So, you know how we all need great friends to go shopping with, or listen to us talk about how great The Hunger Games is or tell us how we aren't fat? And sometimes we need friends that can just let us vent and gripe and convince us we aren't alone? Well, I totally have awesome friends who have heard all about how I abandon my family for four days while I jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon, and now I need someone to tell me I am not a crazy, crap mom.
Here is the thing, most days I really am disillusioned enough to think I have got my stuff together on this "mom of two" thing. The laundry is done, the house is clean, we have all showered and Alex doesn't look homeless and its 'll on a combined five hours of sleep. Most days I can really walk around with the confidence of a woman wearing white in a tampon commercial.
Then there are the days that I don't. Cause see, Alex is 3.
For the most part, when we are out in public Alex's toddler-ness does't really phase me. Like when Alex (total example, this did not happen last week; after school; after getting both of the boys out in the rain) reaches for the ceramic piggy bank at the 'kids table' at Central Market and drops it on the ground a second before I can grab it from him, of course, shattering on the ground. Or almost flips out when I unjustly make him hold my hand in the parking lot causing everyone in a four block radius to stare. But that doesn't bother me. I am of the firm belief that if it isn't your kid acting out now, it will be eventually. It's just the odds. So I always try to give any other moms a smile when I see their kiddo being as all over the place as mine.
What gets me is at home. It's like we fight all.day.long. Not even kidding. I am constantly riding his little fanny about everything. Everything. Not to crawl in the dryer; to stop spitting; to stop feeding the dog raisins (that are poisonous). Nothing that seems out of line to get on to him about, but clearly is due to his horrific reaction. And while he was away last weekend with his grandparents and they reassured me he was polite and well behaved (so it might actually be working), at home it's enough to make me want to stab myself in the eye by 2pm.
Look, I know parenting and motherhood isn't about what the parent gets out of it and I'm down with that. But what kills me, is that while I read all these great and lovely blogs nary a ONE has anything but smiling siblings and family photos filled with toothy grins. Surely MY darling angel isn't the only one on the planet who tries to stuff toys up his baby brother's nose or throws a fit over getting dressed because, evidently, it will end his life? Can it really just be my sweet Alex that melts down every.time. I don't let him play in the car after I unbuckle him because it is hotter than the surface of the sun outside and I 'm sweating like a hog? Am I feeding him too much Red dye no. 2? Is this just normal? Is there a band of three year olds out there that conspire at night on the twitter feeds what the 'new' way to act out is?
I've tried time outs on the stairs, time outs in his room, taking toys away, ignoring and redirecting and nothing seems to phase him. The only thing I haven't tried is leaving him in the parking lot with a note tied to his shirt. I'm saving that one for later. What else can I be doing? I mean, other than look down at my sweet new baby and think, "Am I really in for three more years of this?"
Luke is really helpful and has saved my butt so many times. It's like the two of them have their own language and it's called "Oh-it's-dad-so-now-I-can-calm-down-and-be-normal-and-do-whatever-I-just-faught-with-mom-about-for-a-half-hour". And while at the end of the day the situation is resolved and we have moved past the unpleasantness, it always leaves me feeling completely inept and like I need Luke to step in and do my job. Or have a cocktail at 9am.
So if you know of any 'warts and all' blogs, send them my way because sometimes misery loves company and sometimes we just need to know we aren't the only ones who hear "NO! Go, mommy, go!" before their toddler attempts to fling a dirty diaper at you.