Can I Get a Sleep Stunt Double?

Can I Get a Sleep Stunt Double?

Lemme tell you guys a little something about myself (if you don’t already know):  I hate co-sleeping.  Hate. It.

I’m not talking about my husband, so much.  That is, until he puts his big, cold man feet on me or steals the covers.  Then, maybe.  But, no — I’m talking about the children.  The Hobbitses.  The little people that siphon energy and live off of sleep-hungry parents, such as ourselves.  The boys can sleep anywhere: vehicles, Target, high chairs… but when we need them to sleep?  When we announce last call for bedtime?  When we’re begging and pleading and reading the millionth story and getting the thousandth cup of freaking water??  No dice.  “Sleep?  What is this sleep you speak of, crazy woman?!”

C. sleeping in his highchair.  Because it's not his bed, that's why.
C. sleeping in his highchair. Because it’s not his bed, that’s why.

See that picture?  That’s Con sleeping in his high chair.  Because it’s not his bed, that’s why.  Also, please pardon the mess; he’d just eaten dinner.  By eating dinner, I mean painting with it and the passing the hell out because why not.  Anyway… back to the horrors of co-sleeping.  Last night, after we’d eaten dinner, completed homework and chores, and had our “stalling in the bathtub because I don’t want to go to bed” bath-time, I attempted to put both guys down to bed.  It was 8:30, right on time, and God bless it, they simply weren’t having it.  Gabe was all, “MO-OM!  We’ve only read four stories!  I wanted five!  SEE?? I’m THIS many, so we need one more story!  Mo-om!  MOM!”  And Connor, of course, caught his second wind after having fallen asleep in his oatmeal and was just… everywhere.  Does it make me a bad mom for having considered just leaving him in the chair, covered in oatmeal, just so he’d stay asleep?  ‘Cause I’d be straight-up lying if I said the thought had never occurred to me.  In fact, it “occurred” to me while I washed the dishes (while he was still in the high chair), helped Gabe with homework (see: high chair), and completed some back-to-school paperwork (..ditto).  It even occurred to me when I went to go start the bath.  In fact, on the way to the bathroom I distinctly remember thinking, “He’s safe and buckled in.  Not like he’s stirring, or anything.  Gah-dangit, I have to wake it up.”

Anyway, I succeeded in getting Gabe to sleep only by threat of removing Mario Kart from his very existence until he’s forty.  Connor… I wasn’t so lucky.  My shadow isn’t as glued to my ass as Connor is, guys.  So, I stayed up with him.  I thought, “Maybe if I watch enough Murder, She Wrote, he’ll pass out.”  As if!  I watched half a season of Murder, She Wrote before turning it off.  I’m not going to say I was getting ideas, because I wasn’t… but if I had.  Oh, if I had.  So off to my bed we went.  I did the usual “prepare the bed for the acrobatic toddler” routine and laid pillows everywhere (knowing that they’re only there for peace of mind), and attempted to wrangle the bull that is Connor.  Around midnight, he finally dozed off.  I must have done likewise shortly after, because before I knew it is was 3 o’clock in the morning and Gabe was there.  In the middle of the bed.  Leaving a good two feet of bed UNUSED.  I’ve drawn a primitive diagram for your enjoyment of my misery:

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Yes, Legos.  I’m telling you — they turn up when you least expect them.  They were NOT there when I laid down.  At least, I don’t think so.  Anyway, this was at 3 A.M.  It gets better (…worse??):

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My kids are contortionists, I tell you.  In a past life, I’m sure both were members of the Russian circus… flying off the trapeze and managing to move their bodies through tiny hoops of fire.  Apologies for the roughness of my drawings — much like there is a reason for my not being a dancer, there is also good reason why I am not a cartoonist.  The bottom two images are between 4 AM and no sleep o’clock when I decided to say, “Screw it,” and removed myself from the clutches of drool-covered toddler hands.  Oddly enough, I was still running later than I would have liked to have been for work.  Hell, at least I can stare blankly through the windshield while I’m driving to work.  That’s pretty much as close to sleep as I’m going to get to for the next, oh… rest of my days.  What is that in dog years, I wonder?  Gah, I’m tired.

