It is day 2 of 2010.
My quest for inner peace and happiness has already been thwarted.*
Was it Jean-Paul Sartre that said “Hell is other people”?
He was a wise wise man.
One of my good blogging friends said once in an email that (paraphrasing) “happiness has to come from inside; which is annoying.” Annoying indeed!... and ironic, since most major irritations tend to come from the outside.
I was all set to embrace happiness, but 2010 surprisingly started out much like 2009 ended… with excessive amounts of whining and messes. I guess it is to be expected with two little kids, but it has a way, nevertheless, of undermining and tossing aside all of my peaceful mantras.
My little N-man is such a beastly brute. He will seriously be a lucky lil’ man to make it to the terrible two’s (I can’t wait!!) if he doesn’t stop throwing things.
1) He throws food. As soon as he is done, which may be when he is full, or bored, or afraid he is not getting enough attention, or at the very beginning of a meal if it is something he has decided not to eat, he starts chucking whatever is left in his bowl onto the floor. We probably committed some major parenting sin way back when it started by paying any attention to that behavior at all. Perhaps we should have ignored it all together. Because now, it doesn’t matter what we do, and we have tried everything, he does it anyway and finds it hilarious. Now he is adding bonus behaviors like spitting his food out to entertain his older sister, who finds it raucously funny. He has to clean up any food he throws and his meal ends, but that doesn’t seem to bother him.
2) He throws toys, blocks, magnets, books, trucks; he knocks things to the ground and pulls all the books off the bookshelf. He is required to pick up any messes he makes, but it involves at least one time-out because initially he refuses to clean up.
He has also started whining. If there is one thing that drives me bat-sh** it is whining. Most kids whine and I already know from experience that the battle from whining to non-whining is an arduous one.
G is actually at a really good age. She is pretty independent and has learned to “use her words” more than whine. She is having trouble, however, with a few things. One is eating in a timely fashion--she is the slowest eater of all time. She is also coming to grips with having to dress herself.
(I was talking with a friend the other day about all the things you never think about in regards to having kids—you think about all the cute cuddly stuff: all the baby-glory, learning to walk and talk, reading bed-time stories, going to piano recitals and soccer games, going trick-or treating...no one imagines all the ins and outs of daily existence—how long you will have to help wipe little bums and how getting oneself dressed is not an innate human instinct—it is painstakingly learned).
So, yeah, I tell G to dress put on her shoes and socks and she immediately shrieks in agony “I caaaaaaaaaan’t” and wilts to the floor in a sobbing heap. She has shoes mastered, but socks are tricky. I help her identify the heel section and help her position the sock just so, and she pulls it on a little and then get frustrated when her little toe becomes jammed or the toe-section doesn’t fit quite right. (of course, to be fair, the poor thing inherited my insanely low tolerance for frustration).
My sweet hubs is also trying to sabotage my inner-zen by annoying the ever-lovin’ crap out of me. (I am also blessed with lightning-fast irritation reflexes--that with my low tolerance for frustration--make for some fun relationship dynamics).
My hubs-- sweet, kind, and generous as he is-- seems to believe that once he has told me he needs to do something (that has nothing to do with me), it suddenly and miraculously passes into my realm of responsibility. Do all men do that, or just mine?
He calls me on Monday and tells me he needs to change the oil in his work-truck and can I please pick him up. I tell him it is not the best day for that and explain why. He agrees and says it needs to be done urgently this week and can I please remind him. (later for purposes of his argument, Monday becomes the "perfect" day to do it, and I said no, for no reason).
I remind him by writing a note and placing it by his “essentials drawer.” He remembers one evening mid-week, I tell him to go the next morning.
Friday he lets me know that he also needs to clean his truck.
It is Saturday, we are talking about our major TO-DO list during nap time. At some point, talking about some such thing or other he accuses me of not making sure he got an oil change and then he told me YESTERDAY that he needed to clean.the.truck. and he hasn’t been able to clean it yet and he doesn’t want to do it during the week and when is he going to be able to do it…….
So I am thinking (read: hissing out loud)… so go clean it!!! He doesn’t need me to schedule it into our day, does he? Then he complains that I didn’t remind him well enough about the oil change (as in: I didn’t put the keys in his hand and shove him out the door threatening not to let him back in until he changes the oil). It’s like once he has told me he needs to do it, I have to arrange it for him.
So he goes outside to clean the truck and immediately starts rearranging the garage. I was with the kids outside, and kindly suggested that he clean the gosh-darn cotton-pickin' truck if it was really so urgent... so I don’t have to hear about it ever again... for the love of Pete!
Ahh--good times! It was actually a funny little argument, with lots of laughing, which is why I can even tell you about it.
My husband’s grandfather used to tell him that the first 12 days of a new year basically dictate what the next 12 months will be like. Great, that gives me great hope!
* This post, while true, is greatly exaggerated and meant to be taken with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Don’t worry, I am not totally jaded on 2010 yet, I still have loads of naïve optimism.