Friday, July 22, 2011

Gulab Jamun

Weeks have passed since my last post.

My toddler has grown a size in clothing faster than I could blink an eye. 3T-4T. Record temperatures this summer, and my air conditioner barely keeps up. Global warming naysayers are roasting in it, I'm sure. The heat is intensely consuming and drawing a breath of "fresh air" feels more like inhaling fire and broken glass. We live in the city. Which means we're surrounded with concrete and moving cars, and that causes an increase of heat. Attitudes have increased as well and that includes my son's. He's cranky; he wants to play outside, but its too hot to be out longer 20 - 30 minutes before he turns beet red and is ready to come in.

We've been going to granny's a lot (my mom) during the hottest parts of the days, where the air conditioning is full blast cold and hugs from granny are readily accessible. We cook, play games, play music, water plants with granny and play in the baby pool with his cousins. He can chase birds and bunnies, eat granny's homemade pumpkin bread and sit in grandad's lap. Their basement often turns into the boys running around in circles, chasing each other and kindly including my little one even though they're much older. There's a media area so I can watch horribly awesome reality TV shows and my son can get to know his cousins, the way that boys do. Play fight. There's also a child's size drumset, which was purchased for my first nephew when he was younger. Now it's for my son and of course being the music lover that he is, he loves playing. He bangs on the cymbals and stomps the bass drum, creating his own music from his own tiny toddler mind. Along with the drumset, my parents have a piano. Both of my nephews are taking music lessons, so whenever my son sees one of them practicing, naturally, he has to join in. He dances for a bit but when he feels like it's his turn to play piano, he lets it be known. He taps my nephew's leg and points. His cousin then lifts him up on his lap and they enjoy playing piano together. He loves it there. All of the grandkids love it there.

I don't recall the house being nearly as fun as it is now back when I was living there. However, I was a "tortured" music obsessed teenager who hated the world and thought everyone was dumb.

Lately, tantrums have been on the rise. Daily, play time quickly turns into,

"No! Put it down!" I scolded him.
"No!" he yelled back. He often hits at me, which leads to time-out.
"Yes!" I insisted. Ususally at this point he throws whatever the object is, usually parts of the vacuum, which he has been oddly intrigued by lately. This is often followed by him collapsing right into the floor (or sidewalk) as if it were a featherbed while screaming, kicking and thrashing his head back and forth ferociously.

I assume this increase of tantrums is the result of three things for sure:

1. Terrible Two's are approaching quickly. (3 months away)

2. It's hot outside. Really hot. Heat associated tantrums are to be expected.

3. With the extreme heat comes lack of outdoor fun. (Boredom)

Breakfast time keeps getting earlier and earlier each day. I guess he figures at least eating is fun.

Along with his physical growth, his mind is rapidly developing as well. He's recently started smelling his food before he takes bites. For fun and nourishment, we went out to eat Indian food the other day for lunch. The entire ride there we told him all about food. He said "ooo!" and "ahh!" as I explained some foods. I'd like to think it was about the food but, who knows with his toddler mind.

As soon as we opened the door to the restuarant he screamed.

"YUM!!!!!" he shouted.
"I know, monkey! Mommy and daddy think it's yum too!" I said. He pointed to all the colorful food before him. Shalimar lunch buffet is awesome. Lots of yummy food for not very much money. I made his plate, filling it up with Palaak Paneer, goat curry, and lots of naan.

He loved it.

At first he was a bit surprised by the new flavors. (We've gone out for Indian food before but he probably doesn't remember. He was quite a bit smaller, but it enjoyed it nonetheless.) His face scrunched up and turned red after his first bite of goat curry. He looked at me and looked at it, and in his moment of palate clarity he shouted, "yum!" He pointed to the plate and grabbed as much naan as his tiny hands could hold. Dipping it in various things, mimicking us as best he could. He stole some Tandoori chicken from my plate and lit up with excitement like he got away with something yummy. And he did. Smiling ear to ear, I could tell he was having a blast. After he finished almost as much food as he could handle, we had dessert. Mommy and daddy had Kheer and our little one had Gulab Jamun. He has a new favorite food. The fact that it's soaked in honey is a super plus for him, he loves honey.

