Life with a Toddler is Like This.

So I’ve lived with a toddler for a while now.  He’s 2 1/2, and has been a toddler for at least 3 years.  (He’s that precocious.)  Anyway, I thought I would condense the entirety of toddlerhood into the dialogue that follows.  You’re welcome.  (I am using my son’s first name initial for anonymity.)

C:  C need a little bit of help.  C need a little bit of help.  C need a little bit of help.  (Repeat 30 times.)

Me:  But C, you know how to flush (buckle that, eat that, finish that, get that stool, insert absolutely anything here) by yourself.  You do it all the time.  I’ve seen you do it.

C:  No, C need a little bit of help.  (Repeat 30 more times.)

Me:  Fine, here I come, I’m going to help you with that then.  (Stops whatever I’m doing and heads toward him)

C:  NO, C CAN DO IT MYSELF!  (Looks extraordinarily affronted by my attempt to help.)  

Do you have a recurring dialogue like this with your toddler?  Please share with me below!  🙂

 

We’re gonna go say Hi to Jesus!

That’s what my husband told my son as we were walking down our pew toward the aisle to take Communion.  Or some version of this.  And C loves to imitate what we say, a trait that has me second guessing everything I say these days.  Just as an example,

Me:  Yay, I finally killed that fruit fly!

C:  Yay, I finally killed that fruit fly!

Me Backpedaling:  Yes, but you know, generally we don’t kill and you know, all life is valuable….

And that’s not all.  You might hear the phrase a three or four dozen times in a row, and then he’ll surprise you hours, or even days later, still repeating it verbatim.  Not to toot this kid’s tricycle horn but he is smart and never forgets a thing.  Other words and phrases he has adopted from me include adding “totally” before every adjective (“It’s totally cold out here today!”), saying “You’ve got to be kidding me!” and “Oh my gosh / Oh my goodness!”

So when my husband explained why we were heading toward the aisle it wasn’t surprising that C would repeat the explanation.  Or that he would repeat it, repeatedly, as we walked toward the Eucharistic ministers.  It was, however, mildly surprising the enthusiasm with which he asserted it, and by enthusiasm I mean volume.  You become so accustomed to your child’s speech that you don’t realize in the prayerful atmosphere of church it seems to reach the decibel level of a space shuttle launch.  People are just quietly walking toward the front of the Church and all of a sudden they are shaken by the shockwave of a 180 decibel two year old’s voice exclaiming,

“WE’RE GONNA GO SAY HI TO JESUS!  WE’RE GONNA GO SAY HI TO JESUS!”

And I wanted to look apologetic or penitent (since we were in a Catholic church) as other churchgoers maintained their prayerful composure, but instead my husband and I were just brought to tears laughing by the sheer hilarity of this adorable, enthusiastic, joyful two-year old envisioning some sort of grand meet and greet with Jesus wherein they would hang out and possibly have a juice box together.  He was just so excited.  And while I didn’t have the nerve to look outright at other parishioners, I did hear quite a few chuckles round the church, indicating that as always my son had elicited some smiles.

We hightailed it out of there after Communion, what with the 10-month old alternating screeches of joy (or impatience maybe) with chewing voraciously on the hygienic wooden back of the pew, and the 2-year old exclaiming enthusiastically about visiting Jesus, as a whole not particularly conducive to the silent reverence generally attempted after receiving Communion, and I noticed at the same time a barrage of families heading out of the cry room (Why do they call it that?  It’s like they’re setting us up for failure), so we weren’t alone in our early exit.  I think we were alone in being the only people laughing hysterically as we left though.

Please comment if you have a funny church story to share!

I forgot how to log in to my blog.

So it really takes a lot to sit down and write a blog post.  And by “a lot” I mean a few minutes without my kids.  And I absolutely love my kids.  But they are omnipresent, sort of like Jesus, just always there and always watching, and it’s important to me to try to limit my computer time around them when possible, not to mention that if I look away from my 10 month old and at a screen for 30 seconds she has inevitably eaten the lint off the couch, from under the refrigerator, from under the screen door, and is scampering off in search of some other inedible choking hazard.  Really, she’s that fast.  And don’t even think about saying “Stop,” because that word just makes her scamper three times faster.

But I digress.  My point is that between the hours of 5:00am and 8:30pm I am simply otherwise engaged.  And at 8:30pm, I think to myself, I could clean the kitchen, or I could write a blog post.  And because of the ants and the fruit flies, I choose practicality over leisure.  But today I left out a banana on purpose so they could just go to town and I decided to write.  Unfortunately it had been long enough that I had no idea how to log in anymore, and actually typed into google “How to log into my wordpress blog.”  You know how google anticipates what you’re going to type into the search engine and guesses it for you?  Well, it didn’t.  My question sunk to such lows in the world of blogging idiocy that apparently nobody before me ever forgot how to log into their blog.  So at this point here I was debating whether it was worth it to continue my plight to write ONE SINGLE BLOG POST BEFORE MY BABY WAKES UP and I decided to just go for it.  I have things to say and you need a laugh.

