Sunday, January 25, 2009

Testing His Boundries






January was a particularly difficult month in our home. I have a certain darling 3 year old who was desperate to assert his independence; and I am a 29 year old who, admittedly, has a few issues with control. This combination does not equate to peace and harmony. For about two weeks we had been battling the dreaded tantrums. Books, toys, clothes, and even his most favorite stuffed animal would come flying across the room if he was angry at a decision that I had made. He wanted to be in control of his own life. (Funny that this starts at such a young age!) I was mortified that I was loosing my little boy. Battle after battle Andrew would decide that he wanted things to be different, to be his way. I was exhausted by trying to keep the house rules intact and my patience was growing thin. The one battle that I decided to give in on: Andrew was finished with naps. Much to my chagrin, I knew I would have to be alright with this decision. He's 3 1/2 now and he's been a fabulous napper his whole life. So away with naps, but . . . welcome "quiet time". Andrew was not too excited about quiet time in his room, but on this particular day he decided to play along.

With both children in their rooms, I finally had a moment to myself so I called my sister Kristen. We couldn't have been more than 5 minutes into our conversation when I noticed a very pleasant and familiar scent. Lavender baby powder. My heart sank. I told Kristen I had to go. Trying to compose my emotions so I wouldn't react the way that I wanted to react, I opened Andrew's door . . . terrified of what I would find. It was everywhere. Everywhere! In his shoes, his toy box, in between his sheets, ALL over him, inside his coat, down the sleeves, all over the floor, the rug and his furniture and because there was a fan going in his room (for white noise) he had decided to pour some of the baby powder into the blowing fan! It was everywhere.

After taking it all in. My first reaction was to call Poison Control. I had no idea what the safest way to clean up baby powder without the entire family inhaling everything that was kicked up by the vacuum. They were a little less than helpful. I decided to spray everything down with a water bottle so the particles wouldn't kick up as I cleaned. While I was in the midst of spraying, I turned around and Andrew was dumping what was left of the baby powder on my head. I was about to loose it, but thankfully the phone ran. It was Michael's sister Kristen. I am certain that she was inspired to call. It may have saved my son's life!

While on the phone with Kristen, I was attempting to clean up the baby powder covered room as I tried to describe the chaos that was my son! I was very grateful for her humor, her stories she shared that compared to this situation and her encouraging words that Andrew would come out of the funk he was in. Distracted by our conversation, Andrew decided to capitalize on my lack of attention. He had begun to track the baby powder ALL through the house. He was thrilled that he could make powder foot prints from his bedroom to the front door! It looked SO cool to a three year old who didn't have to clean it up.

My next move was to strap both children into their booster seats, give them a snack and then resume cleaning. I told Kristen I probably should go, but before I got off the phone, I warned her that I might be calling Andrew's grandmothers soon for reinforcement. I was so close to loosing my cool that he might need a grandmother or two here to help diffuse the situation. As I got off the phone with Kristen I noticed that Andrew was rocking back and forth in the chair so he could knock over the chair and hopefully be freed from his booster. Although it was a clever idea . . . it would not have ended the way that he was hoping. So, I unstrapped the booster from the chair and stuck him on the ground (still attached to the booster). I never thought I would laugh so hard when I saw him trying to get up with a booster seat strapped to his back side. It was so funny. Luckily Andrew thought it was funny too! We were both in stitches for a moment until Jacob started crying. He didn't see the humor in this situation. Luckily, Big Brother was around to comfort Jacob in his time of need.


The booster, unfortunately didn't stop Andrew from coming into his room to track more baby powder through the house. But, it did slow him down so he couldn't make it all the way to the front door.

Plan B. Call a friend and send the kids upstairs. I was so grateful when Brittany answered her phone! She took the boys for over an hour while I started 3 loads of laundry, wiped down, vacuumed, and dusted all of the baby powder from his room and cleaned up the tracks throughout the house!

It's a really good thing that he is so cute. I think we might make it past the terrible 3's.

12 comments:

Mimi said...

I so can relate - as much as people complain about terrible 2's - it is really the 3's that get you. Hang in there - your power/control struggle days are not over.

Ada Bowler said...

Oh, that is hilarious!

Jenn Howell said...

Jen...........uhhhhhh....... It's cute - but I can't even laugh because I know the emotions that must have been running around in your head and heart. Loving children so much is sure tought some times!
You are amazing and eventually it will be easier (at least I keep telling myself that!) Keep taking great picts. Eventually they'll make great blackmail!

A Couple of Pack's said...

That is so funny! I'm so glad you thought to take a few pictures. I'm not sure I would have handled the same scenario quite as well as you did. I am in awe when I read all of the ways that kids can get themselves into a mess. Some day I will be able to witness my own.

Julianne said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so glad you took pictures! What a funny kid!

Kristen said...

I'm so glad you finally posted this! I have thought back on our conversation that day so many times! I'd say it's funny, but it's only funny in the way these things age nicely with the distance of years . . .

Sara said...

Oh heavens Jen. I am so impressed you were sane enough to take pictures. I think my mind would have gone blank with adrenaline-fueled rage and the last thing on my mind would be the camera. I especially love the last picture of Andrew comforting Jacob with the booster attached to his hiney.

Catie said...

That is one of the best stories I have heard in a while--this will be so fun to tell and show Andrew when he's sixteen!!

Steven and Kristin said...

I feel for you! I've had my share of messes... greasy lotion, markers, sand, and make-up, but I don't think it's ever gotten so big as your baby powder. Pouring it in the fan is classic! I love the booster seat pics too! I'm glad your neighbor was available for relief! You're such a good mom!

Johanna said...

I'm so sorry! I'm glad you had a friends to help you. Reminds me of when my son but fresh blueberries in the dryer with my white clothes and then I unknowingly started the dryer...

Jenn Knight said...

This story is even better in print with pictures than it was when you told it to me the first time. I'm so glad we are going through this together. :) Maybe Madi and Andrew conspire at preschool on what kinds of really funny, terribly messy things they can when they get home... then laugh at how insane it will make their mommies.

Tricia said...

What a great story Jenn! Good job finding the humor in the day!
--Tricia Price