Mother’s Day is, I feel, the equivalent of Valentine’s Day. Another one of those ‘manufactured holidays’ hyped by card companies to generate revenue. And also, I need to chime in on that Time cover too. Just like everyone else! I know you want to read all about it. Seriously. You do.
Category Archives: boys
“Mummy!” Vincent shouted at me the other day, with real fear in his voice, “There’s a monkey in my nose!”
And what, you may ask, does this mean? It means he has a booger.
About a year or so ago this phrase evolved, probably from me saying something ridiculous like “You’ve got bats in the cave”. I frequently say things that border on the ridiculous to both my children. Who doesn’t? Isn’t that part of parenting? Making up explanations for wee folk who don’t really understand what you are saying? Most of the time, the more creative you are the better. Once we told Vince ‘Don’t crawl around under the table because that’s where the snakes are’ and we’ve pretty much never needed to worry about him doing that in a restaurant ever again. (Yes, yes, we are awful, I know. Whatever.) So how on earth did a playful “You’ve got a monkey in your nose” evolve into something that is a cause for major concern, in my son’s eyes anyways?
Today is going to be a great day. I just know it I woke up knowing it. Vince woke up super chipper. Eleanor woke up with gooey smiles. Clearly the day is already earmarked to be amazing. Hopefully I haven’t just screwed myself with my overabundance of optimism.
4 weeks into being a stay-at-home-mom and things are slowly starting to improve. Last week was a week of tough love. But that tough love seems to have created a little boy who is determined to listen to me. Hallelujah! I’ll let you in on my secret.
Ok, so I know that I said that having a second child was a piece of cake. And it is. Honestly.
For the adults anyways. Should I have clarified that?
For Edward and I, adjusting to Eleanor (who is delightful, smells delicious and is, in general, gorgeous) is like nothing. We already had 9 months of me sleeping like crap, so getting 3 to 4 hours a night in a row is a total bonus. Plus, and maybe I shouldn’t say this but…, she’s perfect and so much easier than Vince ever was as a newborn.
Get this: She cries when she’s hungry. The end.
Well shit. I think I can manage that…
Edward and I have this theory that she is going to be the ‘easy baby’. Vince was a nightmare as a newborn. I have recurrent bad dreams of singing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ repeatedly and watching endless infomercials on the couch. Edward and I would compare notes every morning on what we’d seen (we took turns every evening). Vince would not got back to sleep after being fed, he was always awake and miserable.
Now Eleanor? Angel! Sleeps like that’s her goal in life. I haven’t watched an infomercial in the last 3 weeks. Hopefully I can keep this up. Or she can keep this up.
So as for the adjusting… well, like I said, Edward and I are adjusting just fine. Now Vincent? Not so sure…
There is no doubt about how much he loves his sister. Every day he makes some sort of comment about how she is ‘people’ and in his family. As opposed to the dog, who is not ‘people’ but is still included in the family member count.
He wants to rock her, feed her bottles, give her a pacifier (or binkie as it’s randomly been named here). He kisses her all the time, sometimes at rather precarious angles. He pats her on the back and head and says ‘excuse me’ when she burps. He is just great with her.
And with us, he is a complete and total basketcase. So awful. Horrible. Ick. Yuck. And ‘nasty’.
He’s started spitting in the house and has spat on the dog (for no real reason we can see, poor dog) and us randomly over the last few weeks. He has completely stopped listening to us and as a result we’ve had to implement rather strict punishment. Which means that pretty much E and I are laying down the law all day, every day and it is exhausting. I hate to list his misdeeds, so just imagine everything awful that an almost 4 year old could do and that’s whats going on. Frankly, it’s a relief when the weekend is over and he goes back to school. I think he might be a tad easier to handle there, where there are more children and very strict rules that are rigorously enforced (unlike some places…).
Like my house. In case you hadn’t picked up on that.
Listening right now is a huge issue for us. As in he doesn’t. At all. Or pretends to, but does something else entirely. So you ask him to do something and his response is to ignore you. You repeat yourself several times. No response. Or my favorite response: spitting. Or something else that’s just poor manners.
A confrontation regarding bad behavior yields not that much. The only thing that’s gets his attention is to remove privileges. And that’s where you get a response. A huge ‘I’m a liar’ response:
“I’m going to be good”.
“I’m going to be nice”.
“I’m going to listen”.
It’s usually one of these followed by “Mummy, are you happy of me???”