Ending our wonderful new meal experience at Shalimar made me want to take him so many more places to experience new food. Also, air conditioning is nice and why not combine that with good food? His tastebuds are new, and he loves new experiences. And he loves food. Somehow, most adults lose this ability to gain experience from something as simple as a new meal.

Watching my son grow is something phenomenal that I'm so humbled to get to experience. Everyday something is delightfully, and sometimes frustratingly, new. His smile is more mature, his curls are a bit longer, his face is losing his baby chubs, and his stance and movements are more sturdy and sure footed. He knows what he wants when he wants it. He can open a bag of chips, a box of raisins and as I found out this morning, he can unscrew a bottle of juice. And drink from it. And spill it. And get everything sticky, all with cute innocent, bright eyes and a mischievous smile. In the midst of it all, sometimes I have to stop and think, I get a second childhood.

And that's lucky.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Weight.

Parenting a toddler can be stressful at times.

You watch them grow and learn, and sometimes you may want them to grow and learn faster than they can. You turn into a cheerleader; motivating them with postivity in every little milestone accomplished.

"Come on, little man! You can do it!" I find myself saying a lot. I often wonder if what we think of as encouragment can sometimes make toddlers anxious. Anxiety is a feeling I know all too well. I can remember anxiety as one of my first feeling memories. Hopefully, my son doesn't learn this anxious behavior from me. School was a huge anxious mess. Everyday I went home feeling some sort of nervous thought about the day. And even though I was a great reader, when it was my turn to read out loud it quickly turned into a sweaty palm, shaky voiced experience. I was chubby, awkward, dorky and different. Children are like animals in that way, they can smell the anxiety and weaknesses of their prey . . . I mean peers. This very statement is one of the reasons bullies exist, they can read their prey because they are them.

And it scares them.

Maybe the same thing goes for the parent/child relationship. Fear and angst from both sides. Both sides sees the other in them. And it's scary. It's nature.

Today we went shopping at Target. I have many political disagreements with Target, but from time to time I get caught up in consumerism and somehow end up there. Bright lights, white floors, red targets and soap and toilet paper by the bundle for "cheap". As we went through the store getting the things we needed, we happened upon the toy aisle. The last time we went down the toy aisle my son was a bit younger and not as vocal in public as he is now.

"Ooooo!!! Ooooo!!! Vroom! Vroom!" He shouted while opening and closing his tiny hand. "Gimme gimme gimme!" is what I heard.
"Which one?" I asked him.
"ooooo! oooo!!" He lunged his body forward as he pointed at the cars.
"Oh, mommy is silly. ALL of them. Of course, why not?" I joked. These jokes won't last very long as my son is very close to being able use and understand more words. We kept moving along until we got to one of his favorite shows new line of toys. Dinosaur Train on PBS. He kicked his legs and pointed. He tapped me on my shoulder to get my attention. He continued to point, kick and say "ooooo!!".

"Dinosaur Train, I think we can get that." I said while handing him the toy, we moved along. His face lit up and he had the look of acheivment. He was excited. As we continued through the store he began saying "yum, yum!", so I grabbed him a cup of graham crackers and went to the "restaurant" area and asked for a cup for water. I filled up the cup and moved to the right to get a straw and top. As I was getting a top, a middle aged woman, man and an adorably cute 4 or 5 year old little girl walked up to the drink fountain machine.

"Icee!" the little girl yelled.
"Yes, we're getting it. We're getting it." the woman griped. The little girl grabbed the cup and began getting the Icee for herself.
"Every time you get it, you spill it everywhere! Let me do it!" the woman yelled while trying to get the cup out of the little girl's hand.
"You never do it right! You and your sister! You both overflow the damn cup! Every single time! And look! You're doing it now! I knew it! I knew it!" She nagged. I used my peripheral vision to see what was going on. The little girl looked at the floor as her mom anxiously grabbed gobs of napkins for a mess that one would suffice. She wiped the sides of the cup of threw a handful of stained blue napkins away.
"I'm so tired of it! You never listen! You never listen!! You can't do it right!" she yelled at the girl and grabbed her skinny little arm and stormed away. The man had already walked away; I think he was embarrassed. I was embarrassed. And I was anxious. I knew if her yelling made me; a grown woman of 27 anxious, that it must have been unbearably nerve racking for the little girl. Everyday. Maybe it was an off day. Maybe mommy has a short temper or she was cranky and tired. Or maybe she saw a glimpse of her own clumsiness in her daughter and it drove her mad. Her very own anxious subconscious came pouring out of her and into her daughter's shaky little hand.

