Songs of Defiance

It’s no news to anyone who has met my son that he is the definition of “strong willed.” I sometimes think his mission in life is to drive me crazy. I overhear him giving commands to Peanut, and I’m pretty sure it’s just so he can feel that he has exerted some form of authority over someone. First child syndrome much?

As parents to this assertive child, we are constantly trying to give him some options so he feels he’s in control of something but at the same time trying to make sure he realizes he has to listen to us. It’s not an easy task. The other day he told us that he is the boss. I calmly replied that he actually isn’t the boss, but mommy & daddy are the ones in charge. He got quiet for a second and then said, “Okay, you’re the big boss, but I’m the little boy boss.” Ummm, no. That’s not a thing, Lincoln.

Since he often gets in trouble for verbally defying us, he has recently turned to songwriting as a form of expression. I call these his “songs of defiance” or “odes of insubordination.” The other day I heard him singing in his bedroom, “I looove you, but I just can’t pick up my toyyyyys.” His song about not cleaning his room. This morning he was in the other room playing and singing, “Who’s the boss? I’m the boss. Lalalala.” I guess he assumes if he sings the things he wishes he could say in a happy tone he can’t get in that much trouble. Boy, do I have my hands full with this one. When I feel like I’m losing it, I usually start saying, “He’s intelligent. He’s strong. He’ll be a leader and not a follower when he grows up.” While his personality may be a benefit in the future, for now…..pray for me.

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My Hero

There are certain things that I’ve always tried to encourage Lincoln to enjoy. Trains, books, nature, animals. Then there are the things I’ve tried to avoid getting him involved with. One of the items on my avoid list is super heroes. Listen, it’s just not my thing. I’m not judging anyone who enjoys these things with their kids, it’s just never been appealing to me. I’ve always wanted him to play with more classic toys (trains, planes, etc) rather than the not-so-classic (bright colored plastic things with logos). Every parent has had to eat their pre-parenting words at some point.  Lincoln has decided to hand me a little batch of humble pie by becoming completely and totally obsessed with super heroes. So much for the “My kid will never wear that” and “My kid will never play with that” comments.

It all started when Mike got his transplant last year. The Carlisles gave him & Tim Batman masks while they were in the hospital as a consolation prize for missing the opening of the latest Batman movie. When we got that mask home, a certain 2-year-old became very interested in wearing it. Then the relatives (and my husband) got word that he kind of liked this stuff and the Batman, Iron Man, Spider Man, Hulk, & Captain America paraphernalia began pouring in my house. The super hero flood gates were opened. I cringe, but Lincoln eats it up. All that testosterone running through his veins just can’t get enough of strong men saving the world.

Lately he wants to wear the Batman mask everywhere we go. I mean everywhere. This week, we’ve worn it to the park, the grocery store, Aunt Lauren’s school, and more. I am not the kind of person that enjoys talking to strangers or being the center of attention, so I am not fond of the constant looks and comments we get when he wears it out. I kind of wanted to forbid him from wearing it in public for that reason, but I am trying to let him be a kid. So instead I just pray he forgets it when we get in the car. My son, being the total opposite of me, loves the attention it brings him. He just walks up to people and waits on them to react. Some boys at the park thought he looked awesome in it and one little girl told him he looked creepy and ran from him. Made no difference to Lincoln. It was all attention and he loved it. He’s even started referring to himself as Batman. “Mommy, Batman doesn’t want to take a nap.” “Batman wants to walk, not ride in the grocery cart.” I’ve got to admit that it’s pretty hilarious to hear him role play and talk to “bad guys”. I hear things like, “You’ll never catch me!” and “You stop that, bad guys!” He has quite the commanding voice for a 3-year-old when he’s Batman.

Since the super hero thing seems to be a phase we’ll be in for a while, I’m trying to make the most of it. We’ve started talking about what it means to be a hero, and I’ve explained to him that anyone can be a hero if he or she does things to help others. We’ve talked about Bible heroes, policemen, firemen, daddy. I tell him that he can be a real hero by standing up for people in need around him. While I hope he one day outgrows wearing a cape, I hope he never outgrows wanting to make a difference. The world can always use one more hero.

