My Kid Stole My Cool

Seek and Destroy: Everything My Toddler Son Would Rather Do Than Read

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Seek and Destroy: Everything My Toddler Son Would Rather Do Than Read 2

My daughter loves to read. She always has. As a baby, she would sit contentedly on my lap looking at board books. As a toddler, she would page through her stories for an hour at a time, if I let her. (Of course I let her. An uninterrupted hour to myself? Heck, yeah!) Even though she cruelly gave up naps weeks before my son was born, I could at least rely on her to read to herself during a mandatory quiet time. It was – and continues to be – my saving grace.

Elisabeth at four months, in her happy place.

Elisabeth at four months, in her happy place.

 

Elisabeth asleep atop a pile of books.

Elisabeth asleep atop a pile of books.

I thought James would inherit this love of books. As usual, I was wrong.  The kid has zero interest in reading. Like, none. I am partially to blame. I was far too tired to read to him as a baby like I did with Elisabeth. Perhaps I missed the opportunity to instill a love of literature in him. I’ve surely stunted his future academic achievement as there is no way he hears the recommended 30,000 words/day necessary to ensure literary and language success. Unless hearing, “Stop!” or, “No!”, or “That oven is hot!” over and over 30,000 times counts, in which case he’ll be fine.

His future intelligence aside, I mainly wish he would read because reading usually involves sitting still.  Sitting still means not destroying my house or finding new ways to hurt or kill himself.  But, no. Books – boring. Electrical cords – fun! Reading – nerdy. Death defying stunts – exhilarating! So, what exactly does he like to do, if not read? Almost anything. Here you have it: A list of everything my toddler boy would rather do than read.

1) Sniff his lovey. It’s super weird but super cute, and notable because it’s the only time he is ever still. And while he absolutely loves sniffing his lovey, this unfortunately does not account for much time in his day.

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2) Climb into bookshelves. (Which of course requires removing all the books from the shelves first.)

What?

What?

3) Climb up the bookshelves.

Not dangerous at all.

Not dangerous at all.

4) Eat crayons. Really, most of the greens in James’ diet come from Crayola.

5) Smear Chapstick over his entire body.

6) Splash in the toilet. Especially when someone *cougholdersistercough* forgets to flush.

7) Open dresser drawers and empty all the contents onto the floor.

This is why I don't bother with laundry.

This is why I don’t bother with laundry.

8) Remove wine bottles from the bar and see if mom hears before they shatter on the floor.

9) Rummage through trash cans and chew on discarded Kleenex. Lovely!

10) Shove trash cans down the stairs.

This was grosser than it appears.

Thankful there were no coffee grinds in this bag.

11) De-Babyproof the kitchen cabinets. One strong tug is really all it takes!

12) Turn on the stove burners, now that he can reach the knobs. Or rather, turn on the gas. So yeah. That’s safe.

13) Lock himself into closets.

14) Bang his head against the wall. Intentionally.

15) Distribute shoes throughout the house so it’s impossible to find a complete pair.

16) Brush his teeth – Whose toothbrush he uses is of no consequence.

17) Sweep, which is super helpful and never, you know, makes more of a mess.

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18) Fling cushions and pillows from the furniture.

19) Lob food to the floor as forcefully as possible. The more something splatters, the better!

You cannot stop me from throwing this onto the floor!

You cannot stop me!

20) Reorganize his sister’s meticulously arranged dollhouse. So cute. Never causes conflict.

21) Crawl into the dishwasher.

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22) Expel every single one of his toys from their baskets, and then not play with a single of them.

23) Unless “playing” with toys means, “violently bang them against a table.” He does a lot of that.

24) Dance. The kid loves to groove. And when he’s dancing, he’s not demolishing anything, which is a nice bonus for me.

25) Play hide-and-seek in the shower curtain and pull down and break rod. Oh wait, that was the other kid. Because having one child who completely destroys the house is simply not enough.

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I realize many of these are pretty typical toddler activities. But shoot, keeping up after this little terror is exhausting. If any of you have any suggestions for something that will keep my son entertained and immobile – besides a restraining device – I’m all ears.

