I’m to busy….Yes, I’m complaining about it too!

Today all I am going to do is complain about how incredibly busy I am this week, so much so that I am not sure how I am going to get it all done without going absolutely off the deep end.

I know…I know you’re busy too. Aren’t all moms after all?

So let’s run through my schedule this week.

Daily – drop Caitlin off at the high school and then take Natalie to the middle school and then I’m off to work from about 7:30 – 4. After I leave work I pick Andrew up from the babysitter and then get the girls from their grandma’s (she lives close to their 3 schools so they can walk over there after).

Monday – soccer practice for Caitlin that she has to miss (she’s mad at me for making her miss it, but yay one less thing!). All three girls have a dentist appointment and then we possibly have to make a trip to Marshall’s Music (45 min away) to drop off Caitlin’s saxophone to be repaired.

Tuesday – Caitlin has a soccer game at 5pm and Natalie has a band concert at 7:30

Wednesday – Caitlin has soccer practice after school until 5:30 and then Lauren has softball practice at 7:30

Thursday – Caitlin has a soccer game at 5pm

Friday – NOTHING….. this is obviously subject to change and we all know that something will come up.

One of those days I will have to make a trip back to Lansing to get the saxophone so Caitlin has it for her tests this week. Yes, they have tests in band and this week is audition week to get into band for the next three years. Yea, audition as in if you don’t get a good score you’re out and don’t play for the 10th – 12th grade years of high school…band is pretty damn important around here.

Oh, and we (as in the husband and I , but it’ll end up being me) has to take Andrew to get his blood drawn for an allergy test. That should be great fun (insert large amounts of sarcasm here) and I’m looking forward to it.

The kids like to eat sometimes and get cranky when I don’t feed them so I still have to make dinner for them at some point too.

The Passage of Time

Image by ToniVC via Flickr

I’m getting close to overwhelmed… we’re usually pretty busy but this week seems to be crazy. I’ve figured out a few things that may help me when it comes to getting through weeks like this.

  • I need more time in the day
  • I need to clone myself
  • I need to not work or only work part time
  • I need wine to relax at the end of the week
  • I need to get my kids drivers licenses

All of these will work, right?

Dinner with my son

I love going out to dinner. Someone is there to bring me a nice glass of wine, warm bread from the oven, serve me my hot dinner, and then clean it all up. It’s like being a queen for an hour….or not. But I can always dream, right?

Recently we went out for just such a dinner to one of our favorite restaurants with my brother in law, his wife, and their newborn son. I was looking forward to it since we don’t get to spend a lot of time with them even though they live no more than 10 minutes from us.

Instead of the nice dinner that I was looking forward to I had the dinner from hell. We were “those people”. You know what I’m talking about the family with the toddler who can’t sit still, who can’t be quiet, and who throws everything.

I don’t know that there was enough wine in the entire establishment that could have made me feel better. My son was the epitome of naughty.

Let me start by saying that he found his out loud voice. The really loud screamy one. The one that most definitely draws all sorts of attention.

I have a better idea… let’s make a list of all the things he did to create a less than desirable dining environment.

1. Uses the loud voice
2. Put bread in his mouth, spit it on the table, and then threw it on the floor
3. Tried to climb out of the high chair
4. Succeeded in climbing out of the high chair despite the seat belt securely fastened
5. Tried to climb on to the table and take my glass of wine
6. Refused to use his silverware
7. Ate, maybe, 1/8 of his dinner.

There was one point that I stood up and was going to take my son to the car and wait there so everyone else could enjoy their dinner, but sat down and finished my food and we did the best we could to keep him from acting up again.

Our saving grace was that the restaurant was really busy and loud. This helped to muffle some of my son’s antics and not draw to much attention to our table.

When we finally left I decided that he is simply not ready to go out to dinner or maybe I’m not ready to take my 15-month-old son out to with us.

Now, I’m curious dear readers how have you handled a dinner out with a busy one-year-old little boy?