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an actual cartoon from an actual, and one of my favorite, cartoonists.
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Twenty-Seven

I turned twenty-seven on Saturday morning.

At 8:10 A.M. Saturday morning if you want to be über specific like my mom.  But it’s cool if you’re more into generalities.  I feel ya.

Anyway.  I’m twenty-seven now.  I feel no different than I did the year before or the year before that.  In fact, I feel better than I did after my twentieth birthday (hello, hangover!).  Now that I’m a responsible absent-minded mother of two, I have no time to properly cultivate a good (?) hangover.  And for that, I am thankful.  I was never good at that scene, anyway.  And for that, I am also thankful.

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I’ve learned a lot in my twenty-seven years on the planet.  I’m a little embarrassed sometimes at what I don’t know.  But, in a quote paraphrased from the humble-yet-wise Socrates, “The wise man knows that he knows nothing,”  I must be freaking brilliant because there are days I don’t even know where my own head is.  Sometimes, I feel like I know too much.  Y’all know what I mean.  Those little moments that spring up and you wish to God that he’d not forgotten to install the memory erase button?  Yeah.  We’ve all been there.  All too often.

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So here’s a list of things I’ve learned during my time on the planet.  Some are pretty obvious.  Some may be familiar to your own learning experience.  Some, admittedly, are kind of dumb.  You’ve been warned.