And this one is a hard one to answer. I hope he is addressing his behavior, but since he is in preschool, I am pretty sure that I would be reading too much into the issue if I did. I certainly don’t want to tell him he isn’t making me happy, implications and all… So E and I have compromised with ‘I am not happy with you when you spit on me, but I am happy when you have nice manners’ or something to that effect. At least we can let him know his manners are bad, but we still love him.
Such a precarious balance.
And really this balancing act is what is making things a little bumpy. I like saying ‘bumpy’, makes it sound like a plane ride that is a little out of hand and will be over soon. Optimistic overtones, ya?
I’m going to keep these tones in mind over the next few weeks and try to double my smooth breathing technique and monitor my blood pressure. And drink my tea every morning and make sure my pants are pulled up properly. All of these morning techniques should make for me having a calm and even temper and, of course, make sure that I KEEP MY TEMPER IN CHECK.
Because I certainly would never let me any 4 year old get to me.
And I still have most of my own hair.
Partial wig only, swear… xoxo a.m.
Or so I found out this morning on my way to my in-laws house. We headed over there for some swimming and there was a rumor floating around that they would babysit while Edward and I went to the movies.
E headed off first, we followed a few minutes later.
I threw in a cd, some nice chill Sarah Harmer (that’s ‘hippy crap’ to you Fran) and it all went down hill from there.
My son disapproved of my music choice
“I no like this, I want the Danger Danger song. Mummy! I want my song! I no like this, I don’t want to listen to it. I want MY MUSIC! TURN IT OFF MUMMY!” etc etc etc
And this was combined with tears, flailing and the whiniest voice you have ever heard. IN YOUR LIFE. Unless you too have a three-year old, then you know exactly what I am talking about.
I, apparently, I left my patience on the couch. And also, one can only listen to ‘Danger Danger, High Voltage by Electric Six’ so many times before losing your damn mind.
This roar erupted out of me that actually was rather frightening. Vince must have agreed because he paused in mid-whine and burst into actual real tears, as opposed to the fake ones previous. Ugh. I hate it when things like this happen, but sometimes they just do.
3 seconds later, we both moved on. I calmed down, V stopped crying and we hit the expressway to Sassy and Pop-Pop’s.
Once we arrived, I told V it was time to go to the bathroom.
“No, I just did it already.” Oh really. Reeeaaaallllyyy. And nope, you didn’t. Well, you did, but it was 4 hours ago. You are not a camel. So off we went to the potty amid many protestations of “I did it already” and “I don’t have to”.
I shut the door and locked it. Edwards parents weren’t home yet, but I had to go too and I always lock the door. Mistake number one, clearly.
“You don’t lock da door! YOU DON”T LOCK IT!!”
(I’m sitting on the potty)
“I don’t want to go potty!!!!!!! I don’t have to!!!!
(The door is unlocked. Did I mention I was sitting on the potty?)
“I DON”T WANT TO!!!!”
And then he opened the door. I roared just one word “OUT” and he ran.
Edward, from the other room, “Jame? What on earth is going on in there?”
*sigh* Mummy is losing her damn mind.
And then 3 seconds later, Vince announced “I wanna go potty with Daddy”. And off they went, to the potty on the other side of the house. And they returned successful, V proclaiming “Mummy! I did a super monster pee!”
And then V happily went off with his Grandparents and Edward and I went and saw Captain America.
There is, it seems, an awful lot of arguing going on in our house. Vince disapproves of pretty much everything we do and breaks out his multiple not-so-secret weapons of whining, tears and full on fits. I am clearly learning how to handle this. And it seems that I am mostly handling it badly.
Vince has been three for 6 weeks. Geez-us is this way worse than 2.
I’ll get the hang of it eventually, probably when he turns 4…
This afternoon as I was getting ready for my lady date, Vince came running down the hallway and threw open my bedroom door.
Leaning against it, he started shouting at me…
I was shaving my legs. You know, that one time a week when I have someone to impress? That are ladies?
So in he runs, shouting something that frankly was rather hard to understand. By the third time he shouted it, I understood and then started to inwardly laugh…
Vincent: “Sweetie! Sweetie sweetie! Sweetie! SWEETIE!!!”
Mummy: “Ah…. Yes?”
Vince: “I did a big poo.”
Who knew that this was a ‘sweetie’ worthy conversation topic?
And guess what? That is totally all my fault.
‘Sweetie’ and ‘Babe and ‘Honey’ are all things that I regularly call Vince instead of his actual name. And clearly he thinks this is just things that people call one another. Which, technically, is true if you actually, physically live in my house.
