Sometimes, School Bites

Monday afternoon, it was brought to my attention that Miles has a biter in his classroom.  For the second time in three weeks, he’s been bitten on the arm by a sweet, towheaded little girl with zombie tendencies.  And I am conflicted in my response.

I mean, toddlers…am I right?  We’re talking about an age group that will just as easily eat a ball of cat hair as they will a bowl of Cheerios.  I know this, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  These are kids who do not understand the concept of simply taking the laundry basket off their heads, and would rather sit on the living room floor and yell until someone saves them.  Kids who generally prefer exploring each and every new object by putting it in their mouths.  And I’m supposed to be mad?  At a toddler?  Because some folks seem to think we should be, and that action should be taken.  (Side note: just typing the phrase “action should be taken” when considering these cute little hellraisers made me LOL)

I don’t know; it seems silly to me to hold any anger toward the child, or even the parents for that matter.  Miles routinely drags my old tabby cat around by the tail, even though we’ve been working on “gentle touch” since oh, I don’t know, birth.  Do I believe Miles wants to hurt my old tabby cat?  Absolutely not.  It’s just not a concept he grasps yet (unlike tails, which he grasps firmly and with fervor).  Same as sharing (LOLOLOL) and putting food in his mouth instead of his nose.  I mean, he gets it to a certain extent, but come on…he’s a toddler.  They all snort their green beans and pour milk on their heads.

One of his teachers had a “conference” with the girl’s parents (conferences for toddlers, oh my…) and I suppose that’s something I understand.  If my kid were chomping on every baby arm in the class, I’d want to know.  But what do you do with the information?  Work harder at gentle touch, no biting, nice hands?  Buy a mouth guard?  Get one of those Hannibal Lecter masks?  My heart of overwhelming love for people is having a difficult time reconciling discipline at this age.

We actually received a “Note to the Parents” on Wednesday afternoon, addressing the biting issue and the steps being done to curb the behavior.  No Lecter masks, no gerbil balls, and no riot gear…just compassionate, but firm, actions.  My soft heart can get behind this.

Still looking for a Lecter mask on Amazon, though.

Chomp chomp,

K

ZOMBIE BABY 4EVA!

ZOMBIE BABY 4EVA!

PS – DO NOT GOOGLE IMAGE “ZOMBIE BABY.”

What parents of young children want you to know…

People without kids, I get it.  I used to be one of you.  I totally understand your uncomprehending stare as I excitedly explain why this new sippy cup is THE sippy cup to have.  I try to converse about things that we mutually understand, but here’s the deal: my life is no longer mine, which means that my brain is no longer mine.  It belongs to the almost-toddler across the hall, snoozing away.

And because I used to be you, there are things that I realize now as a parent that I didn’t almost a year ago (this could apply to some of you with older kids, since I understand the first five or so years of your kiddo’s life ends up as one big blur anyway…thank goodness for baby books, right?!)  There are lots of times that my husband and I will say to each other, “Man, if they had kids, they would totally understand…”

