Monday, March 25, 2013

favorites and not

Not to be confused with Hallie's, this is my third installment of all things Jordan. However it's not all fun and games this time because.... this kid

has been challenging me lately.

Veteran moms, gimme shelter. I feel like life with Jo lately is like life with Jim Carrey in Me, Myself and Irene. She is discovering her own will, pushing boundaries, exercising defiance and flat out rebellion, being the cutest, making new and hilarious facial expressions, hosting thrilling one-ended conversations, slapping me across the face, throwing food the length of the table with all the ability and agility of Eric Gagne, and oh so many other things. In that order. She volleys between adorable and horrible at breakneck speed, and it's really difficult to ascertain whether I should laugh or cry or yell or hide.

Take Friday. We're walking to the car, delighting in the squirrels, talking like the best of girlfriends. She reaches for my glasses, which, despite being five years and two prescriptions old, are vital to my well being and survival. I wrestle them away from her because Jordan has all the "soft touches" of John Cena of WWE Raw, and she swings her hand all the way back and lands a slap on my cheek reminiscent of Gone with the Wind. She's twenty months, but you guys, it hurt. Straight up, I was the Ashley Wilkes to her Scarlet O'Hara. And that old guy retrieving the groceries from his trunk was the Rhett Butler, lurking on our private affairs. It's safe to say I've never been on the receiving end of such an experience (or the delivering end, for that matter), and I was battling a rage blackout while trying to figure out how to address the situation. I landed on my meanest school-marmiest voice and a smart smack on the offending hand. I really thought I had been sufficiently intimidating. But she just nestled her head into my neck and sighed "awwwwwwww."


Then there's the impending threat of a picky eater, which Jordan has nevereverevereverever been in her young life. Fried Mexican beetles would have been just as desirable to her as Haagen Dazs Pistachio until lately, when a couple weeks ago she started taking a turn for the finnicky. Which means that if a plate displeases her, it is cleanly swiped from her sight in one fell swoop and on to the carpet. I cannot communicate the temper that flares up within me when this happens. I made my most steadfast vows to never react in anger but rather out of calculation, but I don't know what to do about this?

Time-outs have gone from the horror of Jordan's existence to some kind of reward, as she's thoroughly enjoyed being plopped in her crib the last three or four times I've done it. She's ended up staying in there for 20+ minutes reading to herself - which is a nice break for me to get things done - but clearly marks the end of time outs as a mode of discipline.

Then, but then, she is just the sweetest. She is heartbreakingly affectionate. She shows genuine concern. She understands so much, which is evident even with her lack of vocabulary. She loves her dad.

She is playful and pure. I have never seen a child so intent upon praying; whenever she sees a crucifix, her gaze becomes fixed and her hands become folded until I finish whatever prayer I've chosen for us to recite. At the close of each prayer, she blows kisses to "Jee" or, if we're lucky, "Jeesh" (two syllables are still alluding us, sorry Jesus.)

This whole up-down-up-down-sideways-over-under-up-down emotion thing must just be part of the deal when you're a parent, then? To a toddler anyway? One minute, she has me in stitches asking if she can have a sip of my "tteee" (girl likes her chai), or catching me oh so stealthily trying to sneak a chocolate truffle, but when the inevitable plastic crinkle gives me away I'm confronted with "HEY!!" The next minute, she's staring me straight in the eye as she overturns her plastic Cars plate full of scrambled eggs, or defiantly sauntering away from me as I call her name to come here.

I guess what I didn't count on with parenting is, as much as she's learning and growing, so am I - and maybe even more in my case. This experience is as new to me as it is to her, and I feel that there is a distinct learning curve with your first kid. I hope I have my sh together a little more by August 25 or so. But - and please don't barf here - when Jordan puts her arms all the way around my neck and presses her stinkin' cute little mouth to my cheek, there's just about no better way anyone can say "I love you", don't you think?

Hey so, PS, I don't really know how to do this, but I'm hoping the text that I pasted below turns into something you can actually click to follow me on Bloglovin'. If not, I'm adding the widget to the right, so you can go that route. If not, and you're kind of sick of me anyway, then you don't have to. But I'll miss you...

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  1. Of course this is the age I love. They are so small and can run your life with such ease. It makes you appreciate your folks all the more.

  2. Oh, man. My daughter is 19 months and she is TOTALLY the same. The sweetest, most infuriating little twerp.

    We've done the plate thing, and it seems like she's gotten over it, I hope permanently. We said "NO!" And put her down from her high chair immediately. If she came back and wanted to eat we gave her plain oatmeal. Every time. Also for food throwing. Now if she doesn't want something, she'll push her plate away. Which is still worrying in the nutrition department, but infinitely better than washing tomato sauce off the wall, right?

    From what I understand of child psychology, we're supposed to start saying no now, but they'll first be able to integrate it and respond appropriately and consistently when they're around 4. Argh!

    When she hits me, I put her down right away and say no. We don't do time-outs or smacks, but "no!" And redirection. With her attacks of frustration and hysteria (ie, temper tantrums), we try to verbally recognize her feelings "yeah, you're upset because you aren't allowed to lick the bottom of your boots" and a hug (and maybe a nap) but we stick to our guns. It seriously pisses me off though, especially when she runs away, and I don't know how long I'll be able to keep up the sweet kindergarten teacher stuff though.

    Obviously you have a month more experience than me, and we live in Scandinavia and I'm pretty sure child-rearing is very different here! But if it helps to hear what someone else does, there you go... I totally hear you on the secret inner fury of toddler moms. Sigh.

    1. Sounds like you've got the same type of stuff going on...this is really helpful, thank you! That responding with plain oatmeal is a good one, that's creative.

      I'm glad to know this toddler stuff is universal (literally - Scandinavia, wow!) and that I'm not the only one that gets frustrated :) Thanks for the tips, I'm going to be using some of those.

  3. I don't have ANY children advice but I can possibly give you advice on that Bloglovin' link you were trying to post. Try switching from "compose" view to "html" view when editing or writing your post on Blogger. When you are in html view add that html Bloglovin' link. When you switch back to compose I hope I hope I hope it will be there for you!

    The Brayn of Chalayn