Bad Behavior All Around

T and I threw on rain boots and took a leisurely walk through the quickly melting piles of snow to  the coffeeshop two blocks from our house. I convinced him to make the trip by promising him he could pick out a treat when we got there. Coffee shops are not toddler friendly environments, and I try to be respectful of the folks clacking away on their laptops. We always get our stuff to go while being as quiet at possible. T picked out his chocolate chip muffin and as I settled up he took the truck he carried with him and started roughly running it on a low table in front of two arm chairs. I asked him to stop, explaining that it might mark up the table which didn’t belong to him. He looked at me and shouted, “NO!”

Ok. So we’ve made it almost three and a half years before he talked, well yelled, back at me in public. Is that average? What I wish is that I was mature and confident enough to just deal with his behavior rather than feel completely humiliated by having a brat for a kid. Because that humiliation clouds my judgement. My mind races, I wonder if my shitty parenting isn’t what is making him act out. He is misbehaving so much lately that punishment isn’t working. If we went that direction dude would spent almost every waking moment in time out. I’m not as consistant as I’ve promised myself I would be. If he is being a shit and I’m up to my elbows in C’s poop diaper, or making dinner, or unloading the dishwasher, or on the can myself, or just fucking done and unable to handle him any more I can’t address the behavior. I’ve taken the time to download a book about parenting a defiant child on my Nook, but I haven’t bothered to actually read the fucking thing. In the second between him yelling and everyone in the shop staring at us that is the stuff I think about. And I have no idea what the right thing to do is.

I grabbed him by the arm, bent down to his level and hissed at him that if he told me no again he would not get the treat. I snatched the truck from him, and out of hands myself I passed it to C who was on my chest in the Ergo. I told him to apologize. Right. Now. He sullenly did.

I finished paying without being able to make eye contact with the nice gal behind the counter and face burning I hustled his ass out of there. Once we reached the street I launched into a monologue which included such gems as “I am trying to raise you to be a contributing member of society and that includes being respectful to both me and any person we come across.” and “If you are unable to listen to me and behave yourself I will not take you places and get you treats.” and that perennial favorite “Do you understand me? Do you? Do you? Well, you need to tell me.”

He’s three. Three. Yes, he is a raging asshole. But evidently so I am. Because my reaction is doing zero to help the situation. I can’t reason with him. I can’t ask him to be a fucking contributing member of society.

My sisters-in-law are having a baby kind of any day now. A couple of days ago one posted this article to the other’s wall on FB. It’s a good article. But my reaction to it was completely illogical. I felt searing and all consuming jealousy of them. Because I remember being at the point just before T was born when Z and I were having intense discussions about how we planned on raising them. Our intentions were pure, we were ready for the hard work, and we hadn’t made a single mistake yet. Sweet fucking jesus I want to go back to the moment where I haven’t made a mistake yet. Parenting is so much harder than I expected it to be. And Z and I expected it to be really hard. I feel completely defeated so many days, like I’m failing the boys and failing myself. Before I had T I swore I’d never bribe my kid. We bribe him all the time. We also yell, plead, beg. All stuff I’d watched parents do before I was one with contempt, judgement, superiority. I’m not a huge fan of the word “humble”. I think it is constantly misused–“I’m humbled by your adoration”, etc. Well, parenthood has completely humbled me. Here is something I knew would be hard, but I thought I could handle it. I screw up every day. I doubt what I’m doing. And there is no way out, no way to start over. The only alternative is pushing up my sleeves and trying again. Even though I know I’ll continue to fail them.

The amazing thing is I’m glad we did it. As much as I suck at it some days I’m so glad I get to be T and C’s Mom. It is fun to stomp in melting snow piles on the way to the coffee shop. It is fun to watch your kid look at all the baked goodies and pick his favorite. It is fun to cuddle with C, the huggiest baby in the history of the universe. It is fun to throw T over my shoulder and pretend I don’t know where he is as he squeals with delight.

