Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Confession

So here's what I've decided. I'm a good Baby-Mom. I can even pat myself on the back for being a good Baby-Mom without any hesitation. Give me an infant who eats, sleeps, and poops every 4 (or so) hours...I can SO handle it. I'm good at reading all the signs and keeping that baby on a good schedule. I can whole-heardedly say that I've got mad infant-soothing skills. Have I just had good babies, you ask? Nah. I mean, yes they were good babies, but I'm not about to give them all the credit! (I am making this baby thing sound way too easy. and it's not.)


Alright, time to switch gears. Toddler-Mom. I. Stink. Really. The end.

Here's the thing, I don't necessarily enjoy all the things that are meant to entertain toddlers.

Examples:

Markers. I have heard way too many horror stories that involve these "washable" gems. Most end with marker-decorated walls, tables, carpet, and faces. This might not be that big of a deal to some. But it is for me. I love my little boys dearly, but I'm not quite ready for their art projects to adorn my kitchen table. And still, they only color for like 2 minutes tops.
Paints. Everything I mentioned about the markers, times 10!!! Holy mess!!! It blows my mind a little every time I entertain the thought of doing something like this with them. Maybe someday in the back yard...but they'll have to be without clothes.
Play-Doh. Do I even need to expound?
Baking Cookies. I can see myself doing this a lot with them...but not for at least a year, right?!

I recently tried going to the library with my two toddlers. It was a joke! I have one that loved it and one that absolutely did not want to be in that room. Can you guess who?! Anyway, I certainly can't leave one unattended while I chase the other around the rest of the library. Again...maybe in a year, or so?!
Parks. These are great. But they play on the small area of the jungle gym that they are physically capable of playing on for 15 minutes (or so) and then start to run away. And then I look like a crazy-person trying to keep them safe and contained. I feel like every other mother is looking at me thinking..."Seriously, you need to really get it together. My kids NEVER run away without looking back. Seriously!" This option has great potential. But it is still trying...for now.

Indoors Play Place. Safe (mostly). Contained...check! Bonus: eating lunch someplace other than my kitchen, while they play their little hearts out! I just can't get past all of the creepy-crawlies that must be hanging around waiting to get them sick. Am I being too paranoid about this?


In the end, all they ask to do is watch TV and eat fruit snacks. How sad is that?! And they have lots of toys. They just get bored of them so quickly. We read lots of books. But we just can't do that all day. Maybe this is a dumb question to some, but WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO ALL DAY?!?! I know that part of the problem is that they are still a little young for most activities. But two-year-old's still need stuff to do and a way to learn, develop, and get their energy out. They are still taking a pretty good nap in the afternoons most days. I can't even wrap my brain around a no-nap day. That's a lot of time to fill!!!

So while I might be able to boast about my victories of being able to master feeding an infant every 4 hours, I am definitely struggling in my current state. Am I just looking at this all wrong? Do I just need to buck-up and dive into the art projects? Please don't think that I don't enjoy my toddlers. I love 'em and spend most of the day on the floor with them acting like a dog, or an elephant, or a lion, or a race car. I just feel a little...I don't know...stuck, maybe?

Alright all you genius toddler-Moms, give me all you've got!

23 comments:

Nicole Ray said...

It is all because you have two!! My two year old acts the same but I can deal with just him, so I can't imagine trying to check on two- plus I bet they feed off each other! If you get really bored you just need to bring them over to play at my house! We have kids over all the time and would love it.

CHELZERS said...

hahahaaaa! I can SO relate. I've basically been a hermit for three years...no joke! We are just getting to the point where they are big enough to do bigger play structures and not want to run away! :) Sadly, we still watch tv and eat fruit snack all day. But try a huge blanket or tarp on the floor and play doh on plastic plates. My girls GENERALLY keep it on the plate, but if tiny pieces fly (which they almost always do) you can just shake them off the tarp into the garbage (or the street..hehe) Give only 3 or 4 crayons at once and they have to give them back to you to get more colors and try magnets! I painted the lower third of my playroom in magnetic paint and they play with different magnets for hours! and it's relatively clean! (as long as you make sure there is an easy clean up solution they can help with---ours are old wipes boxes.) Good luck! I feel your pain!

Claire said...

