Band-aid Battle

It was finally less cloudy and not raining yesterday afternoon so my son got to play outside in the front yard.  He is definitely and outdoors kid and having a rainy weekend really bummed him out.  Unfortunately, playing outside means he is much more likely to get hurt.  And of course he did.  He fell while taking a step off our porch and skinned his elbow and cut the knuckle of his thumb.  He actually handled it really well…until I tried to clean him up.

His thumb was bleeding so I took him inside and washed it off.  Then I put some neosporin on the cut and put a band-aid over it to keep it clean and to keep him from wiping off the ointment.  As soon as that band-aid was on his bottom lip poked out (a sure sign he is about to burst into tears) and then the waterworks started.  He tried to get the band-aid off himself and couldn’t so he just cried.  I tried to reason with him, but a 19 month old isn’t very reasonable.  I tried to distract him which didn’t work either, so I just took the band-aid off and we went back outside.  

I noticed as he was playing that his thumb was still bleeding and that was a little bothersome, but he really didn’t seem to care.  When we came back inside before dinner I had to wash the blood back off his thumb and I thought I would give the band-aid another go.  I put on some more neosporin (I knew he had gotten dirty outside and I really didn’t want it to get infected).  I put some on his elbow scrape as well for good measure and attempted to do the band-aid thing all over again. Of course the tears and the boohooing started all up. But I had a new trick up my sleeve.  I decided to put a band-aid on my own thumb and on my own elbow to show him that it was okay.  So that is when I got my smartest mom of the year award…

Not

That didn’t work.  I tried to get him to play and stop messing with the band-aids which didn’t work as well and not only that but he kept trying to pull off my band-aids too.  So, I gave up.  Took off his band-aids and mine too so that we could just get on with our day.

My son has just gotten to that age where I have to pick my battles.  I can do my best to keep his wounds clean but I’m not going to let him just keep crying and crying over a band-aid.  Hopefully, when he gets older (and more reasonable) I can explain to him the importance of keeping it covered, but until then all he knows is something is on his skin that shouldn’t be there.

Oh, did I mention I think my son might be showing early signs of OCD. I’m sure I’ll get into that later.

Today his thumb looked a little rough, but I’ll keep an eye on it in hopes that it won’t get infected.  At one point today he either bumped the sore part or remembered it was there because he came over to me with a sad look on his face and wanted me to kiss his thumb.  He kept having me kiss it over and over which was pretty adorable.  

Even though he isn’t at the most reasonable age he is at the age where mom’s kisses are better medicine than band-aids and I’m okay with that.  

I’m definitely okay with that.

Stir Crazy

I would describe myself as a homebody. I enjoy being at home where I’m comfortable and spending time in my own space with my family. However, there are times when I start to go just a little stir crazy especially on the weekends when I actually have an opportunity to go somewhere.

My parents are here visiting the kids which means I have free child care just sitting in my living room. The problem is I don’t really have anywhere I need to go. I don’t really like shopping and my husband and I are trying to save money. Plus, it is still rainy and miserable outside so that kind of limits my options as well. It also works against my need to get out because going out in this weather is the pits.

I do need to go to the grocery store, but grocery shopping is such a pain because it also involves planning the weekly meals and I have no ideas anymore for that. Going to the grocery store doesn’t count as going out to have some me time.

Yet, if I don’t take advantage now I’ll be stuck in this house all week long regretting it. Maybe I can convince my husband to go on a lunch date. If not, screw it, I’ll go to Barnes and Noble to look at books and drink a coffee and maybe even do a little people watching.

I gotta do something or I might start ripping my hair out.

Dreary Days

The beginning of this week has been cloudy, gray, windy, and rainy. Days like this make me want to curl up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket, a cup of coffee, and a book and just relax. Unfortunately I can’t just relax and read. My toddler is too busy during the day to just let me read; he wants my attention or wants me to play with him and me reading a book on the couch doesn’t fit into that equation.

Even right now while he’s napping and I have a chance to veg out I can’t completely relax. I either have to get things done around the house, do grad school work, take care of the baby, or nap myself. I don’t remember the last time I felt truly relaxed and at ease on my own home. Even when the kids are occupied or being looked after by someone else it is like my brain won’t shut off the “mother” part if itself. It is always on alert, anticipating that my babies might need me and because of this I haven’t had any opportunities to completely relax since we’ve gone from a one child household to a two.

I miss the days when I could take advantage of a dreary October day to just chill out and get some indoor R & R. I also need to make sure I work toward making opportunities to get some time for me. Part of being a stay at home mom means I’m always at work, and for the sake of my sanity I
need some me time!

