So my little coppertop, I haven’t written about you in a while & I’m sorry but you’ve been a little much for me until a few weeks ago. I had some hints before your birthday that you possesed a temper, but I wasn’t expecting any major tantrums until closer to the “terrible twos”. Nu huh! You decided that when mama wasn’t doing something you wanted her to do, or was taking her sweet ass time getting a (much needed) cup of coffee, that that was the time to begin:
c. Clawing at my legs (ouch)
e. Prying mama’s toes off the floor (double ouch!)
f. Flopping to the ground to provide more of a. & b.
g. Attempting to fling or twist your body out of protective arms whilst doing a., b., & c. in public, near traffic or in the bath
This started happening a hell of a lot once we got back from x-mas (vacation? Not!) out East. You were still pretty sick & we had to keep giving you nasty medicines & that evil nebulizer treatment which made you madder than a rabid wolverine. Then you’d cry & cry & cry until you almost passed out which made my heart shatter into little teeny tiny pieces. I think you were so pissed off about that situation that you must have felt you had no control over any part of your life. This just had to coincide with the moment you most wanted to assert your independence to date. You didn’t have a lot of strength left after losing over a pound but of course you had just enough to throw a good tantrum & kick me in the stomach as I quickly removed you from your desires. Obviously any chance of a happy life for you was completely ruined because mama wouldn’t let you steal an Elmo puppet or go for another ride on the escalator. A fate worse than death was apparently having daddy come home from work to ask for a hug because you would scream for a good half hour. God forbid mummy asking him to give you a bath. Only mama would do & yet I was apparently making you miserable by refusing to let you play with the knobs on the stove or watch Baby MacDonald for the umpteenth time.
And so, I had turned into what any mother fears. I was that woman who couldn’t control her offspring. You know the one. That stressed out gal in the grocery store who just needs to go down one more aisle (being one way too many) so she can get some Goldfish crackers to shove down cranky pants’ throat. The one who rushes past the booze section thinking hmmmm. The one who is trying to talk some reason into her seething, screeching toddler while also attempting to distract the child with some dumbass song or groddy toy that has been hastily stashed into the diaper bag.
Sidenote: Yes, I bought a diaper bag. Yes, it is awesome. Yes, I went 16 months without purchasing one. Yes, I was proud of myself for not dishing out the moolah. Yes, I told expectant pals they didn’t need no stinkin’ diaper bag. That was until I noticed the amount of crumbs & grossness in the bottom of my cheap slouchy Old Navy purse & MEC small backpack. Plus the amount of food & entertainment crap I was suddenly carrying was busting some of the seams. Anyway, I got this beauty & I lurve it. And yes, I am done talking about my bag.
So ya, I was that woman that you’ve looked at in the mall barely able to hold onto her thrashing brat who is catterwauling at the top of their lungs. I look back at you now from the other side of the fence & smile sheepishly embarrassed while really I’m pissed off that I have another bruise on my leg/arm/hip & that you, oh yes, the perfect child. Either that or you are some obnoxious teen so I don’t really give a shit because I was obnoxious once too. (still?)(really how old am I? trashing on teenagers. Sheesh!)
Needless to say life was very frustrating trying to figure out what you wanted, what I could do to keep you calm & how to somehow find a baby straightjacket on the web (where else?) so you couldn’t hit me with your surprisingly strong limbs or scratch up both of our faces because I had yet again forgot to trim your
talons fingernails while you slept. Because I was probably sleeping too. After all, I had become incredibly exhausted both physically & mentally with trying to wrangle you & figure out how to deal with the meltdowns. Finally I made my way back to the internets after what felt like the longest hiatus in the history of the weeb. I spent one evening lurking on message boards, reading Ask Moxie & others in an attempt to find some help.
