I just can't seem to get by boo-tay out of bed in the morning. Which means my writing time is like cut in half and but maybe I should just cut out the 10 minutes on Facebook and people.com that I think wakes me up but actually sets me in a mindless daze. Anyway....this weekend was pretty uneventful (except the amazing pedicure, still can't stop staring at normal feet) AND Michael won his third playoff game. They were down by quite a bit with only a few minutes left but they came back with a touchdown and field goal in the last 10 seconds to edge the other team out.
Then Sunday was spent doing Mass, a super crappy windy rainy tired couldn't breathe run, and then Nutcracker rehearsal for Avila. Levi doesn't quite understand the whole "I'm supposed to behave at church" thing. First he tries to make a break for it out of the pew any chance he gets. And if he does he runs (and toddlers are FAST, especially when you can't chase them in heels) up to the altar to hang out. Yeah, that's fun. If he doesn't exactly have his two trains and the red and blue pick up truck he will proclaim *loudly* until he gets them. Or if Max touches him or if he doesn't have a certain iSPY book or if the sky is blue he squeals about something. And since we sit in the front it becomes extra fun. I literally had to take him all the way outside in the POURING RAIN (of which he hates and says, "ow ow ow ow ow" with every drop) to reprimand him. But what Levi is now figuring out little by little, tantrum by tantrum, is that MOM ALWAYS WINS.
How do I handle these toddler outbursts? First thing I do is take him to a bland corner or wall. This could be anywhere. Then I pin his arms by his side and I say quite sternly "Don't you DARE talk to mama like that." I make him look at my face even if I have to contort him to do it. I talk to him like I'm mad (because I kind of am) and I try to say the same words each time so he gets used to it. I say, "Be" and make him respond, "Happy." It's the cutest thing to hear him say that through tears and wails. I don't let go of him until he is calm and I try to teach him ways to do that: breathing, talking to him gentle - and then once he's calm I make him apologize then I hug and kiss the crap out of him and we snuggle. On Sunday I had to repeat this process probably 6 or 7 times. Yesssss. But it's becoming less and less overall and now sometimes all I have to do is look at him with my evil eye and he'll snap out of it.
Toddlers really are like puppies - they get in tons of trouble but really deep down all they want to do is love and please you. And when they learn how to do that they start doing it more and the tantrum stuff less. When Levi comes to me instead of running away or when he does what I ask him to do I praise him and make him feel like a million bucks. Parenting is really about discipling hard and loving hard. A balance of the two.
Even though the toddler stage can be really really tough, I actually love love love it. (An extra love to balance out the extra really). Not only are toddlers like the best of both worlds: half baby half kid - but this is the time in their life where you are first directly teaching them how to act and behave. A lot of it starts at birth but at this stage they are getting molded and taught how to respond to things they don't like, how to calm themselves down, and how to be a member of society. And since I like being in control (insert evil laugh here: Muwahahaha) maybe that's why I like being the one who gets to teach a little person who they are supposed to be. Man, big responsibility but MAJOR reward.
So I guess this turned into a toddler post. If you don't have a toddler you could like pray I don't lose it or something but actually I remind myself it's not that bad because I get serious snuggles out of it. Like melt your heart feels like heaven snuggles. I will probably cry the day I don't have a toddler in the house anymore but I will also be happy because that means then we can go to Disneyland!!!
Aaaaand here is Levi's face when he knows he's in trouble...He thinks he's trying to charm me with his squishiness.