So I thought I would start by sharing my wildly successful bedtime routine a few nights back.  I was giving the baby a quick change, but she’s a quick change artist, meaning that if I am not strapping her down, holding her in place with all extremities fully engaged while simlutaneously holding on to all diapering items, she is sprinting across the room and gazing out the window before I’ve even grabbed the stray item.  Like I said earlier, she’s that fast.  So my fatal mistake on this fateful evening a few nights ago was to release my grip after removing the wet diaper in order to grab the new diaper and sure enough, she’d scampered across the room, onto my mattress (which is on the floor for safety since she sleeps with me for part of the night), and pulled herself to a stand to look out the window.  I headed over to grab her and as I picked her up I observed a distinct wetness dripping down her legs and I lowered my gaze to discover she had peed all over my bed.  Like, in her magnanimity she had proffered equal urine to all parts of the mattress, crawling over the entirety of it before slowing the flow, to ensure no part of the mattress was neglected.  (I took a picture of it with my phone, it was that impressive.)

I was momentarily stunned into inaction, having hoped to start the bedtime routine with the kids on a better note, but after taking a picture of it with my phone and really savoring the humor of the moment I went to remove the sheet and mattress pad before continuing with my diapering plight.  I placed baby in the pack and play adjacent to my mattress, and pulled off the sheet without incident.  The mattress pad was more tightly fitted and as I yanked it off, I can’t explain the speed with which my elbow was flung backward (since I did very poorly in high school physics but I’m sure it was something to do with the theory of relativity and E = MC squared, where E = my elbow and MC = much clumsiness), but trust me that it was forceful and knocked my poor 2-year old, who unbeknownst to me was standing right behind me,  straight in his forehead.  So having just been unexpectedly given a giant bump on his forehead by his clumsy mother, he burst into tears.  And there was just this chorus of crying from my diaper-less baby in the pack and play (because she doesn’t like to be in an enclosed space) and from my 2-year old who had just bore the brunt of my elbow, and well, bedtime ran a little late that night.

See, aren’t you glad I chose you, blog readers, over cleaning my kitchen?  If you’re sitting there right now, laughing to yourself and thinking, “See, I’ve never accidentally elbowed my kid in the head while yanking a urine-soaked mattress pad off my bed” or even perhaps thinking, “I can actually immobilize my baby during changing time so that she doesn’t crawl away and pee all over my tempurpedic mattress,” then I would consider my blog job here done.  😉

Any good stories to share?  Please comment below.  Bonus points if they involve bodily fluids.  😉

Baby Sleep

I know, it sounds like an oxy moron.  And that’s because it is.  At least for me.  It’s true that I occasionally speak to moms who say bizarre things like the following:

Me:  Your baby goes down at 7:00pm???  How did you get your baby to go to bed before midnight???

Friend:  I put him in his crib and he goes to sleep.

Me:  Yeah but I bet he wakes up every two hours to nurse….

Former Friend (I’m joking… that would be petty of me…)  No, he sleeps through the night.

There is also the occasional dialogue with the pediatrician that really makes me feel like a winner:

Pediatrician:  They should be sleeping through the night by now.  You should just pat her back for a few minutes and she’ll probably nod off.

Me:  Umm…. yeah, you don’t really seem to know my baby.

Former Pediatrician:  (I’m joking… that would also be petty of me…)  Well, maybe you can just try it and see what happens.

Okay….. really?  You think it never occurred to me to rub my baby’s back and soothe her back to sleep?  You think I started by saying, “Gee, I could just rub her back, but I would prefer to nurse, rock, bounce, play her favorite song by Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know?” (the lyrics of which I have changed to “How will I know If she’s gonna sleep soon?  I say a prayer with every heartbeat.  I’d fall asleep if ever she napped .  I’m asking you what you know about sleep cycles.”), sing, dance a jig, and otherwise try to coax her into slumber.  If only I had just rubbed her back!”

Anyway, our recent difficulty has been related to getting her down into the pack and play.  No matter how I do it, she rouses into a hyper alert state as soon as her body touches the pack and play sheet.  Sometimes she’s still hovering a few centimeters above it as I gently lower her and she somehow sniffs the pack and play radar, as if she can detect a slightly offensive sleep odor.  So, being SuperMom (just kidding) I had the ingenious idea to take my incredibly comfortable beloved pillow and lower it into the pack and play with her, thereby recreating the sensation of being snuggled by a loved one.  I thought this might work because she loves to snuggle with me for much of the night.  As she touched down, I noticed a palpable difference in the level of arousal, and her fussing was only mild.  Buoyed by my progress, I also lowered myself into the pack and play, so that my legs were sort of flailing in the air and my head was nuzzled against her back, further capturing the feel of snuggle time for her.  In the midst of this, I used my third hand to grab my cell phone and load up a shushing video on youtube so that I could decrease my own shushing, as at this point I was becoming lightheaded and seeing stars (but also, the window was open so maybe the stars were outside).  Anyway, it worked.  I was beyond stoked, and decided to celebrate by going downstairs to clean the kitchen.