It’s fun to have spontaneous dance parties to Postal Service on Saturday night.
It’s fun to throw snow.
And it is important to remind myself that it is worth it. 
New topic: 
And another No Shampoo update. It’s been around 14 months. I really don’t see myself going back to using shampoo. But this winter I’ve had terrible dry scalp. Like itching all the time. Like tiny little horrifying flakes. Got my hair cut a few days ago and the stylist told me that it wasn’t dandruff, that stuff is much larger. She said my skin was just really super dry and she suggested coconut oil. I’m still doing the oil pulling and I’m a big fan of the stuff. So Saturday night I slathered a ton onto my scalp and slept in it. On Sunday I didn’t even use the baking soda/apple cider vinegar. I just rinsed it really well. It didn’t look greasy and my scalp didn’t itch at all. I also didn’t notice any flakes. Pretty damn awesome.

Update: I forgot! That’s my great-grandfather in the picture with me, Alfredo Cordano! Handsome son of a gun, huh?

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Oil Pulling

Last night after a meltdown in which I wept my way through making pork roast, rice pilaf, and sauteed broccoli with red pepper flakes in a little sesame oil, after I’d taken the chill pill that Z begged me to swallow, after I’d given him the laundry list of everything that was overwhelming me-everything we had to do before leaving town on Saturday, after we’d gotten the boys down including my sick little C whose temp had spiked back up to 102.8 Z joined me in the bathroom where I was swallowing my nightly pile of pills.

Me, “I’ve been doing something I haven’t told you about for the last few days.”
Z, “Oh lord.”
Me, “No, it isn’t anything bad.” At this point I was fighting the giggles. “Um, have you heard of..” I was laughing so hard I was having trouble getting the words out, “um, oil pulling?”
Z, “What? What the fuck is that?”
Me, “It’s an Ayurvedic technique.”
Z, “Jesus Christ, is this some hippie shit you heard about from J?” (Yes, J-he totally threw you under the bus).
Me, “Actually, no. I read about it on the internet.”
Z, “Ok, you are no longer allowed to use the internet ever again.”
Me, “Why is this a big deal? You don’t even know what it is! You just swish oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a couple of times a day. It’s supposed to pull out toxins and stuff and make your mouth healthier.”
Z, “Gross.” pause “What kind of oil?”
Me, “I’ve been using coconut oil. It kind of makes me gag until it liquifies, but I just do it while I’m showering. It’s fine. And my mouth feels clean. And it is supposed to help with snot. You know about my snot problem.”
Z, “Why do you fool around with this crazy natural shit?”
Me, “I’m sorry? I believe you quite enjoy the no shampoo situation.”
Z, “Well, that isn’t gross.”
Me, “Whatever. I’m doing it. And now you know.”
Z rolled his eyes so hard as he left the bathroom that he might have given himself a concussion.

It’s been a draining week. But not in the my-mental-illness-is-making-everyone’s-life-hell way, just regular everyone is sick and apprehensive about the huge holiday trip we are taking staring tomorrow way. Normal draining is kind of a relief after the post biopsy week trip to crazy town. I was diagnosed with a sinus infection on Monday. C woke with a high fever on Wednesday and was diagnosed with an ear infection. The doc terrified me because she thought he had the flu on top of it. Of course, on the way to the appointment I’d heard a piece on NPR that said thousands if not tens of thousands of Americans would die of the flu this year which did not help my mental state. I kept repeating plaintively “But he’s had his flu shot! He’s had his flu shot!” Evidently there are two strains going around our community that weren’t in the shot…But his antibiotics are doing their thing, he is much better. Luckily it would appear the flu isn’t involved.

This sweet kid was so scary sick on Wednesday. He puked his antibiotics and most of dinner all over himself. But the great news is he finally hit 20lbs on the scale at the doc’s office. Only took 15 1/2 months! And I thought T was skinny… 

Sick Mommy and sick baby.
Last night C couldn’t quite make it to bedtime so he snuggled with my handsome man. Speaking of Z, the two week post colposcopy/biopsy ban has been lifted. But I’m on antibiotics, so the pill might not be controlling birth. We are at the exact time of year that we conceived the two boys-four years ago and two years ago. If we were going to have a third we would be trying right now. And we are really sure that we can’t handle another as much as we’d love one. Also, I have that little bleeding problem. So because the holidays seem to turn me into a fertile Myrtle we are being very careful. If we do accidentally get pregnant (and we won’t) Z suggested he move into a hotel from Thanksgiving to Christmas moving forward. I think he’d risk having a third just for the kind of break the holidays would provide him. He better not be replacing my pills with sugar tabs. I saw that once on Days of Our Lives back in the 90s.