The Trials of Two
Don’t let that innocent little face fool you, this child is out to destroy my sanity.
I admit that we have been really lucky the last almost six weeks – despite the stomach virus and the never-ending cold – Lorelei has adjusted to life with a newborn fairly well. And we have, too. That doesn’t mean, however, that we haven’t hit a few bumps along the way and trust me, they were some pretty big bumps.
Lorelei has become really attached to her baby toys – all the various rattles that she hasn’t even looked at in a year – and has even tried to claim any new toys we have received for Amélie as her own. There is one toy in particular, a stuffed pterodactyl rattle, that has been the source of a lot of stress for me. I try to clip it to Amélie’s swing when she is in it and it’s as if Lorelei has super-hearing because she will sense the tiniest rattling sound from it and yell, “Dinosaur!” and then promptly try to pull it off the swing. She is less attached to the other toys – a squeaky zebra and a zoo-themed playmat – but if Amélie is “playing” with them she will try to take them away. It is starting to drive me insane and she was being so bad the other week that I had to take the dinosaur away from her and say it was being put up for a week. It kind of sucks for poor Amélie since it is in fact her toy but I didn’t know what else to do.
She’s also started to throw tantrums again. Nothing nearing the Great Tantrum of Thanksgiving 2011, but some pretty bad ones. She will scream for what she wants, despite being reminded numerous times that she needs to ask nicely. When we tell her “No” – usually to the second piece of candy or the television before breakfast time – she screams and cries and throws herself on the floor. We’ve started giving her mini time-outs where she has to sit in her bed for a few minutes until she calms down. She almost never calms down but when she starts pathetically calling for me (or Brian) it’s hard to resist. It’s only made worse by the fact that she apologizes almost without prompting whenever we go through this process. Why can’t just learn not to do it in the first place?
Yesterday, however. Oh, yesterday was really great. And by great, I mean completely awful.
On Wednesdays for the past month, Brian had been teaching an ACT prep class which left me alone with the children for dinnertime and bedtime. I was lucky to have my friends come over and help me out, but it was still very stressful. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and was rejoicing in this being the last evening he would be gone for awhile. Lorelei was doing her best to be up in my goodies and testing my patience by doing things that she has repeatedly been told not to do and, up until last night, she never did. For example, try to climb the microwave cart.
I knew it was just her way of trying to get my attention, especially since it had been mostly focused on her sister – newborns are high demands, yo – but it was working my last nerve. I should have tried harder to get her out of the kitchen and distracted by something else while I finished dinner, but I didn’t have the energy for a fight and so I didn’t. Big mistake. I was taking the meatloaf out of the oven and Lorelei decided that was the perfect time to test to see how hot the oven racks really were.
She has never ever shown any interest in the oven and has, in fact, run out of the kitchen the second I go to open it. This is usually without my prompting her and she will say, “Oven hot!” Last night, however, must have been a special occasion. She went to grab it and almost instantly fell on the floor and started crying in pain. Poor little girl. I felt so bad for her because it obviously hurt her a lot and the only thing that calmed her down and got us through the night was watching half of her new movie while Nick fed her dinner to her.
And right at this moment, we are having a nap strike which makes me want to put my head through a wall. At least the littlest one is asleep, right?