Thursday, July 12, 2012

Acting Like A Grown Up

It's been said that the reason it's called the Terrible Two's is because Effing Awful's doesn't start with a T. 

Truer words have never been blogged. 

And, since we all know that the EA's don't start when you turn two or end when you turn three... well, let's just say that I Googled how many realms of hell there are, so that I could tell you I have discovered a new one that involves having a 16-month old and a 32-month old scream and carry-on as though I'd set them on fire while dangling Cheerios in front of them.


Yep.  10th Realm of Hell. 

I've had to break my streak of no coffee, (coffee, coffee!) for two weeks (yay. me!) because of the trauma that this morning's goings-on did to my cerebrel cortex.  I would not wish this morning's antics on my worst enemy.  Well, maybe my childhood bully... but last I heard, she had four kids in 6 years, so I figure she's found the 11th and 12th realm of hell.  Word.  Hope it was worth all those terrible things she said and did to me in grade school.  I CAN GUARANTEE YOU, IT'S NOT.

The morning started off benign enough.  Hazel came into the room at 7:15 so she could crawl into bed with me and snuggle for a bit.  And yes... I'll own it:  I totally love snuggle time in the mornings with Hazel.  And can't wait for the day that Millie is old enough to do the same.  It's the one moment of my day when there's peace and quiet.  I love the feel of my little girl's curls falling across my neck while she twirls her hair and sucks her thumb.  And sometimes, if I'm lucky, she's snuggle up into the crook of my neck and fall asleep for another 30 minutes.  Other times, like this morning, she'll be quiet for a few minutes before she tells me she wants "breafast" and we'll crawl out of bed and start breakfast.  And she'll sit in the kitchen and watch me fix her some food, or she'll try to help.  And her halo glows.... and everything is lovely and peaceful and wonderful.

And then Millie wakes up.  At which point lovely and peaceful LEAVE THE BUILDING.  Because Hazel turns into a crying, whining MESS.  Which then turns Millie into a HOLD-ME-ALL-THE-TIME- OR-I'LL-CRY-LIKE-HAZEL mess.  And nothing gets accomplished.

This morning after Millie woke up, I put her in her high chair and gave her some french toast which she began to devour.  Hazel looked at her french toast that she demanded I not - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES - cut up for her.  Then she looked at me and I saw the transformation of my angel into the beast that would cause grey matter to leak from my ears by the end of the morning.

"My feet are cold, Mommy!" she said on a whine... emphasizing every. single. word.
"Really?  Cuz it's 80 degrees in here.  So, that's weird."
"I want my shoes."
"Okay.  Go get your shoes, then."
"No.  You go. get. my. SHOES."  
"No.  Mommy is making breakfast.    You can go get your shoes and put them on."
"Hazel, you can either be nice, stop crying and eat your french toast, or you can keep crying and go to your room."
"Okay.  Time to go to your room."
"Nope.  When you can be nice and stop crying, you can come out."

I'm going to stop right here and let you know that this confrontation repeated itself FOUR times this morning. 

First was the shoes. 

Second was her blanket.  The blanket that she had been laying on during the first time out.  The blanket that she wanted me to go get after she came back out and promised to be nice and stop crying. As though her legs were physically incapable of supporting her body weight to take her to her room and pick up her blanket.  So, she's just going to demand that I do it for her.  And I'm going to look at her incredulously waiting for A) her to say please or B) my death stare to scare her into silence.  My mom had that stare... WHY CAN'T I PERFECT THAT STARE TO SHUT MY KIDS UP?  Neither one worked and instead, she opted for option C) scream like a velociraptor and see how Mommy handles that.  Back to timeout.

Third was her french toast that she wouldn't let me cut.  And then when she asked me to cut it for her, I apparently cut too much off the big piece and OMG.... What am I trying to do?  RUIN HER ENTIRE LIFE?  (No sweetie... I'm waiting until you're 16 to do that.)  Back to timeout.

Fourth was when she wanted more french toast even though she had three pieces left to eat.  And the "IWANTMORE!IWANTMORE!IWANTMORE!" screams were likely  heard down the street and around the corner before I finally finished wrestling the badger that is my youngest into her shorts and tank for the day and stormed into the kitchen to get her more... which is when I discovered the uneaten french toast on her plate.  Yea. You know what?  In observance of Pioneer Day in two weeks, I'm going to write about how pioneer women didn't have to put up with this shit.  You demand and cry about wanting more bread while holding on to a piece of bread as you cross the plains in a covered wagon? How about you find your own way to Utah.  How 'bout dem apples?  Back to timeout.

