Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stubborn Work

There are really great perks to working from home part-time. I am home every other day, and it is a fantastic time to not shower, sit in a recliner with a laptop on my lap, and throw some laundry in the washer. I also get to see my kids a heck of a lot more than I would if I were in the office full time. Which is awesome. And sometimes, it is not so awesome.

The not-so-awesome times are the same things that all working moms deal with, just on a more frequent basis than they typically hear them. Like...hearing "mom" 18 times in the span of 10 seconds. Or "push me!" every 30 seconds as the child swings on a swing for 10 minutes. Or there is always the "watch me!" as the not-so-talented child attempts to do a cartwheel. All. Day. Long. The only time that Sam is quiet is when we let her watch TV or the iPad, so...yeah...we don't have really strict rules on screen time.

As difficult as Sam can be to deal with, Charlie can be even more frustrating. She is stubborn. Like, really really super duper stubborn. She is so stubborn she can come across as not so bright. Colors, for example. If you ask her to pick out the red M&M from a bowl, she does it. If you ask her to pick out the yellow M&M from a bowl, she does it. And green. and blue. And orange. But if you ask her what color a strawberry is, she'll scream YELLOW! at you. We have an iPad with a pink case and one with a black case, and she'll often say that she wants the green iPad. Even though we call it the pink iPad. If you hand her the pink one, she'll start screaming that she wants the black one. We are constantly asking her what color things are, and each time, with the same amount of enthusiam, she will yell GREEN! No matter what it is. Today though, her color changed to yellow. So when asked what color her bedroom is, she answered YELLOW!! (It is green.)  

When she was an infant, I asked the pediatrician about doing a hearing test. The child never ever ever responded to her name. Even as a 6 month old. At that point, the kid should definitely at least acknowledge that a noise came from my mouth. Do you know how hard it is to talk to a child who is completely oblivious to you?  As she got older and could move around, it was apparent that she did not have a hearing problem, she was just ignoring us. I got super excited a couple of months ago because she was running away from me at Target and I called her name and she stopped, turned around, and came back! I was as proud as if she had just learned how to wake surf at two years old.

Charlie will turn three in August, and just in the past couple of months has her talking really taken off. Before that, she would grunt and point and whine and screech, with a few key words thrown in so we could just understand what the hell it was she wanted. When she was ready, she decided to start talking. So she did. In almost complete sentences. When she wanted to. Trying to get her to say "Can I please have a strawberry?" is like pulling teeth. It more often is "MOMMY! I. WANT. STRAWBERRY!" Then after a look from me she'll throw in "PLEASE" with a cute little head tilt and smile. The thing is, I could use the excuse that she is only two and she doesn't need to be speaking in complete sentences. Except I've heard her. Every day. Playing with her toys, speaking in completely clear, coherent sentences. Having the Little Pet Shop puppy and bee talk about going to bed. Five minutes later I can't get her to ask nicely for a strawberry. (Can you tell it is strawberry season around here? Both girls may or may not be turning a light shade of red.)

The other thing that is really frustrating with Charlie is the potty training situation. I don't really remember potty-training Sam, we just showed her what to do, she decided when she wanted to wear panties, and we helped remind her that she should go every so often. She was definitely potty trained by this point. I think. But with Charlie, if you mention going on the potty, all you get is a NNNOOOOO. If you ask why, she simply states "I don't want to."

OK, how about candy? Nah. Cookies. Unh-huh. Seeing as how she practically lives for sugar, this is saying a lot. "OK, how about this new toy? The one right in front of you?" Meh. "All right, is the iPad, you will sit on that potty chair until you pee. I know you have to go, you just got up from nap and your diaper is dry." All I get is a lot of screaming and crying until I hand her the iPad, and then she sits contentedly until her butt is red. Even then, if you are watching her, she will keep sniffling until you look away, just to make you feel bad.

So I don't even think about potty-training anymore. When she wants to do it, she'll tell me, and we will help her.

The latest thing, the thing that has broken me, is bedtime. We have our routine. And we follow it. And when we are on the last step of me snuggling them in their bed, she is still bouncing off the walls and demanding things. This is true even on days when she has had no nap, or less than normal sleep the night before. It happens when she should be tired. Days where we went non-stop and there were no naps and Sam is asleep before her head hits the pillow. It also happens on every. other. day. And it isn't like bedtime around here is early. We are talking 10 or 11 o'clock in the evening. And she'll be up, bright and happy, at 8am. Which I know that some parents would kill for their kids waking up at 8am, but I am quite sure that they don't want to listen to "mommommommommommommom" for 14 hours straight.

Even the nights I can get the girls to go to sleep at a somewhat reasonable hour with only a moderate amount of fighting between them and yelling from me, they get up in the middle of the night and find their way into my bed. Which then wakes me up. So basically no one in this house gets a full night sleep. I just want 8 straight hours. I honestly can't remember the last time I got 8 straight hours of sleep. Hopefully too, this stage will pass and Charlie will decide that sleeping isn't such a bad thing. And Sam will stay on the same page with her.

I mean, I knew I was marrying into a stubborn family, but holy cow, some days I can't wait to go to work!


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