  1. No amount of fibbing, wishing, or praying can take back or erase a text message.  ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU’RE TEXTING/IM’ing?/EMAILING THE RIGHT PERSON.  Take it from me and foot-in-mouth disease.
  2. Baby pictures always seem to come up in doubles and triples.  You burned the album of baby bath pictures?  Congratulations.  Keep looking, though.  ‘Cause your mom’s probably got two other identical albums stashed away for such purposes.
  3. You will get used to being puked, pee’d, and pooped on by your children.  No matter how old they are.  Other people’s kids… and other people?  You will still probably get queasy at the least and/or prepare for a body fluid domino effect at the worst.  Luckily, I seem to have inherited an iron gut.  Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.
  4. Anytime I hear, “MOM!” I turn around.  It’s a reflex.  I don’t care whose kid he or she is… I will turn around.  And I’ll probably answer.  Crying babies = ditto.  It’s a curse, I tell you.  I even hear it in my sleep.
  5. Road rage gets worse with age.  Add children to the mix, and it’s a homicidal breakdown waiting to happen.  Unless you’re super into finding “inner peace”.  In which case, you suck.  And you’re probably the reason my road rage is the way it is.
  6. I always thought that (road rage aside) I would be pretty reasonable growing up.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a woman and my mood has a hormone switch that goes from 0-60 in .00001 seconds.  Regardless, I always assumed I could keep my emotions and mouth mostly in check.  Again, enter children.  And if life has taught me anything, it’s that I can bark at my children any time of the day.  And that it’s out of love. . . mostly. But if anyone else barks at my kids?  LAWD HAVE MERCY, JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL… ’cause I’m about to come unhinged on you.  Back it on up, honey.  Back it on up.
  7. Groceries are mad expensive.  If groceries keep going on up, we ain’t movin’ on up to the east side.  I never thought that being an adult would be so costly.  I don’t know how I ever thought that, honestly, having grown up with two working parents.  But I got a good taste of it at twenty-one when I had Gabe.  And I’ve been a bit of a money hoarder ever since.  Don’t get any ideas and think you’re going to rob me blind, though.  The government’s doing a good enough job at that by…
  8. …”giving” me shit insurance.  The mythical definition of insurance is: the act, business, or system of insuring life, property, etc against loss or harm.  I’ve learned, though, that the literal definition of insurance is: to rob middle-class Americans blind before retirement so that retirement is only legends heard of as children.  True story.
  9. On topic with groceries: ALWAYS make a list and NEVER go hungry.  And if you have kids and can help it, go after nap time or “butt-crack of dawn” early.  Trust me.
  10. It took me some time, but I figured out that it isn’t the number of friends a person has at any given point.  It’s the quality of the relationships.  In my life, I’ve been blessed with great friendships.  Some have come and gone for a spell, others have stuck it out.  The relationships I have these days are precious to me.  I don’t see these people often and we can’t talk every day due to… well, life.  But I know if ever I need a hand, someone will come running.  And I’m proud to be able to do the same for them.
  11. I’m in the process of learning that sometimes all I need is the support from the hubs and that sometimes all he needs is my support.  Whether it be physical, mental, emotional… even silent… we’re a team.  It’s harder a road than I thought it would be some days, and other days it’s pretty easy to fall in line with.
  12. Marriage is hard in general.  But for us, divorce isn’t an option.  Because what good is holding guilt over someone’s head for 50+ years if everything ends seven years in?  I’m kidding, y’all.  Seriously, though. . . we’ve already experienced some hard-hitting stuff.  And it’s been tough.  And some days it might have been easier to throw in the towel.  But ultimately, he’s my weirdo.  So I guess we’re staying put.
  13. No matter what they tell you, childbirth is the easy part.  Third degree tear?  C-Sections?  Please.  Wait until you’re hiding in the pantry with a pint of Haagen Dazs and a shot of whatever beverage (adult or not) is within arms reach, praying that your kids won’t get up from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and discover your hiding place.  Parenting has it’s good days.  But it definitely has it’s “hide out in the pantry and pray bedtime carries it’s ass” days, as well.  But chillax — that should mean you’re doing it right.
  14. When you’re young, crying and flirting will probably get you out of a ticket.  When you’re a mother, you pray the police have a heart and let you go because, “the baby only sleeps when the car is in motion… and he’s about to blow a gasket.”
  15. The same does not apply to grocery store clerks who could care less that $0.78 a pound is ridiculous for bananas and that you missed the sale for teething biscuits.
  16. High school seems like an eternity.  College finals can be daunting.  Hold on, man.  The end is near.
  17. Family is pretty much an extraordinary thing.  And I’m not just talking biological (see #9).  My kids call my best friends aunt & uncle.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Because having learned about Gabe’s three girlfriends (two at school and one at daycare), I’m ready to call in the troops with our rocking chairs and guns in hand.  Paintball guns, y’all… don’t get your panties in a twist.
  18. A night out with the girls is amazing and just what the doctor ordered.  Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married/divorced with kids… whatever.  A night out with your pals is the ultimate in refreshing.  Guys, same goes for you.  Just keep it clean, ladies and gents.  Social media, you know.
  19. An evening out with the hubs/little lady is even better.  If you have kids, try not to talk about the weird stuff that comes out of their noses or how cute or hilarious it was because it kind of looked like Abraham Lincoln.  Talk about yourselves… or anything else, for that matter.  You only have a few hours to pretend that you’re childless.  Revel in it,
  20. I figured I’d be a “progressive” woman when I was younger.  That I could hang out with guy friends solo and still be in a relationship.  You can’t and, really, you shouldn’t want to risk it.  Not that anything would happen.  And I’m not trading in my independence for an apron and a 1950’s edition of Southern Living Recipes.  But unless Ev can be around, it can’t happen.  Ditto for him.  I’ve learned that things can happen, it’s my job as a spouse to try and keep things from happening.  Accidental or not.
  21. It took me several years, but it hit me a while back that my little brother is one of my best friends.  And why not?  We’ve seen a lot together.  My kids adore him.  He’s pretty cool.  It was one of the best realizations I’ve ever had.
  22. I have learned and relearned that you can’t make people love and respect you.  Those are two things that come naturally and cannot be forced.  It can be learned, absolutely.  And I’d say that a learned love and respect can be the best kind.  But you can’t make it happen.  And when you come to terms with that fact, you can live a more content life than you could imagine.
  23. I said it once recently, but it’s worth a repeat.  When I was younger, I was scared of everything.  I was content to sit idly in the background.  Having little ones changed that in me slowly but surely.  If you ever have the opportunity to have little ones and give up some pretty sacred pieces of yourself, do it.  It’s amazing.  Even on the Haagen Dazs days.
  24. Unless you’re born into money or have the power to summon wild wealth on a whim, new business ventures are scary.  But once you see things taking form and going forward, it’s a pretty cool experience.  Definitely equal parts cool and risky.
  25. Buying a house is a pain in the ass.  But to get out from under a rent note is a relief.  Moving is also a pain in the ass.  Find reliable friends to help.  Cook for them.  Laugh with them.  Mark boxes FRAGILE.  Drink after all is said and done if necessary.
  26. If you take note of nothing else I’ve mentioned, do yourself a favor and write this down: Remember to laugh.  It’s easy to get down and discouraged sometimes.  Remember to laugh… even if you have to find something to laugh at.
  27. Lastly, the past twenty-seven years has been a roller coaster of up’s, down’s, and twirly loops.  In twenty-seven years, Gabe will be nearing thirty three and Connor twenty-nine.  I’ll be fifty freaking four.  There may be grandchildren… possible retirement.  Who the hell knows.  I’m still learning how to navigate the ride, but I’m ready for the next go around.
Comfortable Contentment

