Baby/Toddler Behaviors Adults Should Try

I’m not easily fazed by disgusting things my children say or do. After being spit up, thrown up, and pooped on, I can deal with bodily fluids without blinking an eye. My face has been farted in, my shoulders have been bit, and my nose has been picked by a finger that wasn’t mine. I’ve been shown the contents of my daughter’s mouth more times than I care to count and my son prefers my clothes to a Kleenex every time he has a cold.

It’s not that adults are any less disgusting. In fact, we probably have more unpleasant ailments and conditions than we’d like to admit. The difference is we deal with them in private. Suppose, however, we acted as children do, revealing our opinion and acting on our desires for all to see and enjoy.

Here are some comical examples.

  1. Stick your finger in someone’s ear while they’re talking to you.

I get it, the human body is interesting. So many moving parts, crevices and sounds. Just like the nose, the ear has a dark entrance, full of mystery. Who wouldn’t want to explore it? Well, most, if not all, adults. So, imagine someone’s reaction if you just put a cork in their hearing device mid-conversation.

  1. Feed an acquaintance your regurgitated cracker.

I could go on and on about food-related disgustingness. The examples are endless. One common behavior, however, is my son sticking way too much in his mouth at once, spitting some out, and holding a handful of mush up to my face. Take some, he’s indicating likes it’s the most normal thing in the world.

Apparently, my expression isn’t enough to convince him I won’t be sharing his snack.

cheese feeding
Force Feeding

He’ll reach his hand closer. “No thank you,” I’ll finally say and he’ll proceed to spread the pulpy cracker all over his high chair tray.

How amusing to be out at a restaurant and sample something you don’t like. Instead of discreetly wincing and swallowing the food, spit it into your hand, and offer it to another member of your party. “You take it. I don’t like this.”

  1. Completely ignore the person asking you something.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating components of parenthood is being blatantly ignored. “Maddie, do you have your shoes on?” “Maddie, put your shoes on please.” “Time to put your shoes on, Maddie.” “Hello, daughter? Shoes. Now.” “Madison Grace Crow, this is the last time I’m going to ask you.” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Next time your boss asks you to do something, just ignore her. Maybe she’ll finally get fed up and leave you alone. Or maybe you’ll be fired.

  1. Wear whatever you damn-well please.
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Fashionista

I love when my daughter picks out her outfit. The ensemble usually has a few extra pieces, but that’s what makes them great. She often commits fashion faux pas, like mixing patterns or wearing too many colors. But does she care? Of course not.

I wonder how much time I’ve spent staring into my closet trying to put together an outfit. If I could just grab random articles of clothing and be done with it, I’d have more time to blog.

  1. Fall asleep wherever whenever.

Every adult’s dream, right? You’re tired, take a nap. Or, flip the f out and then take a nap. That’s even better. Go out with a bang.

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Zzz

I especially love when either of my kids is clearly tired, but denies it to the bitter end when he/she slumps over and falls quite suddenly into Dreamland. Oh, the drama that precedes an overdue nap is unparalleled.

Do you even know what you would say if you could just lash out and yell nonsense before curling up and passing out? Worth investigating.

So, even if these aren’t realistic behaviors to try, it’s still kind of fun to entertain them.

Mommy Milestone

I wasn’t going to write a Mother’s Day blog post, but I’m reaching a mommy milestone this weekend too coincidental to ignore. This weekend comprised some of the final days of nursing my son. And since our family is complete, my last few days of nursing ever.

It marks the end of me physically providing for my offspring, at least in the most literal sense. No more pregnancies. No more breastfeeding.

To say this is an emotional time is an understatement, but motherhood is an emotional experience. Often milestones go unnoticed, because we’ve already moved on to the new, ever-changing demands of our children. It’s only in hindsight we reflect and realize how sad or grateful (or both) we are that a stage has passed. Even seemingly happy milestones are tough because they’re shrouded in finality.

It’s fantastic that my daughter can pee in a toilet, dress herself, and explain what she wants to eat, but this also means she no longer has a baby’s bum, will let me pick out her outfit, or eat whatever I put in front of her.

