Toddler Trials

I always felt like my son and I had an unspoken
understanding.  I like to imagine that in
the final seconds before he was born God sweetly whispered to Oliver, “be good
for your mommy, she needs your help.”

Throughout the past three years my husband was more of the “mama
bear” in the house since he had to carry him and help with the things I couldn’t
do.  Oliver tends to give him a hard time on
things that he easily does for me.  I’m
not sure why but it gets frustrating.  

Last Friday my husband had a fairly serious ear surgery – removing
a cyst/tumor-like growth and rebuilding bones, using a drill, etc.  You can imagine how his head and ear felt
after all that. As we came home from the hospital and he landed on the couch, I
began my brief journey with solo parenting.

Let me start by sending any single moms out there a hug..and
a nap…it’s exhausting!

My husband was around but he was in pain, tired, medicated
and under strict orders to rest and not lift anything.  

One night Oliver asked my husband to lift him and he said he
couldn’t. Then Oliver said, “mama you can’t carry me, you’re too short.” This was the first time he verbally recognized
that I don’t carry him. His reason behind it still makes me grin…I know I’m no
giant but sheesh, 5’1 isn’t THAT short…

Since he turned three it seems as if he has learned a few
new tricks.

He likes to negotiate.

He knows he can out run me.

He knows I can’t grab him and carry him away when he’s
acting up.

Day one of getting him ready for daycare involved major
drama getting him dressed.  He wanted to
chill in his jammies and stay home with dad. 
Once we got outside to the car, he ran to the other side of the car wanting
me to chase him around the car.  Knowing
it was a battle I’d never win, I just opened his door and stood there surfing
Facebook on my phone until he got bored.

The next day came with an instant replay of getting
dressed.  My husband was trying to help
which just made it worse.  By the time it
came to the final battle of getting on his jacket, I was feeling like a sweaty
mess. I threw my coat on the ground while trying to put on his coat.  After getting him set, he managed to trip on
my coat…fall…hit his head and major waterworks followed. 

Shoot me now.

I was insanely happy to go to work.  Almost giddy. 

That night when I picked him up I was hoping for a clean
slate and some much needed mercy.  He
followed me to the car like an angel. He climbed in great.  After that it all went downhill. He refused
to sit in his car seat.  In the awkward
cramped car I didn’t stand a chance of pulling him up into the
seat and buckling him in without his cooperation.  It was dark, cold and I just wanted to go
home.  So I stood there in his door while
he sat in the front seat refusing to get buckled up.  I have no idea how long it took but
eventually I outmatched him and he made his way back to his seat.

As time passes the challenges change.  The days of dealing with carrying a car seat
are gone. No more changing diapers.  The
new battles are totally easier on the pride because in the end I WILL win but
are emotionally exhausting.

AMC mommies out there…what have you experienced? 

holding hands

My son is almost two.  It is starting to become hard to remember life before him even though we were married 6 years before he entered our world.

We used to come home from work, eat dinner and watch our favorite shows while multitasking on our laptops and phones. We had so much free time – we did not even know it.  Our house was clean and free of clutter. If we liked something we bought it because we had not yet experienced the pain of the weekly check to daycare. 

Oliver has added a new twist. He’s taught us things, whether we wanted to know or not. We mastered going to work on two hours of sleep.  We learned the tricks to nursing, avoiding leaky diapers, staying sane during the food throwing stage and getting him to nap.

I have found that each stage brings a different challenge. Some just were tugs on my heartstrings as mentioned in no…no…no…DADA and some are blatant reminders of the things I physically can’t do. 

One night after work this week the weather was perfect. The leaves were floating down from the trees filling our street with brilliance and the air held the crisp intoxicating taste of fall.  If that wasn’t enough, it was still warm enough to play outside and enjoy the magic.

Oliver started walking down the sidewalk and grabbed my husband’s hand to join him. He then held out his hand to me, looked at me with his big blue eyes and said momma?…he was inviting me to join the walk. 

