Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Preventative measures

So today I high-tailed it to my dealer to buy a spare tire at a cost of $150. To be accurate it's just a donut, but at least I will never again be stranded by a flat tire. I may be stranded for other car problems, but at least not that! And next time I will be emotionally prepared to call friends, move car seats, etc. Ok, I get it. This is life with two kids and nobody to help. Everything clicks along just fine until something goes wrong, and then it all goes to shit.

I am still waiting on an estimate to replace my dining room window bars. After waiting all morning, the guy called and said he never got my text with my address (and his voicemail was full when I called). So...yeah.

On a happier note, a new interesting development is the fact that Bumpus now wants to play with his brother. Like, all the time. Which is great because it gives me a second to breathe...but also makes things hard because unless they are right under foot in the kitchen (which poses its own issues), I have to constantly check on them. The other day I caught Bumpus jumping up and down on Theo's stomach as he lay in the crib (Theo thought it was hysterical - not hurt, I guess...???); today B had covered T with my big, heavy comforter and T was smothered under it screaming his head off. Not to mention a million other dangers when there are two - the lid of the toy chest that can slam and break tiny fingers; the big heavy rocking car that can crush limbs; the toddler toys with small parts that can choke a baby. I'm kind of amazed any younger siblings survive, honestly. Thankfully B never mistreats T but he's way too young to grasp that he's big and strong and T is not (I insist he be gentle but in the heat of the moment that gets forgotten pretty easily). Also his desire to play with Theo means constant distraction - getting Bumpus to eat, brush his teeth, change a diaper, put his shoes on, do anything, has turned in to an absolute nightmare. I am worn out from the repeated cajoling, threatening, bribing, trying to make it fun, etc etc that is now required for every single thing we do all day long. Half the time I have to shut Theo in my room in the crib and leave him in there crying hysterically for 45 minutes just to get a spoonful of food down Bumpus' gullet. I'm hoping the novelty of Theo on the Move soon passes enough that B can focus again. And I do love that he wants to play with him, I do. But oh my God, is it exhausting for me!!!

Lately I've been thinking of how many times in the past people would ask me how hard all this was and I would say, honestly, that it wasn't hard at all. Now when people say that, I find myself saying, honestly, that yes, it's really really hard. Parenting a toddler and a baby all alone with no help is really hard. I have the "trifecta of shit" - no partner, no nearby helpful family, and no dedicated friend with no family of their own who can drop everything to help me. It is a small miracle I got a hold of Mom Guru right when she was able to come get me and that her husband was able to take most of the day the next day to come to my house, remove my wheel, take it to a store, buy a new tire, and come back and put it on. Just about any other day of the year this would have been totally impossible and I would have been stuck trying to get someone to watch the kids on a weekday while I did all of that myself, using cabs back and forth. It could have been so much worse!

But yeah, B is definitely a three-year-old in training. Testing the boundaries, needing everything a certain way (and if not, having to go back and do it all over again - just getting him down the stairs to the car can often take fifteen plus minutes as he goes back up and down over and over), emotional fallout constantly, loving something one minute and then hating it the next - it is so tiring to deal with this all day. Most times just trying to get any semblance of dinner is so impossible with his squirming and kicking and wanting to turn the lights on and off and wanting to touch this and wanting a different spoon and needing me to wipe his hands that I just throw the towel in and throw the food away whether he might have been able to finish it or not. It makes me shudder when I think this is how every night of our lives is going to be for years and years - he may sit more still, but I bet getting him to eat what I eat is going to be an uphill battle, with a lot of complaining and whining. I intend to institute the "you"ll eat what I make or get nothing" rule as soon as appropriate!!!


  1. Um, it's totally appropriate to institute the rule now! You don't have to confine Theo to the bedroom to get Bumpus to eat... He will eat, or not. That's up to him. You don't have to cater to his appetites. Give him some food, at least some of which you know he likes (or previously liked), the rest is up to him.

    I think life will feel less crazy without the battle over food. Not easy, but hopefully a little easier!

    Check out Ellyn Satter's book. I think it's called Feeding With Love and Good Sense. Really great, very reassuring.

    He won't starve, I promise!

  2. Abby offers really sound advice. I was stressing over E's eating but didn't want meals to be a battle ground. I got a lot out of reading Ellyn Satter's website, so many great techniques. And it's true, he won't starve, I promise as well.