Comfortable Contentment

It’s twelve in the morning and of course I’ve got so much to do that I physically can’t sleep.  Normally, that fact would make me angry.  But this morning, I’m struck with an unusual sense of peace.  Lately I’ve been scatter-brained; a little off kilter.  Nothing wrong — just a lot to do, and it’s stressful.  That’s living I suppose, and if being stressed out & tired means that I’ve still got a pulse, then I’ll take it.  But right now — just for a minute or two — I’m going to dwell in my exhausted state of contentment.

I’ve witnessed a few things lately that, selfishly, I’m going to keep to myself.  These things have touched my heart in some way or another, and just for now, I’d like to hold them close to me like a treasure.  Some things though are too great to hold to myself.  Cate’s out of town from today until Sunday or so, and being alone, even for a few hours, makes me uneasy.  I figured getting home a few hours ago would be no different and that I’d be sleeping with every light in the house turned on.  And, to be honest, it started off that way.  Gabe passed out on the ride home, and I was left to study for an exam & make a potato salad for work tomorrow.  Alone.  But I turned on some music, and got to work, and almost immediately thought of my grandpa.  You guys know I talk about Poppa here about as much as I dish on Gabe; he’s a pretty prominent fixture in this corner of the internet and I like it that way.  Talking, or writing, about him makes me think he’s sitting right behind me popping my bra strap or telling awful Boudreaux-Thibedeaux jokes (utter cheesiness I adored, by the way).  It brings me an incredible sense of comfort… bitter-sweet, nonetheless.

If you know me at all you know that I’ve stepped back from my faith and church.  Have for several months now.  It’s not something I’m proud of, but there’s no sense in lying about it.  Currently, though, I’m listening to “Lead Me to the Cross” by Hillsong United, and it’s given me an ease that I haven’t felt in ages.  And it’s giving me my Poppa back… no matter how temporary that may be.  I wish I could give him a big bear hug.  Wish I could smell his peppermint and Old Spice smell.  Wish I could sit on his lap and tell him everything about everything… watch him with my Gabe.  But for now, I am content in knowing that he’s around… wanting to split some Poppa Toast and give the old bra strap a good snap.  We’ll get there soon enough.. soon enough.  Until then…

Loving & thinking of you Poppa Bear.
Sawah

What is This Thing You Call… Sleep?

What is This Thing You Call… Sleep?

I’m back from the dead you guys.  Well.. sort of.

I’m very much here… just not very much alert.  You’d think I’d be used to lack of sleep being that I haven’t actually slept for, oh… two years.  Nah.  I’m not used to it.  But some stuff has gone down since September… and since I know you’re DYING to know… Ok, so you’re not dying to know.  But you’re going to find out anyway, so go grab a beer, sit down & listen up.

Aaron left for Afghanistan last month.  Somehow this was harder than the last time.  I guess ’cause it’s actually worse over there.  That & they should have all been home years ago, but that’s neither here nor there.  Anyway, Bud left last month, so to commemorate, we had an early Thanksgiving.  It was nice, but as always, Senor Turkey left about 3 pounds of himself behind.  ON MY ASS.  Which is great & all, except that I’m trying desperately to lose said ass (56 pounds down, by the way.  WORD!).  So far he’s ok, but is not able to communicate much, which goes without saying (sorry.. had to).  Haven’t heard much so far, so I don’t have any updates.  Hopefully will know something soon.

