April 2009

Here’s what I know for sure….

So, last weekend I went on a much needed, MUCH deserved girls weekend in Austin, Texas. Most of us were mothers, so you can imagine the craziness and chaos that ensued when we arrived in A-Town for a little R&R. You guessed it, window shopping by day and Jazz Clubs by night….CRAZY! Anyway, I left my two precious children in the care of their dad, AKA “Mr Fun.” Now, I understand that dads usually don’t parent like mothers. When I mean “parent,” I’m more referring to the sort of non-essentials of parenthood: bathing, clean clothes, regulating TV time, etc. I returned on Sunday and here’s what I know for sure, it all looked seemingly fine…at first glance.

The house was actually not that messy, the kids were happy, dad was happy, dog was happy. However, I noticed that the kids were both in the PJs from the night I left. Okay…not such a big deal, it WAS the weekend after all! Then I noticed the half eaten dinners on the table were mac and cheese and cheese quesadillas. Oooohhhh-kay, I would not necessarily have chosen processed cheese and carbloading our children before bedtime…but hey, they were all happy and content so who am I to judge.

But something was off and I couldn’t put my finger on it…then it hit me. When I left, Max needed help playing Mario Kart. It’s a pretty tough game for a 3 year old because you have to have good spacial and motor skills to actually maneuver the game AND drive the courses. When I returned from my weekend away, I noticed Max was sitting on the couch playing Mario Kart all by himself. There he was….sitting there in his PJs, socks pulled up to his shins, and staring intensely at the television with the focus of Mario Andretti. He kinda looked like that brother or husband’s friend who stays with you while he “looks for a job,” but decides that free rent at Chez Roberts is way better than actually looking for employment. So I asked Ryan, “Umm…exactly how much Mario Kart did he play?” Ryan proceeded to inform me that Max pretty much hasn’t left the couch in two days.

Well, I thought this was funny. I mean, what’s the harm right? Wrong. It has been four, long(oh so long) days that I’ve been weening Max off of Mario Kart. I liken it to that scene in Trainspotting where he’s detoxing from herion…and it ain’t pretty. To make matters worse, today I allowed a bit of Mario Kart(just to take the edge off), and I walked away to put Katie down for her nap. I returned to the family room and noticed the screen…Max was embattled with another player halfway around the world! Some person named “Dash” was playing MY 3 year old in a Mario Kart race to the finish! I immediately pulled the plug mid-race and a fleeting, yet amusing thought, ran through my brain, “I wonder if Dash knew he was playing a 3 year old….” I sternly looked at Max(who was innocently staring back) and said to him, “Now, I DO NOT want you to play with the other players….I ONLY want you to play with yourself.” Yeah.

Let’s Jump!

It has finally happened. Kate is officially a terrible two…and she’s only 17 months old! It started slowly; a frustrated cry here, a defiant look there. She has now moved on to full fledged temper tantrums and the worst part is, Max is still having them as well. Needless to say I’m pretty worn out from all of the screaming(extremely loud) and parenting(not always very good) going on daily. I was doing the time out thing in her crib with books, then I decided that she ready for real time out-which is not filled with singing, books and fun! I thought it was time to get serious and a bit militant with Miss Thang…but I am sad to report that all attempts at “militant” time out have, alas, been used in vain. She just doesn’t give a crap!

Just yesterday we had a MAJOR showdown about the side table in the living room. Max likes to stand on the table(which is adjacent to the couch) and “fall” onto the couch. He also enjoys jumping from the ottoman(which serves as a coffee table) onto the couch. Now, at first I was very much against all of this jumping and falling, but I have slowly resigned to the fact that I must pick and choose my battles with him. As many of you with “spirited” children are WELL aware, you can’t battle about everything because the 3 year old has way more staying power and drive to win. Anyway, Kate has been watching Max like a hawk for the past few months and she decided yesterday was the perfect day to impress him with her adept climb/fall skills.

I left her and Max in the family room while I went to tend to the “laundry.” And by, “laundry,” I mean “check my email.” I returned about one minute later and I spotted her…standing on the side table, which is surrounded by tile, and staring defiantly at me then the couch. Just as I lunged to yank her to safety, she swan dove onto the couch….laughing that maniacle, Joker giggle the whole way down. After the time out, she proceeded to march right back to the couch, climb onto the table and fall again. Here’s how my afternoon went:
Me: “Katie! That’s a No No!”
Katie: “HAHAHAHAHAHA! Catch ya on the flip side mom!”
Me: “You wanna go to time out?”
Katie: “Sure, after I jump one more time. Hey Max! Check THIS out!”
Me: “Fine. You’re going to time out again!”
Katie: “Whateves.”

We had this exchange over and over and over…I give up.