Toddler Demands: What Gives?

Yesterday, like nearly every other morning, I brought Mac downstairs after he awoke.  Here’s what happened in the next 1 minute and 45 seconds:

The minute his little feet hit the floor, he raced to his Legos.  “Lego, Ego, Ego” he demanded forcefully while pulling the bin from the shelf.

I sat down on the floor and opened the tub of Legos for him.

“Fresh!” he said.

“Ok.  Let’s get that wet diaper off of you,” I say motioning towards him tugging on his pants.

“No!  Pants!  Pants!” he whined.

“Sure.  You can just wear your pants for a little while without the diaper.”

I pull up his pants and he shoves three Legos at me, “HELP!”

“Do you want the blue on top of the green?” I ask.

“CRACK!  CRACK!” he orders.

I put the Legos down and drag myself off the floor and head to the kitchen for crackers.

He follows hot on my heels “Help!  Help!” he exclaims, jamming the Legos into my thigh as I’m putting a couple of crackers in a bowl.

“Ok.  Mommy can help,” I sigh, sidestepping him, putting the bowl of crackers on his little table and clicking the Legos together quickly.

“GURT!! GRUT! GRRRRRRUUUUUUTTTTT!”  He wails while pulling on the freezer drawer (because for some sick and inexplicable reason he will only eat yogurt while standing in front of the open freezer).

I feel my eye start to twitch.

When I was working outside of the home, I used to dread getting to work early.  I’m not a morning person and EVERY TIME I’d walk in the front door early, there were two obnoxious Financial Advisors lying in wait.  They wouldn’t even say “Good Morning” before they started ranting and raving and whining about whatever their seemingly urgent issue was that day.  It was positively infuriating.

And NOW?  Now, my nearly two-year old is making them look like complete amateurs.

Is this normal?  Where did he learn to fire of 25 demands in 20 seconds?  I do not speak this way to other people.  (Well, not out loud at least).  Where did he learn this?!

I did a little reading.  Apparently, this sort of behavior is completely normal.  This is what kids his age do.

Oh well, at least he’s on track developmentally. . .Would someone please pass the prescription drugs and booze to Mommy?  NOW!!!!!

Keepin’ It Real: The 18 Month Questionnaire

So it’s time for another trip to the Pediatrician.  Mac’s coming up on his 18-month well baby check.

We have another questionnaire to complete.  It arrived in the mail yesterday.

I gave it a once-over this morning.  It’s about six pages long and contains a bunch of questions regarding different developmental skills the kid should presumably possess by this point.  You’re supposed to make a “game” of this questionnaire, perform the skills and mark whether the kid does the skill consistently YES, inconsistently SOMETIMES, or NOT YET.

The cover letter reminds us to “have fun.”

Rolls eyes.

This questionnaire doesn’t have nearly the space necessary for me to actually have fun.  If they really wanted me to have fun with this thing, they would have allowed a LOT more space for commentary. . .

Here are a few examples:

“1.  When your child wants something, does she tell you by pointing to it?”  As far as I’m concerned, a much more interesting question would be, “Explain what happens when your child wants something, points to it 15 times, and you ignore him because you’re Tweeting about cat vomit?”

“5.  Without your showing him, does your child point to the correct picture when you say ‘Show me the kitty’.”  Yes.  My little genius can accurately identify a cat but only if you refer to it as “that asshole cat.”  He can also pick out the liquor store owner from a photo line up.

“6.  Does your child say two or three words that represent different ideas together, such as ‘see dog.’?”  Um NO!  We don’t want him telling the whole world, “Mommy’s drunk again” do we?

There’s a section on motor skills.  It’s 12 questions long.  Why don’t we cut the crap and leave him unattended in the exam room for 3 minutes?  I promise you there were be little question about his motor skills after you witness the carnage.

And look at question 6!  “Does your child get a spoon into her mouth right side up so that the food usually doesn’t spill?”  I can’t even answer that one.  Our kid will ONLY use a fork –  a metal, adult sized fork.  It’s been this way for months.  Note to self:  Ask doctor about eye protection.

