In honor of Sochi 2014, who wants to play the 'Parenting Olympics'?? Below is a list of current challenges for me as a parent. This list applies to a 17 month old boy who I love to the moon, and on a good day, back again. :) Since I am home with our son, sometimes my creativity of distraction runs out. Sometimes I just want to get the freaking job done without having to fight! But I get it, son. You are testing your independence and my will. Be happy to know I just let you win sometimes because I'm defeated. How I fair in these games should be interesting. Feel free to play along and issue yourself medals accordingly!
We kick the games off with The Diaper Change Challenge. I have been preparing for this event for 11 years. Eleven years ago I nannied for my little cousins. G was not quite two at the time and LOVED to squirm and kick and fight when it was time to change her diaper. I remember getting a little bit of her poop on the carpet. Oops. Now enters my 17 month old son, eleven years later. One day the fighting started and he hasn't looked back. I try to give him various objects to keep him entertained. Sometimes singing the ABCs keeps him still. Sometimes Amazing Grace. You know my patience is thin when I start belting out Amazing Grace. Regardless, the messier the diaper, the squirmier the child. Never fails. I mean, you already read about it here, right? My newest tactic is to use the "If we change your diaper, you can have a snack." So glad the If, Then statements work for now. Bronze medal, Mommy.
Next in line is the Post Dinner Wipedown. A couple weeks ago my husband worked late several nights, missing dinner with us. This meant I was the one cleaning up the child after every meal unless someone else happened to be here. Little one fought me and fought me and frankly, I let the little bugger run around dirty most of the time. I thank God I have a little boy so I can say "Well, he's a boy. Boys are messy". Wait, we never leave the house so I just use that to convince myself it's ok to keep him dirty. However, my husband is here most of the nights and I try to have him tackle this job so it switches things up a bit. I must say I admire the distraction tactics that my husband incorporates. Who knew just simply saying, "What's on your chin?" would get the little boy to sit still. Gold medal, Hubby, gold medal. In fact, the past few days, our little boy has sat very well getting his hands cleaned, asks to wash his hands in the sink, and can't stand being messy. I'll give this one to Daddy. Mommy doesn't make the podium.
A close event to the Post Dinner Wipedown is The Snotty Nose . My husband, again, wins this category. The same week I was struggling to get meal time cleaned up was the same week our son had a cold. So his face was probably a little raw from all the wiping and fighting we did! In swoops Hubby with another great distraction, "Can you blow your nose?". He can't but he can blow out of his mouth which is enough to keep him still to wipe the mucus mess off his face. And now just yesterday, after he sneezed he pointed to our beloved Boogie Wipes wanted his nose wiped. Daddy, you get a gold medal yet again.
Now we move to a task that has nothing to do with the kid. The Crib Fitted Sheet Tango. I just about lost it this week when I wrestled with my son's mattress yet again to get his clean sheets back on. Actually, I know some explicit language came out. Guess what fitted crib sheet? I get it. You need to be tight on a mattress to be safe but holy hell. Give momma a break. I shouldn't have to use my entire body to get the damn sheet on! This one irritates me every time but since I get the sheet on and it's never come off engulfing my child in an ocean of synthetic fibers, I will again award myself a bronze medal. Ugh, I'm annoyed just thinking about it.
I'm sure this one is everyone's favorite. That stage of frustration where your child knows what s/he wants but can only point and go "Uh, uh, uh, uh!" Next up Code Deciphering. I do feel bad for my son. I can't imagine what it is like to not be able to communicate to get what you want or need without getting frustrated. Every day it seems like he is picking a word and using it for something he needs. Could I be more proud that "T-T" is for TV and that's one of the first things out of his mouth every morning? Oopsies. He uses Nummy for food and walks to his chair. He can sign 'more' but somewhere along the line he's replaced it with pointing and grunting. He signs please, nods his head for thank you, and goes "Ahhh" when he wants a drink. Ok, that one is my fault. We were being silly during meal time and after I'd drink water I'd go "Ahhh. Refreshing!" Now instead of trying to say "Milk" or "Water", he just walks around going, "Ahhh." It's kind of funny. But there's nothing like that pointing and grunting after you've asked him if he wanted just about everything and he keeps saying no. WHAT DO YOU WANT, CHILD?! I'm going with a gold medal in this one because other than me not picking the right piece of fruit for his royal highness, we do pretty well.
Speaking of fruit, what a good segue into Picky Eating! We have already lost this battle. Big time. If we ever lived on a planet without fruit, our child would starve to death. Nothing frustrates me and his father more than the unwillingness to at least TRY what we put on his plate. I don't expect him to eat it all or everything but the "Nooo" is a double edged sword. Cute, but super annoying. Here. Listen.
Anyway, one day I had a revelation. If the kid eats any and all fruits, that's fantastic. If he will nibble on raw veggies but not look at cooked ones, that's ok too. I thought back to my childhood. I think I lived off of buttered toast and mashed potatoes to this day make me gag (yes, I know, that's insane!). Guess what? I survived. He will too. It might take him until he's 30 to figure out what's good for him but that's ok. For now, let's just fill that little belly up with all the fruit we can find! We continue to offer him whatever we are eating. He doesn't get anything extra or his own meal. He's finally getting some teeth in the back so hopefully we can expand his food choices soon! I'm going with silver medal. He's not starving to death and he eats pretty well with the exception of veggies. We'll get there.
Next we have the Too Small/Too Big Bag competition. Am I the only one that struggles what kind of bag/purse to use?? Do I pack a really big purse and allow room for my kid's stuff? Do I pack a really small purse and a second bag for him? How am I going to carry all of this? Do we really need all of this stuff just to run to get groceries? Someone please tell me what to do! Seriously, I'd love your input. Right now, I have selected a purse to use that allows room for a spare diaper/travel wipes. Then I have a second cross body bag with stuff for Harv. However, I can tell I am not going to like this way for long. So I am not sure I qualified to compete yet on this one. By the time I figure it out he will be in school. Feel free to share your tricks! This looks like it would be my dream bag. Purse like yet functional?
Our final game is Just Leave It Alone! Right now we are living in a combination of disaster. We aren't in our own home, it's been too cold to burn off energy outside, and we are at a stage of "Let's push Mommy's buttons." The trifecta of annoyance. Last week he opened the panty, took out the cereal, and made himself a little snack on the carpet.
Obviously, I'd stop and take pictures of this before cleaning it up. I do my best to divert his attention when he's getting into things he shouldn't. I am beyond tempted to store his toys in the bottom cabinets of our new kitchen when we move. Of course, then he wouldn't open them. This one is hard to issue a medal because it changes so much! One day he's in everything and the next he's an angel. What do you think? Silver for letting him be an "explorer"??
What are your favorite Parenting Olympic games? Anything you have kicked butt at or are there some you feel like the child wins every time?