Leave One To Save The Other

Today, I went sledding with the kids.  Although my mind told me not to go by myself with two small children, being in the house with a bored three and a half year old and a cranky fourteen month old had me running for the outdoors quick. 

It wasn’t the expected snowfall that was predicted in Philadelphia (suppose to be eight to twelve inches but only got five inches), it was snowy enough to go sledding.  We went to a hill where my husband uses to go to when he was little because he told me how great it was. While we were there, I saw how great it was and how steep the hill was.  There wasn’t a way to stop the sled unless you use your hands and or legs and I didn’t know what was down below the hill.  So I decided to sled on the end of the hill so The Don and I won’t slide down to the “Unknown” part of the hill.



The Don Sledding downhill

At first, The Don tried the long shed which slid down enough but then the grooves at the bottom didn’t coast enough or it wasn’t enough snow to glide.  I told The Don to use the bowl sled; you know the ones that look like a big bowl.  I had gone down the hill with Bam Bam with it and it was pretty cool. 

The Don laid face down in the bowl and started to glide down.  He was doing well until the sled starting to go to the “Unknown” place.  I shouted to him, “use your hands and feet to stop, use your hands and feet to stop!”  I saw The Don gripping the bowl as it curved into the unknown place and then I saw The Don disappear .  I didn’t know if there was a cliff beyond that he fell into or did the hill keep going, all I knew is that my son disappeared and I need to go save him. 

I started to go down the hill literally dragging Bam Bam with me.  Another mother came to me and offered to hold Bam Bam while I go get The Don.  I had one of those moments, “Give my child to this strange lady so I can save my other son or risk The Don falling over a cliff or being trapped below and holding on to dear life.”  So I gave my son to the lady, hoping she wouldn’t run off with him, as I ran down the slope to see if The don was alright.

There was a mother and two daughters down where The Don was and she helped The Don up from a trench.  I asked her, “Was he ok” in a panicky voice.  She said he was a little shaken up but fine. The unknown was a frozen creek at the bottom of the hill.  Thank God he ran into a trench because if that wasn’t there, The Don would have fallen in.  I thank her and asked was there any other place safer for us to sled.  She said no. 

As I went back up the hill with The Don, one of the fathers asked, “Are you ok mom?” I said yes and the father laughed and said that The Don probably wanted to go down there again.  He was right, he did.  I met up with the mom who was holding Bam Bam and I thanked her.  She was nice and realized that I was going to drag Bam Bam down with me and wanted to help.  She said, “What do you do when one kid is in trouble and you have your other one with you?”  That was a good question. “What would I have done?”  Imagining if no one else was out there and if The Don was in serious trouble and I had Bam Bam with me, what would I do?”  I guess I would have done what I did today; leave one to save the other especially if I knew that the other one wouldn’t be in danger.

The interesting part is that the other parents didn’t seem worried about the creek below besides me.  Maybe their children sled down there and was fine; maybe the creek wasn’t deep but I’m glad that there are people who where nice enough to look out for you.  I was lucky today. It could have been worse.

If it was you, what would you do?

The Power Of The Word "Mama"

Do you remember when your children were babies and you couldn’t wait for you child to say the most magical word in the universe?  Yes, the word is mama or mom depending on your preference.  I really enjoyed when my kids call me mama.  Maybe because they really didn’t know how powerful that word is in relations to what they really wanted.  When children say “mama” it’s more of term of endearment that’s makes your say, “Awww, he called me mama” as you gush with joy.

However, there comes a day when your kids know how to use this magical word “mama” against you in a way that can be painfully loud, whinny, screaming or just down right annoying. One slight pitch difference in the word mama can be a cause of concern or can drive you crazy.

The Don would use the word “mama or mom” repeatedly because apparently, I must be hard of hearing.  Here’s an example dialogue:

 Scene: I’m changing Bam Bam and The Don wants me to help him put on his robe:

 “Mama! Mama!”

“Yes.”

“Can you help me put on my robe?”

“Wait a minute I’m changing Bam Bam. You try first then I’ll help you. 

The Don will try then calls me again:

“Mama.  Mama.  I can’t.  Mama! Help me.  Mama! Mama! MAMA! “

I swear he thinks I can’t hear him.



The Don yelling Mama

The Don scenario two
Scene: I’m preparing dinner

“MAMA!  Mama!”