Parenting is a hard job. Only the loving, responsible, humorous, unselfish, and hardworking can achieve successfully.

Reproducing on the other hand, for the most part, isn't as elite.

I don't want to provide an environment so anxious for my son that he can't do anything without the fear of doing it wrong. Anxiety is a strange thing, and to some people making others anxious is a power thing. And sometimes its unintentional. Either way, it's there. It's innate.

As stressful as this mommy gig gets, I remember that a strong support system is in place for a reason. Every mommy needs a break with a glass of wine and alone time, and nowadays this mommy isn't too proud to ask for help when I feel the weight.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our son, a budding bicycle enthusiast.

The past few days have been packed full of fun things toddlers like to do. So packed, mama and dada are more worn out than little monkey man. We went to the Muhammad Ali Center today with his cousins, uncle and granny. He enjoyed it. He always enjoys time spent with other kids. And loves time with granny. He ran around the training ring exhibit and we held him up so he could hit the speed bag. He shadowboxed and danced to the music. We roamed around some more and I did my best to explain some of the Black historical events that were (excellently) represented on the walls. My son is almost 21 months. He just mostly pointed at stuff and ran.

Until we got to the exhibit with Muhammad Ali's bicycle.

"Biiiiike!!!" he yelled in awe, all while trying to figure out how and why a bicycle was inside of the museum. He squatted down to check out the chain and examined the kickstand with his head turned sideways.
"Ooo!" He said while looking up at me with his big brown eyes. He ran his tiny hand along the seat.
"Muhammad Ali's bicycle! He rode it to train to become the greatest of all time." I explained to him.
"Yeah!" he yelled as if he understood.

My son, the budding bicycle enthusiast. *smiles*

He loves going on bike rides. Which works our perfectly for our family. His eyes light up, he dances and his little finger points at the bicycles that line the entire length of our hallway.

"Ooooo! Biiike!!" he yells every time we walk down the hall.
"Yes! Bike!"
"Vroom vroom!" he said. He says it when he sees cars and trucks or when he wants to leave or go on a bike ride. He tries to put his helmet on, but most of time he puts it on backwards.

Bicycling is important in our household. It's our lifestyle. It's part of how my husband makes a living. It's how my husband and I fell in love. We began dating very soon after we met; like two days after we met. Instant connecion. Instant love. Just like the movies say. "We felt like we had known each other forever, the moment we met..."

We began doing various hobbies together. Going to see our friends perform with their bands, playing poker, watching one of our best friend's create artwork and bicycling. The one that caught on the most was bicycling.(Although, we love watching our son's Godfather create.) What started out as a fun hobby for us, turned into a lifestyle. A car free, heart healthy and intense lifestyle.

I fell in love with him.

I fell in love with riding the busy streets of the city.

I fell in love with pedaling.

My husband has always been a bicycle fanatic. He loves them. He loves the way they ride, the way the move, the way they look and the fact that you use your own energy to propel it forward. I also enjoyed bicycle rides with my older brother while growing up. One day while riding with him I broke my finger in a wreck and I never rode again, until I met my husband. He also had a traumatic experience or two on a bicycle. Between getting hit by a car and a bad wreck, he thought he'd never ride again. Or at least that's what the doctors told him.

We started out slow. I hadn't been on a bicycle in at least seven years at that time and him at least three. We both got cruisers. Comfortable. Stylish. Easy. We thought this was as far as it would go, but I found myself bored with doing anything else. So we jumped on the "saddle" and rode. We rode everywhere. Together. Always. Zooming through the city on cruisers. In traffic. People in cars weren't used to seeing us. Nor were they used to sharing the road. The streets were always scarce with bicyclists at the time, not the story now. We must have ridden thousands of miles together.

