Monday, March 19, 2012

My Orange Marker

One of my favorite quotes on Parenting from The Back Up Plan (which I think is a must see for ANYONE thinking of having kids;))

A Dad to be asks a dad who is at the playground with his 3 kids what having kids is really like and this is his response: yes it's grossly exaggerated and no I don't think it's true every single day - but if you have more than one kid, I bet this makes you smile!

"The best way I can describe it is, it's awful awful awful awful, and then, something incredible happens, and then awful awful awful awful awful. "

So, here is the story of my something Incredible from yesterday

I went to a baby shower yesterday that was out of town, so being the multi-tasking queen that I am - I made a few stops to run some errands on the way because we needed some stuff for the house.

So, I searched high and low (as if I had extra time to search) for special bubble bath for Katie, I got Ben a cute toothbrush, (making sure to pick out JUST the right character) I got Dave a new Keurig Coffee Filter as ours has literally disappeared off the face of the earth.

Then I went to the baby shower and won a prize for catching lots of people saying the word Baby and taking their necklaces away. The prize was a cute, hard cover notebook and I thought - This is PERFECT for Katie - she will love it.

After the party, I went to Target and got some yogurt bites for Benny because they were on sale and they are seriously like like crack for kids (both my kids can eat an entire bag in less than 5 minutes) - and I picked up some new markers for Katie because hers were drying up and I thought she'd like them, especially since she was gonna get a new notebook.

I go home, and bring in all my bags and tell everyone that I got treats for everyone!! Katie followed me and helped hand out the treats like a helper elf!

Then I told her about the game I played and how I had won and that I was giving her my prize.
The first thing she did was look at my neck because she understood that I had collected necklaces during the game - so she asked me if I had to give them back. I told her I did, but the true is, I threw them away because it was ribbon with teeny tiny little plastic pieces on them that I knew she would A) need to carry around for about a week and B) Ben would try to chew.

So, she was coloring in her notebook with her markers and she looked at me and said, "But where is your special prize and treat?"

I told her, "Well, Katie my prize was the notebook but I am giving it to you so you can have it"

She looked at her markers and grabbed an orange one and said, "you can have one of my markers as your special prize."

I almost cried. For real.

I mean, she's 3 years old and hoards things. If she gets a package of 4 lip glosses, she will carry around all 4 at all times and freaks out if one is missing. And here she was giving me one of her precious markers... and she didn't even give me a 'boy' color which she was separating out while she was drawing.

She has been particularly mean to me lately - refusing to play with me and only asking for Daddy - so this little quip made that all go away, if only for an afternoon:)

Don't get me wrong, at bedtime - she still cried when I asked if I could read to her because she wanted daddy only but I didn't let it upset me - because she gave ME a marker - not Dave. So, I know loves me no matter how fresh she can be ;) And at the end of the day - I read her 3 My Little Pony Stories when I was only supposed to read her 2 - so that's gotta count for something right?

I love my kids and it's not always awful - and there is more wonder and excitement during any given day than I ever thought possible. But it is hard - and some days you forget about how wonderful it can be and I'm hoping I can check back here and read this when I'm frustrated with something she is doing, and remember that at the end of the day - she gave me her marker:)

Happy Parenting!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Worst night as parents ever

It's been awhile - for those of you that read, I apologize - life is just a whole lot of hectic and I literally haven't had time to sit down and type anything out. I have been making hats for people like crazy, reading some REALLY long books (the Game of Thrones Series) and working my butt off all while trying to keep this house in shape and my family, fed, watered and clean:)

The other day, we had our worst night of parenting ever.
Katie decided to throw a HUGE tantrem. I'm talking - kicking screaming, yelling, crying throwing herself all over the bed trantrum.

We were not prepared for this. My katie bug doesn't throw tantrums - she rarely even disobeys us.
I can leave her alone with a brand new box of markers and white walls and don't have to worry about her coloring ANYWHERE but on the paper in front of her.

I can tell her that she can't have an m & m until she eats 3 more bites of her dinner and she will eat 3 bites and will be honest about how many she's eaten - so if we think she's eaten 3 and she hasn't - she tells us she's only eaten 2.

If Dave tells her she can't do something and I tell her she can - she tells me that Dave said no first. It's been like this since she was around 18 months.

I'm not exaggerating - she really is this good.

I think part of why she's so good is because she learned to talk very early so has been able to communicate clearly, thus avoiding some of the frustration that most toddlers feel.

So... we were not prepared for this.

She had a particularly bad day where she was pushing Dave's buttons and she was refusing to let him get her ready for bed - so I went in to finish up. She freaked out and was refusing to let me put her pj's on. I ended up carrying her to her bed without her pj's on because the bathroom is next to Ben's room and we didn't want her to wake him up.

Then all hell broke loose.

kicking, screaming, crying - it was like the exorcist had taken over my little princess.

We had decided as a team that we were going to put our feet down so we were in it for the long haul so I refused to give in to her requests of Dave going back in. (which was her screaming theme)

I kept going back in and threatening her with taking away the dolls she sleeps with - then I tried being super nice mommy and offering to let her pick her pj's out and put them on herself.

She kept insisting on Dave.

She was crying, I was crying outside her door, Ben was awake and poor Dave was speechless.

I finally went in one last time and gave her back her best buddy because no matter how much she misbehaves, I don't think it's fair that we take her security blanket - so I'm trying to stop doing that because I realize it's not right. so I gave him back and explained that I just wanted her to put her pj's on so that she wouldn't be cold.

The exorcist child did not let up.

So I told her she was going to be cold because I wasn't coming in again and it was bed time.

(not the most mature response I know... but if it had been you, you would have said it too)

I came downstairs to try to cool down and she got quiet.

I waited a few minutes and went back upstairs and she had fallen asleep - without her clothes on. I had brought extra blankets up with me just in case so I piled the extra blankets on top of my usually sweet and adorable child and then cranked the heat up to like 75 degrees cause I didn't want her to be cold. Yes, I brought my camera because I knew that sooner rather than later - I would find this whole thing amusing...

Then I waited for her to wake up and realize she was backwards and mostly naked in bed.

Our dilemma was this.. we knew that she would remember - so did we send Dave in - or keep our foot on the ground and make her do what we wanted?

We decided to compromise because I saw no end in sight.
She woke up hysterical - I went in and tried to negotiate. (yes I still try to negotiate because sometimes it kind of works if even just for a little bit)

No go.
I left again and had visions of continuing this argument until the wee hours of the morning so I negotiated again and told her if she let me put her PJ top on, then Dave could come in and help her with her pants.

P.s. we had started out with a blanket sleeper - which I swapped out realizing it would be impossible to wrestle little miss exorcist into - so I got 2 separates figuring I could at least try to throw the shirt over her head.

It worked... took a little coaxing - but we met in the middle. She put her top on - Dave went in and put her pants on and then sang to her and all was right with our worlds again.

At the end of the day, it wasn't that big of a deal. (the initial reason we decided to put our foot down) But I feel like if we always give in, she'll never learn that sometimes we mean no for a reason - so for now, we will stay a team and try our hardest to be as fair as possible with punishing her while at the same time not going overboard when she asks for extra books or songs because 6 months ago - bedtime took us an hour with her because she wanted the extra attention and now it's just reading and a song.

Did we over-react?? yes - was she CRAZY? yes
Were we all alive and well at the end of the day - yes
Are we perfect parents - HELL NO
but we are a team and we will keep learning and helping each other learn as more and more curve balls get thrown our way. But, seriously - I hope to not have a night like this for a REALLY long time - it took a lot out of me and her too I'm sure!!!!

Happy Parenting!