Friday, March 20, 2009

Give Me My Body Back!

When I was pregnant with the Biscuit, obviously I had to give up a significant part of my body, that being my uterus-ish area. Of course I was oh so happy to do it, but as his stay in my belly got longer (and my waistline vanished) I was certainly ready to get my uterus back. He obliged (though he certainly left a path of destruction upon exit) and replaced my uterus with his crib.

And just when I thought my body was my own again, there he goes claiming my boobs. 13 months later, I finally demanded my body back. And, once again, the Biscuit obliged and replaced my boobs with his bottles and sippy cups.

One thing, however, that I haven't managed to get back from my son is my shoulder... my left shoulder to be exact.

The day I brought the Biscuit home from the hospital (forever a photo-memory as evidenced in our first picture together at our house), I made the crazy mistake of asking the Biscuit if he needed "mommy's shoulder." It's a simple thing that I have no doubt every mother probably does with their child. I put a burp cloth on my left shoulder, sat in his rocking chair/glider, and plopped him on my shoulder, and started rocking.

Almost 3 years later, the Biscuit still asks for "mommy's shoulder" every night and any time he's sad, upset, or sick.

When he was younger, almost anyone could do mommy's shoulder. To the Biscuit, the burp cloth was mommy's shoulder. As he got older, he's started to correct people (like daddy) who, mistakenly, tried to put "mommy's shoulder" on their own shoulders.

I do adore being needed by my son (and that's probably why this has sustained for so long). Tonight as I sat with him before bed (the Biscuit, on my left shoulder of course), I felt the only 2 minutes of true peace I get in the day.

but... I want my shoulder back. Well, at least I want it back part-time. 40-lbs every day is making mommy's shoulder a bit weary.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trapped by the Biscuit

The Biscuit can, at times, be quite the stubborn little boy and it doesn't help that he can overpower me pretty easily. Just the other day, the Biscuit and I had just finished up a 20-minute reading session in his cozy spot (his indoor, 3-ft tall playhouse where he goes to "calm down" or read with his stuffed animals)... or so I thought we had finished up.

I told the Biscuit I was going to unload the dishwasher as he was on his way out of the little playhouse (apparently to get another book to read). As I got up on my knees and attempted to knee-walk out the little red door of the playhouse, the Biscuit quickly ran back to the house and said "No mommy. We not ready to go."

I insisted that I was ready to leave and started out the door. The Biscuit and I were almost eye level with each other (with me on my knees) and he literally blocked me from leaving. To my surprise, I was actually no match for his strength when I was on my knees.

After several attempts to get around him, I did manage to distract him, however, and quickly sprung up to full height and got out of there (whew!). Who knows WHAT I would have had to give him (an entire Hershey bar probably) if I hadn't figured a way outta there.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Price of Grooming a Toddler

Some of you may have already read my post on the many values of candy with toddlers, but my bribery technique goes far beyond candy these days. I learned early on that there are 3 main things that can be used to get just about ANYTHING you want from your toddler:
  1. jelly beans
  2. goldfish
  3. M&Ms
No need to retell the jelly bean uses so I'll skip to the other 2 winners for you. For the Biscuit, goldfish are an excellent bribe for fingernail and (sometimes) toenail clipping sessions. I will caution, though, that you have to be very careful on the second hand's fingernails that you clip because they are often soggy from the goldfish eating that's been going on during the first hand's fingernail clipping, and if you're not careful you may clip too much (ouch).

Chocolate makes the Biscuit go nuts so I try not to give it to him too often. (Even in the womb, I had chocolate only 2 times and each time I did the Biscuit would start kicking and acting up.) The Biscuit just loves chocolate though so I could probably get him to do anything for an M&M. These little tasty treats came in handy when the Biscuit desperately needed a haircut recently. The deal was 1 M&M each time I clipped. Worked like a charm.

Now, I know it's not the best idea in the world to negotiate and bribe your child, so I will go ahead and say that if any of you have a better idea, by all means: enlighten me. Else, I will continue to use my little tricks to keep him well-groomed (and full-bellied).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beans and Tantrums

The Biscuit is, for the most part, a very well-behaved 2-year old. He's very laid back and doesn't often have tantrums. When he does have a tantrum, it is a marathon event.

Last week, we were winding down the evening. The Biscuit already had his bath and his teeth brushing and we were just about to turn the TV off to head to the bedroom for story time (folks, please spare me any comments about how bad TV is before bedtime) when the Biscuit began to protest.

As usual, when I am challenged by the Biscuit, I gave him 2 options: either you turn the TV off or I will. The Biscuit stood in front of the TV blocking the controls like the little defensive tackle that he one day will probably be. I, being much bigger than my 40-lb toddler, leaned over him and turned the TV off. He wailed.

Then he reached around, turned the TV back on, and looked at me with a smirk. Game on, buddy... Game on.

I again gave him a choice: either turn the TV off and walk to your room for story time or I will turn it off and carry you like a baby into your room. He stood there, motionless glaring out me as I counted 1... 2... 3... So, with all of my motherly superpowers in tow, I leaned over him once again, turned off the TV, and whisked the Biscuit down the hall into his bedroom before he even knew what had happened.

At "wheels down" the Biscuit let out a scream, which turned into a garbled ranting of things he was upset about in toddler-lingua with the occasional breath followed by unending sobbing. As the tantrum progressed, he began to beat on the door to his bedroom, which was strategically blocked from opening by his daddy.

Next, he fell to his knees (not quite to full-blown, hand and foot kicking phase) and started shaking his hands uncontrollably. His dad and I exchanged sad-faced glances (poor fella, we both thought). The Biscuit is so unused to this full feeling of emotion that his little hands show the inability to calm himself as he shakes them, while he looks at them wondering why they're shaking.

I try everything in the book from a consoling pat on the back, soothing voice, arms outstretched to comfort my little one's out of control fit. He's not having any of it. He continues to beat his hand on the floor and on the wall and door and screams at the top of his lungs. And then, out of nowhere, the Biscuit lifts his body up as he sits on his knees, and silence...

and then he poots (passes gas) once, silence for a moment, and he poots again. The three of us look at each other and all start to laugh at the same time. Tantrum over.

So, I guess the lesson learned is that if your toddler is having lots of tantrums, perhaps adding some beans and extra fiber to his diet will help end the tantrums a bit sooner.

P.S. When I was prego with the Biscuit (and before I knew he was a boy), I wished and wished for a little girl who I could dress in frilly clothes, paint fingernails, and play Barbies with. Instead, I got a smelly, dirty, tackling, mud puddle finding, gas-passing little fella... and I am ever-grateful and blessed for my little boy.