Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just when I thought 2 1/2 couldn't get any harder | The Great Vaseline Fiasco of 2009

The last couple months really have been difficult.  I haven't been writing about it since it's all I can do to get some photos up and talk about the things we've done.  So let's talk.  They've been difficult.  I know it's all typical 2 year old behavior but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with or to know how to handle it all.  For the most part they are very pleasant and fun and happy.
 Maddie's downfall is she has zero patients and melts into a puddle if you don't make a cracker magically appear in her hand.  I know I need to nip this in the bud but how?  Do I ignore her so she sees that screaming won't get her anywhere (I tried that and that girl can scream for 40 minutes)?  Do I immediately put her in a time out and tell her that tantrums are not allowed?  Or do I put her in her bed and tell her she can come out when she calms down?  All I know is I need to pick one and stick with it.
Jackson's downfall is that he just insists on doing things he shouldn't.  Time out after time out he will STILL get into the junk drawer in the kitchen and pull out a pen.  Then comes the whole debate on whether you should just baby proof EVERYTHING so they can't get into trouble or do you TEACH them what they can't get into (with this particular drawer teaching ISN'T working)?  Then his new favorite thing is to tell us to "stop it".  A conversation will go something like this..."Jackson, you need to get changed" which is responded with "Stop it Mama".  AH!  It just stops me dead in my tracks and he knows it.  Chris tells him he shouldn't say that to mommy and daddy because it's fresh but I swear he does it more because he gets Chris to react.  I tend to ignore it but then getting him changed becomes a total struggle.  The other charming thing he does is if I ask him if he would rather ride in the stroller or hold my hand he will say "up!"  He loves to throw a third option in there and cry when he doesn't get his way.  I've been very consistent with making him choose one of the two *I* offered and he is starting to get better.

Which brings me to The Great Vaseline Fiasco of 2009.  We had a really great day at the Topsfield Fair last Friday.  They were really good and pleasant and fun.  When we came home I put them in for a nap then went to lay down myself.  I heard them wake up a couple hours later but didn't go to get them right away.  They were laughing and having a good time.  Then I heard a distinct noise of something I know is up on the hutch on top of the bureau.  I FLEW out of bed and into their room.  Things get fuzzy after that because I think I hyperventilated.  The first thing I noticed was Maddie standing in the top drawer of the bureau.  I gasped.  Then my eyes went to the floor where all of the clothes from the drawer were strewn about.  Then I saw it.  The coverage of vaseline over every surface of the bureau, the floor, the clothes and both of their heads and faces (the vaseline was up in a basket on top of the bureau).  I was literally speechless and so upset that I didn't even get the camera!!!  I had no idea what to do.  I stripped them of their vaseline infused jammies and plopped them in the tub.  Washing their hair didn't do anything.  Chris came home while we were in the bathroom.  I told him if he didn't want to have a heart attack that he shouldn't go in the bedroom.  We spent the next hour picking up globs of vaseline, sorting through the clothes and attempting to clean the film off of the wood floor and bureau front and the inside of the drawer.  I used a combo of corn starch and lemon juice.  It worked but it wasn't easy.  For the clothes I had to soak them all in hot hot water in the bath tub before washing them in the machine since we don't have hot water hooked up to the washing machine.  And as for the lovely pottery barn rug, at this point it's not looking good.  There is one area of stains that I just can't get rid of.  I have to work at it again though.  I've already tried corn starch and vinegar.  I've already looked up the home remedies online but if anyone has any known cures I'm open to suggestions.


The Anonymous Platypus said...

i don't have any suggestions for you, but I this is exactly why I am praying mine don't figure out how to climb out of their cribs. My husband thinks I'm insane and we should move them to toddler beds, but I fear the chaos that will ensue.

ugh. 2 is rough. mostly I can't handle the whining. ugh.

MoreThanMommy said...

I never went through this with Bug, so when Lady Bug came along, I felt like I was run over by a truck. Just as I was becoming convinced that I was a completely ineffectual parent, I listed to a podcast that set me at ease. The child expert said that part of why toddlers are so challenging is that they have no impulse control. No matter what you say or do, it's not going to stop them if something catches their eye. So, to answer your question, you should baby proof the crucial things (the drawers) and practice learning self-control on thing that aren't as compelling. As for discipline, she said that the key is just to be consistent whatever you decide. Eventually, they'll get it. That's the theory anyway.

E, SS and the Little Man said...

I love this post. Not because you're having a hard time with them, but because I feel like someone else is in the same boat I am. I linked this post to one I wrote today. Thank you for posting this!

Wendy and Karen said...

I don't have a cure either but, like the other commenters, your post made me laugh and feel better. I gave Kylie 3 time-outs today and by 6:30, I felt like putting my head through the wall.

Just knowing I'm not alone in the crazy two-ness helps me not feel like such a bad mom.

I would buy you a drink and a backrub if I could. You hang in there girl.

(and Kylie says "stop it" ALL DAY LONG FOR EVERYTHING.)