That's tough! I really don't like resorting to the tv either and it's sad that my 2 year old can sit through an entire movie already! I feel like the tv has been on so much the past couple months at our house while we've been sick. It helps when the weather is nicer and you can go outside...course I guess parks still aren't a great option for you either :( We go there a lot in the summers or just on walks or bike rides (the bike trailer/stroller we got has been such a great investment!), the color wonder markers are awesome, Carter's been in to puzzles lately and the big lego blocks. Those seem to keep him occupied for a while. I hope your naps continue for the next year! Good luck! I totally feel you...

Kara and Kevin said...

I love it! I feel the same way. Especially being in a new town with no car, we are home so much and I know Mylee is bored. Like you said you can only read and play so much (I am sure I can do more though) We just started markers and I am paranoid as well, as well as all the other things you mentioned. I don't know if I have answers but mostly I just want you to know you are not alone, I can totally relate. I am sure the parks and library are hard because you have 2 to keep track of. Best advice I have is have lots of play dates!! I wish I was still there to be able to have them with you!! :)

Nan and Aaron said...

Um, you and Aaron are definitely related. He HATES playdough, and any other thing made for kids that has the potential to make any kind of mess. You do get double the fun with those two. Luckily you have a fenced in back yard, right? Just send them out their with lots of different balls and let them get all that toddler energy out. The big legos are awesome. Also the Duplos, which are a little smaller but not the ridiculously small ones. Keep trying on the library thing, they might get used to it. Or maybe not. But try again. Melissa and Doug puzzles are great for this age. I'll keep my eye out for Tucker boy fun. You are an awesome mommy and those boys are sooo lucky to have you as their mom. Give yourself some credit. miss you!

Justin and JoLyn said...

I tell myself that T.V. is really educational these days. :)

julie said...

amen. If I could only have babies, I'd have like a million. Then they grow up and get hard. We've never played with playdough..yuck. I did the flour/oat truck thing that Emily blogged about once and there was flour EVERYWHERE. Now they want to do it again and again...ugh. My other problem is I get so bored. Please don't make me play Candyland again. My kids are easier at playing because they're older now, but I don't remember parks being a problem..but yeah..2 is a different story. In the summer we go to the park almost every day..Oh yeah, I worked at Gold's..that's what we would do..hahaha..guess I don't have any ideas. There's got to be some good non messy ideas online.

Janelle Dobson said...

I was thinking this exact same thing recently. I'm a good baby mom...but not so good toddler mom. And yes, I struggle with the craft stuff...partly because I'm not artsy and it seems my daughter isn't either and I have to keep encouraging her and prodding her. One thing I have learned to help out with them mess was to buy a shower curtain from the dollar store and have them sit on it when they craft. Playdough, markers, paint...it does not leave the tarp. It also came in handy when potty training...and when the kids is sick and throwing up...and...oh the possibilities are endless. Best dollar I ever spent.

Janelle Dobson said...

Oh yeah, and one of our favorite activities that we love that involves virtually no clean up is dancing. Get some good music, kids stuff, primary music, or classical often works well, and let 'em go! Of course I get roped in dancing a few songs myself but most of the time I can sit back and watch and we all love it.

Ash said...

I don't have toddlers yet, or a baby yet, so take my advice for what its worth. My mom used to hide some of our toys and bring them out again in a few months and it was cool, and new and exciting again. Maybe that will help them get less bored less quickly. I'm sure you do great though! I remember watching my sister with twins...

Amber said...

you are so funny! i agree with you for the most part-- except for that i let quinn do all those things! just when i let her do something messy like play doh or even markers i stay with her and supervise so that it stays contained. it's definitely a special activity. i'm crazy about germs too!!! And oh-- i also hide toys. i have a box that i keep in my laundry room that i occassionally stick toys in-- then on a really boring day i'll let quinn pick a toy. she thinks it's awesome-- and it's so simple!

Jason, Amanda, Brayden and Dillon said...

Ha Ha Ha Amy!!! I think it is so completely different with two! I just thank Mr. Clean for the magic eraser and our marker/ paint problems are, well, erased (ha ha ha). It seems like the first couple of times are always a bit overwhelming, but then they get the hang of it and know their boundaries. We have also discovered that bubbles seem to be an endless source of joy. In the winter we just go into the garage so it doesn't get all over the house. AND, there is this stuff called model magic that is just like playdoh, but it doesn't get all over. We also make the edible play doh and (don't report me for this) but Dillon eats all the little pieces. Is that bad???