You should know…

  1. I’m not ignoring you.  Yes, I absolutely saw your call/text/email/Facebook message.  Once I get to a stopping point, after laundry, dinner, play time, walks around the block, bath time, and endless story books, I’ll think about responding.  Or watching “True Detective” and drinking wine.  Whatever comes first.
  2. I would love to meet you for lunch.  Does 11am work?  People without kids, do you nap?  Napping is awesome, right?  Once you have kids, the opportunity to nap becomes the most awesome two hours in the history of time and space.  The reality is that naptime often falls around lunchtime; so if you’d like to do lunch, we’ll have to make it brunch, because parents don’t screw around with naptime.  Similar situation for dinner; bedtime is 7:30p.  Meeting for dinner means eating at 5p.  Be flexible with your friends who have young children.
  3. Yes, I’m paying attention.  I understand that you are asking for something as simple as my turkey meatloaf recipe, but understand that if said conversation is occurring while my toddler is in the same room, you may as well be asking me to explain quantum physics.  I hear five out of every ten words you say, because most of my attention is focused on the whirling dervish looking for the floor food that I undoubtedly missed.
  4. I’m not trying to be rude.  If you invited us over, and we came, this means that your level of tidiness is acceptable.  However, this won’t stop me from scrutinizing your floors, rugs, baseboards, and anything else on the floor.  I’m sure you do a fantastic job mopping, but unless you have a  tiny person crawling/rolling/waddling around on the floor constantly, you just don’t know how clean (or unclean) your floors might be.  So I’m not trying to be rude if I stare at your kitchen rug, I just need to know if it’s carrying salmonella before my kid lays on it to pretend he’s napping.
  5. I’m not trying to be rude, part deux.  If you invited us over, we will respect your space and rules if you can compromise and respect ours.  Please do not leave your TV turned to programs/movies that are unacceptable (example: anything with Steven Segal).  My compromise will be not asking you to turn the TV completely off (which you should do, because nothing is more entertaining than my son, trust) but I do expect you to at least make it family friendly or, at the very least, non-offensive.
  6. I’m not trying to be rude, part…three?  We have pets (actually, we have a zoo).  We love pets.  We love your pets.  But if you invite us over, and know your pets do not interact well with children, please give us a kid-friendly space, put the pet somewhere safe, or understand when we politely decline future invitations to get together.  Toddlers love cats, but the feeling isn’t always mutual.
  7. Don’t feel weird if we have nothing to talk about for a while.  You do Cross Fit, martini Thursdays and Gossip Girl.  We have dance parties to Raffi, smash carrots into bits and teach the kid how to gently pet the cat (LOLOLOL).  If you pretend like you’re interested in organic pumpkin-banana yogurt for toddlers, I’ll pretend that I noticed your haircut.  Deal?
  8. We are selfish with our son’s time.  I know you want to hang out/babysit/kidnap my super awesome son; I get it, he’s really really fun.  But when you’re two parents working full-time, the evenings and weekends can become sacred.  Don’t get offended if we decline your offer; sometimes we just want to hang out as a family.
  9. I know what I look like.  Yes, I am fully aware that I’ve been wearing these yoga pants for three days.  As long as the kid looks great, I give not two rips about my own appearance.  This isn’t Fashion Week.
  10. You will hear about how awesome being a parent is A LOT.  Seriously, being a parent is the most awesomely rad and rewarding (yet challenging) blessing that you could ever, EVER imagine.  You may hear about it so much that you decide you’d rather poke yourself in the ear with a green onion than listen to me ramble for one moment longer.  Your life is also important, and full of wonderful, meaningful moments, and you should share them.  I promise not to try and top your story with a, “GUESS WHO GOT HIS SPOON INTO HIS MOUTH!” tale.
  11. One day, should you decide to have children, I will tell you things you don’t want to hear.  Then your child will arrive, and you will tell me I was right.  This is 110% true; many mom friends told me what life would be like, what would change, what would become more important and what would become less important.  And there were things I didn’t believe or agree with back then that I now find to be absolute truths in parenting.  I have eaten humble pie, and I have told them just how right they were.  But it’s a good kind of right.

I can’t emphasize number ten enough; it is the honest-to-goodness and absolute truth.  And, like my awesome mom friends, I will refrain from ever saying, “I TOLD YOU SO!”  I will nod and smile, knowing that now you are also a member of the greatest club in the entire world, and I will invite you over for Wine Wednesdays.  Because, in case you don’t already know, moms are actually pretty cool.

Cheers,

K

SERIOUSLY AWESOME.

SERIOUSLY AWESOME.

Crying over Cheerios

Tomorrow, my very big boy is moving to the toddler room at school.  This is a big deal; he’s moving early, because he’s thisclose to walking, and he’s no longer one of the “babies.”  Am I proud?  Unbelievably.  But my initial response when his teacher told me about the move two weeks ago was a total sob fest.  This is normal, right?

Last week, while shopping online for an Easter outfit, I came across some of those cute onesie and pants combos with little bunnies on the butt, and again, the tears began.  I realized that my big boy would not be wearing pants with anything on the butt ever again.  No footballs, no lions, no crabs, no Santas.  He’s no longer a onesie-wearing baby; he’s on the brink of toddlerhood.

I have found that, again, this is something our birthing coach failed to include in our eight week class: YOU WILL CRY ABOUT EVERYTHING.  Every.  Single.  Thing.