Also, I just withdrew from school.  I’m a little bummed out, but I’ve got a good GPA & didn’t want to risk flushing it down the hypothetical toilet.  There’s so much crap going on around here I just couldn’t focus the way I needed to.  As it turns out, I had a “C” at mid-term.  Not great, but not bad considering I thought I’d already tanked.  Looking on the bright side, though, I will at least be better prepared for the spring.  I’m not sure Radiology is what I’ll stick with, so I’ll probably pick up my pre-req’s before heading back into A&P.  Until that point I’ll be doing some serious thinking about our future and what momma’s going to do.

To be honest, I’m really quite frustrated.  There is so much that I would rock, but those things would take so many more years to complete.  A four-year degree should not take 10 years, and I’m afraid that’s what it will boil down to.  Radiology just isn’t for me, ya know?  It’s interesting… yadda yadda yadda.  But interesting isn’t going to help me pass, will it?  I loved Psychology.  I did amazingly well in that class, and would love to continue that.  But my goal here is to not be a professional student.  My goal here is to get out with all limbs intact, if not a little bruised, so that I can provide a decent life for my kid.  I’ve screwed myself, really.  I should have done this years ago when I had the opportunity.  I know, I know… shoulda, woulda, coulda’s ass.  I can’t live in the past… I know.  But I could just kick myself.  For such an intelligent human being, I can really pull off a bone-headed move. 

I am twenty-three, never married, living with my parents & my toddler.  This is not the worst thing in the world; of that I’m fully aware.  But for me?  It’s damn near close.  I am independent… I am strong-willed… and I feel… stuck.  I love all things creative.  I love to help people.  I like making a difference.  And not for the recognition… but for benefit.  I like the feeling, and the feeling alone, of helping someone.  For that split second life feels… livable.  It doesn’t seem bleak and suffocating.  Making a difference is what I want to do.  Being creative is what I want to do.  But let’s be honest… let’s be real.  Volunteer work doesn’t pay the bills and it won’t buy my kid bigger pants.  Likewise, creativity doesn’t necessarily pay well, and anyone with a hands-on, good-paying, creative job is probably hanging onto it for dear life. 

I thought seriously about, and still kind of am I guess, changing my major (AGAIN) to education, only to later expand into psychology of some sort, for high school counseling.  I think I’d be good at it.  It’d pay the bills and fulfill what I want from a CAREER… not just a job.  What I want is a lifestyle… something to be proud of.  I don’t want power & prestige… I don’t want a title… I don’t want a Mercedes.  I want to help.  Even more, I want Gabe to look at me & be proud.  I want him to have that.  I don’t want him to see me as someone who settles for mediocrity… because then, I fear, he’ll do the same.  I’m wringing my hands not knowing what to do.  It is certainly discouraging feeling like a let-down to your two-year old.

Right now I know all he’s worried about is an ample supply of Gatorade & maybe a banana or two.  Right now I know he’s happy riding his trike outside or watching Curious George.  He doesn’t know what’s going on, and right now believes that momma’s capable, because that’s what he has known thus far.  But like any other parent, I fear failing my kid.  And, like any other parent, I fear I already have.

Anyway.  So between all the crap & the SERIOUS lack of sleep (not kidding… Gabe’s been getting up every morning for the past month & a half wanting to “go ‘side??!!” [outside, for the toddler-less]), I’m here.  I’m breathing… ish.  Halloween pictures tomorrow.  Gabe was a hobo this year.  Pretty damn cute, I gotta say.  😉  And his zombie-freak momma’s not so bad either.  Well… maybe with a little make-up.  Ok… and some caffeine.

Oh, Wednesday.

Oh, Wednesday.

I’ve been sick this week, thanks to my ankle biting two-year old who just so happened to be sick for… oh… two months.  Give or take.  Thanks Gabe!

Because of this, I’ve said (and done) some relatively mindless things.  And my feeble attempt at studying for that blasted lab exam?  Epic.  Fail.  That’s not to say I didn’t put in any effort.  I made study guides.  I did the homework.  I looked over diagrams & even looked online for tests regarding the material.  But my sick, feeble little mind couldn’t retain anything.  Stupid brain.  I’ll be amazed if I did well, but I refuse to be optimistic.  I’d rather be pleasantly surprised with a mediocre score than devastated by a, well — just face it, shitty one.

