Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Target Tantrums

Yes, that was me in Target with the two badly behaved little boys. And yes, that was me responding in a perhaps less-than-civilized manner to them.

Andrew was the louder of the two and probably the most disruptive. But William cannot be held entirely blameless. William was amusing himself by, in the excellent words of my friend Marissa, "poking the bear." Andrew wanted to push the cart all by himself with no one else even coming within a 12-inch radius of the cart. In the time-honored tradition of big brothers everywhere, William used this as an opportunity to do things like put one finger on the cart, which drove Andrew into a mad frenzy.

Oy. Why do I take them anywhere together?

Of course, then you have the Judgmental Mommies. They can be spotted easily by their two most visible characteristics: a disapproving frown and a napping infant in a carrier on their chest. Just you wait, you Judgmental Mommies. One day that sleeping baby is going to grow up and demand candy NOW or throw a fit in the store aisle because you won't buy them a whatever or refuse to either walk or ride in the cart and you are going to FEEL SO ROTTEN about judging all those other parents who came before you. And so you should.

And just so you know, I won't really put Andrew in time out for the rest of his life, even though I threatened to do so in the shoe department.

Even though it is mighty tempting.

And darned if Target was completely out of faux Crocs in Andrew's size. We didn't even get any shoes to make up for the chaos.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The magic jack o'lantern

I'm almost afraid to post this because I'm afraid it will jinx me or something! But last night, I somehow stumbled onto a way to keep Andrew in bed after the lights go out. And it worked. It was like a miracle.

He deeply adores the electric jack o'lanterns that I bought at Target a few years ago. Even though I optimistically store them away every November, he always digs through the bin of Halloween gear and retrieves them.

So you might drive by our house one balmy May evening and spot a jack o'lantern leering at you from our front porch. The azaleas are blooming, the dogwood tree is covered in white blossoms, and the jack o'lantern is lit. I'm sure our neighbors think we're crazy.

Last night, Andrew objected when I removed the jack o'lantern from our front porch. I told him that it was bathtime and that I was not leaving the pumpkin outside again. Then I had an idea.

"Would you like to keep the jack o'lantern in your room tonight?" I asked temptingly. "You have to stay in your bed, though, if you want to keep it in your room all night long."

"YES!" Andrew shouted gleefully. It was if I'd offered him a winning lottery ticket. And let's face it, when you're three, a light-up pumpkin is more exciting than some piece of paper with words on it that you don't understand anyway.

So after taking a bath and brushing his teeth, Andrew willingly climbed up into his new big boy bed and got all cozy. I plugged the jack o'lantern in and handed the Cars flashlight to Andrew. I turned off the overhead light and reiterated that it was time to go to sleep--and that the jack o'lantern's presence depended on Andrew's ability to stay put in his bed. Then I walked out and closed the door.

I braced myself for the usual telltale thump that heralds Andrew vaulting out of bed and making a beeline for his bedroom door. So he can taunt me. Nothing.

A little while later, I could hear him "reading" to himself, probably by the light of his pumpkin. (William later confirmed that Andrew was indeed doing just that.) Then quiet.

And it stayed quiet.

I was shocked. Shocked and gleeful.

Oh please please please, let it work tonight, too. I'll put a Christmas tree in his room if it'll convince him to go to bed.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's just a phase

Oh my dear Lord, Andrew is wearing me out these days. Wearing. Me. Out. Like an old sweater. I am the old sweater, moth-eaten and pilled. 

He can be adorable, though. Oh yes. See how adorable he is here, in this last-day-of-school photo, holding his out-of-season bunny ears:

He can be precious and hilarious and so sweet that you just want to nibble on him.

And then he can be a terror. I remember this being a tricky age with William, so intellectually I do know that this is a phase. And it will eventually come to an end. But the meantime is utterly exhausting.

For example, Andrew no longer feels compelled to take a nap. Never mind that he still needs a nap most days. Nope, he's not going to take one. But then he's exhausted and shrieky and wound-up by dinnertime, which makes dinnertime awful and bathtime even worse. 

I can hear you thinking, "So just put him to bed early." Ha HA! If only it were that easy. Putting him to bed early means that he just pops in and out of his room for an hour or two. He might demand water. Or announce that he wants William to see his pajamas. Or he might just enjoy opening and closing his door, over and over and OVER and over again. 

The end result of this is that he doesn't get enough rest, and I'm tired and frustrated, too. 

William was tricky at three, William was tricky at three, William was tricky at three. I just have to keep reminding myself that we somehow made it through. If I could just remember how we did it, though...

Hey look, it's William on the last day of school when he was newly three!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Big Boy Bed...Sort Of

Whenever Andrew starts to drive me nuts again, I have to remind myself that William was a bit of a terror at this age, too. And it, too, passed. In fact, William, bless his heart, even likes to remind me about all the exasperating things he did when he was three. 

So knowing that this is a rather, er, tricky age for the young men in my family, it was with some trepidation that we took down the crib yesterday. Here's a picture of Andrew all gleeful at the prospect of giving up the crib for a big boy bed at long last. 

If you're saying, "Wow! That looks like trouble personified!" I would have to agree with you. He's adorable, yes, but oh, he can be such a handful. Maybe several handfuls. It's the age, it's the age, it's the age. If we can just make it to age four....

So this is the big boy bed, sans bed.

We put a mattress and box springs directly on the floor, while we wait for the actual bed to be delivered. Andrew didn't care, though. He was just delighted by the prospect of No More Crib. And to his credit, he eagerly tossed his beloved binky in the trash can, as we had agreed months ago that a big boy bed meant no more binkies. And he did so on his own free will, with no coercing from us. And didn't look back. And didn't even whine for it later.

Of course, he was up and down for hours last night after we put him to bed. And he was up and down all afternoon when he was supposed to be napping. He played the xylophone. He played with the castle. He took a can of Lysol and sprayed the whole thing on his dresser and ruined the finish. Good times.

And now he's resisting bedtime again. Normal. It's normal. He's got to be exhausted but he's just so darned excited by his new sleeping arrangements that he can barely stand it. I hope it becomes less thrilling soon.

How many more months 'til he turns four again?