2/10/09

Tantrums and Teeth Marks

OK, we're finally back in business! Seriously, when it rains, it pours. Cliche, I know, but oh so true! Things are finally looking up... did I mention finally? LOL

It's going to be 60 today, for starters~ yay! Windows are open, there's fresh, spring like air-complete with that rainy day smell- drifting through the house, airing it out. I hate having to be closed up through the winter. I think that no matter how you clean, light candles, etc., there's just a closed up smell that happens. Nothing beats the fresh air.

We got a new keyboard, which was a desperate need. Some of the keys were going crazy (I think someone spilled something on it... could have been coffee, maybe... but there is no proof of that, ok? Don't judge me.) and backspace was deleting paragraphs rather than letters or words.... it was a disaster. When it took me almost an hour to send an email, I was done with it. Blogging would have been ridiculous, and I'm sure I'd have used some very colorful language in the process. I have enough reason to do that, soooo... new keyboard, blogging.

Taylor is getting over a killer cold, and still cutting teeth. Molars this time. She's chewing on everything, which is a step up from chewing and snotting on everything, LOL, but she has started to chew on me. She hasn't figured out the whole biting, tantrum, bratty kid angle- she just wants to gnaw on everything. Including my arms, shoulders, neck.... the kid is a vampire. She HAS figured out the tantrum, but she's also realizing that I know the difference between the "oh my God I'm in pain/scared/sick" crying, and the "I want my way and want it NOW" wailing. Been there, done that kid, ok? Save it for someone who hasn't had two other toddlers.

I've always handled tantrums pretty much the same way. Once you can tell they aren't going to hurt themselves/someone else, I pay no attention whatsoever. I pick up a book, magazine, pretend to flip channels and watch TV... anything to show I'm not buying it. Of course, I'm watching out of the corner of my eye, but that worked wonders for Alyssa at that age. At first, it doesn't seem as if it will, because ignoring them? Reeeeaaallly pisses them off. But they do learn to calm down, which is a good thing. They do learn they won't get anywhere that way, which is better, and eventually, they no longer bother. I learned this with a LOT of trial and error, after figuring out that Alyssa did not have some exotic toddler disease that caused kicking, throwing herself around erratically and screaming as if someone had cut off a limb- she was simply pissed off. At me. Go figure...

That's only at home, though. I'm not ignoring a screaming kid in public. I'm also not pacifying my screaming child (or anyone else's, frankly) by giving in. I'm not that mom. I'm all for kids being able to express themselves and their feelings- good, bad, in between. I'm all for hearing why they disagree with me, or helping them to figure out how to handle situations, etc. I'm not for the freedom of expressing yourself by being an ass in the store. I've seen kids throwing tantrums in carts, in clothing racks, screaming, kicking, even cussing parents. And the parent gives in, gets them the toy, or whatever else the issue is about. ???? Uh.. yeah. THAT's helpful.

I know there are extreme cases, I know there are special needs kids (have one, remember?) and I've learned (the hard way) how to deal with Jake and possible outbursts in public. I've also learned to schedule trips out around things so there's less chance my kid(s) were/are going to lose their shit in the middle of the checkout or something. Don't take a hungry, tired or ill toddler out and expect them to sit serenely as you wander leisurely through aisles. Not happening.

I'm not an expert, but I always have the essentials. Never leave home without something to play with, drink, or snack on. Take a change of clothes and wipes, diapers/pull ups- the one time you don't? Your kid will projectile vomit, twice, in the middle of the Halloween display and you will want to crawl into a hole in the floor. Just a hypothetical, though.....

I think a lot of times, once they realize certain things, kids pull crap when we're visiting, on the phone, out somewhere, etc., because they honestly think we won't discipline them the same way, wanting to avoid looking like a "bad guy." I'd rather look like the bad guy than look like the parent with a spoiled brat kid, you know what I mean? I'm not threatening you with "when we get home"... dealing with it later? Pointless. Just deal with it, it won't happen as often. The kids need to see you the same wherever you are, you know what I mean? Again, learned the hard way, LOL.

It's different now that Alyssa and Jake older. Now it's more about taking away privleges than it is about "no" and slapping hands. I'm having to refresh my memory on toddlers, tantrums, all of that stuff. I'd forgotten how much I used to look forward to the afternoon naps, the bedtime routine, etc. I'd forgotten how many times you can say "no" in a day, or run to move them away from something they can't have... even though it is the ONLY thing in a room of toys they can't have, but want. I'd forgotten the way a toddler's lungs can keep going and going.. and going....

But I'd also forgotten the way it feels when they can finally hug you back, or laugh and jump around when they see you when they wake up. I'd forgotten the thrill of a new word or sound, or some other milestone that happened before you know it.

Yeah, it's busy, it's hectic and tiring. Frustrating too. I wouldn't trade it, though. This is the best right here, right now. Teeth marks and all.

2 comments:

Kathi said...

I sooo get the keyboard problem,my girlfriends daughter poured juice in hers and i had to email her letters of the alphabet she couldnt manage to get anymore so she could finish her term paper lol Cut Paste an E here and a T there.It was crazy!
Also the fresh air thing.OMG it was ubber fantastic opening windows for the first time today! It got rid of 3 months of stale air and about 2 inches of dust lol.kathi

Reluctant Housewife said...

It's so true that you have to re-remember what it's like at each new age, with each kid. I once read that parents shouldn't look to anyone whose kids are more than a year older for advice because they won't remember what it was like at that age.