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Pee for Two

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pee for Two

As I was rocking Claire to sleep for her afternoon nap, I was thinking about what a great day today was.  I woke up to a thunderstorm (which was awesome) and was rocking the baby to sleep next to an open window with a cool breeze blowing in and not a cloud in the sky.  Jack and I baked pumpkin muffins (they only have two ingredients, but I am going to let it count as cooking), the kids stayed in their pajamas all morning and in diapers/underwear all afternoon, and Jack was relatively mild as far as almost-three-year olds go.  There wasn't much more I could ask for and I was thinking I would blog about how grateful I was for this typical day.

But then?  That whole thought I was having about Jack being pretty mild-mannered?  He stuck it to me.

It went down like this.

It was around 3:00 PM - the Witching Hour in our house.  This is when Jack *should* be sleeping, but instead he is just grumpy.  So, we put on a movie and turn out all the lights and sit him on the couch and hope/pray he will fall asleep (he never does).  I take this time to rock the baby and see if I can get her to sleep on me for an hour or so in relative peace.  Today was no exception.

As usual, she was tired but fighting sleep like crazy.  She was wiggling and squirming and scratching at my chest with with her sharp little fingernails (baby fingernails are so sharp they're ridiculous - kind of like kitten claws - in fact, a fussy baby fighting sleep is not unlike a Feral Kitten).   After about ten minutes of this, she was finally reduced to a warm soft ball of squishy baby goodness as she drifted off to sleep.  I listened to her little baby sighs and watched as her eyelids dropped lower...and lower...until finally her eyelashes rested against puffy cheeks  I felt myself let out a sigh (a happy one) and all tension drain from my body (seriously, getting a baby to sleep can be dreadful but once they're out, it's the best feeling EVER).

Not two seconds after she closed her eyes, Jack walked in.  I sighed again (not a peaceful and content sigh, because I knew where this was going).

I put my finger to my lips to tell him to be quiet.  I knew better.  Telling him to be quiet when the baby was sleeping DURING HIS GRUMPIEST PART OF THE DAY would not go over well.  But I had to try.

He stopped and looked at me.  He was standing by the white noise machine, which was turned on because it helps drain out, well, him.

He pulled the plug out.

I shook my head in disapproval and pointed at the door (thinking, "SHIT.  Now I have to get up with the baby who just fell asleep and go turn that back on or else she's going to wake up in five minutes anyway when Jack starts laughing as loud as he can at the movie."), hoping he would take the hint/order and leave.

He plugged the thing back in.  The baby stirs.  I am not happy because he's TWO and not supposed to be plugging things in (or unplugging them for that matter), but I'm also kind of happy the noise maker is back on.

I mouth "thank you" and point at the door again.

He stares at me.  I see the little wheels in his head turning.

He pulls the plug out again.  Silence (the anti-noise from the noise maker is louder than the actual noise, I swear).

This time, I have to respond.  First, I give him "the look."

"Jack," I say very seriously and quietly.  The baby wakes up, because she really didn't want to sleep to begin with and now she has an excuse to wake up.  "Jack.  The baby is sleeping.  You need to go watch your movie.  You are not supposed to mess with plugs or wake up the baby.  Step back right this second."

He plugs the damn thing in again.  The baby is craning her neck around to see what is going on (and I'm sure she's thinking "What is up with out noise maker??").

This time I give him "the look" but double the intensity and I can see he's getting it.  "Step back from the plug right. this. second.  I mean it."  He doesn't move, and I can see by the look in his eye this is not over.  "Step. Away. From. The. Plug."  I am *extra* clear (you know, in case he's not understanding or something...HA).

And guess what?  He does!  He steps away from the plug!  Then he looks at me again, reaches down, and PULLS IT OUT.


I jump up out of the rocking chair, wide awake baby in arms.  He makes a run for it and jumps on the couch and turns around to see what I'm going to do.

I plug the noise maker in and tell him to watch his movie "or else" he's going to take a nap (which I know is not going to happen because I do not have the ENERGY to make him sleep and there ain't no way he's going to sleep without someone sitting in bed with him staring at him until he drifts off and that's JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN).

I return to the rocking chair, a bit frazzled and back to dealing with the Feral Kitten.

Eventually, though, she does go back to sleep.

Not long after she's fallen asleep, I hear "Help!  Help Mama!  Mama help!" from the living room.  We are trying to teach Jack not to call for help unless there's a real emergency.  I know from experience and his tone that this is not, indeed, an emergency.  So I keep rocking Claire.

Five or ten minutes later, Jack walks in.  "I pee-peed in my underwear!" he says.  Loudly.  Sure enough.  His underwear are soaked.

I try to help him pull the wet ones down while keeping the baby asleep but she is waking up quickly.  "Go get some clean ones!" I say, hoping he'll actually follow directions and not only help me out by getting clean underwear, but also maybe (just maybe!) being quiet long enough for Claire to settle back down.

"No, Mama, I can't get clean underwear.  YOU get clean underwear for me."

"Why didn't you take them off and use the potty?"  I ask.

"I called you and I needed help taking them off."  Oh.

"I'm sorry, I did't know that you needed to pee.  Just go watch the movie until I come out," I tell him.

Well by now of course the baby is wide awake and there's no going back to sleep for her, so I go out to the living room and there is PEE EVERYWHERE.  A giant puddle on the wood floor, and footprints ALL OVER THE ROOM.

I put the baby down, grabbed a couple of towels, and got after it.  Who would've thought a little bladder could make such a mess!  I guess, in hindsight, I should be grateful it wasn't poop.  I dealt with plenty of that today, too.

The reason I share this story is because A) it's kind of funny, now that I think about it, and B) in a matter of thirty minutes or so, I went from thinking about how grateful I was for a normal day to thinking about how grateful I was for my own self-control.  Because seriously, I almost lost it.

But the kid is TWO.  So even though he pushes my buttons (a lot, and the grumpier he gets, the worse it gets), it's important to keep things in perspective.  A two-year-old should not be able to ruin my day.  In fact, a two-year-old should make my day *better*.

I am grateful for my two-year-old and the lessons he teaches me, even when it means the baby doesn't get to nap and I have to clean up a bunch of pee.

This is close to the look I got when I asked him to stop unplugging the noise maker.  

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