Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tasmanian Angel

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

My child wore me out today.

Exhibit A:

devil child 005

I’m not sure what I was doing when this happened, but I promise you, I only had my back turned for two seconds.  (Pictures can be deceiving, so let me tell you, that pile of papers is about 3 inches deep.)  No need to comment on how behind we are with our filing.  Seth’s little “cleaning spree” brought that into quite clear focus, thank you very much.

Exhibit B:

cute, huh?   Let’s all say it together: “awwww!!!”

devil child 003

Yeah, right.  Cute until you see where those baubles came from while Mommy was cleaning up Exhibit A.

Exhibits C and D:

devil child 002 

devil child 001 

ALL – and I do mean ALL – of my jewelry was (not so) gently and carefully removed from my boxes and “inspected” by Master Seth.   (Take a deep breath, Kelly.  I only found one random glass bead that was somehow separated from its origin….but for the life of me, I can’t figure out just where that origin is….)

And these are only two examples of what he managed to get into today.  I wish I’d had the camera ready for the results of Seth “helping” me prepare for the local consignment sales by sorting through [read: dumping out] his Rubbermaid containers, or the aftermath of his Toilet Paper Toga party while I was fixing dinner.

(I don’t think Jim could fathom how I’d let the house get in “such a state” until he came upon the (entire roll of) unwound toilet paper himself.  Let’s just say Jim’s sympathy increased in tandem with Seth’s attendance in Time Out.

He’s definitely exerting his will well in advance of the Terrible Twos.  (Tell me, all you wise ones who’ve been there; is it really that bad?)  “No” is probably heard more than anything in our home right now – from both mommy and child – and  hate that, but I know we need to be consistent.  Our biggest battle right now is that Seth constantly and without regard continues to remove all the stuffing from the inside of Jim’s speaker subwoofer.  His little hand and wrist fit so perfectly into the opening…and the cotton (or whatever is in there) just fascinates him, no matter what consequences we dole out.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m glad that something so easily fixable is our biggest worry in child-rearing.  For now.

But I have to tell you, just because I’m not losing sleep over the peer pressure he is under, or staying up til the wee hours of the morning because he’s broken curfew, or traipsing all over creation to soccer/golf/band/track/whatever-he’ll-be-into matches doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted.

Even with the fatigue and feelings of failure, though, there is a silver lining.

I truly believe I birthed the most joyful child in the world.  We wandered the aisles of WalMart earlier today, and Seth waved and called out to every person he saw.  And without fail, his high-pitched “hi-yee” was returned with a smile and wave.

He finds laughter and happiness in simple things: ranch dressing, mommy’s necklaces, his reflection in the bathtub faucet, a ride in daddy’s convertible.

I could learn a lesson from this boy.

Make big messes.

Live life loud.

Put the top down and let the wind mess up my hair.

july 2009 072


Sara said...

Z turned horrible the day after he turned 2 & it lasted 365 days. It was text-book "Terrible Twos". M waited a few months & it hasn't been *as* horrible. He gives in much easier & is much more "willing" to be punished (in the corner) than Z was. T is following in the footsteps of her mother (or so I've been told) and is creeping into the stinky side of toddlerhood already. I can't tell you how many lids from plastic containers I had to find & pickup yesterday no matter how many times I said, "NO!" She is also now shaking her head "NO" back at me & yelling something in German. It'll get better, Mon. He's just trying to figure out what his boundries are and how far he can push you if you're going to give in, etc... This is the PRIME time to decide what you're going to choose as a battle & what you aren't. Just stick to your guns & stay on the same page & Jim & you'll be fine...tired, but fine. :)

That got reallllly long. Sorry! I do it out of love! LOL

Anonymous said...

As the Nonna I can only smile but as a Mom I know these are trying times. You, Adam and Andy spent many hours during your terrible two's in the time out chair. You just need to figure what works for you and stick with it, NO MATTER WHAT! Let's face it he is so darn cute, How can you stay upset for too long? Love the one with him wearing the necklaces.

phasejumper said...

What a day, Monica!

Angela said...

First of all, *love* the pictures. Especially the second one.

Second of all, I personally think three has been more challenging than two. Because Andrew can talk more and reason more. And his disobedience is more out of will than just testing his boundaries. But he also is more receptive to discipline, so that's one positive thing.

Hang in there!! :)

Valerie said...

You can't get upset with a face that cute! ;) He's sure quick in his destruction.

I love that picture of him in his black and gold. He looks like a true Steelers fan!

MaryBeth said...

Oh my goodness. There will be days.

Kristy said...

Awe, too cute....this of course is coming from a mom who has a son just like yours. Its cute after the fact, when the mess is cleaned up....not during the moment, I can relate. I won't be the one who tells you that 3 is worse then 2 though. ;)

Michelle Whitlow said...

As a mother of a 5 & 7 year old who has gone through this I can tell you that the kids that have this kind of curiosity also have the great zest for life that you mentioned. My kids enjoy doing ANYthing and EVERYthing. They love life and are always curious about doing more (which is sometimes exhausting but great at the same time). Let's just say I had a LOT of baby gates up when my daughter was little. One time she got into my purse (enough said). One time she got into the bathroom drawers and pulled everything out (she was fascinated with the tampons!) Fun times :)

Kelly said...

Oh, I feel your pain! You know, God makes them cute, otherwise we'd just eat them! lol

Wendy said...

I hear ya!! My toddler keeps us on our toes constantly! We breath a sigh of relief(?) when it is bedtime :)

Marlo said...

Oh Monica- it gets soooo much better! But yes, the terrible twos are HARD. Have you read Ginger Plowman's "Don't Make Me Count to Three!" ? I highly recommend it. Yes, there will be a ton of "No!'s" and tons of spankings and praying, but you will come out the other side with a child who knows his boundaries (for the most part) and knows his parents love him. Hang in there!!!

mandie lane said...

That last picture makes you forget all the mischief, doesn't it? What a sweet, happy, gorgeous boy. And what a good picture, M!

Anonymous said...

My youngest was just like that when he was 2. Sorry you had a rough day. It's hard to stay mad at them when they are so darn cute, isn't it?

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Good stuff, girl...I think the title sums up this stage quite nicely.

Hang in there...and take the advice you ended this post with.

Rhonda said...

Monica, I must say...You make me laugh! I loved the pictures and your descriptions of your bad day with Seth. But as you said, it's not all bad. Yes, there will be more days like this one...many, many more and all you'll want to do is pull you're hair out. But...those good days certainly make up for the bad ones and there are many more good days and proud moments to come than bad days and disappointing moments. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Please ignore this thought if it doesn't seem on target. I don't usually dispense parenting advice, but you seem to be asking and I wish someone had told me earlier. . . . .
The best thing I ever did when my kids were Seth's age is to have "training sessions." Seth's training session might be "Don't touch." Set him down near something you don't want him to touch, but you know is tempting to him. Say clearly, "Don't touch the ______" As soon as his hand reaches in the direction of the object, flick his hand. "No, don't touch." Do this for about 5 minutes, making sure to praise him to high heaven when he obeys you, even for a minute. ***Make sure you end this on a good note.*** Repeat this little training session again 2 or 3 times a day. Training sessions work for "stop," "come here" or "be quiet."
It may seem mean, but if you little one is reaching toward a hot stove or poison ivy, you want him to know Mama means business and to obey right away when you say "Don't touch." Or to "Stop" if he is running toward the road.
Blue line training has also been another life saver for me, but I don't think I can explain that one quickly . . . . .
Again, please ignore if my thoughts don't fit with your family. Every family dynamic is different.

****by the way, I have enjoyed reading through your blog.