“Yes.”

“I need some water mama!”

“That’s not how you ask.  How do you ask?”

“Mama, can I have some water please?”

“Thank you.  Give me a minute and I’ll get your cup and give you some water.”

The Don goes back into the TV room. Twenty seconds later:

“Mama! Mama!  Water mama!”

 

Bam Bam is catching on to how to use the word mama to his advantage:

Scene One:  The Don and Bam Bam are playing in the other room while I’m in the next room listening:

The Don: No don’t do that.  Give it to me.

Heard a bump then Bam Bam cries:

“Mama! Mama!”

I run into the room to see The Don has a ball that Bam Bam wants to play with. Bam Bam comes to me so I can comfort him.

“Mama!”

Usually Bam Bam has the ball first and The Don takes it from him to play with it or wants Bam Bam to play with him. 

Bam Bam’s in Trouble

Bam Bam scene two:

“Mama! Mama!

“Yes, Bam Bam.”

“Mama! Mama!”

“Yes, Bam Bam.”

“Mama…MAMA!”

Yes, Bam Bam calls out mama just because.

Here the ultimate annoyance:  When they both calls out mama about the same time like it’s a choir song.  It doesn’t matter who says mama first its sounds like a song:

Bam Bam: Mama!

The Don: Mama!

Bam Bam Mama!

The Don: Mama!

The tempo can change to a happy “Mama” to a sad “Mama” depending if one of the kids are crying or not. 

I use to love when my kids call me mama. Now when they call mama repeatedly, I have to tell them that I can hear them you don’t need to shout. Getting bombarded with the word mama can sometimes drive me nuts. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, spinning around and around as my kids constantly call for mama.  There’s got to be another word they can use like chocolate instead of mama so it won’t sound so bad.  Can you imagine?

“Chocolate! Chocolate!” 

Ah that’s better.  My kids can say chocolate when they want or need something.  Leave the word mama as the sweet term of endearment that it was meant to be.  

Run, Stop, Drop, and Drag.

The Don development a new technique when he doesn’t want to leave somewhere or do something; I call it the Run, Stop, Drop, and then I drag also know as the drag you by your arms and or legs temper tantrum.  Let me explain. If The Don is having too much fun and I tell him we have to leave, he’ll tell me, “No, I don’t want to leave.”  Depending on the proximity of The Don, I usually have to run after him because I’m about to make him leave.  When I come closer to him and take his hand or arm, he stops and then drops his butt on the floor. The Don would say, “I don’t want to leave! Let me go!  I don’t want to leave!” with whining accompanying his yelling. I whine up dragging him out of wherever we are telling him to hush up and say to him, “I told you we were leaving.  Now put on you coat.”

Yesterday was one of those full body run, stop, drop, and drag moments.  The Don and my hubby were playing with the guitars while I finished bathing Bam Bam.  I ran the bath water for The Don as I was dressing Bam Bam.  I came out of Bam Bam’s room with Bam Bam in tote when The Don asked to ride his bike.  My husband said “No.” 

“I want to ride my bike! I want to ride my bike!”  The Don demanded.  I told The Don, that’s ok because it’s time to take your bath anyway. 

As my husband was putting the guitars away so he can mind Bam Bam while I help The Don bath, The Don had a full blown tantrum and chasing my husband in the hallway where he was putting the guitars away saying, “I want to play with the guitars!  I want to play the guitars!  Nooooooooo!”  

I came after him saying, “It’s time for your bath.” 

“I don’t want a bath! I want to play with the guitar!” 

So I grabbed his arm and he did a full fledge body drop.  You would of think trying to drag a thirty six pound kids is heavy but let me tell you it is so I didn’t try.  I told him to “get up and walk.  You’re taking your bath.  After the tantrum, he took his bath.

This reminds me of times before kids when I saw a kid being dragged out of stores.  Now I understand completely.  This is my one fear of being in a crowded store and The Don having a nuclear temper tantrum that can’t be controlled. I can see why it’s called the terrible threes and I have another five months of this.  But I’m not looking forward to year four either.  I see kids at four years old and it doesn’t get any better behavioral wise.   

 

Big Kid Now

Last Saturday I went to Target to get some groceries and a pair of jeans for The Don.  It’s so convenient to shop for groceries and clothes in the same place, what more could a girl ask for right? 