When we became more aggressive and secure in our riding again, we bought better, faster bicycles. I found myself using bicycle lingo and wanting to spend money on ways to make my riding experiences more effiecient. Riding in traffic, splitting cars, heavy breathing and dodging cars. My senses became keen, I could hear cars coming from far away. Shoulder checking cars and yelling "hey! You're in my spot!! Get over!" This girl was a bicycle monster. Still am. The summer of 2005 we watched the entire Tour De France together in our first apartment, which had no air conditioning. We watched and then we went out and pedaled. We rode to bike shops, grocery stores, my parent's house, our friends houses, scenic park rides, rides late at night through the Butchertown Greenway...everywhere. Anywhere. Any time.

And then we found jobs.


All day. Rain, sleet and snow. Bicycle messengers. Us. I never thought that would happen when I met my husband. Our bicycling life has had it's ups and downs, but it's still there. My husband got hit by another car. We got married (4 years ago in a week!)! I got pregnant and couldn't ride. We lost bicycles and gained bicycles. It'll never go away. It's us. It's who we are and apparently it's in our blood.

Our son, a budding bicycle enthusiast.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Helpless. Pride.

The past few days have been pretty good toddler days. He eats. He sleeps. He plays.

I think he may have mastered getting oatmeal into his mouth and not so much his lap. However, there were a few spoonfuls that ended up there again. This morning we did our usual. Breakfast; oats, fruit, toast and Naked's Green Machine Smoothie. Its crammed full of nutrients, but I think he likes it because it's green. After breakfast he went out with "Dada" to pick up his check from work. This is always an experience for him. He gets to see the kitchen and roam around the dining room. Of course, he's well behaved so he doesn't tear anything up.


However, home is a different story.

He got to eat some cheese, meet the chef and goto the bank. All seemingly mundane things for adults, yet he gets so excited. Just to be. Anywhere. Doing anything. He loves it. Especially with daddy. While he was gone I finished 2 loads of laundry and cleaned my dear sweet son's messy room.

My husband and I had planned on going to our favorite restaurant for dinner, but soon learned that Wednesday is the only day of the week they're closed. So we went to our other favorite restaurant. Just as delicious, just as fresh. Little man enjoys both restaurants. We grabbed a table outdoors, I love outdoors seating with a toddler. When he throws food on the ground I don't feel as bad. The birds usually come eat the pita, and we get to watch. He loves watching birds.

"Bah, bah!" He attempted to say bird while pointing.
"Yes, birds! I see! They're eating dinner too!" I said.
"Yum, yum!" He said.
"Exactly, they're eating too." I repeated.
"No, he means they're tasty." My husband added. We laughed.

All the times I feel like I've failed as a mother, I think of all of the smiles I've made come across my son's glowing face. If you can say that, I think you're succeeding. Which brings me to what I even wanted to write about in the first place. Let this be said, these next statements are coming from a truly sincere place. Not a hateful place, nor a judgemental place, but a worried place. A sad place.

As we were scarfing down our hummus and shwarma, a woman walked by with her children. She had two boys, who looked to be about 2 and 4. The two year old was struggling to keep up with his mom as the four year old was checking out the life of the city. Our little man looked at the boys with curiosity. I'm sure he wanted to get out of his highchair and run around the streets with them. The boys glanced up at us and we said hi.

"Say hi to the little boys." I said to my son. He didn't move an inch. He never says "hi" when I ask him to in public. Really stubborn already, truly a trait of his father. *grin* I waved to them, they just stared. As they got closer to us and walked by, I noticed the smallest boy had. . . . .well, he had. . . .feces stains on his pants. All over his pants. His pants that were about 3 sizes too small. His little chubby light brown face was dirty and he looked very unhappy, I mean who wouldn't in that situation? How does it happen? Not only did this woman have two children she obviously couldn't take care of, but she had two more in a stroller, who looked like twins, behind her that her boyfriend or husband was pushing. He nodded his head, and kept walking with the smaller boys in the stroller. I was filled with instant sadness and an overwhelming sense of helplessness. If I could, I would have taken those babies. Of course, I don't have enough resources for 4 extra children under the age of 4. Therefore, I don't have 4 extra children. All under the age of 4.

