Sunday, June 1, 2014

Never been so tired after a 2 week vacation.

One of my writing teachers once told me to never preface anything. Whatever lady. She clearly didn't write about her kids. So, let me proudly preface this by saying that I am coming off of two weeks of vacation with Ellis. No school for her, no work for me. Stay-at-home moms are rolling their eyes and making exasperated guttural noises right now. Go ahead, judge me. Yes, two weeks without a work break and with Ellis' daddy on a fire, is a lot for me. I don't work because we need the money. I choose to be a working mom because I love my career, I like that when Ellis plays, she picks up a purse, throws on a pair of my high heels and says, "Me go work. I yuv you mama," and also we invest in sending Ellis to one of the best daycares in the Southwest. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that when Ellis decides its a good idea to pick a piece of poop out of her butt with her bare hands, the ladies at the daycare handle it a lot better than I do.

This is all to say, I noticed some interesting tidbits about toddlers, mine in particular, in the last couple weeks. The following are some highlights:

1. Toddlers are clever. Cleverer than you, but you can never, ever let them know you've lost your cool. By "never, ever" I am including when they repeat:
"I wan orange. I wan juice. I wan water. I wan pasta. I wan go for walk. I wan hold you me. I wan jello. I wan berries. I wan macaroni and cheese. I wan candy (even though you've never let her eat candy). I wan apicot. I wan play game. I wan watch wonder pets. I wan put makeup."

If anyone else asked me for this many things in under a minute, I would black out, murder them, bury them in the desert and then wake up from my black out and proceed to live a normal, happy life. Luckily, God makes babies cute and mindfulness videos easily accessible on YouTube so I am able to muster, barely, I might add, "Ellis, I heard you. Please choose one thing and ask nicely." She will then choose one thing, and ask for that on repeat. I respond, " Ellis, I'm very smart. You only need to ask once and I will work on it." She usually stops talking for about 30 seconds (the longest was 45 seconds which totally blew her average) and then in a whisper she starts, "I wan orange. I wan orange. I wan orange. I wan..." I respond, "Ellis," a bit more stern and she will look me straight in the eye, pause and say, "I wan orange."

You might be wondering why I don't just give her a damn orange. Well, for one, the latter exchange happens in about a minute or less. Secondly, I'm trying to teach her some etiquette around asking for what one wants in life. Third, she does get the orange if asks nicely and says "please". I'm convinced that "please" and "thank you" buys you a lot in this life.

2. Toddlers are smarter than adults and the proof I have is that toddlers do not try to reason with other toddlers. They get what they want in one of two ways: blunt force trauma and/or manipulation. Adults, bless their hearts, try to talk toddlers down, they try to negotiate, they try explaining why it really doesn't matter which color of straw you have. If an adult were lying on the floor crying about a straw, I would carefully step over said adult and carry on with my day. Toddler on the floor crying about a straw? Oh, I'll talk the shit out of that toddler. Brilliant Dorothy. Really good work.

3. Toddlers are not afraid of the things they should be afraid of and completely terrified of things that aren't scary at all. That being said, when I'm really pissed and I feel like I might yell, instead I talk to my toddler in a high pitched, sing-songy voice. "Oh honey, please don't stand on the laundry basket and break off pieces of wicker. Mommy is starting to feel frustrated right now." I smile the entire time and move my head back and forth like a Stepford Wife. This seems to freak her out, or at the very least confuse her and she'll usually do whatever I ask. Besides my tortilla pizza muffins, this is my most brilliant discovery yet.

There's more but I'm exhausted and my vacation ends in approximately 9 hours.