Through all the assvice I learned what I could & spent the next few days totally focusing on what Doodles wanted. No other distractions allowed. When I could see a storm brewing I’d get down to her level & talk to her about what she was feeling & then we’d go do what she wanted, even if I was in the middle of making lunch. We avoided all toy stores & favorite places you hate to leave just so I wouldn’t have to say ‘no, time to go’. This all seemed to help us out & I got better with offering distractions which worked almost all the time. Probably the best thing I did though was start signing to you again.
I’d done a few basic signs from the beginning, like milk, sleep, bath but got discouraged because you only did the milk sign & then you'd use it for just about anything you wanted. Milk could mean milk / gimme the teddy / I want to see the squirrel / I want cheese. So while I didn’t give up, I didn’t use the signs all the time & we just sort of lost track together. Come tantrumville I decided we needed to be able to communicate better (yes I know this sounds like I’m dealing with a disfuctional adult instead of treating my baby like a baby) so both of our frustration levels could ease up a bit. I started signing again & suddenly you were picking them all up & actually signing back to me. Awesome! All at once things began to get better between us & you could tell me when you wanted more, when you wanted to read a book, when you needed a cup of water or that you saw a lion.
Ahhhhh. Now I didn’t have a 2’-5” primate tyring to scrabble up my legs whilst howling at me all day. Sure it still happened every so often but it wasn’t for an entire day anymore which made me feel like I could breathe again. You also started to get a bit better about hanging out with daddy as long as you couldn’t see or hear me. Finally I could shower by myself every so often – what a treat!
Another treat was having you start talking more. You’d said oggy (dog), mammm, poppy & a few other before xmas but suddenly you are now off to the races & have become quite the little parrot. It seems like every time you learn a new sign that you can say the word itself a few days later. Favorites have been up, hop, out, hot, clock & all your animal noises. The past few days it’s been cat, house, milk & pen. Oh and how could I forget your ultimate tool – the word more. More milk, more music, more stickers, more tickling, more everything. There are many other words that you know & I’m trying to write them down every once in a while to keep track but then I’m lame & totally forget.
You have also impressed us by sort of learning the alphabet. It started with the foam letters in the bathtub & the wonderful letter I. Daddy soon got you recognizing most of the other letters & once I bought the They Might Be Giants Here Come the ABCs dvd/cd you were totally hooked. Of course you don’t get them right all the time but it’s pretty cool when we are out & you start saying Deeee because you saw the letter D on the back of a truck. You are also starting to recognize colours & shapes know how to recognize an Appaloosa from an other kind of horse. Your favorite colours appear to be purple & blue, though I think you secretly love orange & pink. Actually that’s me.
Let’s see, what else? You are a very determined & opinionated little person & will toss a book across the room if you rather read a different one. You are an excellent climber & whenever I turn my back you are up on the coffee or end table doing a funky dance. And dance you like to do. Unless it’s at our dance class. Then it takes you a good while to warm up to what’s happening & many times you’ve spent the class in my arms because you are scared of the parachute which is weird because you love it when we go to Gymboree. You get frightened of things that make a lot of noise like the vacuum, the play cars at the community centre & strange loud toys. You love stickers, Play-Doh, your rocking horse, your books & your stuffed animals. I could buy thousands of these items & you’d probably never get tired of them. Thanks goodness for Value Village down the street. We’ve totally lucked out on the toy & book selection there & despite a few missing pieces here & there we’ve amassed quite the collection of quality toys for super cheap. Plus some cheap ass toys as well that we’ll probably donate right back again.
Anyway (what is it with me & the anyway?) I should really post this before our friends reach through my laptop to give me a good shaking for being a non-blogging lazy bugger. I’m starting to feel more normal again since we are communicating better & with your new found confidence & indepence (sort of – I still have to be within walking distance) you let me get a few more things done throughout the day. Thanks for calming down the temper tantrums & for being so freaking cute I could smooch you all day. Thanks for not eating too much dog food & sharing you crackers with mama. Thanks for the talking &amp;amp;amp; meowing & neighing & your sweet kisses & the beauty of your smile. Without you I would be nothing. Well not much anyway. Love mama.