Education is important.

Educating women of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ages, shapes and sizes. We need Planned Parenthood. We need easy access to birth control. We need easy access to pregnancy planning education. We need this. Today I was reminded of how badly we need this.

What should I have done? I don't even know the lady. Her children faces were not glowing with smiles from ear to ear. They were glowing with hurt, pain and need. I just sat there, helpless. I began to help my son get his mujaddara in his mouth. I couldn't help but wonder how much food those babies had eaten today. Everything we did with my son afterwards, I couldn't help but think of those little, tiny, love-starved innocent boys.

We went for an after dinner walk in the city. My son loved the busy city. He kept saying "Vroom, vroom!" as the cars drove by. He pointed at the buildings and the trees. The birds and the people. So much to "Ooo!" and "Ahh!" over. He's so happy.

And I can't help but feel a little pride.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Backseat Driving with Grandma"

Fridays or Saturdays are usually my days off.

Overnight stay with grandma time!

We pack an overnight bag, eat lunch and watch Sid the Science Kid. For all the parents who have seen it, they may know why. However, I'll explain. Sid the Science Kid is full of singing and dancing, which is of course the main reason my 20 month old loves it so much. He can't quite understand what they're trying to teach him just yet, but he'll learn soon enough. Sid, is a vivacious little boy who is about 4 years old. He asks questions and answers those questions via Scientific Method. The show could be about anything as long as the music was the same. He doesn't even watch it, he just loves the music. He recognizes the songs so keenly that if we sing them, he dances. Tiny hand waving in the air, wiggling his little body and moving to the rhythm of the songs. He loves it. Simply loves it. All of the songs on the show have lyrics that attempt to enthusiastically teach children about their bodies, nature, food, growth and many other topics. Backseat Driving with Grandma is one of the TV show's regular songs, along with the Going to School song. It's more like a mini song. When we tell him he's going Backseat Driving with Grandma, he gets excited.

Well, maybe he gets excited because he knows the song.

That's what we call it now; visit at grandma's is Backseat Driving with Grandma. However, I think he's catching on. Sometimes I'll ask,

"Are you ready to go backseat driving with grandma?"
"No! No! No!" he says while violently shaking his head.

This weekend, he knew. Right away. As soon as she came he knew something was up. He looked at her and looked at me and said "No! No! No!"

"What's wrong? You don't want to go?" I asked him.
"No! No! No!" he yelled and clenched on to my arm.
"Monkey, you know you always have fun. Go to grandma's so you can have a good time and stay up late!" I said in bribery. Hey, it's never too early to start. He began to cry a bit. I walked him out to car and strapped him in his seat. I gave him his sippy cup and a toy.
"I'll see you tomorrow. Have fun. I love you." I said. I hugged him, kissed him, ran my finger through his curly hair and shut the car door. He was so busy playing with his toy that he didn't notice when they had driven away.

As soon as they pulled away, I ran into my empty house. I turned up my radio, cracked open a bottle of wine, and danced around in my short term "freedom". Don't get me wrong, I love my little monkey, but its nice to have some adult freedom for a day or two. My mother in law loves to see him and time spent with grandparents is as significant for children, as it is for mommy and daddy to be husband and wife for a few days. And of course, he always has fun. He rules the house. He gets to stay up late and eat whatever he wants. It's grandma's house, and that means little man takes control. He knows his way around her house, he knows the dog, he knows where his toys are and he loves to play in her yard.

After having a glass of wine and listening to Sly and the Family Stone, I got dolled up and had dinner/visited Husband at work. He works at an upscale restaurant, and some Saturdays they have brick oven pizza dinner in the Wine Studio during the summer. I ate delicious pizza and had more wine. I stayed while my husband finished up at work and then we ventured off into the nightlife. We have a favorite spot we visit every time we go out. It's a dark, dingy bar with punk rock attitude. The jukebox is my favorite in town (the Misfits AND James Brown. On the same Jukebox!) and we always know at least 3 people there at any given time. Before you think it aloud...yes, it's our Cheers.

