Psycho Killer Qu’est-ce Que c’est

31 01 2011

Little Dude, oh Little Dude, you are not going to grow up to be a serial killer – so quit acting like it.

PJ went through this same phase… the biting Mama, petting the cat harder, HaRdEr, HARDER, then swinging your foot “accidentally” at the dog, phase.  Or, what I unfortunately think of as, the budding psycho killer phase.

It freaked me out A LOT when PJ did this stuff.  It is when we first started doing time-outs with her, months before her second birthday (when most experts agree a kid actually starts to understand time-outs.)

Mostly the time-outs were for me and the animals.  Although PJ did seem to understand the consequences and why wouldn’t she?  These same experts all agree, experimenting with hurting the animals and Mama is about exploring cause-and-effect.  And a time-out is about cause-and-effect.  So maybe it wasn’t such a rookie move on my part.  Regardless, we are also starting to do time-outs with Little Dude.

The time-outs for Little Dude are different.  With PJ we put her in her crib (I know, I know, not an appropriate place for a time-out).  With Little Dude he just has to sit on the floor in the living room with his back against the couch.  When he sits there he looks so contrite (and so damn cute).  And this seems to give him and me the space we need without adding any challenges to our attachment efforts.

What I hate most about this phase is the look Little Dude gets on his face when he is about to do something naughty to the animals.  (I honestly can’t remember if PJ got a similar look or not.)  The look is one of glee.  I know it means he just got my attention – which he wanted.  And he is feeling powerful – an important and rare thing at 20 months.  I know he is too young to understand compassion and empathy.  But I hate it.  Hate the look.  Hate the phase.  HA-A-A-TE IT.

I am sure there will be many, many other difficult times while my children are growing up.  But this phase, where my beloved, tolerant, not-as-housetrained-as-they-should-be pets are being badgered is really tough on them.  And it is really tough on me.

Our 17-yr-old cat who is willing to lay around with a doll on his back does not deserve to be the subject of cause-and-effect experiments.


Sunday Slideshow

30 01 2011

PJ and Her Bestie (who we visited while on vacation)

The thing is, we were not telling them what to do.  We were just snapping pictures.  The fact that they are so in sync after not seeing each other for eight months is a little spooky.

Cracking Each Other Up

Until Next Time

Mid-Winter Blues

29 01 2011

It is THAT time of year.

Everyone is so aggravating aggravated.

Inspire Me

26 01 2011

My husband, SAG, and I have been together for years, Y.E.A.R.S. years;  two and a half years in college and two years post college in different states,  followed by seven years of living together on and off, followed by twelve and a half years of marriage.  That is a lot of years.

At some point (and I wish I could say it was a really, really long time ago, but it probably was only a long time ago) when our relationship was in a rough patch, I remember telling him, “I need a partner who inspires me.”  I am so sorry, and really, so lucky that he didn’t give up on me at that point.

Fast forward to last week.  After a six day vacation, we traveled by plane from Oregon to Kansas City, only to be stuck in a snow storm upon arrival.  When we had been driving for as long as we had flown and were for all intents and purposes still within the KC city limits, we got a hotel room and called it a night.

Between the time change, the day of travel, the skipped nap, and the unfamiliar surroundings, Little Dude was NOT GOING TO GO TO SLEEP.  My husband put him in the Ergo and rocked and walked and swayed, and rocked and walked and swayed, and rocked and walked and swayed, while PJ and I drifted off to sleep on the other side of the room.

The next morning he dug the van out of the snow while I got our stuff together.  Then he drove on the nasty roads the rest of the way home.  When we came in the house he immediately started unpacking the suitcases.

Unpacking the suitcases – that is a job that I often take a couple of weeks days to complete.  I have a wonderful ability to walk over and around a half unpacked suitcase for a very long period of time during which I will say things like, “I wonder where my black pants are?,” never once thinking to look in the suitcase.

So, there he was, exhausted and probably ready for a little time away from the kids and I.  And, he starts unpacking the suitcases…  So, I started unpacking the suitcases (and doing the laundry because, as he will tell you, it is always a contest with me.)

If you are still in your twenties, or have one or less kids, you may be thinking you need a partner who inspires you.  And you do… but probably not in the way that you are thinking.

I will be filing this under “I’m a Lucky Girl” because I really, really am.

Wordless Wednesday

26 01 2011

Child Proofing – It Shouldn’t Be This Complicated

25 01 2011

Our rental house has proven impossible to child-proof for a variety reasons.  The most important of which is my refusal to think of this as long-term housing for my family.  Because I feel it is temporary, I prefer temporary solutions.

And I do realize that there is no way in hell we are getting our deposit back (thank you, cat one, cat two and cat three.)  Still, it feels obnoxious to drill anchors into the walls every place we have a tall piece of furniture (which could topple over on the children when they are climbing to the top of it.)  This is something we did in our last house, but have avoided here.

I did break down and install the good child gate keeping the kids out of the kitchen area.  Which has been really helpful.

When it comes down to it, what is the simplest form of child-proofing?  Make sure you are in the same room with your kids so you can yell “no” at them every three-to-five seconds supervise and participate in their activities.  But I have two kids who believe whole-heartedly in the concept of divide and conquer.   If one is in the family room messing with the bird cage, the other goes in the bathroom and climbs into the sink.  If one is in the office banging on the keyboard, the other goes in the dining room and climbs on the table.  The obvious solution – SHUT THE DOORS.  But wait, they can open the doors.  So get the child-proof door handle covers, you idiots.

What, you mean these?

Notice, there are two different styles represented here.  Guess what? – neither fits our door knobs.  And I have been in a dozen stores looking for other options… no luck.

So, what do we do?

We flip the lock from the inside, then shut the door.

But of course there is no “key” for these types of locks.

So, if you look around our house, usually in spaces high above the kids heads, where there is no furniture to climb on, you will see this.

Hangers modified to be keys.

Believe it or not, this system is somewhat successful.  Except I have a daughter, who is in the process of potty-training.  And she loves to wear overalls.  Also, she loves her privacy.  So, she goes into the bathroom, locks the door, and then can’t get her overalls off to use the toilet.  If she gets stuck in the undressing process, she yells, “Help, help” in this new accent she has created for just this word, “HE-ELP, HE-ELP”.  Then I have to find a “key,” open the door and he-elp her get her overalls off.

Theoretically, I should also have to make sure Little Dude is safe while I am helping his sister.  But don’t worry, if he hears the door to the bathroom open, he runs in, after all, this might be the opportunity he was waiting for to throw a sippy cup, doll or full roll of toilet paper into the bowl.

Checking to see if I remembered to lock this one.

Goal List Help Needed, Please

24 01 2011

I need help with at least two items on my goal list which I have blogged about here and here and here.  (I should probably just make this a “widget”.  And if I actually understood what THAT meant, I could count that as a “new and important fact” that I have learned.)

Item # 21:  Save $43 using coupons.

I know there must be more to couponing in the digital age then just getting the Sunday paper.

Please, I need tips, ideas, websites….

Item # 23:  43 new and important facts I will learn about Missouri, Ethiopia, Buddhism, Yoga, Child development, Home Improvement, (any topic that is relevant and not ridiculous – pop culture, sports statistics and where to get the best Mexican food will not count)

Remember any topic that isn’t pop culture, sports stats or restaurant tips is fine…. and I may bend the rules for interesting sports stats.  Please, teach me something that is both semi important, but interesting enough that it will stick in my brain.

Oh, and I already know that E = MC(squared) – although I don’t know how to make the two go to the right place with this silly program.