9.29.2011

Budding Independence

We’ve finally reached “that” milestone. It’s here. And it has hit us like a ton of bricks. We’re still scrambling to pick up the pieces of our broken bodies as more bricks rain down. Yes, I’m talking about the “terrible two’s”—which really start at about 18 months, but no one ever tells a first time mom that. It just happened one day. I thought I saw it coming, but it came like a freight train; it came much bigger and faster than I anticipated.

Where did my sweet baby go? He grew into a little boy overnight and suddenly has a mind of his own. Plus, little boys have no natural inhibitors or boundaries. Therefore, Jed is a monster; a short little monster about knee high.

For example, Jed is training to be a professional pitcher for the New York Yankees or something. He throws EVERYTHING! We’re lucky he hasn’t made a hole in the wall… yet. Over the last few days I’ve begun taking action by picking up the offending toy with a “Uh-oh! This is no fun. You threw your toy. It’s all gone.” I don’t know if the consequence has quite sunk in yet. It certainly has backfired at the dinner table! For a long time now, I’ve simply said “All done.” and removed Jed from his booster seat whenever I see him throw his food. (It can scrape the window!) Instead of Jed learning NOT to throw his food, it’s simply his queue that he is done with his meal. The little stink.

Today (this happened on a different outing yesterday) I went shopping with Jed. Jed is my little monster and I wanted to get a head start on his monster Halloween outfit (because I’m CRAZY about Fall and Halloween is one of my all-time favorite holidays). So there we were in the fabric store. I’m checking out the sales and trying to read the tiny print on the back of a pattern I’m crossing my fingers I can actually sew while simultaneously trying to decide on the best colors for Jed’s costume. I let Jed stand in the cart with each fist holding a car. About five minutes later, he is done with those. Off they fly into the corner, onto the floor, and out of reach. I bend down, grab them, and stuff them in my purse. “Uh-oh. You threw your toys. All gone.” Then Jed starts to scream. I’m in public. I can’t let other people’s ears suffer, so I pull another toy out of my bag. Soon we’re on to the pretzels. They too get smashed and thrown with a loud helping of whine from Jed’s obnoxious lungs. I start over with the toys. I hand him some spools of thread. Each item holds his interest just long enough for me to think he’s okay. I must’ve looked like an idiot, bending down over and over to pick something up off the floor. You’d think I’d have buns of steel after doing all those squats. No, all I got was frustrated and short-tempered. I should’ve just left. But I didn’t. That stubborn part of me really wanted to see this through. Bad idea. I was feeling so ill-tempered by the time we left, I yelled at Jed when he started to whine in the back seat. Guess what? He laughed! Jed had the nerve to laugh! I guess I can cross raising my voice off the list of successful discipline tactics. When we finally arrived home, Jed begged for a piece of candy. You can probably guess what I told him. I told him “no”. That led to Jed throwing a royal fit, which led me to pick him up and put him in his room where he could continue to throw an even bigger tantrum.

I know you’re laughing, but I’d had it. I needed to vent. Thankfully, my mother answered her phone. She laughed when I told her my story, but then dumped a whole load of sympathy. It was just what I needed to hear. I guess this is normal behavior for a budding toddler. I should probably keep my shopping excursions short or just go by myself. My mom reminded me that I should also notice the good behavior and make a big deal out of it. (Oh yeah, I’d forgotten all about that!) She also reminded me that there is nothing better I could be doing than being a mother. Thanks, Mom!

This stage of Jed’s development is hard. He’s not quite old enough to communicate and he only understands about half of what I am saying to him. Raising Jed is going to take lots of time, lots of consistency, lots of patience, and lots of love. Unfortunately, my fuse for patience is a little short and I sometimes let a thrown toy go unnoticed. But I have time. And I definitely have more love than I ever imagined I would ever have towards somebody!

I can do better tomorrow. I can be a better mother. I can have more patience. I can handle each situation better with more practice. At least that’s what I am telling myself!

Is it all right to say that sometimes Jed is the bane of my existence but also the very reason for my living? What a paradox!

And what's a blog post without pictures?

The nursery in our new ward at church serves water in cups. Jed had no idea what to do! So being the awesome mom that I am, I gave him a cup to practice with at home. It was a flop. Apparently, a cup is just a device to hold and soak other food items! Gross. I think we'll be sticking to a sippy cup for a while longer. Jed has also been experimenting with a spoon. Yogurt seems to be the food of preference. It's messy business, but that's Jed's job!

Jed likes to play underneath the bathroom sink. He has a fascination with q-tips. He throws them around and sucks off the cotton. It's a good thing they're easy to clean up because this particular mess was totally worth my relaxing hot shower!

3 comments:

  1. I totally sympathize with you. As I sit here and listen to Hailey scream and cry in her crib. Getting to her lay down and rest has all the sudden become difficult. She now throws everything out of her crib and cries because she wants it back. All a tactic to stay up and get me to come into her room. So I say, no more! So, there she is, in her crib with no pillow, no animals and no blanket. And I'm not bending. Glad I'm not the only one trying to figure out how to handle the terrible twos. :)

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  2. Well, if you ever can't get ahold of your mom sometime, feel free to vent to me. :) Sometimes I call Ty and tell him I need to vent for a second and that he just needs to sit there with his phone and listen for a few minutes and not laugh. I wish I could be more patient and understanding with my kids. It is a very slow learning process for me! Love that pic with the shirts!

    Also, I love those pictures of your niece! I love that one of her with her mom and of her sitting on the bench the best! You've got backlighting mastered!

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  3. Toddlers are pretty crazy little creatures! Look into Love and Logic. It has saved my sanity at home, in public, and on many occasions ;)

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