Our fun raged on into the wee hours of the morning. Knowing we get to sleep in, we stayed up extra late and ate pizza. We went to bed some time around 6am.

The short term "freedom" is just that. Short term. And that's the way I like it. We picked him up in the late afternoon. His face lit up in surprise when we walked through the door at grandma's. He embraced us both with hugs and kisses and let a loud "Yeah!" We played for a while in her yard and then came home and ate dinner. He was ready for bed early, as weekends are big for a little man.

Backseat Driving with Grandma is an essential part of parenting for stay at home moms all over the world.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tiny. Toddler. World.

This morning started out pretty typical. Got up at around 9:30am, my little man played while I made breakfast. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal with fruit, waffles, juice and milk. Daddy was home early for breakfast, as well. He works some nights and early mornings, but occassionally has breakfast with us. Our little man ate all of his blueberry waffle, not so much the eggs and liked the way the oats smelled and looked. "Yum!" he exclaimed. I gave him a spoon and poured milk over his oats and berries. I watched him as I ate my oats, he was attempting to spoon up a bite, but I guess it was too soupy. More oats ended up in his lap than in his mouth!

"Let mommy help you. Look at me! I scoop my oats like this! Yum!" I said with excitement. Trying to engage a toddler is not the same as engaging an adult. Your voice gets high pitched, your eyes get big and you smile from ear to ear to make it look fun.

"See! This is how mommy eats her oats!" I said. "Yum, its so good!" He looked at me, giggled and tried again. This time he scooped some up and it slid right off his spoon again, into his lap. He grunted in frustration. I know how annoying it is to try to do something you really want to do, but haven't mastered yet. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to not be able to do something out of necessity such as; eating, bathing, and getting dressed entirely on your own. I held his hand in my hand and tried to scoop up some oats to his mouth.

"We'll both do it! I'll help-" I said.
"No! No! No!" he insisted, while thrashing his body around. He threw his spoon on the floor and reached for his bowl of oats.

"Do not throw that on the floor!" I said and grabbed his bowl. He quickly drew his hand back. He looked for his spoon, but it was on the floor where he'd thrown it. He got a frustrated look, started fussing and beating his hand on the table. Once he realized he wasn't getting the spoon back immediately, he began sticking his little index finger in his oats and licking it to get some in his mouth. Another power struggle today. Here we go, I thought.

"When you get frustrated, you can't throw things. Please stop." I said firmly. He looked at me and smiled. Maybe he got it this time, I thought. I hoped. I picked up his spoon, washed it off and handed it back to him. He grabbed it and began spooning oats into his lap, yet again. He squealed and his face began to turn red.

"Monkey, let mama help you. I can do it really well, as I've been eating oats for years!" I said enthusiastically and fun. He looked at me and screamed "No!No!" and started crying. I was going to add more oats to his bowl to thicken them up to make it a little easier to hold on to the spoon, but as soon as I took his bowl away he started screaming and kicking.

"I'm going to give it back, I promise!" I said. I put the bowl back on his tray and he stopped crying. He began using his spoon much better. He got about 3 big spoonfuls before he got frustrated again. He threw his spoon and flailed around. I assumed he was finished eating so I darted over to him to release his tray a bit to lift him out of his chair to clean him up, in a tantrum, he kicked his tray as hard as he could and the tray's content went flying in the air and hit the floor along with the tray. I stood there for a second and looked at the mess and looked at my toddler who was no longer crying or screaming or kicking. He was just looking too. Silence.

"Why did you do that?" I demanded. However, demanding an answer from a toddler is pretty silly. I lifted him up and tapped his butt. He cried a bit. I handed him a wipe so he could clean his face and proceeded to lift him up out of his chair. I cleaned his lap off and put him on the floor. He reached up with his sticky little hand to grab my hand and looked at me with his partially cleaned, partially oatmeal covered face.

"Good job cleaning your face, monkey!" I said with excitement.
"Yeah!" he yelled and nodded his head.

