Parenting is all about catching up

I’ve heard that the toddler stage is no joke. I stored it somewhere in the back of my mind when other mom’s told me that toddlers are all “go” until they crash. I laughed. I thought, “I’m sure it’s not all that bad”. I thought it would be fun. I was right about the fun, I was dead wrong about the difficulty. Lord.have.mercy. We’ve turned another corner. This one is throwing us for a loop like crazy, which is fine, because in the past year we’ve been thrown through 1,352,983 loops, so…we’re getting kinda used to it. Mostly. Let’s just say that my dad watches Zoe on Tuesdays while I go to work, and when Brad got home he asked him if I had given Zoe any sugar because she was going a mile a minute. Brad laughed. I did too when he told me about it.

No, that’s not sugar Daddy, that’s just my kid.

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My kid doesn’t stop these days. She goes from one thing to the next leaving a path of destruction in her wake. I’m not kidding you, by 8am every.single.cotton.pickin’. morning. my bathroom looks like a mine field. She gets her bucket of toys, takes them out one by one and chucks them around the room, then she collect them and dumps them in the tub, the toys are followed by the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, then she nose dives over the side of the tub to collect her belongings and scatter them around the floor again. When she moves on from the tub she finds the toilet, where she flushes it 5 times in a row {we’re working on only doing it once}, then she finds my night-stand. I’ve learned to only have like 3 or 4 things on it as opposed to the dumping ground that it was before. Other than my lamp, that all finds its way to the floor too, occasionally she mixes it up and throws it on the bed. We go downstairs when I can’t handle it anymore, and as I leave the room I make a mental note to clean it up before Brad gets home.

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This morning she was rearranging my picture frames. The translation? She was carrying them around with her and I’ll have to find them later. That’s what I do all day long. I find things. I find my wallet in her toy box, I find Hemmingway’s kong at the bottom of her toy box, I find picture frames on the table, I find candles behind the door, I find Zoe standing on the ottoman, I find the dog dish by the front door, I find the diaper that I just put on her in the hallway and my naked girl arranging her magnets on the fridge, I find her diaper bag pulled off the table and the contents strewn about the hallway. You’d think I don’t pay attention to her…you’re wrong. I watch her like a hawk making sure she’s safe, which bring me to my next point, safety.

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I haven’t figured out exactly how much I want to be up and down with this new explorer side of Zoe. For example, one of her favorite things to do is to climb the stairs. I trust her on the stairs. She’s been climbing up and down those stairs on her own for 6 months now without ever having an accident. But it only takes one time. Am I willing to risk it? I don’t know. I know that I frequently ask myself “Will this cause harm to life or limb?” and “Could we end up in the ER if I allow this to happen?”….those are really my only two reasons that I stop something from happening. A fall down the stairs? Yes. A fall off the couch? No. Which is why I let her climb up and down the couch to her hearts content, but supervise every climb up the stairs. You get my point? The simple truth is, Zoe is a climber, and other than quench how she was designed and all the personality traits that go with it, we just have to go with the flow. It’s hard. My heart skips a beat when I see her use the chest beside the couch to climb up over the arm rest and fall onto the couch, or worse, just stand on it and dance. I’m not a fan of it when she flings her little body over the back of her rocking chair, or worse, stands on it and surfs. I was shocked when she asked to climb to the top of the ladder Brad was working on the other day…but, really? What is there to do? Other than try and make it as safe as possible as she does it 145,382 times a day. Not the ladder specifically, just climbing in general.

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And then, if all of that wasn’t enough, Brad and I have been introduced to the toddler tantrum, and oh.my.word does my girl put on a good show. I have to applaud her enthusiasm for the tantrum, even if my nerves are rubbed raw by 5pm every day. Where she used to accept a negative response to a request, she now squinches up her little eyebrows, purses her lips to see if that works first, and if it doesn’t? She pulls out the big guns…full blown screaming tantrum. It could really be over anything, there’s no middle ground, we go from peaceful to crazy in .008 seconds, and we do this cycle over, and over, and over, and over, and over all.freaking.day.long. There’s times when it’s so ridiculous that it’s cute, and there’s times when it annoys every part of my being. Tantrums can be better or worse depending on the day, and some days {I swear} Zoe gets out of bed with the desire to push every single one of my buttons. It’s awesome.