The McGary's said...

Well I had to laugh about all the things you talked about because I am the exact same way!!! Granted I don't have two the same age but still my 4 and 2 year old would both make a mess with all those things. I feel bad, I think I have let my kids play with markers once and don't even know what paint is!! I have caved and let them play with playdoh and it really isn't too bad but occupies them forever!! I am paranoid at play grounds too so many places they could fall off and land on their heads. Summer can't come soon enough around here so they can play outside!!

Cheri said...

Okay, we hate the same things. And I'm going to add Bendaroos and moon sand to that list. HATE.
As for some mmmy advice, I'll give you the same advice my father in law just talked to me about yesterday. Elder something or other from the 1st quarum of the 70 just spoke in their ward comference on Sunday and expounded upon Elder Oaks talk on Good, Better Best. He said that as mothers we are doing something very good and that we souldn't make ourselves feel guilty for not doing everything the best, because we are already doing something great: being a mother. I'm trying to not critique myself as much.
And funnily enough, I'll be posting sometime next week about the project I'm currently working on. Hint: it has to do with my table, chairs, and a naughty 2 year old.

amanda said...

it sucks...but the beauty is the WASHABLE part. it comes off walls, faces, floors, etc....they have to be able to be creative chloe will color for an hour. and also once it warms up its so much easier.....outside playtime is great!

Janice Clayton said...

I agree with everything you said and often think I am a bad toddler mommy too. Gracie watches T.V. way too much and I have not even let her touch a marker. I don't know how I would handle Gracie times two! I think I know your pain a little because Gracie and Alyssa are only twenty months apart and they do not nap at the same time. Also we are constantly protecting Alyssa from Gracie. I worry Alyssa won't learn how to crawl because of this.

John and Anna said...

Oh boy! you just made me think about how it might be in a year for me with Cache. Hmmmmmm..... Now I'm scared! :) And... I can't imagine you being bad at anything! Seriously! But I don't blame you for feeling that way. :)

Jeremy and Debbie said...

I only do the park out of all you listed. We do color with CRAYONs every once in a while. Still we sit at the table in a very controlled environment even to do that. We run around outside and play. I am not sure I have any advice, just letting you know I don't do the mess either!!! Good luck!

Kacy & Ashley (Staples) Krieger said...

I know it is tough, I am there with you. I am soooo sooo sooo tired of messes. I am going to try the bathtub markers...I hope they come off, they say they do. I remember how much I loved to play when I was a kid, and now it is so hard to enjoy playing with my kids. I wish I could enjoy playing again, and being a kid, I am sure life would be funner if I could. I just am not a kid anymore and lack of sleep, adult worries, cleaning and all that other stuff just consume my life and fun to me is a break from all those things. Good luck to you. I have been wrestling with the idea of starting a toddler blog, with fun stuff for parents to do, and ideas, and questions. Of course I am no expert for sure, but it would have all the advice out there in one spot. I am working on it. Do you think it is a good idea?

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*LaUrA* said...

I think you ticked that Chinese person off.

Shauna said...

I hear you on the mess part. Toddlerhood and preschool are messy stages. Going from one thing to the other within minutes. Here are my favorite things:
1)Sandboxes! Great for long play. Last year I didn't exactly have a real sandbox. I used a long, short, plastic tote. My kids played in it for at least an hour at a time. This year I bought a real one. In the winter my kids love to play with a tote full of beans. Not too hard to clean.
2) Small kid tables that fold up!I bought a small foldable table from costco last year, which I love. I put it in the kitchen and clean up for all those messy activities is a lot easier.
3) Wooden Trains! I make a track for each of my kids, so there is no fighting.
4) Trikes', cars, anything with wheels in the driveway! I sit at the end of the driveway to make sure they stay safe.
5) Wading Pools!
6) Water colors. And you can spray the paint with water, so they don't have to have a cup of water waiting to spill.

Good lucky and remember, "They grow up so fast." It seem like I hear that from so many older women. I sometimes wonder if that is really true.

Shauna said...

I meant to say, Good luck.

Also, when my kids use real paints they wear one of my old T-shirts. It covers all their clothes!

Another thing sidewalk chalk is great and I also have an indoor chalk board.

Amy, I think I might love the toddler/preschool stage a little too much. You can take care for my babies, then I will take them back. I can't handle those sleepless nights!