Just an Average Day with a Bi-Polar Three-year-old Tornado

Waking up to a tiny voice asking me if he can sleep with me, I looked up to check that it was indeed 6 am and that it was Thursday.  As I tried to keep my hand away from Evan who wanted to pull at the loose skin and mangle it, I made a list of everything needed to be done.  As this was an other day, it meant to empty the dishwasher during the boys’ breakfast, doing the morning exercises, and where did my husband leave the remote.  Since I made French toast yesterday, all I had to do was pop it in the microwave.  I love easy breakfast.  As I tried to return to my dream where Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and I saved the world from aliens (It WAS a good story in my mind.  Too bad I’m not a script writer), I heard the crib music from Sean’s room and his babbling.  I stretched and went to retrieve the baby, who yelled “Mama” as soon as he saw me.  Today was going to be a good day.


As it was Thursday, I realized today was the preschool story time at the library.  As I buttered the French toast and liberally sprinkled the powder sugar, I debated whether to stay home or not because Evan was trying to stay up later the last few days (with I need my blinds open {what crazy kid sleeps with their blinds open?}, I need water, it’s cold, can I sleep with you, can you take my pillow and put it in your room), and I wondered if it had to do with the late naps he’s been getting.  Well, I had to discuss this possibility with my advisors, but I waited for a more decent hour, though they are now an hour ahead and it’s cooler in Arizona so they probably wouldn’t have minded an interrupting call in the early morning.


My advisors assured me that late naps weren’t the issue.  My mom insisted that I should wake Evan up at 2 or 2:30, not letting him sleep more than two and half hours.  I watched my already behind blog reading disappear as I remembered that I was suppose to make some calls for my husband today (Hmm, I wonder if I could push those back to Friday).  My dad pointed out that we kids did the same thing off and on for weeks and that this could possibly be a phase.  Thanks, Dad.  So story time it was.


But when it was time to get the boys dressed, I met with some resistance.  As I tried to get Evan to choose a shirt, he ran around naked yelling, “I’m a pink chocolate skeleton!”  Um, well, then pick a shirt, Mr. Pink Chocolate Skeleton.  “I can’t.  I’m going to be a cotton candy skeleton, and those shirts are not cotton candy.”  You’ve got me there.  Since I couldn’t catch Evan, I caught Sean instead, quickly dressing him.


With the pouncing skills of a lion, I grabbed Evan and wrestled to get some underwear on him.  I swear I could enter the rodeo for hog tying.  Threatening to choose the shirt if he didn’t, I wrestled a pair of shorts on Evan.  I wonder if girls are different because nine times out of ten I can’t get Evan to pick a shirt much less put one on.  The only person that can get Evan to dress himself is my Mom, but I think Evan just wants to impress her on how big a boy he is.  So I chose the shirt and threw it on, and I lost Evan when I got the toothbrushes ready.  Let’s just say that fifteen minutes later, Evan’s face was washed, teeth were brushed, and hair was combed, which led us to the battle of making the bed.


When all was said and done and both boys were presentable to the world, I had two little tornadoes cruising and crashing through the house.  When I asked if Evan wanted to go to the library, with visions of trying to control two boys who would be railing against their quiet fate with body heaving from The Exercise as I murmur bribes and threats in their ears, Evan yelled, “NO!”  and ran off.  Fine, I didn’t want to go anyway, so there.


So as any mother with young tornadoes, I threw open the doors so that they could reek destruction on the land and not my home. 


But as I got ready to make lunch, Evan demanded to go to the library.  Excuse me?  Yup, he wanted to go to the library, and he had the tears to prove it.  Are you kidding?  And I did the rookie mistake of trying to reason with a three-year-old, explaining how he didn’t want to go earlier and story time was over and we’ll go to the library next week.  (Good job, Mom; is this your first?)  All of this was met with a building temper tantrum.  Usually I just throw him in his room until he calmed down, but Sean had passed out playing with toys and was now sleeping in his crib.  Ok, fine, what do you want to do at the library?  He *sob* wanted *hick-up* to read *sniffle* boooooooks.  Fine, we can do that.  *Whine*  But we can’t go to the library *sob* right now because Sean is sleeping *sniffle* and it’s lunch time.  *so- “Ok, Mommy, can I have a peanut butter sandwich?”


So this is how it feels to live with Sybil.  Awesome.



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Update: Today’s Story Time

So we tried today’s story time for pre-schoolers.  And other than chasing them out of the house, racing through the grocery store for eggs (And you’re asking for banana?  Just as long as you eat them.), racing back to the store because Evan decided he needed to pee as I was about to load the boys in the car, and rushing to the library to make it in the nick of time (No, no time for the fountain today.  After.  If you’re quiet in story time.  Sean, eat your cracker faster.), the boys did well.  Ok, Evan did great, listening, singing, voicing his opinions, and volunteering.  Apparently I haven’t taught Evan what rhetorical questions are.  Why would ANY ONE ask a rhetorical question to a bunch of pre-schoolers?


