The Thorny Devil

Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling great.  In fact, I hadn’t been feeling great since Monday.  I had been managing to plow through, but yesterday, I asked my Husband to get home from work early since I just needed to SLEEP.  A lot.  And sleeping is rather difficult with a toddler.  

My Husband did come home.  He took excellent care of Mac.  He took care of dishes and toys and even went to the grocery.  

But when Moms “take a day off” – even with stellar help – stuff starts piling up.  And pile up it has:  laundry, cleaning, some of the groceries are still all over the kitchen counter. . .

I’m playing catch up this morning, at least.  But I didn’t want to leave you hanging so here’s something that makes me giggle that will hopefully make you smile too:

Mac gets Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.  It’s clearly not marketed to his 22-month old demographic, but my nephew was selling magazines and I felt like I had to purchase something.  So I Ranger Rick Jr. it was.

The magazine is full of vivid photos of interesting animals.  Often the photos include a brief blurb about what makes the animal unique.  Mac really loves looking at this pictures and we work on learning their names.  A few days after the magazine arrives, he’s typically able to accurately identify the animals.

(Which leads me to a suggestion for Ranger Rick:  KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE ZEBRAS ALREADY!  There are zebras in EVERY issue.  We get it, kids must like zebras. . .but I’m way over them.  How ’bout a manatee or a Capybara next month?  Switch it up a little?)

Anyway, this month’s magazine arrived about a week ago and contained a feature on “Weird Skin.”  It’s like the dermatological nightmare of the animal world.  There in graphic glory are caribou shedding disgusting antler “skin,” and magnificent frigatebirds with their lusty red throat pouches all puffed off (although the caption indicates they are just “showing off”).  There’s an admittedly adorable armadillo.  And a couple of freakish frogs. . .

And THIS:

AHHHHHH!!!!!

AHHHHHH!!!!!

This is apparently a THORNY DEVIL.

Except my son doesn’t really have the hang of properly enunciating the “T” sound yet. . .

So thanks to Ranger Rick, he’s running around screaming “HORNY DEVIL.”

I try so hard. . .why do I try so hard?!  

My Secret Parenting Shame

I RULE!  With a sticky little fist.

Every woman who has EVER had the pleasure of the plague that is pregnancy has propped herself uncomfortably in her 25-pillow nest on the bed and dreamt of the control she will regain when that little bundle of joy is finally evicted.

I won’t let my child eat things off the floor.

I won’t let my child sit in a wet diaper for more than 5 minutes.

I won’t ever lose my temper.

My kid won’t watch TV or become obsessed with an iPhone.

I’ll patiently explain everything.  Over and over and over.

Sure, things go well for a few months.  “I’ve got this parenting thing down cold” you think smugly to yourself while you watch your little bundle of joy lying there like a swaddled slug sleeping.

But BAM!  Before you know it, that swaddled little slug morphs into a lightning fast, free-will exercising, squirmy-worm toddler and you find yourself less in control than you have ever been in your entire life (Yes, even more out-of-control than your booze soaked early twenties).  It’s BAD.

At first you don’t want to accept the situation.  Not only is your wee one growing up.  He’s growing into an ocassionally obnoxious, assertive, tantrum-throwing, smart as a whip, pain in the rear.

You tip-toe around him in fear and trepidation.  What will set him off next?  How will you distract him from whatever unsavory or dangerous behavior he’s engaging in without inducing the mother of all meltdowns?

Eventually you are forced to admit all your delusions about control were a JOKE.

You have approximately as much control as Michelle Duggar’s bladder.  And none of the benefits of adult diapers.

It’s just terrible. You’ve failed.

I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.

I’ll just bet what I’m about to reveal is shameful enough to make you feel a little better about yourself.

Ready?

I swore to myself in the early days of parenting, I wouldn’t allow our kid to watch TV but these days?

I’ve been letting my kid watch a movie.

A. LOT.

Like sometimes during his breakfast if he’s on a grumpy hunger-strike and if he’s really disagreeable, sometimes in the afternoon during his snack too. (GASP!)

And it’s not a kid’s movie.  It’s the extended version of The Big Year.  It includes one PG make out scene, someone giving another someone the business finger, and a smattering of curse words.

I KNOW.

But the kid LOVES it.  The minute I reach for the remote his eyes light up and he begins happily stuffing his face with whatever I put in front of him.

I’m serious.

He doesn’t throw food all over the floor.  He doesn’t whine.  He finishes his milk without protest.  There’s zero drama.  He eats, smiles, and watches a comedy about birding.

I’m trying to justify the situation by telling myself he’s eating more when the movie is on (this is absolutely accurate), and that he doesn’t watch TV any other time during the day and I’m not using it as a babysitter, and he’s probably only seeing about 30 minutes of the movie total on most days.

Do I have a nagging guilt that I have somehow failed?  That this has spiraled a tad out of control?  Yes.  And YES.

But the drama-free eating and the nearly spotless floors make it very difficult to stop.

Let’s keep this our little secret ok?