Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Day in the Life

Get up at 7 am. Celebrate because this is an hour to an hour and a half later than his usual start time. THANK YOU Daylight Savings Time!

Try to get him to lay with you for a minute, but the moment you sit down he throws his blanket on the floor and starts chanting "Moooore! Moore! MORE!" And when you don't get up fast enough, he shoves his chubby fingers in your face and starts making the sign for "More" as if to say "Hey woman! Don't you understand English? Get me some BREAKFAST!"

As I set about compiling his breakfast, he keeps pointing at the fruit bowl where his morning banana is usually perched. When I show him the bowl, indicating that we're out of banana, he lets out a disgruntled sigh. "Woman! How many times do I have to tell you -- don't let those bananas run out!" He settles for a waffle.

He now has full reign of the main living area -- Saturdays are for getting out as many toys as you want while your mother sips coffee and waits for the sun to rise. He gets out a few, but then goes searching for something. Its clear he has something specific in mind. Ah yes, the remote control. The formula is always the same: Throw it as hard as you can at the hardwood floors in order to get the back to pop off so you can inspect the batteries and reload them. If you're lucky, you can repeat the same process with a telephone or cell phone that someone was dumb enough to leaving laying low the night before. But you can't throw it before you call your grandma. "Mamaw? Mamaw? Hiiiiii! Byeee!" Throw the phone on the floor, really hard.

Oh look, these idiots never learn. They've left the bathroom door open. Time to play in the toilet. He reaches for his pacifier from his mouth, realizes its not there, so literally fakes throwing the pacifier in the toilet. (Earlier this week, when he actually had a pacifier to throw, his dad really regretted having not flushed. ha!) The fake throw isn't satisfying, so he finds a hair band and a string of beads to throw to bottom. Ahh much better. My work here is done.

On to the kitchen. I've yet to meet my goal of actually denting the stainless steel mixing bowls by banging them hard enough together. Oh, but wait. I seem to remember my mom throwing away an empty cereal box earlier.There I find him, up to his arm pits in a cereal box I had previously placed in the trash can, cinnamon smeared all over his face from the remaining bits of Chex that he's found in the nether regions of the bag.

The next 2 hours are a series of repeated events. Trying to interest him in a toy or activity, while distracting him from emptying cabinets, climbing furniture, beating on my laptop, perusing the trash can, tormenting the cats, climbing into the bathtub, and fishing in the toilet. And brushing his teeth. He stands under where his toothbrush hangs and begs for it several times a day.

Its brutal and physical. There are many times that throwing him over my shoulder like the proverbial sack of potatoes is the best means to remove him from the scene of his crimes. Sometimes he giggles with delight at having foiled us again, while other times he screams in anguish. Oh the injustice! Parents just don't understand.

The clock strikes 10 am, and I feel that I've bestowed all of the kindness I can on his slumbering father. Up with you -- the boy, he's back to bed. (Yes, at 19 months he still takes 2 naps a day. Its really our saving grace.) For 2 solid hours he slumbers and order is restored. Conversations are completed, meals eaten without the pint-sized tyrant demanding his share, and the living room is returned to its normal state -- no longer a mine field of Legos, cars, and toddler debris.

Then he returns, rested, with a vengeance. He requires another round of food -- dare you not tease him with mere snacks or toddler food if real food is in sight. You've never seen a child more angry when he saw us cooking spicy chili on the stove while we fed him grilled cheese and quartered grapes. (He threw a toy in the chili too, as he passed by perched on my hip. Apparently "Will it Float?" is his favorite game too.)

The afternoon has a similar formula to the morning. We often try to think of a place to take him to let him run around, preferably a soft, padded place where screaming is welcomed and nothing can be broken. If only the mental hospitals allowed visitors. Today we visited a few homes for potential purchase. Thankfully, 2 of the 3 were empty so he literally ran from room to room as fast has his wobbly legs would take him. When I barred him from the bathrooms after finding him IN the bathtub trying to get the water turned on, he found a closet, shut himself in there, and then just sat quietly -- even when I called his name. When I finally found him, he just giggled mischievously and moved on. The 3rd house, full of someone else's belongings, was a novelty. Will her candles break if throw them? Will she mind if I climb in her bed and drool on her pillow? Does she have snacks in the cabinets?

Back home, for another nap. This time an uncharacteristic THREE HOURS. Silence! The silver lining to him having been up coughing half the night prior with a late winter cold. He wakes up, and immediately toddles to the back door. They've left the deadbolt unlocked again. Will they ever learn? He opens the doors, flips down on to his belly, and begins to lower himself down the back steps to the porch. He's headed outside. Why not? I retrieve him and secure him into his high chair -- the one place, other than his crib, that you can count on him not to climb out of. After dinner, I suggest we play outside for a bit. Last week, he ONLY wanted to play in the street. Literally had to take him inside because the moment you let go of him, he ran down our reasonably long drive way, straight for the open road. Tonight, the road was of no interest. Because he discovered the WOODS! A thicket really -- a small but dense collection of trees behind our house. His sister, in 4.5 year of life, has never ventured back into these trees without me. I don't think its ever even crossed her mind. Yet, as I picked up sticks in the yard tonight, he did not look back even once as he climbed through the brush, vines, and piles of leaves into the grove of trees. I watched, assuming he'd realize he was in too deep, and return. Instead, I all but saw his little hooded head disappear before I sprinted into grab him, and pulled him out, kicking and screaming.

Each day demands every fiber of my physical and mental capacity. His energy coupled with all of the curious things about his health has likely stunted my life span. It seems as if not one thing about raising his sister thus far has prepared us for raising him. He's rough. He's defiant. He's fearless. Yet I love him with a different intensity than I have ever loved another person before. I'm pretty sure its that little laugh. It gets me every time.

Blog Archive