I wasn’t planning on posting another blog so soon, but I was inspired (if that’s what you want to call it…) by a certain event today.
Buddy (whom I love dearly, but…) LOVES buttons. No, scratch that. He loves electronics. Anything that flashes, clicks, beeps, slides, honks, lights up and so on. Today we were having a perfectly uneventful afternoon, and he spies the dvd player remote (then eventually the dvd player itself). My afternoon is ruined. If I try to take the remote from him he flips out. Kicking, screaming, thrashing and more. If I let him have it, things will inevitably get broken. My only options are to just let it break, or listen to a tantrum. Awesome. For the record, I think the “terrible 2’s” label is total crap. It should be “terrible one-and-a- half’s”. For the tantrums I’ve tried everything to get him to calmly give up the remote or stop pushing buttons. I tried trading for one of his toys, I’ve tried asking him to give it to me of his own will. You know, where you hold out your hand and ask them to “Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top” give you the dangerous object in their hands. No rush or anything… *eyeroll* I’ve tried distracting him with things he enjoys, which will eventually lead into me dancing and singing “Elmo’s World” like an idiot to try to get him to laugh so he’s in an agreeable mood and willing to give it up. When those don’t work, I eventually say screw it and either distract him with food or just yank it out of his hands. I know I know… you shouldn’t do that Mom. Honestly though I only have so much patience. By the time I can get him away from the electronics, I’ve been working at it for five to ten minutes and Peanut and Bear are screaming for attention. At that point, whatever, I just don’t care.
If I had no heart I’d just throw him in his crib and leave him there until he settles down. I want to sometimes… I really reeeeeally want to, but I just can’t bring myself to do it because I know it’s not fair to him. He’s only 15 months old. He’s only beginning to understand his feelings and concepts like sharing and danger. He understands that when I’m happy, he’s happy, when I’m upset he’s upset. He can’t handle the extreme feelings he gets when he’s upset so it just snowballs to the point of screaming for no apparent reason. That’s why this age is so hard. I have to have so much patience. I have to be calm, collected, fair, kind, understanding, happy and so much more. In return Buddy is angry and emotional. I just walk away and wait for him to finish his totally ridiculous tantrum. The tantrum starts as angry because I said no, then turns into desperation for my love and affection. So… now comes the nearly impossible task of comforting and consoling him so he knows he’s loved, while making sure he understands that the cuddling/hugging doesn’t mean the naughty thing he just did is okay. “Mommy loves you buddy. You can’t do that okay?” Talk about mixed signals.
Today was one of those days where I just gave up.
We unfortunately don’t have any glass door on the entertainment area under our tv, so he can go push all the buttons on everything. He was playing with the buttons on the DVD player and kept opening and closing it. It’s a five disc dvd player, so when it opens, it spreads the five slots apart. Toddler magnet. I said, “No sweetie, that’s not for Buddy. Can you close it please?” and it’s many variations about ten THOUSAND times and finally said screw it. I pulled him away and closed it myself. He goes into full tantrum mode and arches his back and throws himself to the floor thrashing and screaming. I walked away and let him do his thing thinking he’d get it over with and move on to something else. A few minutes later I came back in the room to find he had the dvd player open again and 3 of the 5 disc holders pulled out. Shit. He turned around and sees me standing there gaping and drops the disc holder he was holding and backs away a few steps. “Yeah… you better run you little…” I give him the proper scolding ,which sounds like a slap on the wrist. “We don’t pull these out Buddy. Can you help me fix it please?” What I really want to say is, “Are you kidding me?! I JUST told you to knock it off!!” Young, innocent minds… *sigh*
This isn’t the first time he’s done this. He has “broken” our dvd player multiple times now. Somehow I manage to unscrew the whole thing and figure out the mechanics behind it and put it back together. This time was no different. It took a little longer than usual but I got it. I get husband and tell him what’s wrong. “The thingy that holds the dvds was blocking the whatchamacallit so the slidey thing can’t pull it here. Maybe we can take this gear thingy out and the trigger whatchamahoozit can slide back in place. What do you think hun?” Simple, right? He rolls his eyes. Thank god he understands my “mechanics”. Unfortunately even though he understood my crystal clear diagnosis, as I’m explaining the issue I flip a metal piece over and touch it to a capacitor. (I only found that our later… my term would have been cylinder power thing) SPARKS FLY. Oops…
Husband’s now looking at me with disbelief. Our son breaks it tens of times and I’m the one who just irreversibly broke it. I can’t beleive it. I feel so bad because it was husband’s in the first place. Oops, oops, oops… Then I can’t help but laugh. How could I not realize this day was coming? I’m always so ready to blame Buddy for everything that gets broken, yet he’s never the one to actually break it. My favorite vase that was a wedding gift was shattered one day.. but I left it on a low bookcase shelf. He dropped it because I knocked it out of his hands trying to grab it. Our bumbo was torn apart by the dog.. but he was a puppy and I forgot to put it away. The list goes on. Husband is annoyed, but not mad at me. It was bound to happen just like everything else. We didn’t protect it like we should have, and “it was six years old anyway”, he says.
I’m learning that I just need to expect these kinds of things. I can’t get too angry at these situations. “He’s a kid.” I remind myself. “I’d be more worried if he didn’t break things and get into things the way he does.” I need to remember to cherish his curiosity. Sometimes I can’t believe how smart he is already. He understands SO much that I feel like we can have conversations now. They may be primitive, but it’s so wonderful to have him understand me. He walks around pointing at the world around him wanting to know what everything is. ESPECIALLY electronic things. I just need to remind myself that while it’s annoying now, I’m going to love this hunger for knowledge later when he starts school. So in the meantime the hunt for a new capacitor and/or dvd player begins, and tomorrow brings a new day of learning and curiosity, at our electronics expense, for Buddy.