Thursday, May 2, 2013

Raising a Toddler 101

I’ve never claimed to know it all when it comes to raising a child, and lately, I’ve had a few experiences that have been lessons for me.  So, I thought I’d share…
1.    Your child really does learn how to act/ treat others by watching you.  This is evidence to me daily by JJ reenacting things Jeff and I do.  For instance, last night, Jeff was shooting baskets with JJ, but he was bouncing the ball off the wall into the hoop.  JJ, who always wants to be just like his daddy, picked a ball and threw it at the wall.  Very cute.  On the other hand, I saw the other side of this lesson when we spent a rainy morning playing around at Monkey Bizness.  Fortunately, it wasn’t JJ that followed after this jackass of a father.  This is how it went down.  Saturday morning and rainy equals a busy morning at indoor play places and this was no exception.  JJ, my ball-loving son, was playing around by an inflatable basketball hoop when a kid, about 6, and his dad came over to play.  I was blown away by how inconsiderate the dad and the kid were as they kept taking balls from JJ and the dad was seriously more concerned about himself shooting baskets and could have cared less about the one year old that he was about to knock over.  We lived through it and eventually moved on, Jeff and I quietly bad-talking the guy as we left.  You’d think that was the end of the story, but nope!  A little while later, JJ is pushing around a little ride-on car in which he had carefully placed a ball in the trunk area.  As Jeff and I were walking close by and watching him, a little shit head kid came up, grabbed the ball, threw it away, and took the push car right out of JJ’s hands.  They are kids, this shit happens (although the kid was plenty old enough to know better) and I’m thinking a parent will step in at any time.  But nothing happens except the kid taking off with the toy my kid was playing with.  As I’m standing there completely flabbergasted, Jeff points out that the kid’s dad is the same asshole that was at the basketball goal and he watched the whole thing go down.  When Jeff said he’d like to beat up the kids’ dad, I have to admit, my non-violent nature about went out the window as I think I might have jumped in to help him!  Like father, like son and not always in a good way!

2.    Toddlers hate the car wash.  JJ and I have hit the car wash a number of times, but apparently since he is now facing forward in the car, this was a whole new experience.  And when I say he hated the car wash, that might just be a gross understatement.  The instant the water starting hitting the windshield, the poor kid was screaming bloody murder and I’m pretty sure if he could have rolled up in the fetal position in his car seat, he would have. And what can I do?  You can’t just leave the car wash in the middle.  It was like every new brush or squirt scared him more and he just kept looking from one side to the other to the front looking for a way out, but we were just stuck!  This was an unfortunate lesson for me, because I love a clean car.  Which leads me to lesson #3.

3.    With a toddler, you never have a clean car. I’m sure when I wrote in #2 that I love a clean car, every parent out there was laughing at me knowing the existence of a clean car with a toddler has never happened in the history of the earth.  Like ever.  Overall, I think I do pretty well, but for months there were mud stains on my back seat from JJ’s shoes since he was rear facing and I’m still searching for a sock that went MIA in the car last week.  However, I think reality kicked in here when we turned his car seat around recently.  In case you don’t know – installing car seats is a real pain in the ass.  Well, I am pretty sure they are, but I can’t say for sure since this has always been Jeff’s job.  But considering how long it takes him and all the straps, latches, and checks involved, I am pretty darn certain.  So… when we took it out to turn it around, Mom here had quite a reality check.  The amount of crumbs under the seat was bad, but the worst part was apparently when we had the pink yogurt puking incident somewhere in the middle of Nebraska on our way back from Colorado at Christmas, I didn’t get it cleaned up as well as I thought I did.  I’m embarrassed to admit this, but there was quite a bit of dried yogurt puke in a number of nooks and crannies.  No wonder I couldn’t get that smell out of my car for weeks!  Lesson learned!

4.    My kid is just too darn cute.  Ok, that really isn’t a new lesson, just an excuse for me to attach a couple of his latest cute pics. 
Loves acting like a big boy on the potty!

Checking out the dinosaurs at T-Rex.

Strutting my stuff.

Loving my basketball.
Heading for the hoop!

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