We walked to his play room aka our living room together. As we walked down the hall he yelled, "Bike! Bike!" He yells this every time we walk down the hall. We own about 10 bicycles that line that halls of the house. He loves bikes. When we entered the living room he decided he wanted to nurse. He climbed up in my lap to nurse, he wanted to lay, so he did. Afterwards, he spotted the digital picture frame that has about 30 pictures of him on it.

"Ooo!", he said, "ahh!", while pointing at himself.
"Yeah! Thats you!" I said. However, the fun soon turned into...

"No! Put that down! It's not a toy! Stop! Stop!" I said firmly.
"No! No! No!" He yelled back and had another tantrum. He kicked and screamed and threw his head back as hard as he could and headbutted me. Hard. In the face. I screamed. He looked at me as if he knew something was wrong. He knew he hurt my nose. He hit me so hard it cleared my sinuses.

"You hurt mommy, bad!" I yelled.

I got some ice from the kitchen to prevent swelling and sat there while he played. What should I have done? Time out? Spanking? Who knows? But when he saw the pained look in my face he came over to console me. Being a toddler must be a really hard challenge to conquer. Being a parent of a toddler is really challenging as well. He understands somethings, but somethings not so much. In his tiny toddler world, there's so much more to learn. In so much time. And I wouldn't rush it for a moment.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Affluent Customer X

"Boys will be boys...I guess" came to mind while shopping at Whole Foods earlier today. Lets rewind for a minute. While rewinding go ahead and be stereotypical while you're at it. If possible. Whole Foods can be a very expensive store. Most of time while shopping there you run into a few types of customers:

-Affluent customers
-Healthy/organic families

When my previous thought came to mind, it was the more affluent customer. His precious (bratty) seeds were RUNNING RAMPANT. They looked to be about 6 and 4, both redheads and both boys. Scooping armfuls of boxes off of shelves, threatening to rub solid air freshener all over each other's faces and daring each other to lick the cart. When I first spotted them, I was wandering around Whole Foods aimlessly, as I often do, and happened upon two innocent looking redheaded boys sitting in the cart together, alone. Other than them, the aisle was completely empty. They smiled. I smiled.

"Where are your parents?" I asked. They stared at me blankly for about 5 seconds and then their dad popped up.

"Hi." I said a bit surprised.
"If you wanted these specific items why didn't you just come here yourself?!" he hurried passed me while yelling on his phone.

I turned back around to look at natural toilet cleaners. All of a sudden I heard a loud crash.

"Pick it up!"
"No!" they yelled in unison. They've got this poor man outnumbered, I thought to myself. Never have more kids than adults while grocery shopping, if possible. Unwinnable battle. As they continued to tell their dad, "no!", I thought about my very own son. I wondered if he was behaving or throwing food at daddy, since that's his new favorite thing to do when he disagrees with being told no. They were having dinner from the hot bar while I did the shopping. It makes for much quicker shopping and it's a way to keep him entertained and fed while I get things done. I ventured off to the tables and chairs area to check up on them.

"No! No! No!" I heard from a distance. A child's voice. Oh no, I thought, is he giving daddy trouble? *evil grin* As I approached them closer I realized he was having another power struggle with daddy.

"Don't throw your plate!" my husband said sternly. He took one look at "da-da" and reached for it again. This has become the new thing. Throwing his plate. Even if he's hungry, if he's mad the plate and all of it's content is getting thrown full force, all while saying, "yum! yum! yum!" It's an almost immeadiate reaction. It goes:

1. Anger
2. Little hand meets plate
3. Plate and food meets mommy and the floor.

And it's all happening in about 0-5 seconds. Sometimes, because he's a sweet boy as I've previously stated, he'll help clean up the mess. Other times, when he's being a stubborn boy, he falls out IN the food. Imagine a toddler screaming and kicking in a plate of food that was thrown on the floor. All was fine at Whole Foods though, he didn't throw his plate. Was it daddy's stern voice? Or his sense of being in a public place? Who knows? All I know is this mama was not cleaning up a plate of food off the floor or herself this afternoon. Affluent customer X was doing all the cleaning. And for some reason, I felt a bit of relief in knowing it's not just me.