- JD & O both had jobs yesterday. I did everything I could to be prepared with favorite snacks, books, and activities, but JD refused them all. There was a water cooler in the room (which he knows all about after
Hubbysomebody showed him how to work the one at My Gym), and he screeched until I got him a cup, then proceeded to dump the water on the floor, throw the cup in the garbage, and then screech to begin the cycle again. Whenever another child approached him he attempted to physically push them away, and he actually succeeded in knocking down two toddlers before I could stop him. I tried to enforce a time out, but he absolutely refused to apologize. Embarrassing doesn't begin to explain it. However, when it was his time in front of the camera, he really shined, and everyone on set praised him for his outstanding behavior. I was so proud of how well he followed directions, and was so relieved to see him enjoying himself. If only they had seen what had happened in the holding room! It is as if he was a totally different kid. The other moms said goodbye to each other with hopes of meeting again at future jobs. Nobody gave me more than a goodbye. I was the mom with the kid they never wanted to see again.
- Back at home, we went to free play at My Gym. JD really loves free play because he can run around without the structure of the class. When it was time to go, he threw a fit, and the owner had to help me carry him out crying. We walked next door to get pizza for dinner, and he felt like a big boy picking out what he wanted. People nearby were complimenting him, but when it was time to go, I practically had to drag him out while he screamed about wanting a cup.
- At bed time, he completely freaked out when I went anywhere near his room. I felt guilty because it had been a rough day, and I know this week is especially tough for him because Hubby is away, and one parent splitting attention for two babies isn't fun for anyone. So, I let him stay up late cuddling with me on the couch. He was super snuggly and even pulled his blanket up over my shoulders and pushed my head onto the pillow with the direction to "nap".
- The transition to bed wasn't a complete disaster, and he fell asleep quickly. Until 2 am, when he woke up screaming bloody murder. Sometimes he cries in his sleep a little, so I left him for a couple minutes to see if he would settle himself down, but it only escalated, and he woke up O. I got him out, and he sat reading like a perfect angel while I rocked O back to sleep. But there was no way I was getting him back in that crib without his head starting to spin and new levels of screaming, so I let him sleep next to me in bed, where he woke me up a little before 5 this morning. Awesome.
- I put them both in the car at O's morning nap time with the hopes of getting JD to take a little nap as well. They both fell asleep, and I used the time to drive through the town's beach sticker line- where I made the mistake of shutting off the car. JD woke up screaming, which woke up O. Now I was the poor mom stuck in a line of cars with two screaming kids. O finally settled into just staring at his brother, who was going to new levels of upset. The lady selling the stickers only said "Good luck" as I drove away- not the "have a nice summer" she had said to the car in front of me.
- After a snack and letting him run around a little, JD calmed down and we headed to his My Gym class. We've had issues the past couple weeks with him not sitting for circle time, so we talked the whole way there about all the fun things they do in circle time, and he demonstrated his favorites from the car seat. When we walked in, I reminded him that he was going to listen to the teachers and do circle time, but he screeched and ran wild. He hid himself in a ball pit, so I tried the jealousy method and sat down with O for circle time. O was loving it because he's usually sitting in his carrier off to the side, but JD started trying to get my attention by throwing all of the balls out of the ball pit. I told him to stop or we would go home. He laughed and threw more, so I scooped them up, and left with 2 crying kids. I told his teacher we would try once more tomorrow, but if he has a repeat performance we will have to take a break from bringing him (which scares me because he really needs the outlet for his energy, and upsets me because this is the same teacher who told me last month that he would probably be moving to the next level early because he listens to directions so well- where did that kid go?)
- I arrived home with a plan to serve lunch and put him down for a nap. He was an angel, giddily showing me how he was counting his raisins. But as I write his he has been calling for me from his crib for the past 45 minutes. He is delirious with exhaustion.
I am at a complete loss. I called hubby and cried, and he started talking about having the babysitter come to help more often. But that's not the kind of help I need. I just want my good boy back. I know I'm not perfect when it comes to discipline. There are times that I let him see me get emotional in response to his bad behavior- especially when I am this sleep deprived, and he has heard me vent about him- both discipline no-no's. But I do feel that I am consistent with expectations, and I follow through with consequences. I am careful to choose my battles and acknowledge the good behavior, and Hubby and I are both becoming fluent in the caveman toddler language.
And I'm scared, because if JD was a baby who "knew what he wanted", O is certainly "strong-willed", and where JD's gross motor skills are super advanced, O is doing things even earlier. JD is active and loud, and O is right there following his footsteps. I actually had to ask the pediatrician what I should do when I can't get O to sit still long enough to nurse or eat a meal. (Answer: If he is gaining weight & hitting his milestones, we aren't really concerned.) I want to enjoy my time home with JD, and I want to give O the attention he deserves, but at this moment, I just don't see how.
**Note- After writing this, I gave up on the nap and took JD out of his crib. This afternoon should be awesome.