He was about 2.5 when I looked in my rear view mirror on this day and discovered he had smuggled the Batman mask into the car for the first time and put it on when I wasn’t looking.

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I always have to be Spider Man. Not sure why, but that’s the role I’m assigned. Once my mask is on, I have to chase him all over the house or yard.

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Some days I walk in my bathroom and see this waiting on me.

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Even super heroes have chores.

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Definitely a little terrifying to wake up to this guy.

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Peanut. The unwilling participant in this nonsense.

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The Scavenger

Children are born with certain traits that I’m sure were only given to them by God to test the patience of mothers and try to build our character. There are just some things that ALL kids seem to do. They don’t like to share their toys, they magically congregate in the bathroom when their mothers try to pee or shower, the minute they see or hear their mom on the phone is the minute they decide to play with the loudest toy they own. They all do this crap to us. Right now I’m dealing with another one of those mom problems that I’m pretty sure is universal; children always want to eat whatever they see their mothers eating.

Allow me to explain. One day this week I knew that Mike had already fed Lincoln breakfast since that’s typically something he does in the morning before walking out the door. As soon as Mike was gone, Lincoln proceeded to start the food drama. I’m huunngrryy. I need food. My belly is rumbling. My belly is rumbling? Seriously, who teaches this kid that garbage? I digress. Even though I knew he had already eaten, I gave him a banana and a random assortment of other things he was asking for. Now it was my turn to eat breakfast. One banana left on the counter. Perfect. There’s my breakfast. Oh no. My child wailed, cried and pleaded with me to give him that last banana in the house. Like he hadn’t eaten in days. I may or may not have whined profusely as I handed him half of my banana. The other half? I shoved it in my mouth as fast as I could so that he couldn’t ask for that too. Yeah, that’s a thing Caimbrin & I do when one or both of the kids starts asking for our food. We just shove it in our faces and with our cheeks puffy like chipmunks, we claim some level of victory over the scavengers with bottomless pits for stomachs. (Unfortunately, our kids are comfortable enough with their aunts to beg, so I have to fend off Lincoln and Cora many times and the same goes for Caimbrin. Two tiny beggars.)

I can’t tell you how many times Lincoln has stuck his fingers directly in my food on my plate. Why? Why? I know exactly where those grimy toddler hands have been, and the last place I want to see them is in my plate of food. It drives me insane. I just want him to eat his food and me to eat my food. I just want to eat a meal that I don’t have to give half of away. It’s amazing the act he’s able to put on trying to convince me that he’s starving and totally needs my food in addition to whatever he’s already eaten. This morning I hit a new low. I saw that Lincoln was outside with Mike, so I rushed to the kitchen and put a waffle in the toaster. Yessss. I can eat my breakfast in peace. He’s outside. The waffle popped up and I quickly started to eat. Well, wouldn’t you know that at that exact moment, I see a small figure heading towards the sliding door to open it and come in. I panicked and out of desperation, I ran to my bathroom and hid in a dark corner so I could inhale that waffle without having to share. (Yes, I ate in a dark bathroom. I told you it was a new low) Mommy, mommy, where are you? I emerged from the darkness and nonchalantly said, “I’m right here. What do you need?”

“I need a waffle too.”

Areyoufreakingkiddingme. What kind of sixth sense does this child have that he was outdoors -OUTSIDE- when I made the waffle, but was somehow drawn inside at the exact moment that I began to eat, and without seeing me at all, apparently sniffed out what I had been scarfing down in the darkness? It’s just not right.

One day I’ll get to eat my own food again, right? How long will this continue? He’s a boy, so I’m guessing well into the teenage years. Teenage boys are usually garbage disposals. So perhaps in 15 years I’ll eat in peace without a beggar trying to steal my food? At this point, I need a date night with my husband if only to eat a plate of food that hasn’t been touched by a three-year-old. Until then, I guess the silver lining is that I’m only consuming about half of the calories I am trying to consume. Maybe that was his plan all along. Help his mom get back to her pre-baby weight. I’ll just call it my new diet plan.

