Friday, April 5, 2013

Boys Will Be Boys

I love my kids, and love being a stay-at-home mom, but sometimes the ridiculousness of my daily life just needs to get written down for posterity.  The boys have been giving me a run for my money lately--I don't know if it was the full moon last week, some weird growth spurt they are going through, or if their ears are full of wax...but something has been up, and I've been going a little nuts.  Jake was the most laid-back baby until he hit around 15 months, and he has been non-stop since then.  We've had our extremely rough patches with him (specifically around his third birthday--the few months before and the few months after were so so exhausting), but he has grown into himself a little bit the last 8 months or so.  I thought we had survived the crazy-ornery stage and were done with it, but I'm reconsidering that thought these days.  Jake is a firecracker, which I usually find endearing, but lately he's been a major handful.  The kid has no fear and zero impulse control--I truly think he's going to grow up to be a stuntman (which terrifies me!).  A few examples from the last few weeks of Jake insanity:

1)  While having a serious discussion with Abby about bullies, I told the story of how my brother was beaten up by some mean boys when he was in high school (that's the sanitized version--he was actually jumped by a large pack of gang members in California because he was wearing the wrong color wasn't pretty, and he was badly beaten).  Abby asked what the mean boys did to him, and I explained that they hit and kicked my brother.  Jake was listening to the story as well, and happened to be standing right next to me while I was describing the bullying.  The next thing I knew, I was being kicked hard in the shins by my 4-year-old.  Really, Jake?  Because someone mentioned kicking, you felt the need to demonstrate on your mother?  He went in time out, and I have a few nice bruises to show for my bullying son.

2)  In gymnastics class, Jake is drawn to the bars...he will often wander over even when it's not his group's turn on the bars, and hoist himself up there.  His move du jour is hanging upside-down, with his hands and feet on the bar.  This wouldn't be a problem, if he simply kicked his feet back down and let go of the bar with his hands, landing on his feet.  No, that would be too sensible--instead, he hangs upside down until he can't hold on anymore, and then just drops, head-first, onto the mats below.  The first time I saw him do that, I almost had a heart attack, envisioning a broken neck or a concussion of some sort.  He hit the floor and I held my breath, waiting to hear screaming and watching for movement--I was relieved and a bit amazed when he not only didn't cry or lay paralyzed, but he kicked his feet up into the air and did a crazy flip move to get up.  Then he figured out that he could do a headstand (which I didn't know was within his abilities at this point), throw his feet up onto the bar, and then pull a "Look, Mom--no hands!" move by putting his arms out to the side--using only his head for balance on the floor.  I think the child will try anything that pops into his head.

signature Jake moves on the bars

3)  I can't even think of a cute intro for this next anecdote...  Last week at bedtime, I sent Jake into the bathroom like I always do while I was changing Alex's diaper in the hallway outside the bathroom.  I instructed Jake to get undressed, throw his clothes in the hamper, and go potty, which he usually does by himself--typically I have to prompt him to stop wasting water while washing his hands, but otherwise, he handles his own business in the bathroom for the most part.  He just recently learned to stand at the toilet, so he told me that he was going to do that first, which I said was fine (he will then sit to finish whatever else he needs to details necessary!).  He completed both standing and sitting phases, at which point I entered the bathroom to wash my hands after finishing Alex's diaper change.  Jake needs my help to get off the toilet, so I helped him down--and when my arm brushed against his hair, I noticed that my arm got wet.  Hmmm...that's funny.  Why is Jake's hair wet?  I hadn't heard the faucet running, and my mind could conjure no logical explanation for wet hair.  I reached out and felt his hair with my hand, and yep, it was definitely pretty wet.

Me (sincerely curious):  "Jake, how did your hair get wet, buddy?"
Jake (impish, smiling nervously):  "Uh...I put my head in the potty."
Me (incredulous):  "I'm sorry--YOU DID WHAT??"
Jake (very nervous, but smiling kind of proudly): "I looked into the toilet and my hair got wet."
Me (disgusted and reluctant): "Was that before or after you went potty?"
Jake (confidently): "After!"

Ugh!!!!  Seriously?  What on earth prompts a kid to think about sticking his head in the toilet and then actually do it.  I handed him over to Dan immediately because I thought I was going to lose my mind, and Dan ushered him into the bath tub while lecturing him profusely on the fact that just because something pops into your head doesn't mean you should do it.  I should have that lecture on repeat with Jake!

dedicated to my boys

I don't have a lot of stories about Alex--he tends to just follow along behind Jake, learning all of his tricks and bad habits on the way.  They are often quite cute together, but more than not, they are partners in crime.  If one cries and refuses to eat dinner, the other joins know, just to show some brotherly solidarity.  I am attempting to begin the potty training fun in earnest with Alex, and that alone is enough to drive me nuts.  He wants to be a big boy, he wants to be like Jake, but he does not want to wear undies.  The boy loves his diapers.  I'm feeling up against a wall with him--he's so darn stubborn, and I think if I can't get this done with him in the next few months, the battle is just going to get harder.  As of right now, he screams and screams when I put him on the toilet...even though he will eventually use it as soon as he calms down, and he gets super excited when he is successful.  It's just those initial moments, getting him there, that make my head hurt.   I have been insisting that he use the toilet before I give him a bath, and the fussing and whining about that begins before we even head up the stairs.  Yesterday afternoon, I took the boys upstairs for their baths and attempted to prep Alex for the toilet--I bribe with chocolate, naturally.  He was upset about the prospect of going potty (I even had Jake go first, to demonstrate that it's normal and not scary!), and fought me as I tried to pick him up and set him on the toilet.  We struggled, and the next thing I know, his foot was in the toilet that Jake had just used.  Yeah, that happened.  I had to fish him out, dry him off, and then coax a very distraught boy to use the toilet himself.  It took 25 minutes of screaming before he finally calmed down and completed his task.  Did I mention how stubborn he is?

I will outlast you, Alex!

I think all moms have their hands full and deserve medals for their efforts, but moms of boys will always have a special place in my heart.  These boys put me to work every single day!  Abby had her ridiculous moments, but she was an absolute breeze (and still is!) by comparison--we didn't know what we were in for with Jake and Alex.  Thankfully for me, they are all three good kids, and these crazy days will pass...or at least that's what I keep telling myself as I keep a desperate, slipping grasp on my sanity.

1 comment:

  1. I admire your sense of humor! I'm not sure mine would be intact if I had some of the experiences you have ... this was great, nice writing.