Living in the moment is something I truly struggle with. I know I’m not the only one with this issue, but I also feel that life abroad, especially for diplomats, brings an interesting nuance to this issue.
You see, I don’t just spend a lot of time wondering what’s going on with everyone else in my family. Worrying about my grandfather. Inquiring about my sister in college. But I spend a lot of time hypothesizing about our future, since we live on this rotational two year calendar. If we are lucky we get three years, or if we are really rolling the dice, DH gets a one year in a third world dump. (He loves the work, but those twelve months are rough!) ...continue reading The Moments When
Occasionally I get one of those parenting epiphanies that reminds me that most things are not that big a deal. My kids aren’t in preschool yet, and I constantly feel like if they aren’t then I must fill their time with preschool like activities. But I realized today that in the end it doesn’t matter. ...continue reading No, Really, I Promise, It Isn’t the End of the World
This is a mommy rant post, for all those mommies out there who sometimes really really need a shoulder to cry on, or whiskey in their coffee. Multitudes of sarcasm will ensue.
But before that, the other day a got this shot, which means there is hope on the horizon! 😉
September 5, 2014:
Whoever came up with the phrase terrible two’s is a liar, and should be punished accordingly, because how simply evil can one be to make all the parents of the world believe that when they get through those first two years the heavens are going to open up and shower rainbows and unicorns upon them and their little angels, who will now magically be done with tantrums and diapers.
Three is really hard folks. Sometimes it Just. Plain. Sucks. Living with a three year old is akin to living with a miniature bi-polar terrorist.
Seriously, I think my three year old could give Al-Qaeda a run for their money. I mean, just unleash the tasmanian devil on them for an afternoon and then BAM, world peace before you know it. Who needs airstrikes? Note I say Al-Qaeda and not ISIS- because they are just cray cray.
Anyway I digress, as usual, it started yesterday afternoon when usually a good nap sets the stage for a great afternoon, except when it doesn’t. Patrick woke up with with an itch to be naughty, and when that happens, I might as well just tie myself up in a chair and relinquish all authority. I’m not sure what it is that he inhales that sends him on a bender of mayhem, but depending on his mood it can last anywhere from hours to days….
He wanted more fruit snacks, and when I said no, he tantrumed (apparently tantrumed isn’t a word, but selfie is, so get with the program Merriam-Webster). This was followed by taking his anger out on Little R with an inflatable Thor hammer. (Thanks Dad, for the fruit snacks AND the hammer by the way- because that really made things interesting!) Little R, shockingly, took offense and set out for his defense strategy which is to whine/cry/scream at a decibel and pitch that only dogs should hear and run for mommy’s legs, successfully tripping me up and making it impossible for me to move, i.e. catch Patrick.
So I scolded Patrick for attacking his brother and took the hammer and threw it downstairs. More tantrum, followed by him raiding the refrigerator for more food.
“You may have an apple if you are hungry.”
“But I just want some more fruit snacks.”
“No, if you are hungry you can have an apple or some milk.”
“But if I say sorry to Reagan for hitting him, then I can ask for more fruit snacks.”
Nice try, buddy.
“That’s very good to apologize to Reagan for hitting him, but you still cannot have fruit snacks.”
Repeat tantrum above, this time with inflatable spider man sword. He gets scolded and sent to his room.
Three is really really hard.
Time to hit the re-set button. Deep breath, put on false Stepford mommy smile, glance longingly at wine cabinet. “How about a bath everybody!” Reagan goes squealing to the bathtub in excitement.
Thank goodness! My inner mom pats herself on the back. Good thinking! Toddlers:2 Mom:1
We get the bath going and Patrick peaks his head around and decides to undress to get in as well. I get Reagan all bathed up and shampoo Patrick, and then my three year old pulls yet another personality out of his hat. This one was the I’m-suddenly-afraid-of-hair-washing- alter ego. He screamed like I was spraying him with scalding water, or battery acid. He screamed and screamed. And then Reagan screamed and screamed. I’m sure the entire building could hear it, since the little bathroom windows all line up along a kind of internal chimney in the building. And then Reagan slipped and fell in the tub and screamed even more.
There goes all that work we put in to getting Reagan to be unafraid of the water again. Months and months down the drain in a nanosecond. Not to mention all the neighbors will think those Americans torture their children.
Three is really, really, really hard. Toddler:3 Mom:1
I lose my temper, because that’s a totally productive thing to do. “ENOUGH!” And I proceed to fuss at Patrick for being, well for being three, and then I fuss at Reagan for refusing to actually sit down in the tub so as to not slip and fall…. because the 18 month old totally understands where I’m coming from.
Toddlers:4 Mom: 1
But they are scared into being quiet for a moment. As I’m sulking in guilt and getting Reagan dressed Patrick cleans up the bath toys and drains the tub…
And then proceeds to let out his Chucky laugh and run around the house naked, refusing to get dressed. A game of chase with Patrick is never any fun. It’s like trying to catch the snitch on Harry Potter. He’s too fast and there is a good chance I’ll end up with a broken arm. If only I had a flying broom.
Three is, well you get it by now, really HARD. Toddlers:5 Mom: 1
I wasn’t surprised by the chase, because how else is he going to react when I lose my cool?
At this point H calls and I freak out over the phone for about 90 seconds, you know, because all of THIS is happening, AND we are out of juice and butter, AND the internet is down, AND there is a problem with my phone. Stupid third world telecom carriers, maybe I should get the CEO of Orange to watch the tasmanian devil for a day….
I put in a movie and try to get dinner started with Reagan latched between my legs. I pry him off me and set him aside and he decides to protest by climbing onto the kitchen table. Put up child gate. Set whiny baby on other side. Pull out wine bottle and pour BIG glass.
I put on a playlist and begin chopping veggies. I ignore the whining, and let the naked Chuckie run around and do whatever.
Not one of my best days, but not the worst.
Three sometimes really sucks. But this too shall pass.
Later before bed, Patrick gives me a hug and a smile and a big “I love you Mommy.” And my heart melts. Reset button pushed.