Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Almost 2

We've got a little boy around here who's almost two.
 He is sweet and precious and I love him so much that sometimes I just can't hug him tightly enough or give him enough kisses.  And yet...he is almost two.
One minute, he'll be kissing and patting and "hi baby!"-ing John Fletcher, and the next, he'll be chunking a phone into the (occupied) bassinette or smacking the baby across the top of the head.
When we're out and about in the stroller, he slips his feet underneath the footrest and digs his toes in, so that our forward movement comes to a grinding halt.  Maybe just in the pedestrian flow of the sidewalk, where we only risk city dweller's scornful glances.  Or maybe smack dab in the middle of a crosswalk, with taxi bumpers practically grazing our knees, as they try to turn.

After seeing a video of a little boy on my friend's blog the other day, he asked me to make a video of him.  He was so excited and bounced up in the chair to be interviewed.  And this is what we got...

Our conversations these days often go like this:
Him: Cho-ees peaze, Mama.
Me: You'd like some Cheerios, Andrew?  Ok, you may have some Cheerios. {getting down the big yellow box}
Him: No Cho-ees!  Noooooo Cho-ees!  NOOOOOOOO CHO-EEEEEEEES!
Me: Alright, Andrew, let's speak nicely.  You don't have to have any Cheerios. {putting away the big yellow box}
Me:{banging head against refrigerator}

Then, there are other times we have conversations like this:
Me: Andrew, do you know Mama loves you?
Him: Yeeeees.  More? {with his face all lit up}
Me: Andrew, do you know Daddy loves you?
Him: Yeeeees.  More?
Me: Andrew, do you know baby loves you?
Him: Yeeeeees.  More?...
And he's just a smooshable ball of sweetness.
He's able enough to bust through every childproofing device we have and unrestrained enough to do some real damage, so he must be constantly supervised.  Constant supervision is hard to provide when nursing an infant.  And he is fully aware of that!

But his newfound abilities can be really fun, too.  Like today, we were headed to the American History Museum, but on the way, we passed the Natural History Museum.  Andrew recognized it, sat up out of the stroller, pointed, and started happily shouting, "Rawwwwwrrrr!  Peaze!  Rawwwwwwrrr!"  He wanted to see the dinosaurs.  So we did.  And I was so glad he is almost two.
When he lands himself in timeout for a really bad offense, I often find myself heading straight for the cookies after depositing him in the crib.  Who says eating doesn't make things better? 
When Mama was visiting recently and he was having a particularly defiant day, we were putting him in timeout for a decade...of the Rosary. It was restorative. Maybe I should go back to that.

When he's not busy being bad, he is simply delightful.  Sunday evening, Jacob was home and I wanted to make a quick run to CVS for my weekly coupon deals.  I planned to go sans kiddos, but Andrew caught wind that I was headed to "the S" and asked to go with me.  He loves to ride in the carts they have there.  I let him come along, but when we arrived, all the carts were in use.   I thought about just turning right back around and going home.  Having him on foot in the store, free to knock everything off the shelves just seemed too awful.  Instead, I stooped down and looked him in the eye and told him he was going to have to be so good and be Mama's helper.  And...I was absolutely shocked, but HE WAS!  He never pulled anything off the shelf without my permission.  He spotted the candy, but didn't even touch it.  He drug a basket full of merchandise through the store for me and waited ever so patiently in line with me behind a lady who took a very long time.  He handed all the items up to the cashier and then pulled our bag out the door and up to our apartment.  This may sound strange, but it was SO MUCH FUN.  To have him along with me, obeying me, being good, helping, chatting.  It gave me hope!

Basically, the highs are high and the lows are low.  And I know it's only for a time.  I certainly don't want to be wishing these days away in hopes of easier days in the future.  For one, I have my doubts that they really come.  Right now, I have him cocooned away with me.  When I have to release him into the big, bad world, I know there will be a whole new set of worries and upsets. 

Life in a fallen world is hard and it always will be.  I just wish I had some assurance that we are really getting somewhere with him in his upbringing.  That we are leading him down the right path.  Maybe this is the challenge of parenting your first child.  Maybe it's like this with all of them?  I don't know, but if anyone has any wisdom to share (or any advice on how to discipline when you're out of the house--he always seems to have the upperhand in those situations), I am all ears.  
For now, I'll just cinch the seatbelt a little tighter and hunker down on this wild ride with our boy who's almost two!


Sarah Rose said...

YES, this stage is so hard... and so wonderful, isn't it? Those chubby cheeks are so hard to resist, even in the middle of a full-on tantrum.