Milestones are the emotional catch-22’s of parenting. And there are so many of them. This just happens to be a big one (for me, anyway) and the last time I’ll reach it. Nursing, on occasion, has been demanding, tiring, constant, and inconvenient, but also a blessing and a privilege.

My son hasn’t been an infant for a while now, but nursing him before bed was one way to hold on to his baby-ness, a period of his life that is quickly slipping through my fingers. In fact, this morning, on Mother’s Day, he learned to say the word “no.” I forget what question was asked of him, but instead of rapidly shaking his head – his norm – he most definitely, decisively, and simply told me no.

mommy aidan crop
My baby.

The rest of the day was filled with “no.” No, he did not want help going down the stairs. No, the hood of his raincoat was to remain down. No, he could pick out which bike he wanted by himself.

He’s learning to communicate more effectively, which will come in handy in so many situations, but part of me wants him to do the head-shaking thing forever. Just like part of me will miss being there for him in one of the most motherly ways possible.

Am I thankful to have successfully breastfed two healthy babies? Of course.

Do I look forward to keeping a bra on for an entire day? Absolutely.

Will my son and I find new ways to bond? Yes.

Did I cry when he fell asleep in my arms tonight? No comment.

So much goes into being a mother, not the least of which is juggling a little sad in with all the happy. I have many years to go before my children are totally independent (if that’s really a thing), but I’ll remember this Mother’s Day as being sort of bittersweet.

Tomorrow I’ll move on and allow myself to be absorbed by whatever my children require of me. I may even start the task of teaching my son another very important word. “Yes.”

 

Have You Taken These Parenting Shortcuts?

Time is limited. Sanity, even more so. That’s why I don’t feel guilty having taken these (hopefully common) parenting shortcuts.

  1. Skipped the shower.

    I love a good shower as much as the next guy…once I’m in the shower. I could stand under a hot stream of water for tens of minutes before beginning an actual cleansing routine. Sometimes I just don’t make it into the shower.

    There are nights when bathing isn’t even on my radar. To be fair, I have an office job and average about 2,000 steps on the days I work. There’s also the season to take into consideration. On a winter night when I haven’t moved all day, I’ll gladly forego a shower in favor of some other form of “me” time.

  2. Not changed a diaper.

    diaper
    source: http://www.whattoexpect.com

    Here’s the scenario: I’ve finally gotten both kids ready for preschool/daycare. We’re heading for the door. This is the time my son decides to take a dump. I can smell it. When I do a quick check though, it’s a tiny little thing, a poop nugget, if you will. Instead of removing shoes, pants, and diaper, I pick up the poop with my fingers and walk it to the toilet.

    In the back of my mind, this is okay, because even if the diaper is a little soiled, daycare changes diapers at regular intervals (barring any noticeable BMs). By 9:00 my baby’s bum will be outfitted in a clean, new nappy. Hey, it’s built into the tuition.

  3. Re-gifted a present.

    I do feel slightly guilty about this one. Usually, I become a bit giddy when I find a really good gift for someone. There’s a creativity component to gift-giving that brings me joy. Re-gifting is just too good an opportunity sometimes.

    When my son was born, my daughter received just as many gifts as he, if not more. I appreciated the sentiment, and these gifts made my daughter happy during a time of uncertainty for her. But we only need so many puzzles and activity books. We even have a few duplicate toys.

    Shelf space is limited. My capacity to pick up sh*t all the time is decreasing. Occasionally, I’ll leave a gift in its packaging and bring it to the random-kid-from-preschool’s birthday party my daughter has been invited to. Why not make someone else happy and me less stressed about having so much stuff around?

  4. Employed child labor.

    ma-cleanlabor
    Ah, the real reason we procreate. Just kidding. It is amazing, however, when you can get your little one(s) to do something for you when you, yourself, just don’t feel up to it.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find out both my children like to clean. More so my daughter, but my son has a ball moving a Swiffer back and forth over the same square foot bit of floor. Don’t worry, he’ll get there. Or else (just kidding again).