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (Sorry, Second Children)

Posted on Jun 11, 2015 in My Kid Stole My Cool, Pinterest Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (Sorry, Second Children) 2

Sweet baby James turned one about two weeks ago.   I know. I can hardly believe it myself.  To say that his first year was one of my most challenging would be… entirely accurate.  Like, it was soul-crushing, haven’t-slept-through-the-night-in-a-year, crying-in-the-shower stressful and exhausting. Not that it’s his fault. But between a baby, a deployment, a cross-country move (international for my husband), a home purchase and a renovation, life got a little overwhelming. Not to mention my kids were sick ALL THE TIME.  We basically lived at our pediatrician’s office. And the gastroenterologist’s… the urologist’s…. the ENT’s… the ER. So while I hate to see James turning into a toddler (too fast! too fast!), I am looking forward to a calmer second year. And befriending someone other than my child’s doctor. One can hope. And maybe in this second year, James will finally start to get near the amount of attention his sister did at his age. I like to think the craziness of the last year contributed to the unequal attention Elisabeth and James received as babies. But let’s be honest – James is a second child. It was never going to be the same for him. Before James was born, I accepted that his baby stage would never exactly mimic Elisabeth’s. But I convinced myself James would not suffer second-child neglect. I believed I could cuddle/play with/read to/lie around doing nothing with James just as much as I had with Baby Elisabeth, without Toddler Elisabeth feeling totally abandoned. I also believed I could do so in a way that wouldn’t make me totally insane. This is called delusion.  I quickly learned that life with the second baby is completely different than life with the first baby.  Mainly because that precious resource you had as a first time parent – time – is now quite scarce. I finally understand why I am so much better adjusted than my two younger brothers. Sorry, Second Children. (I’d apologize to third children, but third children are too laid back to care.)   So here you have it. The most obvious signs of...

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So This is 30

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

So This is 30 0

Last month I turned the big 3-0. Trying to distract me from my impending physical and mental decline, my husband invited several of my oldest and dearest friends to town to “celebrate.” Here’s how the weekend went. Kim arrived first, having driven from Pennsylvania. Soon after she arrived, we had to go pick Jess and Molly at the airport. I could not remove my kids’ car seats from our Highlander, so we drove Kim’s minivan to the airport. Car seats and minivans. PARTY ON, PEOPLE! After our last guest Megan arrived, Damon passed out champagne and we got ready to hit the town. Lesson: drinking champagne while bottle-feeding your baby will elicit judgment from the babysitter. Damon dropped us girls off at a restaurant where we met another friend, Brett. Once seated we immediately complained about the noise level and squinted to read the menus. Then we played a little game called, Guess Your Server’s Age. Do not play this game if you want to keep your ego intact. You’ll think she’s your age only to discover you could be her… significantly older cousin or former babysitter. As it was not only my thirtieth, but also Megan’s and Brett’s, our barely-legal server brought us out three free desserts. I think she felt sorry for us, but no matter. Three free desserts was about the most exciting thing to happen to any of us, and also slightly dangerous. After all, our metabolisms aren’t what they used to be. In some misguided attempt to recapture our youth, we went to the bar across the street after dinner. The bartender gave us birthday shots, which were essentially sugar-water. We were all secretly thankful, because no way we can handle shots without a wicked hangover anymore. We had a spirited conversation about Beyoncé and Taylor Swift (We’re young! We know pop culture!), and then admitted we were all exhausted from kids/work/travel and needed to sleep ASAP. The next day we went downtown for brunch and massages. While discussing whether or not to order mimosas, one friend said, “Oh, I can’t. I’ll have to...

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The SnotSucker

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool

The SnotSucker 0

Hello there, Interwebz. It’s been awhile.  A lot has happened since I last posted, but I’ll fill you in on all that another day.  Suffice to say, I have been existing in a sort of  semi-conscious state for several months. The baby. He does not sleep. I thought he would have grown out of the not-sleeping thing by now, but no. It’s torture. (No, really. Chronic sleep deprivation is literally torture. I think Jack Bauer taught me that.) But all this is unimportant compared to a life-changing invention that I’m about to introduce you to.  Ready for it? It’s called… The Snotsucker. Yup, you read that right.  The Snotsucker. Before I fill you in on this amazing/disgusting invention, a little background: It’s March. And it’s snowing. And it’s been snowing for pretty much ever. And Elisabeth has been in school approximately two days in the last month. And I am very much going crazy. Which explains why my first post in almost six months is about a nasal aspirator. Please send help in the form of babysitters, vacations to tropical islands, and tequila. Okay, back to the Snotsucker. You savvy moms out there are probably already well-acquainted with this. It is the thing to have to effectively clear your baby’s nasal passages.  I mean, they sell it at Nordstrom so you know it’s trendy.  And who doesn’t want a trendy nasal aspirator? Well I sure do! As I just mentioned it’s March and apparently I live in Siberia and for the past five months everyone in my house has been circulating The Crud. For those of us with well-developed fine motor skills, blowing our nose is not an issue.  The baby, unfortunately,  frequently has a bulb syringe shoved up his nose to suction out all the boogies. And there are oh-so-many boogies. With the Snotsucker, the baby still has a foreign object shoved up his nose, but one that much more effectively clears out all the snot.  It’s seriously amazing. And I’m not even being sarcastic. It all started when I was wandering around – you guessed it –...

