Monday, December 29, 2014

You Want What Now?

  Yesterday I had the chance to visit a friend I haven't seen in ten years.  It was really exciting to see her and introduce my family to her, considering the last time we'd seen each other was when we were in our super young twenties and I was working as a camp counselors and she was one of the illustrious and very famous horse wranglers.  Oh the carefree days.      
   Rory was all smiles of course until we sat down and then found a  red-headed temper, which I'm assuming most independent toddlers who haven't started using a lot of words yet experience.  He just kept getting mad about everything and wasn't able to tell us what was wrong.  His cup wasn't good enough.  The binky wasn't working.  The puffs were okay between huge sobs.  My friend Mary and her friend Nikki were gracious through the whole ordeal.  Of course they are both teachers so they understand.  This is kind of what we dedicate our lives too, so dealing with kid drama is just an every day occurrence for us pros.  But even so, all the non-people at our table kept glancing over waiting for us to shut the kid up.  Luckily, this is one thing I really don't have a problem with at restaurants.  I just figure most people have had kids before and they can deal with a little crying to help them reminise and also mostly because Rory is so good usually and never causes a fuss.  But this communication gap has been a very big issue lately and it's hard to figure out what to do with all these temper tantrums caused by lack of communication.
   We are however very lucky for the fact that he knows a lot of visual and hand cues so he can tell us when he's hungry or when he wants more.  He's starting to learn 'please', but the one thing he couldn't tell us yesterday during our lunch at Chilies was that the milk we ordered for him tasted like watered down skim milk that has been processed through a leaky faucet in a run down slum.  I found out this little factor when I tried it and almost gagged, but let me tell you this really made him mad that he just couldn't find a way to tell us why he was so mad.  I'm praying that he will be able to start putting some words together in the next few months.  That would help a lot!  We were slightly saved by grace when the meal came and he was able to drown himself in ketchup.  Yeah.  Don't judge me,  He likes dipping things but even more than that he just likes the ketchup.  Go figure.  Food is the bridge.  Hmm a very unhealthy bridge.  Please God, let him start talking soon!  

Comic by Bitstrips

Friday, December 26, 2014

Mr. Independent

   If you know Rory, you know he's always been very independent.  At 4 months he wanted to use the spoon to feed himself even though he didn't have the motor skills to do that yet.  At 9 months he started walking all around the house.  At 10 months he always needed to hold the toothbrush.  Heaven forbid mommy or daddy doing it.  He would just scream and or bite to get that thing out of his mouth.  But you give him the brush and he will happily tap it inside his mouth and do a little jig at the same time.  Now though that he's a todd-ager, his independence has grown to a whole new level.  You can't change a diaper anymore without him getting mad.  He wants to do it himself and if he could I'd gladly let him.  Cut his food up for him?  Heck no!  He doesn't want that.  Give me the whole banana, he says in a simple and demanding "mmmp." vocalization.  A cute curly headed nod always accompanies that noise.  It's too cute not to smile, but don't smile too long because its not cute when he bursts out in a tantrum because he doesn't get to milk the cow, pour his own milk himself and then screw the lid on himself.  This toddler business is insanity.  Oh no.  I'm not saying its aggravating or obnoxious at all.  You must be misreading the tone.  I'm just saying it's really really insane.
   Today is a prime example of such.  We spent the afternoon shopping to get Christmas things half off.  (and I got a ton of really cool things for next year for my classroom.)  Rory who as I've said is a little impatient couldn't wait until we were done shopping to eat so he got his little cup of cheerios out and proceeded to grab handfuls at a time and shoved them in his mouth.  Of course as you know, half of them either fell out of his hands or stuck to his face.  I swear we are lucky we aren't in the witness protection program because anyone looking for us could have followed the trail of cheerios around Target.

 We were excited to get to Olive Garden because I was starving.  So apparently was a woman who walked out of her way, almost got hit by a car driving by and then tripped up the curb just to cross our path.  "Oh he's darling!" she says, "But I can't look at him!  He's so cute, I might just KIDNAP him!"  It was really hard to smile and nod, but then again it's not the first time someone has said something like that before. To quote my favorite Scarecrow, "Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking."

When we got seated Rory had nothing to munch on since he left all his cheerios at Target.  So of course he screamed a little bit, waved at the baby next to us, screamed a little bit more.  When the bread sticks came it was as if heaven opened up and was giving him glorious Italian seasoned manna!  That is until I started tearing the pieces apart so you know, he doesn't choke on them.

    "Mmmp," Rory complains.  Oh silly daddy.  Why would you try to break the pieces up?  I forgot he would rather just eat the whole bread stick.  And eat his salad and noodles on a plate?  No way!  Let me lick the goodness off of it instead.  It must be tastier that way.

Moral of the Story: Toddlers = Exhausting!
Needless to say, I ordered a Sangria.  #rewardyourself  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Where oh Where Did My Baby Go?

  Where in the world did this toddler come from?  I honestly don't know what's happened.  After our big summer adventure I took a small break from blogging because life literally exploded in September.
   Our very tiny church merged with a much larger one and finding my place in this new family is proving to be quite difficult.  I'm still not sure where I'm being called to serve.  Hopefully I'll get some sign soon.  Then the new school year began and The State of Florida being so wise decided that because of poor test scores (on a test that was being thrown out and a new one was being instituted) that our school needed to teach the kids an extra hour every day. But don't worry.  First graders are really good at handling three and a half hours of Reading.  I know it doesn't sound it but I've actually assimilated to the schedule but I feel so sorry for the tired first graders who don't get home until almost dark and that bit of time I lose with my own son.  As you can tell work politics have severely dragged morale down, even though this year I have one of the best behaved and cohesive groups ever in my whole teaching career.  That coupled with the fact that I've had so much parent support this year has blessed me far beyond what I can even express.  The children and parents literally have saved my sanity.
   I don't know how it happened but somehow I blinked and now it's December.  It's Christmas day in fact and my baby boy has disappeared.  He's all toddler now.  Everyone says it.  No one can believe it.  But let me tell you I have food splattered on the walls, punctured feet from stepping on Legos, ( which let me tell you is the worst pain in this world.)  and a much smaller gut from chasing that monkey all over the house.  I am telling you that it wasn't nearly this much of a workout when he was just a tiny babe.  When Rory's dunking things in the toilet, pulling whole boxes of cheerios or bags of cheese off the counters, or throwing Bella's dog food into her water dish to watch it puff up like a blowfish,  I just want to channel my Fat Amy and say with conviction, "Oh no.  Don't sign me up for Cardio."
  But like all parents before me, we summon that inner strength and go with it, because I know I'm going to blink again and he's going to be 16 and I can only pray to God that I won't be still swaddling him.  (which we are still trying to ween him off of.)
  It's been a semi-quiet Christmas with just the three of us this year.  We're used to the hustle and bustle of flights and family,  blizzards and nonstop running around.  But I can't tell you how thankful I am for this family that I've been blessed with.  I'm thankful that God sent his own son today so that mine can be free.  How can it be any better than that?