Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trying Times

There are times that I think the terrible twos are subsiding and Jacob is becoming a little more tolerable as he approaches age three.  He has moments where logic seems to work with him and he can be the coolest little kid ever.  But then he'll have these moments where he's just directly defiant.  It's beyond the usual terrible two tantrum, beyond just being stubborn, beyond just wanting his own way...and all about just pushing every single button he can.  He knows he's wrong, he knows he's being difficult, but it doesn't matter.  He will brazenly say words he's not supposed to, tell you he doesn't want something and then scream when you stop asking, and lay down to "rest" just because it's time to do something else.  Tonight bedtime came extra early even though we had settled in to do a nice family night with popcorn and a movie, just because Jacob kept yelling "shut up" thinking he was being funny (even though he's been told repeatedly that he should not say that phrase--by us and at daycare).  He was also hitting me (or using his stuffed animal to do it) while we were chatting with my parents via webcam.  As if that wasn't enough, he was complaining that he wanted water.  I gave him his cup, but shortly after, he put his cup in the sink.  Then he started whining that he wanted it again, but when I tried to give it to him, he refused...only to starting whining for it seconds later.  Ridiculous. 

As a whole we didn't have a ton of those moments this weekend, but they seem to be quite intense when they happen.  I have a feeling that his lingering cold isn't helping, but I don't think that's as much of a contributor as I'd like it to be.  I'd feel a lot better if I knew this was very temporary behavior.  We have a long couple weeks ahead of us, and I'm starting to worry about how my patience is going to hold out.  I'm sure I'll have a full post on that this week.  Still, in the meantime it's been a challenge. 

Considering he had late-ish bedtimes and weird, short naps this weekend, I suppose things went well.  We left late Friday for Craig's parents' house, in anticipation of our niece & nephew's first communion on Saturday morning.  We left right around 9pm, but I was too busy packing up to pay attention to the time and tell Craig to change Jacob into his pajamas and not turn on a movie, so he started out the ride wide awake.  Around Batavia we turned off the movie, much to his dismay, but he was out shortly thereafter.  He barely woke up when we got there and slept through.  He was up a little early, but not bad all things considered.  He did fine for most of church, I guess, but had a couple spectacularly awful moments...like slipping and falling because he was leaning lazily on the pew (taking down his fruit snacks with him and hitting his head) and unscrewing his sippy cup and spilling water all over the pew.  But in between he was tolerable.  The service was nice, and actually marked my first-ever first communion experience.  Is it bad that part of me felt a bit relieved that we're not raising our kids Catholic, because the thought of buying a First Communion dress or dealing with eight-year-old angst over the preparations seems a bit daunting.  I'll take just one round of 13-year-old Confirmation angst instead, thankyouverymuch.  No offense to Catholics, mind you, because it was a lovely service and it's nice to see a bunch of kids learning about their faith.  But not having had that experience, it's easy for me to stick with what I know.  I will admit, however, that I find the mini-bride look a little odd.  I'm guessing it has to do with the "bride of Christ" metaphor, but still...I personally find it odd.  There were also a lot of Mary references during the service, which I'm not particularly comfortable with.  Still, the kids did great and it was very nice if I blocked out Jacob's moments. 

Craig wanted to do some shopping this weekend in preparation for his trip, so we made the call to hop in the car after mass and head to the mall.  We were hoping Jacob would stay awake so we could eat lunch right away and and then fall asleep on the way back, but he ended up nearly conking out on the way there and officially dozing off in the stroller right after we got there.  He did sleep for about an hour while we shopped, so that was good enough.  I managed to finally find him a summer-weight jacket, which was proving very difficult to find in every store I checked.  Sears, of all places, had nice ones marked down to $8, so I was psyched.  He'd outgrown anything he had and considering we're facing another rough weather week, we got it just in time.  Craig made out well, too, and overall it was a good trip. 

We headed back for the communion party, and Jacob had a great time running around with the other kids at the party and showing off his lacrosse moves to the adults.  Here are a couple cute pics from early on...


Later on he decided he really wanted to play the piano.   He waited patiently for his chance, and sat down like he knew just what he was doing.  This seems to be a recurring fascination for him...

Yes, he was even turning pages.
I'm still shocked that he didn't end up slamming his fingers in the cover over the keys because he just kept messing with it.  I told Craig that I think that if we ever indulged his apparent fascination with the piano, he'd lose interest the second we signed him up for lesson #1! 

Later on he unearthed a mask from his cousins' toy stash.  I think it's a Power Ranger mask, but he was convinced it was a goalie mask.  It was a little big for him, but he didn't let that stop him from putting it on over and over again. 
Later in the evening he found a real hockey helmet with a full face mask, and that was on his head for most of the rest of the night.  He put up quite a stink when it was time to go, and did not want to take that helmet off.  After being a generally good boy most of the day (well, maybe aside from some overaggressive play and difficulty at dinner time), he put up such a ridiculous stink at bedtime that I knew he was overtired and I just had to walk out before he was fully settled.  He was asleep within minutes, though, so I have a feeling there wasn't much I could have done. 

Today we headed out relatively early and an hour nap on the way home ended up being all we could manage.  Craig and Jacob went out to watch the NLL Championship Game at a local bar with some fans, and left me home.  While I could have napped or gone out shopping, the dreary, cold weather inspired me to do nothing more than plop on the couch and catch up on mail, newspapers, and TV.  After a while I did move along to cleaning our entire upstairs (dusting and vacuuming), so I guess that was good.  I've been really lax about cleaning lately, so I'm hoping I'll be inspired to catch up little by little in all the solo evenings I have coming up in the next couple weeks.  A mother's work is never done, but I'm still hoping to make early bedtimes (for both of us) part of my job when Craig is gone.  I have a feeling it will do both of us a lot of good.  I'm going to be juggling a lot of responsibilities during that time, and I think it'll all be a heck of a lot easier to manage if I'm well-rested.  If there's anything I've learned from parenthood, that little gem is at the top of the list.  I don't follow it most of the time, of course, so there's no time like the present to try it out. 

Well, I'm sad to see our last family weekend for a while come to an end, but considering how busy I'll be between now and the next one, maybe it'll come quicker than I think...

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