I am consistently encouraged by the blog and, if you haven't discovered it already, I'd highly recommend it. Lots of common-sense thoughts from a mom who has done it and lived to tell about it.

Is he REALLY almost two now?? Sheesh!

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh I loved this post! But, I love all your posts! He is adorable and the video clip...hee hee! He is too much! You are doing such a wonderful job! I completely identify with you in all you shared - about discipline, especially!

BettieBoyd said...

Darling, you are doing SUCH a good job!! He is so normal. I do love the cinema verite', with the "suspect fleeing the interview" as the deputy says in Fargo! Just breathe.All my love!

BettieBoyd said...

It seems like this daily drama is getting you down. You might want to view this from a different angle. The worse he is the more cookies you get. Promoting his negative behavior for your own gratification could be good for both of you. For instance, you tell him to mess up his room; he refuses and you get a cookie. You spread his Legos all over the room and he spends his time putting them back in the bucket. You have a cookie.

Jana said...

OMG...I have your son's twin!!! The cheerios story is CLASSIC!! We do the exact same thing...(only about gatorade or milk). Oh my...isn't it fun to see their personality? And the CVS...been there done that too. What joy's they bring. (Yet today he got in "timeout" at school for spitting?! Yes, his best friend there taught him that...oh my.. now he says 'spitting bad..." Ha!

Mary Blanche said...

That video is great!! You are a great mom. Love you!

Rhonda Hennessy said...

I loved your post! I know I don't have Andrew, but PLEASE know I'm being so honest when I say I have a hard toddler too - and she's a GIRL. There are times that I look at her and wonder if there's even a slight chance she'll turn into a lady. And EVERY time I discipline her I wonder if I'm doing it right or making things worse. I'm never she she accurately understands the what and why, typically because I have to repeat it when she repeats those things she gets in trouble for (usually about 5 minutes later - on a good day). I just keep reassuring myself that every parent has these worries, and you affirmed that and made me feel better - I hope I'm doing the same for you. Hang in there! I hear four is a really fun age :)

The Steffens said...

I'm sure it can be frustrating, but I must say I love that video. LOVE!

V said...

Hang in there, Elizabeth! I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I know Melanie has tough days with Jack, too. You're doing a great job!!

Aunt Betty said...

I love the video, I had not realized he had inherited your acting gene : ) Your Daddy used to say that the terrible two's did not mean while they were two but that they lasted two years...good luck you will survive! I must say that i think he is a very good little boy!

Bev said...

I love that video! Someone is a little faker!
As for the temper tantrums outside of the home, for a while with Grayson, we just had to shut down any activity when he acted up. For example, if we were in Target to get groceries and he started whining, pounting (or whatever! To G, Target = new toys) we would leave immediately. It's not the easiest thing to do, but we only had to do it a couple of times. Once he realized acting like that wouldn't get him his way, he shaped up! And that is key. Be it positive or negative attention, we were giving Grayson positive reenforcement by bargaining with him to behave. He felt like he was in the power position.
Two is different that four years (Andrew might be too young to understand the cause and effect), but keep it in the back of your mind!
And I know you and Jacob are leading down the right path!
Miss you and your boys so much!

Aunt Sally said...

Continue to enjoy your boys at every stage. They grow up so fast! Each age has its rewards and challenges. Remember the phrase, "This, too, shall pass," and repeat when necessary. As I told Sara recently, "If I had it to do over again (the raising of my children) I would love you so much more and scold you so much less." Another thing to keep in mind (as your excursion to CVS clearly demonstrates), children respond to your expectations. For the most part, the higher your expectations, the better they will respond. And they love to be given grown-up (in their minds) tasks and to be praised for doing them well. I'm a big believer in what you put out, you get back, good or bad. (Reap-sow, cause-effect). Good luck and continue to appreciate your beautiful family!

Malacy said...

Don't worry, the terrible two's aren't terrible at all. It does freak me out that Gus understands SO much more than we give him credit. I'm with you...I could just squeeze them all day (and about do)! You are going to have to share with me some indoor activities as it is in the 30's here. You are so creative!

Katie said...

They are adorable! Absolutely precious!

Katie said...

and I love your stories....I can hear you when I read them!

Elizabeth said...

Elizabeth! You are the most amazing mother!! Your family is beautiful! I wish we lived closer to each other. I'm so impressed with your parenting skills! And, cannot wait to get advice from you when I have my own in the future! With you as their mama and your faith as their example, your boys will know the love and find the path Christ has planned for each of them. I'm praying for yall. I love you!