Kid eats a Cheerio for the first time?  Tears.  Takes two steps?  Weeping.  Learns to wave bye bye?  Hello, hysterics.  Not a single milestone has arrived with a dry eye for me.  Each day, I feel myself identifying more and more with the women on Lifetime and WE.

Also, James Van der Beek.

Also, James Van der Beek.

Where did my teeny, tiny, itty bitty baby go?  Over ten months have flown by since his arrival, and I just can’t find enough hours in the day to play with him, dance with him, teach him how to eat like a big boy, or stare at him while he sleeps (not as creepy as it sounds).

And so, I cry.  Not in front of Miles (often), but  cry.  I realize on a daily basis what a gut-wrenching job parenthood can be.  My tiny baby is growing up quickly, and I am not prepared for this.  Totally normal, right?

Send wine.

If I could turn back time,

K

Tonight, I am not bathing.

Preface: This will be an overly dramatic post.

Tonight, I am Smokin’ Joe Frazier after 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali.

In the blue trunks, Tired Mom.  In the white trunks, Hurricane Miles.

In the blue trunks, Tired Mom.               In the white trunks, Hurricane Miles.

I may or may not have humbly bragged about what an awesome sleeper our son can be.  I will give his awesome sleep score a 90%; no baby gets a perfect 100%, and if a parent tells you that, they’re not telling the truth.  Fact.

Do you know what happens when you humbly brag about your Cry It Out Wonder Baby?  Oh, things like teething, growth spurts, a wonder week, and the very general “WHY IS EVERYONE LEAVING ME IN HERE? IT’S TIME TO PLAAAY!”

It started about a week ago; normal bedtime routine, normal bedtime, no changes, except Miles’ new desire to pull my hair during our last song (maybe he has something against Jimmy Buffett).  This escalated into face-bopping, which in turn evolved into his attempt to hurl himself out of the rocking chair.  Every. Single.  Night.  We still put him to bed, awake, as normal…and he still falls asleep on his own.  But getting through those last 10 minutes of the bedtime routine is a killer right now.

I can see some parents shaking their heads out there, wondering why I’d complain about something as silly as ten minutes of getting my nostrils fish-hooked by a toddler.  Well, I’m not done.  Additionally, he has started waking up two or three times a night.  Not crying, not upset, not fussing…sitting in his crib, playing. This goes on for 5-10 minutes, then he’s back to sleep.  Lucky him, because we are most certainly wide awake.  Now we’re having fun, right?  Good, because to make sure we’re really having a super awesome great time, we’re going to wake up at 5am every day.

My thoughts…the 5am thing started this week, after I had a conversation with Miles about it being totally okay if he didn’t want to get up at 5:30a (the thing we started last week).  Herein lies the problem: I did not specify that I wanted him to sleep later than 5:30a, just that he didn’t need to choose that as his desired time of awakening.  Silly mom.

This kid is still happy as a nun in a bingo hall.  No fuss, no whine, no crying (except when the teeth begin tearing through his gums, those bastards).  So I really really shouldn’t complain.  I don’t think I’m complaining…does it sound that way?  I’m totally not, I just love to share and TMI you to pieces, knowing that one day my adult children will appreciate this documentation of our lives.

Tonight, I am tired.  I have been up since 4:45a (when my spidey senses told me something was about to happen).  I have done my chores after my eight hours behind a desk.  I have spent hours chasing our son; rolling balls, pulling the cat’s tail out of his mouth, stacking cups, getting pieces of banana out of his nose (all awesome things, by the way).

And so, when mom time finally rolled around, I was faced with two options…take my usual nighttime shower, or one of these:

Eeine, Meenie, Miney, Mo...

Eeine, Meenie, Miney, Mo…

After 15 rounds, the winner is…

UNDISPUTED CHAMP

UNDISPUTED CHAMP

Tonight, I am tired.  Tonight, I need a foot rub and a bowl of Cab Sauv.  Tonight, I am not bathing.  Moms, some of you are nodding in solidarity and approval of this choice.  I raise my glass to you.

Cheers,

K

PS – Thanks to my awesome hubby for quickly using his ESPN-Jeopardy brain to tell me about one of the most epic boxing matches of all time.   Frazier won in the 15th round.  I am Smokin’ Joe.