I was encouraged to learn Mac is an excellent problem solver!  “2.  After you have shown your child how, does she try to get a small toy that is slightly out of reach by using a spoon, stick, or similar tool?”  I’ll be damned, just the other day I caught this kid using a soup ladle to fish pet-hair covered Cheerios and dog kibble out from under the radiator cover!  YEEEESSSSSS!  Now, does he lose points for subsequently eating that stuff?

I got a little confused at questions 4 and 5 as they dealt with scribbling:  “4.  Without showing her how, does your child scribble back and forth when you give her a crayon?”  Um, I’m a little unclear on this one, should the child start scribbling immediately or is it ok if he eats half the crayon first and then starts scribbling?

There were also 6 questions regarding personal and social development.  “1.  While looking at herself in the mirror, does your child offer a toy to her own image?”  Hmmmm. . .ever since Mac learned how to throw wood blocks (see also Q1 regarding fine motor skills) at that gigantic, floor to ceiling mirror in our living room, we don’t let him anywhere near a fucking mirror.  Are you nuts?  (Or does the throwing count as “offering a toy to his own image?)  So confusing.

“4.  Does your child come to you when he needs help, such as winding a toy or unscrewing a lid from a jar?”  Why yes, as a matter of fact, yesterday he brought me no fewer than 4 tubes of toothpaste, a bottle of Pepto Bismol, and an unused pregnancy test which he presumably required assistance with.

The final two pages do have “fill in the blank” type questions.  Most of them addressing potential problems (i.e., do you think your child hears well?  If no, explain).  Number 4 “Do you think your child, walks, runs, and climbs like other toddlers her age?”  Do all toddlers scale the stove and run as fast as they can towards a busy street?

I was disappointed to see no question regarding smart phones and tablets.  I feel like this day and age, the questionnaire should be updated for an app section.  In its current state, the questionnaire focuses on blocks and crumbs and empty bottles.  Jesus.  Get with the times!  For example:  I heard Mac counting the other day along with a Fisher Price counting app.  The kid is learning to count!  I sure as shit didn’t teach him that.  I mean if I weren’t so damned lazy and used the iPhone as a baby sitter, he’d never have learned how to count.  I feel like it should be noted.

And I’ll leave you with good old Questions 8 & 9:   “Do you have any concerns about your child’s behavior?  Does anything about your child worry you?”

And they only left HALF A PAGE?!  I guess I’ll just pencil in the URL of this Blog?

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Annoying

They say toddlers are supposed to imitate things that adults do.

They say it’s integral to their development.

They let on like it’s adorable and wondrous.

They are jerks.

With the exception of the kid learning how to “phish in” birds, every other adult behavior he’s imitated annoys the shit out of me.

It all started a few months back.  We went to Florida for a visit with some dear friends.  You know what he learned?  He learned how to fake cough and imitate an arm gesture.

The cough?  Now, every blessed time he does it, I’m convinced he’s nearly choking to death on some piece of filth he’s picked up off our floor.

The arm gesture?  Sure it was cute when we were watching the Stanley Cup play-offs and it was accompanied with an adult screaming “GOAL.”  In the absence of such fan-fare, it merely appears he’s the youngest card-carrying member of some Hitler youth organization.

Know what else he’s learned?  Daddy thinks belching is hilarious.  Every meal, our 15-month old tries valiantly to produce an earth-shaking burp in an effort to make his Father laugh and laugh and laugh. . .Ugh.

But wait!  There’s more!

He also imitates me.

And it’s revolting. . .

He doesn’t grab a pen and try the NYT Sunday crossword.

He doesn’t pretend he’s reading or writing. . .Or painting. . .Or taking photos. . .or playing music. . .

He doesn’t imitate any sort of higher cognitive or pleasurable pursuits. . .

Rather, he takes his bottle or sippy cup and pours liquid all over his high chair tray (or the floor) and proceeds to mop it up in a wide swiping back and forth motion with his favorite burp cloths. . .

Like?

HE’S CLEANING SOMETHING!

So yes, this is apparently the example I’m setting for my son. . .

Mommy cleans.  

Mommy has a law degree, a million things she’d love to learn, has a ton of interests, and actually knows some pretty cool stuff. . .yet, it appears all she does worthy of imitating is mop up shit all day long with a dish towel.

Sigh.

Oh well, at least he isn’t cursing under his breath while he’s doing it. . .

Yet.