Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

There are times when Jacob is acting up and I get frustrated, unable to figure out why he's acting a certain way.  And then, later, when I think about it, I realize that I do the same things as he does, though maybe in a slightly different way.  Hard to blame him when I do the same things myself!

Getting Up - We do tend to differ a bit on this one because he's often an early riser (though, admittedly, not nearly as bad as he could be) and I am not.  And once he's up, boy is he chipper!  He will have a full-on production going on in his room--singing, conversations with his animals, and animal lacrosse games, all before 7:30am.  But on those days when I do have to wake him up in the morning, he takes after both Craig and me and is very slow to rise.  I could make noise, rub his back, tickle him, or talk to him, and he will completely ignore me and attempt to continue sleeping for as long as possible.  I pretty much do the same thing to him when he tries to break into my blissful slumber.

Picking Clothes - Every morning is a bit of a battle in the clothing department. Jacob has his favorite outfits, and when all of those are dirty or he starts outgrowing them, just picking a simple shirt turns into World War 3. The war is followed by a full-blown wrestling match just to get the shirt on him. There's a fine line between picking your battles and letting your kid run the show, and this seems to be one of the major situations where that line is straddled on a daily basis. There are perfectly good shirts sitting in his closet that he's hardly worn because he puts up a fuss (for no apparent reason) every time I suggest them. I refuse to let him look like a ragamuffin every day in too-small clothes (at least, once I get enough clothes to replace them), nor do I want to send him off each week in the same five outfits. I do tend to reserve some of his cooler stuff for weekends, as well, since I'd hate for him to paint on something special or not have something presentable when we actually go somewhere where we'd like it to appear that we care how he looks. He gets a bit of a free pass on that one since he's a boy, but still--is a nice pair of jeans and a cute shirt too much to ask? So once I deal with his clothing issues, it's off to my closet where I tend to ignore a good portion of the stuff in my closet in favor of a handful of clothes that I tend to fixate on. Granted, some of the stuff I'm ignoring doesn't look as good on my post-baby body, and styles have changed in the 10 years since I bought some of it. I'm more about mixing and matching staples these days--sweaters with a cami, plain long-sleeved tees, jeans or black dress pants, or simple tops and skirts (though that's more in the summer). But I play favorites just like Jacob does, and probably ignore perfectly good clothes day after day. Oops.

Going to Work/Daycare - We all agree that getting up to go to work and daycare is a drag.  It's not how any of us want to spend our morning, that's for sure.  Once in a while he says he wants to go to work with one of us, but I try to explain to him that work is boring and he'll have far more fun at daycare.  It may not be where he'd most like to spend his day, but it would appear he has a decent time there most days so I'd imagine that he's far better off there than any time he'd spend with us at boring old work.  But I think there's a general consensus that we'd all like to just hang out at home most days.  Some days more than others, like the Monday after Easter when we were all exhausted and really needed another day to recover.  I felt downright guilty for sending Jacob off that morning, on top of my own dread of going to work.  We all needed another day, and I knew it.

Going to the Bathroom - Jacob will wait until the very last minute to admit to having to use the potty.  He'll be doing the dance, crossing his legs, and acting like a total freak, and even when we call him on it, he will put off the visit to the bathroom as long as possible.  When we finally convince him (or downright force him) he's usually squirming so much that he can barely get his pants down to go!  Surprisingly, despite all that he has very few daytime accidents these days (nights are another story, if you can consider accidents in the form of him leaking out of his diaper...again).  I obviously have even greater mastery of my bladder (well, aside from some lasting effects of childbearing now and then...stupid Kegels.), but I too find myself putting off bathroom visits just to keep getting stuff done.  I keep working, hoping to find a good stopping point, and never seem to find one...that is, until I realize that I am totally distracted by how bad I have to go and need to go just to continue to do functional work.

Going to Bed - As a whole, once we get Jacob upstairs he's not too much of a bedtime problem.  Once he's in his pajamas, picks out his bedtime stories, and starts to snuggle in, most of the time he's out like a light very quickly.  But he puts up a major fuss when he's pulled away from his toys when bedtime arrives.  Oftentimes I find myself literally scooping him up and carrying him upstairs because I refuse to repeat myself for the umpteenth time or wrestle him up the stairs. The tantrums and excuses could go on forever.  It's even a struggle to get him to focus long enough to get his pajamas on, because he can always find something else to grab or do.  I often wonder why he'd fight sleep even though he obviously needs it. And then I think about myself every single night, determined to get off my chair at 11pm to go to bed, only to find myself sitting there until well after 11:30 and going to bed at 11:45 every night, cursing the fact that my alarm will be going off all too soon. He may fight sleep because he's afraid he'll miss something, but maybe he's just like me, convinced he's got too much to do and can't be bothered to put it down and get that much needed sleep instead.

In doing this little analysis, I've realized that the one area in which we seem to have very little in common is eating.  I could probably eat all day, every day.  Jacob could take it or leave it.  I live for mealtimes and tend to snack a lot if given the opportunity.  He's a bit of a snacker at times, but he is totally uninterested in mealtime most of the time.  He rarely complains about being hungry--unless, of course, dinner is running extra late--though he does like to drink water a lot and will eat pretty well if the conditions are right.  But we pretty much couldn't be more different on that front!

Oh, and I'll choose to blame Jacob's current insistence to sleep on the floor on Craig's affection for floors.  He doesn't really do it much anymore, but back in the day he'd go back to his house after a game and a few beverages and fall asleep on the floor watching a movie.  At least Jacob has the comfort of his pile of stuffed animals, but I'll blame that one on Craig! 

So, perhaps when Jacob's behavior perplexes me, I need to step back and think about how I'd react in a similar circumstance.  And hopefully by doing that, I can be a better parent to him when the same situation arises again. 

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