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The Problem Child’s Perspective

Posted on Sep 14, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

The Problem Child’s Perspective 1

Mom, I think we need to clear the air. A few days ago at the doctor’s office, you called me, “your problem child.”  You said it in that high-pitched baby-talk voice while smiling and tickling me, which makes me think you were kinda-sorta joking.  But I think you were maybe also kinda-sorta serious. Is it because of the ringworm? Look. I have no idea how I got ringworm.  You’re the adult. You figure it out.   I get it.  It’s weird.  I have been exposed to absolutely nothing that would give me ringworm.  After all, we never go anywhere on account of me screaming every time I get in the car. But looks what happens when you take me out in public! I GET NASTY FUNGAL INFECTIONS! Can you blame me for shrieking the entirety of every single car ride? It’s my only defense!  And besides, all the rest of the time I’m pretty much the smiliest, happiest baby ever, so I think you’ve got it pretty good.  But back to the ringworm – let’s just chalk this up to one of life’s great mysteries.  I have it, now move on. Could it be this allergic colitis thing? Is that why I’m the “problem child”? I hear you complaining about not eating dairy anymore.  Or egg.  Or soy, which according to you is in everything.  And I know all you want is to dig into a massive pizza with a side of ice cream.  (And real ice cream. Not that coconut milk crap.)  But seriously, Mom.  First. World. Problems.  I’m the one bleeding from my gut, remember? Is a little sympathy too much to ask? Besides, the vegan cookies you baked can’t be that bad.  I mean, you ate the entire batch in like, three days. Or maybe it’s because I don’t sleep?  I don’t really understand what the problem is.  I just love you so much I want to hang out with you all the time! That’s a good thing, right?  I know that since daddy is deployed and you’re on your own for now that the nights are...

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Sleeping in Pee: The Joys of Being a New Mom

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Babies, anyone?  Engagements, weddings, babies – they seem to happen in seasons.  And if ever there was a baby season, it is now.  I know of at least 20 (probably more) women that have recently had babies or are due in the next few months.  As I’ve been a mom for almost three whole years and now have TWO children, I’m obviously an expert on all things motherhood.  But that didn’t stop me from absolutely panicking right after James was born.  There he was, this tiny baby, entirely dependent on me.  And there I was, struggling to get him to nurse, exhausted (and he was only a few hours old!) and convinced that I would not be able to do this newborn stage again – the sleepless nights, the non-stop nursing, the unexplainable crying.  Nope, couldn’t do it. That moment passed, thankfully, but I think it’s a pretty common feeling among the mommy set.  In case anyone needed a reminder, being a new mom is hard.  And scary. So I want to share a few things I’ve learned with these new moms and moms-to-be, whether they’re having their first child or third. 1)   Step away from The Google.  Seriously.  Everything you read will convince you that you’re failing as a mother or your child is dying.  Probably neither is true.  Admittedly, I need to heed my own advice here.  I recently convinced myself that my daughter was dry drowning and that my newborn son would be developmentally stunted from lack of sleep.  Get this – dry drowning is extremely rare, though the interwebs would lead you to believe otherwise.  My daughter was fine.  As for my son? Maybe he will be stunted due to lack of sleep. But I don’t need Google reminding me of that.  Neither do you.  So back away. 2)   You may only wash your hair about once a week.  Accept this and move on. 3)   Same goes for shaving your legs.  Not a problem if your baby is born in November.  But if you have a spring or summer baby, invest in maxi dresses. 4)  ...

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