Thursday, June 28, 2012

Embracing the chaos

I have a happy-go-lucky, glass-half-full husband who has been sure to remind me that I have to laugh at the craziness of having two under two.

One thing I haven't been afraid to do is take both kids out. In fact, I have found that to be a source of sanity because seeing the walls of my house is becoming more and more painful for me!

On Tuesday, I took Abby and Jack to the library for a playgroup. It is a 0-24 month playgroup with stories and music and the like. Abby goes to playgroups with her Mimi and loves them, so I figured this would be a no-brainer.

I took Jack in the single stroller and took Abby by the hand and we walked in to the room full of mommies, daddies and infants/toddlers. They were in the midst of explaining the rules ("Don't bring your older kids! This is why!") and then broke into a song about an elevator, complete with dance instructions that we didn't get because we were two minutes late.

As parents had their kids in their laps moving them "up the elevator" and "down the elevator", Abby opted to grab a couple of shakers and weave in and out of the parents and their kids. I tried to coax her back to me to participate to no avail. She just ran around the room. I tried to give her sleigh bells. She wasn't interested.

Then, without skipping a beat, she ran out the door. I rushed out behind her, leaving Jack in his infant seat (I'm going to scar my son by leaving him in random places ...) and said, "Don't you want to play with the kids?" She promptly replied, "No," and kept walking. Okay then.

I grabbed Jack and we ended up in the kids section with the toys, the fish tank and the computers. Afterward I drove through Wendy's to get her french fries. I'm sure it was a phenomenal morning for Abby.

Wednesday I took both kids to Barnes and Noble, thinking Abby could play in the kids section. They have a Thomas the Train toy set up, so I kept telling her we could go play with the trains. She screamed when I put her in the car (she wanted to go to the park), but perked up once we got to the store.

I went to the Starbucks first and got myself some much-needed caffeine. They also had those plastic straw cups that were cute and (shockingly) not over-priced, so I let her pick one out and handed it to the girl behind the counter and asked if she could fill it up with water for Abby.

Her reply?

"Yeah, if you pay for it ..."

Thanks. I thought they were free.

We rode up the elevator (I successfully kept Abby from pushing the emergency call button - victory!) to the kids section. She loved playing with the trains. It got a bit more difficult when Jack started fussing and I had to feed him while trying to chase Abby around and do damage control as she yanked book after book off the shelves.

She ended up finding some Toy Story wall decals that I decided to buy her since "Buzz" is one of the top words in her current vocabulary. I packed up Jack and told Abby to come back to the elevator so we could go home. At this point, Jack was screaming because he needed a new diaper.

So we made our way to the bathroom. In the process, Abby grabbed a giant Hungry Caterpillar stuffed animal and tucked that under her arm. I had a fleeting thought of buying it for her until she dropped it and I caught sight of the price tag. I kid you not, $37.99. For a stuffed caterpillar. When she dropped it, I distracted her and we left it in the bargain book section.

She did well during the changing and we made our way to the checkout line. I stood in line with the stroller with Jack as Abby decided to yank as many pairs of reading glasses off the shelf as she could. I rushed over and put them back, so she moved on to the bookmarks. When I told her to put those back, she ran out of my reach to the gift bags, promptly returning with a birthday bag.

When it was our turn to go to the register, she had a birthday bag that I had to take back, leaving Jack (again) in the line next to a pleasant(and amused)-looking man. We put the bag back and I went to Jack and started pushing him toward the register, thinking Abby was right behind me.

Think again.

I was halfway down the row when I heard the cashier say, "You're on the wrong side!"

Abby decided to make friends with the Barnes and Noble staff and walk behind the registers. Awesome.

Luckily, the young woman was very nice and let Abby bag the decals. The amused-looking man giggled and looked on.

After paying, we finally made our way out the door thanks to a tween young man holding one door for us and a disgruntled-looking young woman holding another.

We got to the car and I saw that we killed an hour. We went home, I fed Jack and we went to the park.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This too shall pass?

I'm in the midst of my second week caring for Abby and Jack by myself.

It's been an adventure.

Toddler 411 compares toddlers adjusting to new siblings to the five stages of grief. My assessment is that Abby is in the midst of "Anger", which is thoroughly depressing for me since that is only Stage 2! Luckily, Stage 5 is "Acceptance" ...

The fun behavior I am dealing with the past couple days includes:
  • Odd food preferences. Abby will now only eat peanut butter (straight ... not ON anything), cookies and yogurt. The yogurt, however, she will only eat with her fingers. She is more than capable of using a spoon, mind you. Today she "ate" the entire thing with her hands. She asked for more and I walked over there to find that the yogurt cup was missing. It was on her lap. Along with half of the yogurt.
  • Park or bust. Abby only wants to go to the park. Nothing else. I suggest the water table, blowing bubbles on the front porch, the library, etc. It's the park. That's all she wants.
  • "SEAT!" Abby gets frustrated when she needs something, but I am holding Jack and can't get to it right away. She has started demanding I put him in his infant seat when she needs something.
There are plenty of other instances where she throws tantrums. My heart goes out to her because I know she is frustrated and just wanting my attention and I am struggling to give it to her ... even though Jack may be the easiest newborn on the planet (the boy eats, pees, poops and sleeps. Fussing isn't even a category).

This too shall pass ... right?