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But, there’s an up side to all of this. I’ve never seen this girl cuter in her entire life. Part of being a toddler is this incredible sweetness that is just unexplainable. It’s what helps us maintain sanity. When Zoe climbs up on the couch and sits right up by my side just to hang out with me, my heart melts. And when she gets a book and brings it over to me, I sit on the couch, and she crawls up into my lap with her hands on my arms as I read…there’s nothing like it in the world. Her shriek of delight when we play airplane up and down the hall, or when I scoop her up off the floor and throw her high in the sky…it’s like morphine for my raw nerves. How she sits down with her toys and takes them out one by one, inspects every single one of them, lines them up and then puts them back into their box…adorable. When it’s 5 and she hears a car pull into the driveway and the dogs barking and she looks at me and says, “Da-da?” and I answer yes…the squeal of delight and the hyper screaming, followed by uncontrollable laughter when her Da-da walks into the room…wipes away the exhaustion. Her little face scrunched up as she inspects something new, or her eyebrows raised and her neck stretched out as she peers over the edge of something she can’t quite reach…you just want to capture all of it on camera so that you can remember it forever.

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So, we’ve turned yet another corner in development, Brad and I are scrambling to catch up and I might be slap wore out by the end of the day, and like all the other seasons I’m confident that this will be both amazing and frustrating. I’m just hoping Brad and I adjust quick…

Happy Thursday Ya’ll!

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9 responses to “Parenting is all about catching up

  1. Enjoy every exhausting minute… they pass soooooo quickly. And I know EVERYone says that, but with two kids age 14 & 11, I can say it’s so true. Crazy busy now too, with them running in different directions constantly, but I love every second. Soon they will be gone (to college or on their own) and I wonder what I will do with all the extra time (and money, ha ha!). Love your blog!

  2. We are having a lot of button-pushing tantrum days lately too, complete with more whining than I ever thought was humanly possible. ::sigh:: We “find” a lot of things too. Hubby found my flip flops in the garbage can yesterday…

    • In the garbage can!?!?!?!?! I had to turn the garbage can facing the wall the other day because Zoe was taking things out one by one. Not pretty. I also found her dumpster diving in the toilet….that’s the day that I taught her to flush it hoping that it would be the focal point when she sees the porcelain throne…. so far it’s worked.

  3. I completely understand… Selah is into everything.. if I leave the bathroom door open she throws everything into the tub, pulls out all sorts of things (ie: deo, hair gel, tampons, toothpaste, etc) and carefully spreads them throughout the house. She throws rolls of toilet paper into the toilet. As I am cleaning the toilet, she gets the rag and throws it into the toilet. She clears out the tupperware drawer several times a day as well as the plastic cup drawer. (that I have strategically placed on a bottom drawer for her access instead of something breakable) If the door to the house is open, she’s gone. I made the mistake of allowing her big brothers to care for her outside, she (and they) decided to go down the steps (cement) to the basement. She fell. HUGE bump on her head. To top it off, Josua constantly wants to antagonize her! So, she is usually screaming at him b/c he took a toy, he has his feet on her chair, he is touching her stroller… you get the point. However, her cuteness is her saving grace! She melts with her heartwarming smile and laugh. And she laughs so easily. The boys are starting to play with her more and she enjoys it too. Her newest trick, undressing. šŸ™‚ Gotta love this age… as well as every other age. Each one is extremely precious and challenging. ENJOY!!!!

  4. We are in your boat…its craziness here. I keep on telling myself that I am going to lose weight from all of the chasing. So far, no such luck, but its a nice thought, huh?!

  5. Can I just say how lucky I feel that I can’t relate? Haha…one day, one day. Until then, I will live through this crazy life of yours one blog at a time šŸ™‚ LOVE it!!

  6. Okay the latter pictures are so cute, I can’t get enough. And this post made me laugh so hard (and possibly cry in about 6 months). I ended up reading it to my husband who laughed as well…then we both sighed because we can’t wait (sarcasm) for this stage.

  7. Pingback: Fall Festival 2011 | Confessions of a Reluctant Housewife

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