The Playdate Diaries

Trying to stay sane in my 2-kid world…

The “In-Between” Days September 30, 2007

Want to know what I do in between all those playdate days? Not much really. I run after my 2 year old toddler half the time (you try carrying a 15.5lb 2-month old with one arm while feeding him a bottle with the other, all the while chasing an “angelic” 2 year old – at a jogger’s pace). The other half the time, the baby’s asleep and I’m crashed on the couch watching my 2 year toddler running amuck throughout the house. My theory is that if the object he’s playing with won’t make a mess I have to clean up (eventually) – or kill him – then we’re both happy. So what if he runs rampant with DVDs? So what if he spills those two sips of water somewhere? I have to pick my battles carefully.

I have made it a habit to teach him his “letter of the day” during lunch-time when he’s actually sitting down at the table and paying attention to me. Then we go over different terms such as ‘pool’, ‘table’, ‘fan’, ‘cup’, ‘bowl’… all the stuff that’s nearby which he can see from his seat. Then he starts a conversation which only he can understand – jokes and bousts of laughter included. I play along and ask him how his day has gone so far… what he did yesterday… what stuff he’s going to tell daddy when he gets home… about the movie we just finished watching… all the usual stuff. *sigh* What a peaceful bonding moment between mother and child…

Then the worst happens. This can only be described as ‘that part in the movie where everything starts to go terribly wrong’. The rest of the movie goes downhill from there, until the plot is so thick with suspense, action, and drama, that you’re about to throw yourself out of your seat with anticipation of ‘the next move’. Will Billy draw his gun first? …or will Mark make the move quicker and kill Billy? Who will be standing when the gunsmoke clears? I’ll tell you who – and it’s definitely NOT me.

Of course, the plot thickens when my toddler decides he’s had enough lunch and throws it on the floor on purpose. Flying bowl and cup quickly ensue. I grab the paper towel I had previously fetched in anticipation of this moment and place it on the floor over the mess. “No! We don’t throw things on the floor. We say ‘I don’t want anymore’ and leave the table. If you’re going to throw things, you’re also going to clean them up”. Of course, he only hears the “No!” part and starts bawling, throwing a huge, over-dramatized tantrum like if someone were trying to torture all the secrets out of him. My little actor starts yelling for his grandparents, his father, the dog, the neighbor – whoever will come to his rescue and allow him to escape mommies wrath – and the ‘clean-up’ duty.

From there everything goes downhill – by the time 5pm comes around I’m ready to scream and start calling my husband every 5 minutes to see how much longer he’s going to be…

I’m like the morning-coffee drinker who must get their dosage of caffeine before turning into a coherent, functioning human-being… except my fix is a nice, long shower. It’s scary to think that I have to wait all day to get my ‘fix’. After this  point, I’m usually re-energized and can finish the current day, as well as start the next one like a properly functioning, well-oiled machine.

Onto round two! Victor: 5,346 and Mommy: 0 (When exactly does my turn to win the battle start?)

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