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Lincoln with the uncle that I’m pretty sure is to blame for this problem of mine. I seem to remember him eating his own portion of dinner and then whatever else he could talk the rest of us out of.

Rock On

I can remember being pregnant and asking Mike what we would do if our child couldn’t carry a tune or wasn’t into music for some reason. For us, music is a part of every day life. We grew up playing instruments & singing in church, so it’s a regular occurrence for Mike to have his guitar out playing or for me to be messing around on my keyboard. And singing? Well there’s a lot of that around here. There are also frequent discussions on the merit of certain famous musicians, who’s the best drummer, who’s the best singer, who’s overrated, etc. Mike & I have completely different taste in music, so the discussions can get interesting.

We’ve always said we wouldn’t force our kids to take lessons if they didn’t enjoy them, but hopefully our love would rub off on them naturally. So far, this seems to be the case for Lincoln. He’s really into singing. In fact, last week he told my mom that he wrote a song (Where in the world did he learn the concept of writing songs???) and then he proceeded to sing it for her. He can hear a song in the car once or twice and remember the tune and parts of the lyrics. This can be adorable or scary. I try to introduce him to my idea of good music (Mumford, Dave, Bon Iver), but much to our dismay, he seems to be into pop music currently. He will bust out some Call Me Maybe when the mood strikes.

Yesterday he saw Mike playing his guitar and went to get his own “guitar”. (It’s actually a cheap ukelele we picked up for him last Christmas) When Mike put his guitar into his gig bag, Lincoln went and found his bag and asked for help putting it inside. As Mike walked to the car to load his guitar for church, guess who followed with ukelele in hand? When the musicians were setting up at church, he proudly grabbed his guitar and pulled it from the bag. As soon as his Uncle Mike started playing drums, this is what happened. I’ve never seen him dance like that before. He had us rolling. Thank God for iPhone video cameras. The boy knows how to rock a ukelele. My favorite part is the big smile on his face at the end. He was thoroughly enjoying himself.

 

 

Chatty

(Happy New Year. 14 days late. My 2013 blogging is off to a stellar start. I do what I can.)

Sometimes I just want to go back in time & slap my old self. I hope I’m not the only one. If Doc Brown could take me in his fancy car back to May 2011 when I had a one year old uttering only a few words & phrases & I often wondered if he would ever learn to talk, well let’s just say 2013 Heidi would smack 2011 Heidi across the face and say, “GET A GRIP, WOMAN.” Let me tell you, this kid can talk. I should not have wasted a moment worrying about his verbal skills, because at this stage of his life, he exercises them constantly.

Oh sure, it’s cute. And really, how exciting is it when your baby first looks at you and speaks intelligible words? It’s great. And their tiny, toddler voices? The definition of adorable. The problem is that once they learn, they never ever stop talking. People told me boys are rowdy and girls are chatty. People lied. They didn’t tell me that you can have a rowdy and chatty child. Official warning to all new boy moms: Sometimes they talk as much or more than girls. This is a sample of any given 10 minutes of my day:

Mom, is that your hair?

Hey mom, watch this.

Are these your sleeves? I like your sleeves.

Daddy’s at work.

I look like Tyler.

I’m big, you’re small, mommy.

Hey mom.

Watch this.

Where’s daddy?

I want play dough.

I need a drink.

I want a banana.

Hey, I’m chasing Peanut.

Momma, you are cray cray.

It never freaking stops. All day. Every day. I sometimes find myself near tears while answering the 1,456th question of the day. I’ve contemplated writing a letter to President Obama to offer Lincoln’s services during interrogations with terrorists. Who needs water-boarding to get info out of those guys when you could just lock them in a room with my son & his incessant talking and question-asking for 24 hours? They would be begging for mercy. We’ll tell you whatever you want to know,  just make that kid stop talking.

There are some days when I have to implement mommy timeouts after Mike gets home. I have actually uttered these words: “Mommy is taking a break from talking. Please direct all questions to daddy until further notice.”

Thankfully in the midst of the 300 questions and completely random statements, there are also these phrases:

I love you, mommy.

Mommy, you’re pretty.

Hey, give me kisses.

Mommy, you’re a princess.