Fifth was the stool for the potty.  You mean this stool right here that is three inches from you?  Yea? Yea... sweetie, you can pick up that stool and put it by the potty on your own. Are your arms now paralyzed, too?  They don't seem to be because just two seconds ago, you hit Millie.  Oh, and speaking of which,  Mommy is too busy holding Millie 24/7 because she absolutely loses her mind if I put her down for even one second.  Likely because she knows you're gonna hit her because Mommy didn't fan your fanny with a feather this morning.  And Mommy can only handle one screaming kid for no reason at a time.  So, no... you need to be a big girl and pick up the stool on your own.  And stop crying.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, STOP. CRYING. 

And right about here is when I lost it.  I truly lost it.  I mean, it had been going on non-stop for 45 minutes.  How am I supposed to accomplish anything in the morning and keep my cool when it's non-stop screaming, crying and whining from both kids? 

And now the almost 3-year-old is freaking out because she refuses to pick up the stool?  I mean, she's sitting on the potty, stretching her feet out to the stool and trying to reach it and pull it towards her with her toes (respect) while screaming that she needs her stool. 

And I felt it coming. 

I knew it was coming. I didn't want it to come because I never want to be that mother.  The mother who swears at her two-year-old... and who goes there.  To THAT word.  The word that we never, ever, ever, ever say.  EVER. 

But I couldn't hold it back.  It came out.  It just fell out my mouth in that loud and hateful way that you subconsciously think will somehow make you feel better about the situation.  As though by saying THAT word, all that frustration and anger will somehow dissipate and voila!  You'll be able to handle the angry mess of tears that is your daughter sitting on the toilet crying for her damn stool.  You'll be Mom-of-the-Year, kiss her tears away and suddenly have newfound patience for the suckiness that is the EA's. 

But, what you instead end up doing, is saying THAT world, storming into the bathroom, kicking the stool at the potty and shouting: "THERE!  BETTER NOW?"

And, of course, it isn't.  Because first off, you said THAT word which means that you will probably find out from her teacher today that she taught the other kids in class to say:  "Oh for ____ sake!".  Which means you're going to be really popular with the other mother's in the class.  Awesome.  And secondly, when you kicked the stool at the toilet, it slightly grazed the kid's toe and now we have a whole new set of imaginary problems.  And no, I'm not going to kiss your toe better until you stop the freakin' crying. (Cuz that makes sense).  But Mommy is over it and not thinking logically.  And you're not hurt.  Maybe your feeling are hurt, but your toe is fine.  And my feelings are hurt, too.  I cannot believe that this is what my mornings are every. single. morning.

Understanding that this type of behavior has gone on every morning since... forever, you might be able to have a little sympathy for me.  Not much, I know.  It's not pretty to see someone hit their breaking point.  And to be pushed there by a human being who has just recently stopped pooping in her pants?  Even uglier. 

But my next brilliant moment in parenting came pretty quickly after the toe incident.  I mean, when you're at the end of your rope, rather than tying it in a loop and looking for the nearest tree, what's the next best thing?  Why, threatening your child with public and private humiliation, right?  RIGHT?

"Hazel, you either stop crying right now and act like a big girl, or Mommy takes away ALL of your panties and you will wear a diaper to school."

Yep.  I went there. 

I went there so. hard. 

And think about it.  You think that I was actually going to be able to finagle her into a diaper?  And at this point in her life, if I were able to shove her into a diaper, how long will that thing stay on?  5 seconds?  Tops?  I'm just saying that there are cowboys who stay on 'roided up bulls longer than a diaper would stay on The Bird right now.  There are swear words I couldn't get out of my mouth in the time it took for that diaper to come off. 

So, you know and I know that it was a threat I wouldn't have been able to follow through on.  But it's the only thing in her life right now that she's super excited about.  And taking it away from her would be devastating.  Mortally devastating.  Akin to taking away Millie's blankie. 

Or Mommy's wine.

And I'll be damned if it didn't work. Right there on the potty, she stopped crying and turned into the angel that her teacher says she is at school all day.

Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better.