Anyway.  Feeling a little better today, so I went to get my hair cut.  I waited for about an hour before I was finally seated.  She did a good job… I think.  She didn’t get to wash it or style it due to lack of time, so I left with a soggy, shedding, no-styled head.  Ah, well.  I don’t have split ends anymore, so I’m happy with it.

I experienced a massive brain fart yesterday.  MASSIVE, guys.  If the brain could actually pass gas, mine would have killed everyone within close proximity.  A co-worker of mine was looking pretty intently at the back of a one-hundred dollar bill, so I asked why.  He was all, “The clock on the bill.. it actually tells the time!”  So I looked at it.  Now, guys… it was pretty damn close to four o’clock.  Pretty damn.  Like, 15 minutes.  The clock on the back reads four-ten.  So I look at it, and sure enough it says the time.  But my dumbass said, “Dude… it’s like, 3:45.  You’re watch is wrong.”  The silence that filled the room was ridiculous.  And I have NEVER in my life felt like more of a… ok, I’m lying.  I’ve definitely felt like a bigger dumbass.  But for yesterday, that was just BAD.

To add insult to injury, yesterday I went grocery shopping.  No biggie, right?  Right.  Well, I unloaded Gabe in the house (& in front of Curious George) so that I could retrieve said groceries.  I shut the kitchen door so he couldn’t get out and that critters wouldn’t get in… went to my car… got all the groceries… turned the knob annnnnnnd…. nothing.  That’s right, guys.. I locked myself out & my toddler in.  I FREAKED OUT.  Talk about mom of the year award, right?  So I’m frantically looking around to see if any windows are unlocked.  But wouldn’t you know it…

About the time I’m finding something to knock a window out with (and some Crisco so I could squeeze my not-so-window-friendly-hips through), my parents pull up.  THANK GOD.  Turns out, I’d only been outside for five minutes.  But it felt like an eternity.  I could just imagine all the crap Gabe was getting into.  But thank Jesus, he was still in his chair, drinking his juice, laughing at George.  That little monkey will never fully understand my gratitude for his scheming ways.

Right now I’m looking at the treadmill.. knowing that I need to run.  But can I be honest?  I don’t feel like it.  Normally I love it.  But tonight I’m not feeling it.  I’m gonna have to heave myself up there, I just know it.  But the weight’s not gonna fall off by itself.  So here we go.

Buzz off, Wednesday.

Where’s Ray Charles When You Need ‘Em?

Where’s Ray Charles When You Need ‘Em?

‘Cause I got them bed time blues.  Well, not me so much as Gabe.

I’ve never had a hard time getting him to sleep.  Sure, it has sometimes taken a while.  But somehow or another we’ve always avoided the gymnastics routine.  The past couple of nights there have been flips, splits, high jumps, & tumbles galore…. and that’s just ME!  He’s wearin’ me out, man!  He’s plumb wired and all I can say is that it must be the weather.

Now, before you fellow Cenla-ites beat me with sticks for griping about the rain, hear me out.  I’m thrilled that we’ve had a few really good showers.  I’m glad that when I step on my lawn the grass no longer pops underneath my feet.  Most of all, I’m glad that when my son takes a big handful to deposit into his mouth it doesn’t poke him in the lip.  So, yes.  I’m ecstatic that we didn’t blow off the map like a tumbleweed.  But this weather has played a cruel trick on me in the form of a wired, cracked-out kid.

Now mind you, he’s not being bad.  He’s just WILD!  And, apart from filling him with sleeping pills (relax, guys.. I haven’t done it.  yet), there’s really not a helluva lot I can do.  Tonight makes night number four that he’s gone without a binky, so that’s playing a part in it as well.  So, the lack of posts have been due to Gabe becoming temporarily crazed between 7:30pm & 9:00pm.  Also, nothing interesting has happened this week.

Unless you count me getting my hair trimmed.

Yeah, I didn’t think so, either.

x's this by 10 & throw in a few 20 mile sprints & you have my son.
So… Is it Cinco de Mayo Yet?

So… Is it Cinco de Mayo Yet?

I only ask because it would seem that the Terrible Two’s has begun, and a margarita of the non-virgin kind would be MUCH appreciated.  You heard right, folks.  Tantrums, fits of rage, & blood-curdling screaming has become a way of life since this past weekend.