Everyone has some other name, or no name, or a name plus an additional name. Like how the dog is “Chewie McBitersonton”. Or how Edward is, well, ‘Edward’. He’s just too formal. And a huge pain in my ass. And Vince, of course, has too many names to list.
About 2 weeks ago, Vince shouted “Honey!! HONEY!! HONEY!!!!!!”
Vince: “Mummy, your my best fwen. I wuve you.”
Mummy: *heart melt* “Love you too baby…”
As if I don’t write enough about it. Geez. I am annoyed with myself. But, you know, you draw what you can from your own experiences and this is apparently what my life is consisting of lately.
Today was a particularly special day.
It started off with poo and ended with it as well. How blessed am I! I guess I am blessed with an almost 3 year old that can pee in the potty, but hasn’t quite mastered the poo. But has mastered the ‘holding it’ part of the movement and is rather good at it.
Blah. Anyways, thats how it started today. A nonchalant statement ‘Mummy? I poo in my underwears.” It was just a flat out statement. No emotion at all. It has become de rigeur. Routine. Normal.
And then this afternoon? We got home, walked the dog and then headed out into the courtyard to pull some weeds. We have had a serious weed eruption in the last 5 days. It’s insane. V and I pulled about 3 pounds of weeds this afternoon and in the middle of all of this vigrous pulling, V announced:
“Mummy! Dere’s poo! Right der!”
“Oh?” Uninterestedly… “There is?”
“Mummy!! Right der. Da poo. It’s icky. It’s on my sock”.
Ok, now that got my attention. What? And then? There it was. In the middle of the courtyard.
A turd. Just one. But don’t worry, there was a shower of them to follow.
I had to pick them all up individually. With my bare hands.
Ha! I kid. I keed. I used a papertowel.
And just when I thought I’d got them all, we started heading upstairs and then one more appeared. Renegade poop.
Vince shouted: “It’s a stinky icky poo!! Ewwwwwwww!” Which made me laugh as it rolled out of his pant-leg and on to the floor. He created and disowned in a microsecond.
Having nothing near by to pick it up with, I used V’s dirty sock to pick up the turd, carry it upstairs and deposit it in the toilet.
And that, probably, is the perfect example of the regular life of a normal Mummy. Sock poo pick-up. Vomit slasher-film type experience. Random wet pants.
Edward got home 15 minutes later to a clean Vince, pj-clad and pleasant. Neither of us mentioned anything about poo. To Daddy or each other. Not that, I think, its something we’d have a conversation about. But it was just not mentioned.
And then, I watched Beauty and the Beast and went to bed. Clearly a win of a day…
How do you name a penis?
Tricky question, eh?
Thursday night, as we started our bath-time washing procedure, we encountered ‘the area’ a few minutes in. Boy Territory is something I tread a little gingerly, as I am not that familiar with it. Apart from the obvious familiarity of being married to a man.
I am teaching V to scrub-a-dub himself and so I shout out random (boy) parts while I foam-pump soap into his palms and watch with delight while he hurries to find and cover them with suds (I am assuming that something is being cleaned just with soap touching it).
So of course we hit the usual…
And then I shout things like “Scrub scrub scrub!” And “Wash wash wash!”
And at some point those hands wandered down ‘There’ and a damp face makes a mischevious little grin at me.
And then? I shouted “Wash your….. weewee!!”
It’s OK. I feel your shock. I was in a pinch and that’s what came out. And as soon as it left my mouth, I turned red. Even though there was no-one else around to see or hear what I just said, apart from Vince…. who was currently clutching those ‘bits’ and saying “Weeeeeee we. WeeeWeeeeeee! WeWe!”
What did I just create.
And crap. What do you call those bits?!
I mean, I call them ‘bits’. To the general public that is. Not that it’s something that I am generally announcing to people. But when I am, that’s how I announce them.
Edward?! Where are you?! I need you for these situations! So get off your Fantasy football calculator thingy and come upstairs and clean your son’s penis!
… is what I would like to shout, but don’t. I just hold it all in. Like the proud British-Canadian that I am…
Well, tonight we had tub-time again. And Edward was in Philly and therefore was not around for assistance. But no matter, V got there before I could and started scrubbing away at various parts to much applauding, finally getting to the ‘bits and then looking up at me before he did anything.
Vince!! Wash your ‘peepee’!”
Ok, at least this was slightly better than ‘weewee’. Geez.
I really have no idea where to go with this one. I am thinking I might just stick to ‘bits’ and that suits my sensibilities just fine.