Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Having a 2-year-old is like using a blender with the lid off

I hear Jerry Seinfeld said this. And it is so true. Take, for instance:

Kate got another birthday present in the mail today. This time it was the postman who put the box in my carport (what the hell, people? What is wrong with putting it on my porch, where I will likely trip over it as I try to juggle keys, a baby, a toddler and 2 precariously balanced bags of groceries?). Luckily there were no chocolates (is that really lucky?) that melted in the box, just wrapped goodies for Kate from her Aunt Carrie. She ran screaming around the house demanding that I open it as I tried to pay the babysitter, change Claire's diaper, put the groceries away, and not trip over toys that were scattered methodically around the house.

After I did open the box, she tore into the gifts like a starved child looking for food. She opened all of her presents (thank you, Carrie) in 3.4 seconds, and then determined that it would be a hoot to dump all the styrofoam popcorn onto the floor. I had the windows open to let the cool air in, and you guessed it. Popcorn everywhere. It's a bit windy today. Yay for me. I tried to get Kate to pick them all up (she was the one who dumped them out, after all), but she declined in not so many words.

So now I have a question for you parents out there: what do you do when your toddler refuses to help clean up? Last week she got a spanking (for a defiant "no" when I asked her nicely to pick up her puzzle), and then she didn't get to play with the toy for several days. Tim's mom used to have the silent butler come over at night and pick up any errant toys that the boys failed to put away, and that mean old butler boxed them up for a month in the garage! I am close to hiring that butler. But first, I shall pick your brains. Help me, please!

On a more pleasant note, the girls are playing nicely together, for the most part. Kate is ecstatic when her sister wakes up from her naps, and gleefully runs, shouting, into their room: "Dare's awate! Dare's awate!" She yanks all toys from her sister's hands, unless she's in a frivolous mood and then brings several toys over for her sister to chew on.

Claire is interested in shoes like her dad is interested in airplanes: she's obsessed. And she's getting fast; I must constantly roam the house for wayward flipflops, lest she get her pudgy little hands on one and start chewing on it. She is also fascinated by Starbuck, and gets all kinds of talkative when she spies him.

Kate is becoming more industrious every day. Recently I was apparently late getting her breakfast, so she helped herself to a cookie from the tupperware container on top of the counter. I was feeding McLaren at the time, and I was so amused by Kate's problem solving that I let her keep the cookie.

She came with me to the dentist today (I'm still not sure how they talked me into that. A 2-year-old. At the dentist while I got my teeth cleaned. For an hour. With nothing to do but get into every. possible. thing. in the room.). She actually did remarkably well, waiting for me. She did not let the dentist or the hygienist look into her mouth once, but she did partake of the free toys on her way out.

Also: I love going to the dentist. I know, it's weird. But I love that shiny clean feeling you get after they clean your teeth. But beware! There is a new paint-on fluoride treatment, and it sucks! Opt for the regular stuff! It's been 3 hours now, and although I've brushed my teeth with more vigor than one ought to, I still cannot get that damn stuff off all the surfaces of my teeth. Yuck.

I am so tired. Is teething a virus that is going around? I'm going to go pretend to nap, and let you get back to your afternoon. Don't forget to tell me how you deal with your toddler who won't clean up!


Katie said...

Love the title! So true! I am not sure what to tell you about the clean up thing. Becca is younger than Kate, so I'm not sure when they really get the cleaning thing. I just sing this dumb "clean up" song that I made up. To the tune of "London Bridges" I sing "it's time to put our toys away, toys away, toys away, it's time to put our toys away, come help Mommy!" She loves the "help Mommy" part and always sings that part and puts away approximately 1 toy. Then, I put away the rest, while singing frantically, and I don't worry about it. I figure she'll get it eventually! So, I'm not much help.

Julie McCracken said...

I can relate to the "Butler" idea. When Joey was Kate’s age I told him that any toys left on the floor were going to be given to the garbage man, and it only took the one time. I bagged them up in front of him and walk them out to the garbage can, while he watched from the window, tossed them in, and he cried and was so upset. (Later that night I retrieved them and put them in the garage for a month.) For a week after, he asked me if he could have his toys back from the garbage man, and I told him “Nope they were already gone.” Now the garbage mans little boy has them, and he must be so happy. So from then on, I would tell him I am going to give them to the garbage man, and he would pick up all of them, so it really worked.

Now, since I’m trying to teach him that when he is too old for a toy, we need to give them to Goodwill so that another boy can have it since he is too big for it, I don’t use the “Garbage man” any more. I tell him that any toys left out will go to the "little boy down the street". Usually that will get him to do it no problem. I hope he never really asks me which house the “Little boy down the street lives at”. lol

Elizabeth said...

Have you seen my house? Clearly, no one cleans anything around here. On that note, I found Catherine playing with a small mound of dog hair the other day. DOG HAIR!!!!!!!!

Andrea & Ben said...

I love the fairy idea. Very funny!!

amie said...

I don't have kids so not sure I can be of any help, sorry. :( I did nanny for years, but not with toddlers. When they get to 6 or 8 and you need help, let me know!

I could get kids I babysat to obey me just seconds after they had defied their parents. It was kind of embarrassing, actually.