I hate those moms who deal with the “Terrible Two’s” like it’s no big deal.  Like, “Oh hey.. my kid’s been screaming for an hour… let me paint my nails.”  What the hell?!  I love Gabe… you all know that, and you’re all probably sick & tired of hearing me go on & on about how much I love spending time with him.  Well, here’s a couple of things:

1) I love spending time with Gabe.  When he’s not screaming.  kicking.  hitting.  and being a typical sufferer of the Terrible Two’s, thus making me and anyone in a ten-mile radius a sufferer of said Terrible Two’s.

2) Lately, although not always, that’s what I’ve been treated to.  A case of the TT’s.  Whoop-eee.

Can I handle it?  Well, sure.  But do I know what I’m doing?  Pfftttt.  Not a smooth chance in hell.  Someone could hand me a manual on child-rearing & I’d either shove it up their behind or use the pages as ear plugs.  So of course today his bed would choose to malfunction.  Which led me to believe that I could fix the damn thing.

Did.  not.  happen.

For a moment (five moments) the bed was 1-0.  Who won in the end?  That’d be me, sir.  I took that dude apart & now it lays against the wall… still arrogantly taunting me.  Looks like I’ll be purchasing another one tomorrow (because, of course, I can afford it).

(insert Jaws theme here)

Oh, the Terrible Two’s.  Whoever coined the phrase ought to be ashamed of themselves.  EVERYONE knows that the TT’s range from 19 months to 19 years of age.  Perhaps they meant the terrible two digits?  I dunno… just throwin’ ideas around a bit.

But can someone, anyone, please verify that this is just a horrible phase?  That one day I’ll wake up & Gabe will be back to his old self again?  Or at least more human?!  ‘Cause you know, in the grand scheme of things, instincts don’t mean crap.  And even if they kind of do… they don’t.  But let’s review some of my favorite parenting “techniques”.

1) Counting.  You know you’ve already lost the battle… so now you’re making sure that at least you can still count to five.

2) Time out.  I’ve actually succumb to this.  Only because he’s still too young for a spanking, counting is most certainly a last resort, and child protection would come get me if I stuck him on the roof for a few hours.  Oh, come on.  Like I’d ever do that.. don’t make that face.

3) First name.  First name, again.. but louder.  First AND middle name even louder.  First, middle, AND last name so loud the people down the road can hear you.  Repeat until the child either A) rolls eyes or B) acknowledges your existence in some other smart ass way.

4) Taking the toy/game/phone away.  This sometimes works with older children… but younger kids?  They don’t care.  Toddlers can make a toy out of anything.  Boxes.  Paper towel rolls.  …lint.  Whatever.

5) The “Stay-in-your-room-so-mom-can-go-outside-and-scream-at-the-gods-for-cursing-her-with-such-an-unruly-child” technique.  Word to the wise:  fussing at God never, EVER works.  He’s got a vicious sense of humor… and he’s comin’ for you.  Only joking.  Partially.

6) Hold the face & speak calmly.  This worked for me the first few minutes… only because Gabe was shocked at how (falsely) calm I seemed (wasn’t).  Then he realized it was a bluff and proceeded to scream.  Louder.

7) Reinforcement.  Sure, this works.  If you want to give your kid a gift every time he or she misbehaves.  “SUSAN!  You pulled the curtains down again?!  Here.  Have a damn cookie.”  Yeah.  NO.  Of course, you’re reinforced, too.  Temporarily.

Oh, yeah. Happy as a clam.

I’d think of more but I don’t care to.  I was in Target today and laughed silently to myself (not so silent, and not to myself) at a couple of parents about my age who were allowing their little girl (about 2.5) to scream at & hit them because she didn’t want to be in the buggy.  They were there for about 30 minutes.  I know this because the store finally got quiet, so I figured they either killed her or left.  For obvious reasons, I opted for the “they left” option.  Karma’s a bitch, ya know?  I should never have laughed at that couple because I certainly got mine this evening.

I love him.  I love him.  I love him.  But, oh… I hate, hate, HATE the Terrible Two’s.

Wish me luck, folks.  I might not survive this one.

I NEED that shirt.