Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Short-Attention-Span Parenting

I've always been a big fan of the three-dot column, and it has occurred to me that I might be able to ride that approach to more frequent posts here...so here goes...

Max woke up at 5:30 this morning, screaming his lungs out, which is highly unusual (the 5:30 part, not the screaming). After 5-10 minutes with no end in sight, Sarah brought him to bed with us, which calmed him down, but he proceeded to lay there, wide awake, grabbing at my beard, cooing, and generally showing no signs of sleepiness. Unfortunately for him, we do NOT wake up that early, and we were not about to start today, so I decided to put him back in his crib, which was not a popular decision with him at all. I told Sarah to be strong, which she was, and after another 5-10 minutes of screaming, blissful silence arrived. The payoff? He slept until after 9...when he's not sleeping, he's engaging in his new favorite routine, which is to find something in the house he's not supposed to have, grab it, and run away from us, and then, when we finally corral him and take it away, drop to the floor and bang his head once in protest. It's absolutely hilarious...also hilarious is his new penchant for walking around the house with his hands linked behind his back. When he's wearing his little cap and jacket, he looks like a tiny old man waiting to head to Denny's for the early-bird dinner special...

Yesterday, while Sarah and Max were visiting the Little Farm in Berkeley's Tilden Park, a bigger toddler put his hand on Max, extended his arm, and instructed, "Move!" To which Max apparently responded in a state of semi-shock, mouth agape. Get ready for more of this, buddy--toddlers are a brutal bunch, and I'm sure you'll do your share of unintended bullying before all's said and done...for now, however, he's content to bully us. Every day brings timeouts for smacking Daddy in the face or pulling Mommy's hair. What a little meanie!...To the rest of the world, he's still an angel, though. Everywhere we go, people comment on his beauty, fueling my joking insistence that we have a DNA test to prove he's mine...then he goes and bangs his head against something, and I feel a lot better.

One of my favorite little behaviors he's taken on is each night, when Sarah or I tell him it's time for his milk, he eagerly runs into his room and attempts to lay down in his milk-drinking position on his boppy (a horseshoe-shaped nursing pillow, for the uninitiated)...this is contrasted by the hitting and hair-pulling. Or the growing tendency to dribble whatever liquid is in his sippy cup all over the house. Or his fascination with banging hard toys against our carefully painted doors. Or his seemingly unstoppable habit of throwing whatever food he either is done with or doesn't like onto the floor...of course, a few minutes later, he's stealing all of our hearts again by bouncing from Sarah to me to Jackson, lips puckered, collecting as many kisses as he can, and making the "mmmmmmwah!" sound every time...in case it's not obvious, toddlers are a schizophrenic experience...no wonder our martini hours seem to have progressed from a couple of nights a week to a nightly ritual...in fact, how many hours til the next one?

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