(My friends will know that this is the only time I allow the word “princess” to be spoken near me)

I love my little chatty talking machine. Oh, how I love him. I still think we could win the War on Terror with his help though. To all the mommas waiting on those little ones to learn to talk, enjoy the silence and the babbling that doesn’t require you to provide answers. It will soon be replaced with, “Is that your foot, momma?” and other nonsense.

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Psycho

As I’m trying to put away clean clothes this morning, Lincoln decides to dig through the basket and put tank tops and underwear around his neck.

 Lincoln: “Mommy! I’m a flower!”

Me: “Cool.”

Lincoln: “I’m a psycho.”

Well, there you have it. You never know what you’re going to get while having a conversation with a 2-year-old.

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Once the basket was empty, he wanted me to push him & Peanut around the house in their make-believe car. One of the parties involved wasn’t so thrilled with this game. I’ll let you figure out which one.20121008-095918.jpg

Lincoln saying, “Smile, Peanut!”

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Peanut saying, “Get adopted, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.”

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Lincoln Says

I might be biased, but I think my kid is pretty funny. He got more than his fair share of personality, and now that he has lots of words to express his thoughts, he keeps me laughing & also shaking my head. Here are a few of his funnies from the past few months. I’m trying to make a note to write them down and/or blog them so I can embarrass him show him in the future.

1. He calls dinosaurs, “dineys”. While singing Twinkle, Twinkle:

Up above da world so high, like a diney in the sky!”

I’m not sure if he just can’t pronounce the word “diamond” or if he actually thinks the song is about a star that looks like a dinosaur.

2. One morning I hear this coming through the baby monitor:

“Moooommmmmy. Mooooommmmy. Get me out!!! Get me out, Mommy!”

Obviously, he was ready to get out of his crib.

3. (His L’s sound like W’s, and also, he refers to himself by one of his nicknames, Linky. I don’t know if Lincoln is too tough to say or maybe he has chosen his favorite nickname already.) I walk into his room to get him out of bed:

“Hiiiiii!!! I’m Winky!”

Yes, I believe we have met before. No need for the formal introductions.

4. While watching a video of himself on Mike’s iPhone:

“It’s Winky! Awwww, it’s cute!”

Not lacking in self confidence.

5. After hugging & kissing his cousin:

“Awwwww, I’m sweet!”

That one if one of my personal favorites. I need to capture it on video for the full effect.

6. He knows all of his colors, but one day, a friend pointed to something that was brown & asked him what color it was:

“Cake!”

That’s my boy.

7. He climbed up on something he’s not supposed to be on, so I asked him, “Lincoln, are you supposed to be up there?”:

“Uhhhh, I think so?”

No, no you’re not.

8. And finally, he was sitting on his buddy Dana’s lap when she realized he had soaked through a diaper & was now getting her pants wet. As he noticed her getting grossed out:

“I didn’t mean to.”

Said very matter-of-factly and with a little disgust directed at her, like he didn’t know why she was blaming him.

And a few Instagrams from my phone last month.

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Unbelievable

What a crazy past few weeks we’ve had. I got to experience the joy of Lincoln’s first stomach bug….. and then he was kind enough to share it with me. (Yay) Then last week we took a few days and went to the beach (more on that later). As soon as we got back we had Lincoln’s 2nd birthday party. This Thursday is his official birthday, but we did the party the weekend before because of Memorial Day.

I’ll have photos to share from his party soon. I actually hired a photographer to cover the party this year, so I’m getting to know what it’s like to be a client waiting not-so-patiently to see my photos :)

Until then, here’s a little video of the birthday boy. As you can see, I think he liked all the singing birthday cards as much as the toys  he got!

Shhhhh!

If there’s one thing I really value in life, it’s sleep. Okay, and my family. But I really love sleep. I guess Lincoln has learned that about his momma already.

Conversation from this morning when Mike went into Lincoln’s room to get him out of bed:

Mike: Hi, Baby! Good morning! *starts to sing a song about Elmo*

Lincoln: Dada, shhhhh! Momma seeping!

That’s my baby boy. Looking out for his mom already. It is Saturday morning after all.

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