But then, you know, I realized a large pillow that could conform to her face probably was a baby safety hazard (and as you’ll learn in this blog I suffer from severe anxiety), so I felt it unwise to step out of the room with said pillow in her pack and play.  I also discovered that I had a sudden urge to use my phone, now that it was busily shushing my baby.  So I used my fourth hand (man, I’m awesome) to grab my computer and decided to write this blog while obsessively watching her breathing and measuring the distance between the pillow and her nose and mouth.  Somewhere between paragraph two and three, I even managed to slide the pillow out from under my baby’s grasp, and soundly she is still sleeping.  I imagine she will be sleeping soundly until the moment I approach my own bed (which is adjacent to her pack and play), at which moment she’ll somehow smell the maternal desire for sleep and wake right up.

If this post about sleep made you smile, please comment below with your own sleep story.  Really, I’m open to all comments.  Sure, I might delete your comment if you post about how your baby goes down at 7:00pm when you place him in the crib, and sure, I may report as spam anybody who dares tell me that a few gentle rubs on their baby’s back and their baby nods off again.  (Kidding.  Really, all comments are encouraged and appreciated.)  🙂

This is a Mommy Blog.

For those of you who followed my unknown wildly popular blog “Trekkychick” and have been hoping not to hear from waiting years for “Trekkywife” or “Trekkymom” to make an appearance, your wishes have finally been granted.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “A mommy blog??  Don’t we have enough of those??”  And yes, I’ve seen a mommy blog or two in my day.  So, what do I have to bring to the mommy blogging crumb-laden, sticky, toy-filled table?  (Side note: Wait, why are there blocks on my placemat?)

Well the main reason you should read my blog is because I’m an expert, and who doesn’t want to listen to an expert tell them what to do? (I know I do.)  For example, I’m an expert on sleeping.  I now boast the expertise of not having slept for nearly 2 1/2 years (surely entirely coincidental that this coincides with the birth of my first child).  I am also an expert on parenting.  Why, just today I left a diaper on the floor for just moments after a poop crisis, but those moments were precious to my 7 month old who gleefully army crawled toward that diaper and frenetically found her pincer grasp in order to try the new taste sensation of feces.  (True story.  Pediatrician says she’ll be fine.)  I’m also an expert at balancing marriage and children for those who find the seamless transition between the roles of wife and mother to be problematic.  For example, just last week I took a shower, it’s been a mere 7 months since my last haircut, and I’m pretty sure my husband and I enjoyed a romantic night out just 18 months ago, although I don’t remember where we went (attributable surely to the aforementioned lack of sleep).

Okay, you’d never have guessed it, but I’m actually not an expert in parenting, marriage, or sleep.  But I’m an expert at love.  I love my husband and my children.  I love Jesus.  And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’re an expert at love too — and you’d like to laugh a little along the way.  So follow along — it’s okay if you laugh at my expense.  I know I do.

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

My son was a great car sleeper.  In fact, he only went down for naps while in the car.  My daughter also naps exclusively in the car (what can I say; I have a comfy car, apparently), but the timing has to be a little more precise.  She won’t just go down at any old time just because she is swaying (not really swaying…. car seat requirements…) to the constant gentle hum of the motor; she needs to be put in the car precisely when she decides it’s time to nap.  But make no mistake; that time varies from day to day so it’s like playing a very safe and nonviolent game of Russian Roulette where nobody gets hurt but my eardrums may get blasted by screams if my confidence interval is off by a few minutes.

But I have discovered the ability to calm the sobbing storm — not by tuning into any number of musical artists who can actually sing well — but rather by my singing the simple song, “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands” (it won’t be long before their musical tastes become discerning enough to realize mommy is tone deaf and request the radio instead).  A lovely children’s song, you can extend its length by substituting any number of people or items for the Whole World, including “mommy and daddy” “grandma and grandpa” “big brother” and aunts and uncles, cousins and pets.  If I continue without pause, I grant my little girl peace and she stops crying almost instantly.  I found out today, however, during a particularly poorly-timed ride that the distance from the speech therapy clinic to our destination of home actually extends past the length of this song, and I struggled after fifteen minutes or so to continue a steady stream of God’s people whom He has in His hands.  After awhile of driving and eyeing the good Lord’s flock I found that God had in His hands Shari’s restaurant, Chase banking, that construction worker, and the gray Honda civic in front of us.

My daughter loved my rendition and we all made it home intact.  Do any of you have any songs that you’ve found work similarly?  Comment below and share your story  🙂