So I went to the toddler section where the boy’s pants are.  I looked at the size pants, 2T, 3T; 4T…where’s the 5T’s?  If my mind serves me correctly, I thought I went to the toddler section to get a 5T sweat pants for The Don just a few months ago but now the 5T size pants was nowhere to be found. ‘Could they be in the ‘big kid’ section?  No they couldn’t be.’  I must of searched the toddler section for another ten minutes, looking at the same sections probably three times trying to comb through the toddler pants to see if I must of missed the 5T size pants; any pants.  But I couldn’t find them. 

I hesitantly went over to the big kid section to see if the 5T pants where over there.  To my surprise, the 5T jeans, sweat pants, kakis, and dress pants are at the big kid section of the store.  I swore that I seen the 5T pants in the toddler section.  Am I in the twilight zone? 

I picked up the jeans and looked at the price.  Damn, they seem more expense than I remembered too. I put the pants in the cart and looked around the big kid section and seeing the bigger size pants, coats, shirts and sweaters and I saw The Don as a teenager for a quick moment.  Imagining him in those bigger clothes make me realize that he would be a man soon enough although at this moment, it’s doesn’t seem that way. 

The Don looks grown to me 😦

I knew that this day would come that I would be shopping for all of The Don’s clothes in the Big Kid Section but I thought I had at least another six months to do so.  I’ve already get his underwear, socks, undershirts, and shirts in the big kids section so it was inevitable that I will get his pants there as well.  Mind you he’s only three and a half years old and is taller than the kids his age.  He’s definitely a big kid now.

The Importance of Patience and Empathy

A couple of days after Christmas, the kids and I came down with a nasty cold.  This was the worse cold that we’ve had this season and it’s all thanks to my mother in law who came by on Christmas Day sick with a cold.  Knowing my mother in law, she knew she was sick before she came by the house and my husband knew that she was coming by sick so why didn’t my husband tell his mother not to come by, you’re guess is as good as mine.  My mother in law said that she wasn’t staying long when she got at the house and didn’t want to kiss or hug anyone but she stayed for about twenty minutes as to seen the kids open up their gifts. It doesn’t take much for the cold virus to spread especially if you in a room with the person.   

About a few days later, I received a text from my mother in law asking how everyone was.  I asked my husband did he tell her that we had the cold and he said yes.  I told him that she should have stayed home.  My husband felt because it was Christmas that he didn’t see the problem (he didn’t get the cold by the way). I had to reminded him that I didn’t care if it’s was Christmas that she came by knowing she was sick and gave us her cold.  The presents could have waited.  He then agreed.

This could have been a good situation to teach our children about patience and empathy.  If my mother in law stayed home, we could have explained to the kids that grandmamma was sick and can’t come by until she felt better.  This teaches them to think of others well being before material things.  We could have stressed the importance of grandmamma being healthy to see them open their gifts and a grand mamma healthy is important right?   It would show that we had empathy for grandmamma because it was important for her to get well and the gifts will come some other time.  It would have showed that grandmamma thought about the health and well being of the children because she didn’t want to get them sick as well.

This could have been a good lesson in patience.  This situation would have taught the children that you can’t get what you want when you want or expect it all the time.  Although you may not get what you want when you want or expect it, it doesn’t mean you won’t get it.  There are things that cause a delay in getting what you want but eventually you will get it or maybe your won’t but that’s ok and go about your day.  I don’t want my children to think that just because it’s Christmas or Birthday or any day that they “expect” a gift that they should get it on that day and if they don’t, they will be disappointed.  It’s ok if you don’t get it that day.  It’s not the end of the world.

These are the hypothetical lessons that I would have like to teach my children on Christmas Day but didn’t get the chance to.  The gifts wouldn’t disappear because you don’t get the gifts that day.  Shit happens and the sooner my children realize that, the more mentally stable they will become.  This would also teach them to be considerate and not spread their cold germs around because you don’t want others to be sick.  I would rather my mother in law gave the gift of patience and empathy instead of the cold bug any day.

Super Bad!