Sean started loosing it after ten minutes, trying to squirm off my lap and to freedom.  When he realized he couldn’t get out of the mommy prison, he resorted to biting his way out, and I resorted to my secret weapon of a pacifier.  He still squirmed a bit, but he was more content.


Afterwards I wasted no time in dragging the boys upstairs to the nonfiction section to find the books I wanted.  Wouldn’t you know they didn’t have the book I wanted?  Luckily they had a computer right there where I could look up a few more books as the boys played drums on the stools.  As I finished writing down the call numbers, Evan informed me he needed to use the bathroom again.  This time I was able to rush him to the bathroom without any accidents.  But the toilets were a little high and I had to help hold him so he could be which was funny enough for me to start laughing.


So I got the books I wanted, and Evan insisted they were for him and didn’t need any other books.  Fine.  So I am almost finished with The book and will report on it tomorrow.  And of course, I am starting to read books mentioned in The book.  And tonight is the town’s trick or treat celebration, so I have to go and see what this is all about.  With hilarious results . . .

Story time and the Angels?

As I had nothing really to write about, I decided to take the boys to story time today.  I figured we hadn’t been there in a while, and if I let the boys loose in a place where they are suppose to sit still and be quiet, hilarity would follow.  Just like any comedy sitcom writer, I added a little chaos to a normal mix.  And you know what?  The boys were as good as gold.  Are you kidding?  I needed them to act up or else what would I write about.  How Evan sat still and sang along with all the songs or how Sean managed to pay attention for 18 minutes before becoming antsy?  Great post.


After the morning struggle of getting Evan dressed, who insisted he could be naked, forgetting penis rule number 3 (You may not be naked in public.), I got everyone buckled in the car on time.  You can imagine how amazed I was when I turned the car on to see the time, even with Sean wrestling against the seat belt.  We made great time to the library (because we all know when you’re late that’s when the lights work against you).  We ate our morning snack outside the library around the water fountain.  We entered the library with Sean and me following Evan.  They were so orderly, neither one darting toward some shiny object.  I was the mother of two little angels.


As soon as we were in the children’s section, they took off to see the animals poking out from the walls. Evan wandered over to the puzzles, and Sean made a bee line for the computers.  But when they announced story time, the boys followed me into the reading room without an argument, a fight, or a cry.  It all seemed surreal. 


Story time was going along well.  Sean passed Evan’s mark of paying attention at that age.  Evan would only sit for 15 minutes in the beginning; Sean paid attention a whole 18 minutes.  This was when the toddler to our right was starting to get out of control by slithering in front of Sean and towards the librarian. 


Now I know I have said this before, but it’s worth repeating, if nothing else, for my sake to get it off my chest.  Please parents of toddlers control your kids.  I don’t care how you do it.  Pacifiers, snacks, drinks, candy, anything to keep your kid from disrupting the class.  WE are all having a difficult time.  Look around you.  We’re whispering, congratulating, consoling, bribing our kids to stay still.  But the moment you let your kid crawl around, run around, or go up to the librarian to touch the book is the moment we start losing our battle.  It becomes MUCH harder for the rest of us to keep our kids under control as yours has up the anti.  So please, for us parents, for the librarian, for you, control your kid.


Because I had not been to story time in a while, I was surprised when the librarian announced a craft.  A what?  There are no tables; what are you putting us parents through?  It turns out it was a coloring sheet that Evan and Sean were just dying to color.  When Sean finally finished his, we left with our hands stamps.  Due to the pleading of Evan, we stayed to do another puzzle as I itched to go upstairs and get the books I looked up before we came.  I’m a good mom.


818.  That was the section.  It held some of the books that Caitlin Flanagan read for her book The Hell with All That: blah, blah, blah.  I couldn’t wait to get to the books, hoping for some insight, some sanity to Flanagan.  I figured they would be interesting reads because one of the authors was Shirley Jackson from “The Lottery” fame.  As I told Evan that he had to finish his puzzle, I saw him grab his crotch.  Oh, no.  Oh, no.  Oh, God, not here, not now.  And sure enough, he started peeing as I looked around for the bathroom that was on the other side of the library.  As I whispered and begged for Evan to try to stop, it did no good.  All I could do was shift him to dribble on his shoe any urine that wasn’t soaked up by shorts, underwear, and shirt.  Then I rushed the boys out the door as Evan asked to go up the stairs, up the elevator, look at books, throw pennies in the fountain.  No, no, no, no.  No, because you didn’t tell me you needed to go potty and now we have to change you, and you don’t have extra socks.


Well, they do have another story time for pre-schoolers tomorrow.  Maybe we’ll go there too.