I can’t walk, hold on to my crutch and hold his hand.  Before my husband, I was the type who would see a Sandals’ commercial and wanted to be the hot girl walking on the beach at dusk, you know holding the hand of a dreamy guy. Well, this moment blew that type of fantasy away.

I would have given anything to hold the hand of the sweetest boy on earth and walk around the block. 

I felt bad because he’s too young to understand and I would never want him to think that mommy doesn’t want to walk and hold his little hand.   I understand that it’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of life, but at that moment it made me really sad. 

my son – a brat?

My son is changing. He’s a few days shy of two.  To be honest, I don’t like this change.

Not a single bit.

There has been a constant sound of whining in our house. The phantom whiny cry floats through my head when I am at my desk at work.  That’s when I know it’s bad.

He has been pushing his boundaries and watching how we react. He throws his trucks and looks at me.  He pushes a kid at daycare and looks up to see what we will do.   If the TV is on he won’t look at us when we talk to him and getting him to sit at the table and eat has become painful, at times not worth the hassle. 

The tricky thing is that he’s getting stronger and it’s hard for me to hold him in a time-out spot.  Last night I took toys away as he acted up. It just backfired.  He would reach for the next toy and throw it.  I think I just made him more riled up.

I don’t want a bratty kid. I miss the sweet boy who loved playing with us, not the one giving us demands such as “matman” (his way of saying we need to turn on Batman) or “Choo Choo” (telling us he wants to play train games on the iPad).

I need to find a way to discipline bad behavior even though physically I am not going to be able to compete.  He throws himself on the floor and flops around and I don’t stand a chance.

Any suggestions?

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message from my mom

My husband’s grandma unexpectedly passed away this spring. It was heartbreaking and my first experience of losing a grandparent. I first met her when I was 16 and she watched me grow up and graduate high school, marry her grandson, finish college, land my first “real” job and have our sweet baby. I hate that she’s gone. Continue reading


Kids love crutches. They always want to play with them and ask lots of questions. Most of the time my son Oliver has little interest in them, he is around them every day. He’s into trucks. He has pointed to my crutches and said “momma” so I know he gets that they are mine. He also points to diet Mountain Dew cans and says “momma” which makes me cringe. *addict

I anticipate there will be a day when he’ll ask more questions. There will also be a day when he is a teenager and will wish his mom was normal. Being different at that age is not cool and parents in general are lame at 13, so my odds are really stacked against me.

In the last few weeks he has become more observant. The other morning I was fixing his hair and getting him dressed before going to daycare. He grabbed my hand and stared at it. He poked my wrist where it is bent and then said “momma” and smiled at me. I almost cried. It was another sign he was getting older and his grin was so dang cute.

Oliver inherited a shirt with way too many buttons. It’s a total hassle and in my dream world we would use Velcro, seems much simpler if you ask me. This shirt is cute though and I like cute clothes. I’d give up food and running water if it meant another outfit. So I slowly tackled the buttons that morning while he was distracted by cartoons. That night I went to give him a bath and my husband left to run some errands. Here I was battling this shirt again and let me tell you, it was looking a lot less cute at 7pm on so many levels. After a day of drooling and playing outside it was wet and gross. I quickly learned that damp clothes are even harder to unbutton.

My son leaned against me and let me fight my way down the row of tiny little buttons. I was about halfway down when he looked at me with his big blue eyes and grunted, “momma stuck.” He seemed concerned for me and my battle with his shirt. During perfect moments like that, camped out on the floor next to the tub, it seems like he knows more than we think. I like to believe that God gave him a little reminder right before being born that he needs to be patient with his mom. Once and awhile he remembers and gives me the extra time I need. Good boy Oliver. Good boy.

Here is a video of a little puddle splashing. Not a battle worth fighting that day so I decided to join in. Enjoy! 

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