Bam Bam is becoming one little cocky character.  Oops, did I say cocky, I meant confident, no I meant cocky.  My sweet little Bam Bam has become one of “those” toddlers.  Vanessa, what do you mean by one of those toddlers?  Well, I mean the screaming temper tantrums toddler. The “you can’t catch me” running away from you toddler when you chase their naked butts down the hallway when you’re trying to get them dressed. Finally, the I’m invincible toddler that thinks he has super powers and climb on anything and everything because let’s face it; their mini ninjas. 

I like to call the toddler stage the “Super Bad” stage.  Figuratively and literally they are super bad.  It’s like they do things that we consider to be bad but you can’t really punish them for being bad if you know what I mean.  We can distract them by giving them a toy to play with or moving them out of the general area where they being naughty but in the end, they whine up doing the same thing we told them not to do.

Bam Bam climbing to get to the fridge (Bad)

Toddler’s are Super Bad in a good way because their not afraid of going against the grain and doing their own thing.  Toddlers are not afraid of trying new things or dangerous things. They are fearless.  Even if they get hurt, they won’t remember it a few minutes later and would continue to conquer whatever they were doing.  There is nothing that toddlers can not do and when you think they can not do it, they surprise you when they can.  Bam Bam proves me wrong a lot.  When I think he’s too small for something, he shows me that he’s not.

Bam Bam pushing The Don’s Big Wheel (Good)

I tell you, toddlers are Super Bad and Bam Bam is one of them.
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Cleaning Up The Mess

Sometimes I don’t understand The Don lately.  One minute, he’s sweet, lovable, and cooperative then the next he’s defiant, mean, evil little being I’ve ever seen.  Harsh, I know, but it’s feels that way.  The Don is very smart and sneaky.  The Don knows if he does something wrong that he will get in trouble for it but yet, something inside him makes him want to do it anyway.  When he was a toddler, I told my husband that he reminds me of Bart Simpson.  Oh I wish I didn’t say those words to the universe because today he was Bart Simpson and I could see why Homer would try to strangle him when Bart made him angry.

The Stair Well looking up

 

This morning, I was giving Bam Bam his bath. As I walked back to Bam Bam room to get him dressed, I saw The Don tossing a piece of tissue paper over the stair railing.  I told him not to throw anything over the railing and if I catch him throwing things off the railing one more time, I would make him go all the way downstairs to pick it up and put it away.  I didn’t think anything of it because I thought it was one piece of tissue paper and that was it.  I continued my day by giving The Don his bath and while he bathed, I entertain Bam Bam. 

Around noon it was lunch time.  I stood in front of Bam Bam facing him so I can catch him just in case he fall because he’s learning to walk down the stairs. As I was spotting Bam Bam,  I looked over the railing to find multiple pieces of torn paper, a couple of toys, and a couple of socks was on the first floor floor.  The Don was coming from his room getting ready to walk down the stairs when I said, “You threw this stuff over the railing now you will have to go down, pick up every toy and sock up and you will swept up the pieces of paper too.”  The Don went downstairs and started picking up the things he threw over the railing.  “Don’t just pick up one thing. You have two hands pick up two.” 

A couple of minutes later, Bam Bam finished walking down the stairs and I put him in his high chair.  I heard The Don say, “I’m done.” 

“You’re not done.  You have to sweep up the pieces of paper.” 

I gave The Don the broom while I held the dust pan.  I was trying to show The Don how to use the broom when The Don said, “Let go! Let go! I can do it.” 

So I told him to sweep the pieces of paper into a pile.  The Don wasn’t sweeping it into a pile.  He was holding the broom with one hand and spreading it all over.

“Are you listening to me?”  I have to admit.  I was pissed off and I really tired to control my temper.  So I snatched the broom from his hand and pulled him to me to show him the proper way to sweep. 

“Give me the broom.  I want to sweep!” 

“Do you know how to sweep?  No.  Then I have to show you.” 

I told him to hold the broom with both hands and press down on the broom so the bristles press on the floor then sweep.  After a couple of times, The Don learned to sweep the floor.

 

The Don Sweeping

 
“It hurts.”  The Don said as he swept the floor.  I guess he didn’t realize how hard it is to sweep a floor if you never really swept the floor before.

“Well, you’ll know next time if you decide to throw things over the railing that you know it will hurt to sweep it up.”

I think for now, The Don learn that if he makes a mess that he will clean it up.  He also learns that mama meant what she says so he better think twice before he pulls a Bart Simpson again.