Toddler Troubles

I love my son. He is at a fun age. He has a cute little dance he likes to do to music. He has the brightest smile with dimples that lights up his entire face. He is curious and has a great sense of humor. He can be sweet, cuddly, and affectionate. He is an amazing boy.

But, he is a toddler and he can certainly cause trouble. He will be 19 months old next week and I think the terrible twos are starting early. He doesn’t know how to control his impulses. He doesn’t really talk and can therefore get very frustrated when his other methods of communication have failed. He is self-centered and hasn’t figured out how to empathize. He has a tiny body filled with big emotions and just doesn’t have the ability to process all of those emotions.

For the most, each day with my toddler and his seven week old sister goes very smoothly. We have our routines and we try stick to them whenever possible. He is a very affectionate older brother and I’m proud to say, even though he can sometimes be jealous, he has never taken his anger out on the baby. However, sometimes his toddlerness just comes out. He’ll pinch, hit, and kick at the dog. He’ll scratch, bite, and pinch me. He’ll throw tantrums and scream and roll on the floor. Sometimes I worry (before he came along I had no experience caring for a toddler) that his behavior is extreme for his age and that maybe he’ll grow into a kid with no impulse control and no empathy, but that is just my irrationality kicking in (I hope).

Today he did some of his normal misbehavior, which gets him sent to time out. But one of those misbehaviors really sent me over the edge. He will often yank my glasses off my face unexpectedly and try to play with them. Today he finally broke them beyond repair. Not only did I love that pair of glasses, but my old pair has a prescription that is too strong and so wearing them makes my eyes really achy. My vision is bad enough that I need my glasses to drive and if I go for long periods of time without wearing them I get headaches. Needless to say I will need to get new glasses, but being a stay at home mom makes going to health appointments difficult. I can’t cart a toddler and an infant to the eye doctor’s office and finding other childcare is difficult. Also, do I just get another pair of glasses so that he can break them or should I switch to contacts? I wore contacts for a while during college, but sometimes they were such a hassle.

The ideal situation would be getting a new pair of glasses and hoping to teach my toddler to not grab them off my face, but honestly I don’t see that happening in the next couple months. My husband and I use timeout to try to correct misbehaviors, but it hasn’t really seemed to be effective in the long run. If he kicks the dog he goes to timeout and then it might be thirty minutes before he decides to do it again or it could be longer (sometimes shorter). He understands he goes to timeout as a consequence because he will point to his timeout space after doing something wrong. Today he even put himself in timeout while I was giving his sister a bottle. When he is in timeout he doesn’t really seem to be unhappy, in fact, sometimes it seems like he enjoys it.

His pediatrician feels that he is just too young to control every impulse and while having timeout will help us out in the future and helps him see now that actions have consequences until he is more mature it will not necessarily help him think before he acts. So what is this stay at home mom to do?

All I think I can do right now is just keep chugging along. Keep using timeout. Try to deflect the pinches, scratches, bites, etc. when I can tell they are coming. Hope that when my daughter comes along she is a little less rambunctious. And remember that despite those moments of pure awful toddlerness that there are even more moments of smiles, cuddles, kisses, laughs, dancing, and playing and that is the reason why I’m staying home with him in the first place.

Stay At Home Steph

When I was a freshman in college I heard two girls discussing the lives they wanted to have after college.  They talked about how they wanted to eventually just become stay at home moms.  I remember wondering why they were even bothering with college and that deciding to become a stay at home mom was basically a waste of potential.  I also thought that being a homemaker meant you were taking a step back into the fifties, when women weren’t welcome in the work place.  I was proud to be a feminist, proud to be an educated woman, and proud to know I was working toward a successful career in education.  Well, here I am, 10 years later and a stay at home mom.  What I realize now that I didn’t realize then was that being a stay at home mom wasn’t about wasting your potential or choosing not to work because you would rather just be at home.  It also doesn’t mean you aren’t a modern woman for choosing not stay at work or any less of a feminist.  I’m staying at home with my two children because I want to do what’s best for them and best for me.

I started staying home with my son right after he was born in 2012.  A few months after his birth I began an online graduate program through Appalachian State in Library Science.  So when I do decide to go back to work it will be with a whole new career that I’m very passionate about. A little over a month ago my daughter was born and now I’m taking care of two kids, a toddler and an infant, while finishing my masters, trying to get some time to do the things I enjoy, and spend time with my husband all while attempting to keep my sanity.  Hence this blog.  

I’m hoping through writing I can find some peace of mind.  My brain is on overload and I think the way to cure this is by poring it out on the page (webpage that is).

I don’t want my titles to define who I am: wife, mother, student, future librarian, educator, reader, writer…but I realize that all of those things make me who I am and I can’t separate myself from them.  I have to embrace my stay at home status because it is a full time job and much harder than 18 year old me thought those ten long years ago.