This is just a phase

He’s testing me.  He wants to see if I really mean what I say.  He wants to see how far he can take this.  He wants to see what this button does to mommy.  It’s not yet 8:00 in the morning.

It’s Tornado S.  He’s two.


His eyes lit with daemonic delight when Tornado E showed us his tower of every single Lego built up.  It was taller than Tornado E.  I grabbed Tornado S, trying to make him play another game with him, trying to distract him.  But the moment I let go, TornadoS was running.  I yelled, “NO” in The Voice.

Tornado S knocked over the tower.

I demanded an apology.

Tornado S said, “no” with a smile on his face.

Time Out!

Tornado S cried for two minutes straight.

When time out was up, I asked Tornado S if he knew what he did wrong.  He shook his head, and I explained that I told him no and that he didn’t listen.  I told him to apologize to Tornado E. Tornado S walked toward Tornado E, turned to me, laughed and said, “NO!”

Time Out!


Halfway through time out, The Husband broke ranks and talked Tornado S into apologizing.  He agreed, but I told them time out was mean to be served out.  The Husband snapped about how he wouldn’t be able to work under these conditions as Tornado S resumed his very loud crying.

At two minutes, with the office door firmly shut, I went over the time out procedures again. This time Tornado S apologized.

Ten minutes later, Tornado S knocked Tornado E with a plastic train.  He also refused to apologize.  Time Out AGAIN.  That loud annoying crying again.  I thought I might have to kill someone.  I eyed the usually happy and cute two-year-old.

After two minutes, I repeated the usual time out ending. Tornado S laughed instead of apologizing.  TIME OUT AGAIN!  Two minutes of the crying ensued.  I swear I’m going to kill that kid.  Then I remembered how Tornado E pushed my resolve for a full day, and he was younger.  I can do this.

At the end of two minutes, Tornado S was willing to apologize.  We moved on.

To bath time, which was great for five minutes.  Until Tornado S was upset Tornado E was on his side, and then he hit Tornado E with a pirate.  Are you kidding me?!  Wash hair, get soap in their eyes, rinse them, dry them, wrangle them into clothes.  Mommy is ready to play.  Bring it on.

Oh, crap.  But today is Monday, which is grocery shopping day, which means I have to bring the little monsters into public.  Sonofabitch.

Let’s just say I reassured the cashier, a mother of an eighteen-month-old, that everything is a phase.  Then I plopped down three king-sized candy bars with my groceries.

This is just a phase.  This is just a phase.  This is just a phase.

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Do you Hear what I Hear?

Before I go into my blog, I should set the scene.  Remember how I mentioned we moved into small house in a gated community.  As is typical to gated communities, every house looks the same.  Have you ever seen The Big Hit with Mark Wahlberg?   The running gag through the movie is that every time he comes home to his little house in the ‘burbs, he pulls into the wrong driveway because all the houses look the same.  That’s my neighborhood with Southwestern houses, which makes me a little ill to think about it.  Among these houses are five-foot tall walls, separating the small back yards.  Add that most of the residents are retires, and you now know everyone.


The other day, my neighbor stopped me as I was ushering the boys out of the house to go get the mail.  This nice woman was telling me how sweet and charming my boys were which I couldn’t help but agree.  Then she told me how she and her husband prefer to keep the windows open and sliding glass door open for the cool air, which everyone does here.  She told me how she enjoyed hearing the voices of my sons playing and how it brought back the days when her own sons were young.  That terrified me.


It dawned on me that she and the rest of the two blocks had heard my family at our best and at our worst.


I am by no means a quiet person.  I get excited; I get loud.  I get talkative; I get loud.  I get happy; I get loud.  I get angry; I get loud.  You get the picture.  It’s really a shame that we don’t live somewhere where I can holler my boys’ names across hills and woods.  In tight quarters, I am a bit obnoxious, and I started to wonder how we sounded.


Did we sound like a happy family?  Did I sound like a happy mother?  Did I sound like I was in control?  Do my boys sound happy and uncrazy?  Do I nag all the time?  Do I yell all the time?  Can they hear how much TV my boys watch?  Is it too much?  Am I a good mother?  Are my boys good boys?  Lord, help me, do I sound like I belong on the show “Cops?”


Now I know I’m not an uptight, control-freak mother.  I only need total creative control. (And yes, I did have someone, mention that I needed all control back in my college days and the guy had only two classes with me, go fig.)  But I’m not uptight.  My husband and my mom agree on few things, and one of them is my utter lack of discipline or in other words, not as much as they want me to have.  But I think I’m a pretty good mom because my boys are happy and smart.  Sure, I’m not perfect nor do I want to be.  I’m still trying to do this all by trial and error while reading and listening to the experts.  I just want to be the best mom, the best person I can be for my kids.


But I have to wonder in those bad mommy moments {;-)}, who is listening and who is judging.  


And I have to remember to close the window at night.



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