Oh, these squawking birds won’t quit.

14 Nov

That’s a line from a Shins song and it’s been stuck in my head a lot lately when I’m with Eli. Such is the nature of two, I guess.

We’re deep in the throes of two-dom. I love watching his growing independence but am often frustrated because it’s misdirected independence — “yes, I understand you don’t want to hold my hand while we walk but you also tend to want to run into the road, kid.” (insert screaming) We walked to the store this evening and he initially cried because he didn’t want to hold my hand walking back. We were walking on a busy road so I told him that once we crossed the road and walked back into the neighborhood I would let go. That calmed him down. Then once we got to a safer area I let go and then he wanted his chicken strip which was in the bags. I told him he could have it once we got home and that started round 2. He fake cried (we all know the fake cry) for about two blocks and Andy and I ignored him as best we could. Finally I crouched down to him and explained that if he kept it up, he wouldn’t be having any chicken strip EVER. Also that if he wanted to scream we were going to stand right there in the sidewalk until he quit and he still wasn’t going to get any chicken once we got home. A few people were walking past and heard this and told him, “I’d go for the food, kid. I like to eat.” He thought about it for a second and finished the walk in a fine mood.

He’s mastering the art of the fake cry, the one that is all whine and impatience and I DON’T CARE IF YOU SAID YES YOU AREN’T DOING (INSERT PREFERENCE HERE) RIGHT THIS SECOND. He’ll just look around with the sides of his mouth turned down and WHIIIIIINE. Half the time he doesn’t even seem to notice or care that we said YES, it’s just that we aren’t acting quickly enough. Needless to say, even if we did say yes he doesn’t get whatever it is until he calms down and knocks it off but wow, it sometimes can take a while for that. We’ve designated his room the “scream room” and if he’s just in the mood to yell we tell him that’s fine but he has to take it in there. Most of the time that will calm him down because he doesn’t want to be sent away. The fake cry is also what he’s doing a lot at daycare.

His main response these days is “No!” even if he then does whatever it is you asked. He ended up in three times outs in a row today for not helping me pick up his blocks. He doesn’t hit us anymore but the near constant contrary behavior can be a bit wearing. All we can do is be consistent and keep calm, right? I know this will turn out fine but goodness!

We’ve had to start television limits with him because he’s turning into a Finding Nemo junkie. In addition to “No!” his other often heard phrase is “Fish movie, Mommy!” He’ll say it overandoverandoverandover and if you say no he’ll cry it overandoverandoverandover. Seriously. For a whole twenty-five minutes in the car on the way home yesterday. No, he didn’t get to watch it. We’ve been working more the last five days on cutting out the movies and engaging him in creative play inside (the weather has been ick and it gets dark at FOUR THIRTY) and it helps. Today he didn’t ask to watch any television until 5:30 and that’s a great improvement. I bought him an art jar and that’s been a lot of fun even if all it really means is that everything in his room ends up with a thin coating of glue stick. The train table we bought doubles as a great play table for him. Taking away the television has been really challenging for me, too. I don’t think I realized how lazy I had become by letting him watch the movies so often. We get out to the parks every day but I think I had gotten a bit apathetic about what to do while we’re inside. Good all the way around.

He woke up at 2:30 last night crying and yelling, “Open door, Mommy!” which is what he yells when he’s ready to get up. He never yells that at any other time than when it’s actually time for him to get up and he sounded a bit hysterical last night so Andy went and got him. He ended up bringing him to sleep with us since Eli didn’t want to go back in his bed. Eli conked right out in ours and we all slept well. I’m guessing he had a nightmare. He didn’t have any problem going down for his nap and slept well (3 hrs).

I took Eli to a baby shower for a friend yesterday. I should mention that he picks the weirdest lines out of his movies to latch on to–from Up he started repeating “TAKE A BATH, HIPPIE!”. In Finding Nemo, the kid fish are looking at a boat in the water and one says he heard it was called a “butt”. Somehow Eli understood that you aren’t supposed to touch the boat (which Nemo did and how the whole story starts really) so Eli always yells, “Don’t touch the butt!” at that scene. He found a big plastic rocking whale toy in the kitchen at the house and sat there rocking on it and yelling, “Don’t touch the butt!” repeatedly. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone could really understand what he was saying but I wish he would rephrase that. It was pretty funny though.

Will’s busting through homework tonight and right now Andy is giving Eli a bath. I’m cooking braised beef short ribs and I’m going to try my hand at some polenta instead of mashed potatoes to go with it. We’ve also got some broccolini to go on the side. We’ve had a busy weekend. Will went and saw movies with his friends Friday night. Mike came over yesterday for football. Due to the ick weather, we tried out the toddler playroom at our community center and Eli loved it. Basically just a huge room with A LOT OF TOYS and tumbling mats, etc. It’s $2 to use it so it’s a good back up for when the weather is really bad and he needs to stretch his legs.

Andy’s on nights all this week so me and the kiddos are flying solo. I’ve got a grocery delivery coming in tomorrow night so at least I’m off the hook for that! Everyone have a great week.

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