On cookies and frustration.

Not that long ago I set out to find someone who was interested in doing a guest post for me. I posed the question to all the great people who are part of the Crayon Wrangler’s Blog Frog community as well as on Twitter and was able to get an immediate response from my new friend, Maryline, from Franco-American Dream! Needless to say I was excited… and still am!

Do you have kids? If so, you can totally sympathize with Maryline! I know I went through it with my girls and am going to be going through it with my son! Wonder what we’re talking about? Keep reading! 

This past month has reached new heights in dinnertime struggles with my now 17-month old.

Two nights ago was the perfect example of the doomed 6pm disaster…

And I mean it. Food everywhere except in his mouth. Constant screaming, crying, and kicking, with some head-throwing back against the high chair – just to spice it up. Me? Starting to scream back and lose my mind. Oh yes.

To the untrained eye, this baby is in excruciating pain from teething, it’s so obvious. He’s shoving his fingers all the way in the back of his mouth and literally screaming bloody murder. I was surprised none of the neighbors knocked on the door to check in on us.

But in reality, set him down, and all is fine again. So, now I know better.

Except this past night? Much worse. Screaming at the pasta which he normally loves, screaming at the applesauce… Come on, who screams and rejects applesauce, at 17 months old?

Do I really make food for him to just decide he will not eat? Hell no!

Food, I swear, is everywhere. He first spits it out, slowly so that the food slides down his chin and neck. He then rubs his face with his fists, slowly painting his cheeks, eyelids, and forehead with the edible body paint of the day…

Bibs at that point are WAY useless. In fact, I don’t even put them on. Why add to the laundry? The clothes were going to get washed anyway!

In the past moments, I’ve been fuming and cursing inside; at my husband, who should give it a try once in a while to give me a break; after my son who’s clearly not understanding I am feeding him THE very best; at the dog for not being able keep up with the nutritious projectiles covering the hardwood floor, the legs of the high-chair, and the tip of my toes.

By the way? Don’t wait for your kids to beg you to get a dog, get one the day you start solids with your first-born. It’s a win-win, trust me! (Actually, make that happen from day one if you can, as it turns out, dogs also crave wet burps. Gross? Not really, just convenient.)

And so that night, I felt like my son was going to bed on a nearly empty stomach. But soon after, realized I did not have a choice. Let me confess, just between you and I, I briefly attempted the force feeding thing (yes, the one thing all parenting books will tell you not do), it did not work well at all. The screaming was getting louder, the mess just bigger and my sanity was NOT saved.

And so tonight, I changed my approach, I filled a few small bowls with different foods he likes – Goldfish crackers, cantaloupe, raspberries – on the ottoman, and let him play/eat for a bit. Then I sat him in the chair, with a bowl of food (pasta, red sauce, beef – homemade!), and two spoons. With the dog in stand-by to clean up after him, always.

And I? Stepped away. Still there, just not by his side holding the fork or trying to entertain him as I always have done.

He actually ate at least as much as he would have with my intervention, not necessarily much more. However I’ll admit it was far less hectic.

I would not say quiet. But sustainable. And that is good news, because I have about 18 more years of dinners to go.

And this is how I realized my son is making his way through life, learning independence. Just like I’ve learned to let him play with the front door until he gets tired of it. Because a tantrum over a door isn’t worth it.

Conveniently, my son just learned a new word over the past few days: cookie, and with the French accent, please! It’s so cute, it actually sounds like ka-ki.

Tonight when he was pointing at the pantry chanting ka-ki, ka-ki, I did let him have a little piece so I could strategize on the dinner plan. At least I knew he would not go to bed on an empty stomach!

Sometimes cookies are better than nothing. No doubt the next lesson my son needs to learn is simply “no”. I will wait for my husband to come back from his business trip to get started!

When it comes to our children, don’t we all lose our mind over battles not worth fighting?

“Testing mommy’s boundaries, one meal at a time.”
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