Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Milestones or stumbling blocks

He looks innocent enough, right?

Before E came along, I was a little apprehensive about how W was going to adjust to all of the impending changes.  A new sister.  A slower mom.  Less one-on-one time.  Etc.
When  W would visit us at the hospital, he would always run right in the room and yell, "Mommy!"  It felt so good to have him there and his excitement was just a bonus.  He'd look at his sister for a minute, then it was off to pushing buttons, playing with the phone, moving the bed up and down, that kind of thing.  He would stay long enough to have a meltdown or two, then he would head home with MaMom or Dave.  I suppose he was taking things as well as I could expect.  Then I came home.

The first afternoon was OK.  The following morning?  Not so much.

W woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  The sad side of the bed.  He wasn't happy and no one -- except me -- could console him.  But all he wanted from me was to pick him up and hold him...which I couldn't do.  He cried and wailed, and so did I.  It was horrible.  All he wanted was his mom to hold him, and I couldn't give that to him.  So he and I sat on the couch and cried together.  Pathetic, huh?

I don't think he's forgiven me for that morning.

Since then, my once kind, patient (for a two year old), lovable boy has really let me have it.  I'm talking tantrums that involve throwing himself on the ground and screaming like his arms are being amputated from his body.  Oh my sweet boy, what happened?

And remember those milestones I used to celebrate?  They're becoming more of stumbling stones for me, and a source of frustration, oftentimes anger, and disagreement between the boy and me.  I can't say I celebrate these kinds of milestones:
  1. First call to Poison Control.  W got into a bottle of stool softener (I've been on narcotics) and ate who knows how many.  Besides a few extra diapers that day, all is well.  
  2. Destruction.  He got into his sister's room and ended up with half of the drape rod downstairs in my room.
  3. More destruction.  He yanked down the blackout shade in his room.
  4. Fixation.  The air vent in his room is his latest obsession.  He removed it one day and fell down into it.  Problem is it drops straight down and there are metal screws securing the duct work.  W's leg now has proof of this fall.
  5. Indecency.  Since I was banned from using the stairs, my friend (who just happened to be at my house when this happened) rescued W from the vent upstairs (#4).  However, her rescue was that of a naked boy.  Somewhere between ripping down the shade and pulling off the vent, W decided he didn't want to wear his diaper anymore.  
  6. The perfect storm.  Numbers three, four and five all happened at the same time.  
  7. Emerging artist.  W knows that crayon colors show up everywhere, including the computer screen, couch and window.  
  8. Disappearing act.  He threw his grandma SheShe's Sam's Club card down another air vent.  
  9. A budding friendship.  Lucy appreciates W's new hobby of getting the bowl of dog food from the laundry room and throwing piece by piece all over the house, which appropriately  happens as I am feeding the baby (and can't get there to stop it).  It's like a game.  He throws.  She runs.  He laughs.  She comes back for more.  Of course, W then decides to take a whole bowl of food up the stairs, but accidentally dumps it out half-way to the top.  Thankfully Lucy cleans up after him.
  10. Life is over.  And finally, best of all, W learned how to turn handles and open doors.  Every.  Single.  Door.  He was kind of enough to learn this new skill the night before I returned from the hospital.  Thoughtful, huh?  The house is no longer secure.  No item/room/area is safe.  We've now resorted to those knob covers that are sometimes more adult-proof than child-proof.  
I had long heard the adjustment from one to two children can be the most difficult.  I was going into this change with my eyes wide open knowing we were going to go through a major transition.  Now, almost three weeks later, I am thankful I wasn't naive in thinking this would be a breeze.  It's hard.  I will admit that without any shame.  Sometimes it's like he's scheming against me and my post-pregnancy brain can't get ahead of him.  Yet thankfully, a few mornings have greeted me with a well-rested and -fed newborn, a happy toddler who just might still like me a little bit, and the possibility of an afternoon nap -- W's greatest redeeming quality at the moment.

Perhaps these milestones should be more than stumbling blocks for me.  Stepping stones?  It's a stretch, but I need a silver lining.  As any two year old should, he's exploring, learning, testing limits (a lot) and stepping into boyhood.  I feel pretty confident that we may lose more items down air vents.  And several other pieces may meet a crayon or two.  I guess I should get over the stumbling blocks and help him along the way.

 For your viewing pleasure, W's morning activity.


Christie said...

Oh, honey. Is it wrong that we found the naked drape ripping/vent exploring boy so hilarious? We can only laugh cause we've been there ourselves. It gets better. Hang in there. :-)

Libby said...

Sister-I feel for you! Two is a dooze. I think around the time Levi started these types of shenanigans was the same time we got on a first name basis with The Wiggles.

I know it's a lame recommendation, but if you can find some crazy hypnotizing kid show, then you can at least get the lil' lass fed without major damage to your son or your house. Or if it's not tv, then some other hypnotizing type of activity.

Hang in there gal. And then think how strong our mom's must have been for having so many kids! Yikes to them.

katie said...

christie, i am so glad it was you and maren, and that i didn't have to call someone to come rescue my son from the great abyss in his "safe" room. really, can't thank you enough.

Auntie Lolo said...

Um, is it wrong to have found this post both hilarious and sad at the same time? Wow, I think I will pray for you tonight! :)

melissa said...

Oh Katie..where do I start?

First off, this is such a well-written post! Props to you for being able to come up with such a clever way of describing W's antics! I could barely piece together a cognitive thought, let alone a full sentence until Jane was a month old; between the narcotics and lack of sleep and feeling as if the lower half of my body was going to separate from my upper half. You truly are gifted in your writing skills.

Second, I would most definitely second Libby's recommendation of a TV show. I daresn't say how many Abe has watched in the past 3 months! Yet somehow he's still learning and growing and I have just purged the guilt and decided it is worth everyone's sanity. He's gonna live and graduate one day and be a normal human being. It's a phase that will pass. And I am happy to say that the 'shows' (as they are referred to at our house) have come to a definite slow down. One per day, okay maybe two..depending on how the feedings go. They are crucial during feedings. Crucial.

Third, I love you and think you are an amazing mom. Keep your chin up and just think of all the stories you'll have to tell one day! And enlist in some help with W. Let one of your friends or mom in law take him for the morning. He would love it and so will you.
PS Sorry I am so long winded. I had a lot to say~

Beck n' Ben said...

I am curious to know what the Dub manage to "achieve" while you were typing this blog entry... What a crazy but sweet little guy.

Lizbeth said...

oh kate-na, i dont know how you do it. reading this makes me reconsider ever having more than one child. son of A. dont worry though, the terror can only last so long. . . right?