful mom though, has gone beyond constantly misplacing my cell phone. I’m forgetting orange juice at the grocery store, my new phone number, why I walked from the basement up to the master bedroom. The list goes on.

The cell phone, however, still is a problem. My mom and I were getting ready to drive to my sister’s house on New Year’s Day, and I had just finished a phone call with Ned, who was driving back to Virginia, and I promised to keep my often-wayward phone in my pocket, so I’d get his call when he arrived home that night.

After a few minutes at my sister’s, it began to snow. We take Max outside, who is just squealing and running in the snow, and I immediately get my purse so I can take a picture with my phone and send it to Ned. And … my phone is not in my purse. I put it there right after I hung up with my husband, and yet ….

So I use my mother’s phone to call said husband and leave him a message to call me on her phone; which results in a later comical call where I spend a few moment’s explaining to Ned that he is indeed speaking to his wife, not his mother-in-law.

It gets to be bedtime, so we pack up. I put my mom’s phone back into my purse, to find that my phone has wiggled its way between the lining and the side of the bag. AHA! I’m not forgetful after all! Apparently though, I’m losing my eyesight.

I climb into the passenger seat of the car and say, “Wait, the camera! My purse!” My brother in law, also named Max, is heading out the front door with said purse, which does not in fact, contain a camera.

It takes me a few minutes after Max is snuggled into bed when my brain clicks and I say, “It’s in the diaper bag!” Phew. Good day. Lost phone disaster inadvertently averted, and lost camera disaster inadvertently corrected.

And then I realize … I haven’t lost my forgetfulness after all.

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