Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You can't always get what you want - Part II

I've been trying to figure out N's fluctuating moods over the past couple of days. Sunday, he slept for most of the day and barely ate anything at all, which was somewhat uncharacteristic. Yesterday, he wouldn't sleep at all. He insisted on constant feedings and cuddles, and he screamed if he was ever put down, which was also uncharacteristic. Last night, it became apparent that N had come down with a bad cold. At least we know why he's been so testy lately.

Yesterday, J was very well-behaved, eating problems notwithstanding. Potty training went well. He watched cartoons and played happily. He napped for a while. Life was good in J's world.

It's a shame the two kids can't both have a good day at the same time. But hopefully, that will come in time.


Yesterday, at lunch:

T: What do you want for lunch?
J: I don't want lunch.
T: You have to have lunch. Do you want ham?
J: No.
T: Well, then what do you want?
J: Nothing.
T: You can have ham, peanut butter, jam, banana, or cheese. What do you want?
J: Ummmm ... peanut butter and jam.

So I make J a PB&J sandwich. I cut it into quarters, and I give him two pieces. He won't eat more than half a sandwich.

J: Can I have some milk?
T: Eat this piece of sandwich; then you can have some milk.

J goofs around a lot, not eating, and testing his boundaries. When Mommy says "Sit on your chair", does she really mean it? What if I stand beside the chair? What if I put one foot on the chair support? Ok, well then, what if I put both feet on the chair support and balance precariously? WHAM! J falls off the chair support and smacks his chin on the table, biting his tongue. J's tongue is bleeding. I crush some ice for him to suck on. J feels better.

J: Can I have more ice?
T: No. Eat some sandwich.

And in the background, N screams.

J continues to goof around. Can he sit in my lap? No. Can I feed him like a baby? No. Ordinarily, I might have done either of these. But N is still screaming, and my hands are full dealing with that issue.

I become desperate. I tell J that, if he finishes his lunch, has an afternoon nap, and sits on the potty before and after naptime, I will make him a snowcone for afternoon snack. J is excited about the snowcone. I tell J that he can pick a flavour. We have orange (orange), cherry (red), or blue raspberry lemonade (blue). J would like ... green!

T: We don't have green.
J: Brown?
T: We don't have brown, J. Orange, red, or blue?
J: Orange!

I agree. I even take the orange mix out of the pantry and put it on the counter, so that J can see it.

Finally, J begins to eat. He eats one quarter of sandwich. But it has taken him 45 minutes to do this. He is rewarded with a glass of milk. He drinks the milk. He will not touch the other quarter of sandwich.

N continues to scream.

I become frustrated. I set the oven-timer for 10 minutes. I tell J that he has 10 minutes to finish his other quarter of sandwich. When the oven-timer goes off, lunch is over. And I leave the kitchen to try and console N in the living room.

J follows. He periodically goes back to check on his sandwich, but he does not eat it. When instructed to do so, he sits back at the kitchen table. But he does not eat.

Once N is reasonably calm again, I return to the kitchen. There are 2.5 minutes left on the oven timer. The quarter sandwich is completely whole. With considerable prompting and pleading, J has four bites of his second piece of sandwich before the timer goes off. I decide that this is probably good enough; I just give up in despair. It's been an hour, for crying out loud!

I take J up for potty and naptime. The process takes time. J dawdles. N lies in his bassinet and screams. J does not care that his baby brother is in distress. He continues to dawdle. But eventually, he settles. Promises of an orange snowcone continue to be effective.

While J has his nap, I feed N a lot. N squawks and snuggles, and refuses to settle. Finally, N has a quiet moment. And this is when J awakes and wants to get up. I get J. J sits on the potty, but only because I remind him that he will have his snowcone when he is done.

We come downstairs, and I begin to make J his snowcone. I remind him of his flavour choices. J still wants orange. Is he sure? Yes.

I make J his orange snowcone. I make one for me too, so that we can have snack together. We sit down together with our snowcones. I begin to eat my snowcone. J does not eat his. He plays with it instead. And after a period of time:

J: I don't want it. Can I have a red one instead?

I will not make snowcones in a variety of flavours!! If you eat the orange one, I'll make you a red one later.

J does not eat his snowcone. Instead, he runs into the living room and wakes up N. N returns to screaming.


J asks for a hamburger for dinner. We make hamburgers. J eats his hamburger. (Score!) He won't eat the bun, but that is not unusual for J. We try, but we never really expect it.

J wants to go for a walk after dinner. We go for a walk with the boys. J wants to go and see the fountain and waterfall in the adjacent neighbourhood. So that is where we go. We return to the house.

J: Can we go to the playground?
H: It's too late to go to the playground.
J: Can we go to the playground?
H: No. It's too late.
J: Can we go to the playground?
H: Not tonight. When we go for our walk tomorrow night, we can go to the playground.
J: Can we go to the playground?
H: We can go tomorrow night!
J: No! Today!!
H: No! It's too late!!
J: I want a hotdog!!!


Some days, it takes a lot of effort to keep from uttering expletives in front of our impressionable toddler.


It was a rough night. N needed to be held upright and have his nose frequently suctioned. He is still sick and out of sorts. I got very little sleep. Fortunately, both H & J managed to sleep through it all. H has a sore throat this morning. I hope he manages to fight this off. J still appears okay. I have no symptoms yet. But I don't want to take a sick N out anywhere, for fear that he may get sicker. I have cancelled plans and appointments for today.

We will have a pleasant day in instead. I hope N feels better soon.

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