    So, when I skeptically ask, “Do you feel like cleaning the coffee table?” and my daughter enthusiastically responds, “Yes!” I seize the opportunity. Husband and I also have no problem having our daughter grab us cans from the beer fridge. It was a proud moment for Husband when he requested a Heady Topper and she brought one right to him. #parentinggoals

  5. Cut short/improvised/or otherwise botched story time.

    peter-rabbit-2
    Some stories just suck. They suck even more when it’s the eighth night in a row you’re reading them. It used to be easier to skip pages or even lines, but now my daughter picks up on even the slightest variation to the story.

    “No, all it needed was SOME frosting,” she’ll point out when Husband or I have left out a word. Tough crowd.

    Other stories are odd, or too long. I make variations, or leave out entire sections. I try to still make sense, but depending on my daughter’s level of wakefulness, sometimes I don’t need to.

Parenting is a tough and often thankless job. The road to developing happy, well-adjusted children is a long one. Sometimes a little shortcut can go a long way.

Diary of a Tired Mommy

Each morning my watch/phone tells me I made my “sleep goal.” This means I got eight hours of sleep. Theoretically I should feel rested, but that’s not the case. Ever.

“So what’s the deal, Kim?” you might ask. withings-crop

Open the app and scroll down a bit and there’s the answer. Eight hours of actual sleep are spread across ten hours in bed. Two hours are sucked up by wakefulness. The culprit? A reliant one-year-old whom Husband and I have failed to sleep train. Sleep training: insert cringe emoji.

Now we’re desperately trying to remedy a very ugly situation. It involves a barely-used crib, a twin mattress outfitted with a railing (for Baby), an air mattress (for Mommy), and an unsettling suspicion nothing’s going to change anytime soon.

Here’s a typical night.

7:00: Baby is placed in crib awake, but drowsy.

7:00-8:00: A multitude of shenanigans leading up to Daughter’s bedtime.

8:00-9:00: FREEDOM

9:00: Mommy decides to call it quits regardless of the number of items on To Do list.

9:30: Comfy cozy in bed; mind beginning to blur; small sense of hope tonight will be “the night.”

9:35: Baby wakes and begins screaming (note the distinction between crying and screaming).

9:45: After half-assed (one-tenth-assed, even) attempt to calm Baby without removing from crib, bring Baby onto twin mattress where he will sleep for remainder of night.

10:00: Fall sleep.

12:00: Baby head-butts Mommy and starts to whimper. Begin frantic head-rubbing and shushing. Once Baby has drifted off again, very carefully climb off bed and onto air mattress. Blankets are cold. Curse myself and this situation.

Not-too-long-after: Baby realizes I am gone and makes a big stink. Jump from air mattress to bed. Fall asleep.

Sometime later: Wake up to pee. Return to air mattress. Blankets are cold. Curse myself and this situation.

Still the middle of the night: Baby rolls over/has bad dream/somehow senses lack of Mommy’s body heat. Starts to cry. Climb back into bed.

4:00-ish: Wake up because who the heck knows. Move to air mattress. Sheets are cold.

6:00-ish: Baby wakes up. Instead of crying, Baby crawls off bed and crawls onto air mattress and nestles into Mommy. Mommy thinks this is the cutest thing in the world. Falls back asleep.

7:00: Mommy has overslept and has to help get two kids ready for pre-school by 7:30. Curse myself and this situation.

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For someone who adores a good night sleep, this is not ideal. Clearly, my body/mind has adjusted, although occasionally I’ll experience a lack of judgment. This Monday, for example, I spent $60 on loose-leaf tea. Yes, you read that right. I also zone out at times much more frequently than I used to. Don’t worry, I always snap back.

There’s a saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Well, I’d like to say my goal is to sleep through the night, but I’m no fool. Instead, how about bringing the number of times I wake up from ten down to, say, two? And I plan on accomplishing this before Baby becomes Pre-Teen. No one likes to share a bed with their mom past nine, right?