Where’s Leo? Our attempt at a holiday photo shoot around 5 months, clearly it did not go well…
On the day that Leo was born, gazing lovingly into his beautiful eyes I didn’t imagine that two years later I would be pleading with him to stop shoving string cheese into them.
“NO LEO! Cheese does not go in your eye! You eat it!”
“No,” replies Leo, continuing to shove the string cheese into his eye socket and laughing at me.
“Eat it like this, yum yum yum,” I eat imaginary string cheese and smile.
And so goes much of my day… Another parent of a two-year old and I were talking recently and wondering; when can we reason with them??? It seems like everything I say goes in one ear, and then is completely disregarded, without e even bothering to go out the other ear. I am pretty sure that there are probably about a million books on this topic, but I am too tired to read them as I have spent my all of my energy trying to explain to my child that a cookie-based diet is not suitable for a growing boy.
Here is a typical day:
He doesn’t want to wear clothes. “Leo look! Everyone else is wearing clothes!” Leo continues to run around at full-speed buck naked as I chase him with clothes.
He wants me to build him an animal out of play doh but then gets really upset when he crushes said animal. “Leo, don’t smash the kitty if you still want to play with it.” Leo hands me the smashed kitty which I reconstruct and he smashes it again.
He wants to put his toy giraffe in his little basketball hoop but gets frustrated when it gets stuck in the net, after removing the giraffe about 100 times I suggest, “Why don’t we try the basketball in the hoop?” Fat chance.
He wants hummus for lunch, then he gets upset when I give him hummus. “For the love of god please just eat the hummus!!!” Leo eats a cookie. Hummus goes in the trash can with uneaten toast and smashed banana from breakfast.
He wants to walk our dog around the house on a leash for hours, I am afraid that the dog might snap so I take him off the leash. “The dog is tired and needs to rest, let’s go color!” MELTDOWN.
I guess this is one of the myriad of reasons that it’s called the terrible twos. Or maybe he just only speaks Chinese or perhaps French and can’t understand me… I know that someday, and it might not be until his mid-thirties, logic will prevail.
I have a confession to make. I need sleep. Like 7-8 hours a night. I love sleep. I feel like non-productive waste of space when I don’t get sleep and I am kind of a bitch. So basically, I have been kind of a bitch for the last two years. There seems to be a perception that you just “get used to” sleep deprivation when you have kids but I don’t think that I really have… and the past few nights around here have been especially rough. Leo has an outer ear infection, which it turns out is just as annoying as a your run of the mill inner ear infection.
After a really gross visit to the pediatrician, where they cleaned his ears by scraping out the wax with the world’s tiniest spoon we were prescribed ear drops and television… yes, that’s right, television. It is apparently the only way to make a toddler lay immobile on their side for half an hour while the drops do their magic. Now we have been actively avoiding television in our house because there seems to be a direct correlation between how much TV Leo watches and his level of brattiness. But yesterday, it was doctor’s orders… I should have known better.
It always seems like daddy, or “da-eeee” as Leo calls him, is the favorite and most needed parent until the sun sets then it’s all “mama, mama, mama,” which is why I am always waking up next to Leo in his big boy bed instead of my own wondering how I got there. Last night was no different, his television-induced brattiness manifested at just as I was nodding off at 1130PM. He woke up to have a two-hour tantrum about nothing and everything. He wanted the gate to his room open but he got mad at me when I opened it. He wanted me in his room, but not on his chair. He asked for a bottle, then freaked out when he was presented with it. Finally, he wanted to go downstairs and watch television and as most parents know after midnight you will do just about ANYTHING to get your kid to just go to back to sleep. So at around 12:30, I was sitting on the couch with Leo who was having the time of his life watching a crazy light show on Baby First TV (which is either for babies or adults on LSD at that hour- it’s unclear) when it occurred to me that this was fucking ridiculous! I turned of the TV and took him back to his room kicking and screaming which is what he did for at least another half hour until he finally collapsed out of exhaustion (and I did too) only to be up at 6AM, ready to start his day.
And here I am again, yet another day where I wake up counting the hours until I can go to bed. There is laundry to do, thank you notes to write, cookies I said I was going to bake, a refrigerator that needs cleaning out, a dentist appointment I have been saying that I would make for about two years, chicken to defrost, errands to run, and on and on and on. You know what I got done today? None of it. My accomplishments for the day include constructing an elephant out of play-dough and convincing Leo to eat a banana and a piece of toast. And for today, that’s fine. Hopefully, tomorrow I can resume being a productive member of society after a great night’s sleep.
At least someone is sleeping around here…
We have a serious problem in our house. My son only wants to wear Crocs. Occasionally, if he is distracted you can get another pair of shoes on him but you can’t let him see his Crocs or he will immediately want to change. You can get some really funky smelly feet if you wear the same shoes everyday, even if they are made out of dishwasher-safe plastic. Due to this problem, and against my better judgement, I actually bought him more Crocs. So now we are rotating between three pairs; light blue (his favorite and REALLY smelly), green and yellow (for College game day- Go Ducks! and play dates) and navy blue (for special outings and Jewish holidays). I personally, would never wear Crocs, I think they are pretty hideous. I will admit, reluctantly, that they make a lot of sense for little kids. They are easy to get on and off; Leo can sometimes even do this himself, once and a while on the right feet too. I just don’t know if this is just a phase or if I will be packing up a big box of Crocs for Leo to take to college someday. Or maybe I will have to wean Leo from his Crocs cold-turkey and with much protest…like sleep-training… but for fashion. I just hope the allure of real shoes is to powerful to resist. As long as they aren’t my shoes… Excuse the blurry image of Leo in my black wedge sandals…
Leo finally started school last week! It seems like we have been building up to this moment for months… touring pre-schools, applications and then finally getting in! There was lots of work building up to the big day from the careful selection of a lunchbox to placing teeny-tiny “Leo” stickers in all of his teeny-tiny underpants, shorts and shirts. We practiced opening his lunchbox, using the “big” potty, waiving at friends to say (as opposed to a hug and big wet kiss which is Leo’s preferred greeting). We even took a last minute trip to Santa Barbara to celebrate.
When the big day finally arrived Leo was so excited he woke up at 4AM demanding toast, he finally realized that he had to wait a bit longer for school to start he went back to bed for a few hours. The sun did eventually come up and when he was fed, dressed and ready to go, he carried his lunchbox to the car proudly. Mom and Dad took him to the playground and introduced him to his new teacher and when it was time for us to say goodbye he started crying, that really sad cry that starts off silent, the kind of cry where you know that your kids is actually really sad and not just about to throw a really big fit because they can… Then Leo realized that he got to stay and play and only Mommy and Daddy had to go and he was fine. That was it, the big day, it came and went without event…
Leo posing with his 20 pound lunchbox on the first day of school.