All of Us

All of Us

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Excitement and Cancellations while Negotiating with a 1 Year Old

You would think I'd never had a toddler before, based on today's episodes. K, who is 16 months old, had previously shown an aversion to wearing a perfectly adorable pair of overalls. He will wear other overalls, but not these. Currently, however, my washing machine is broken, so the clothing choices are limited. He began to scream when I tried to put them on him, but I persisted, forcibly dressing him. He progressed to crying and yanking on the cuffs. These overalls are tan with plaid cuffs, and the cuffs are the issue. When I finished dressing him, he threw himself on the floor, sobbing. Of course this occurred as we were attempting to hurry out the door to preschool, and were already late. I left him in the bedroom, and after a few minutes he picked himself up and followed me into the kitchen. Once we were out the door he perked up, but unfortunately, from his vantage point in his carseat he had a good view of his ankles, and this set him off again.

I am baffled by this! At what age do children become aware of their clothing, let alone have a preference? I have never had a child pay any attention until they got close to the age of 2.

After leaving the preschool, we headed to the furniture store, where I had been yesterday, scoping out bedroom furniture. They were having a "no money down, no interest, and no payments for 2 years" sale that ends today, so D. had agreed to meet me there and see what I'd selected. (We love using their money for free, and always pay it off before the deadline). K was still crying, so I plyed him with Teddy Grahams, which shut him right up. D liked my furniture selection, and somehow, although I had intended to purchase a bedframe, mattresses, 2 nightstands and possibly an armoire, we ended up with those items AND the matching dresser and chest. Unnerving to spend a lot more than I planned, but exciting to have bought an entire room full of matching furniture for the first time ever! It will be delivered Saturday.

I rushed back toward home to pick up J from school because she had an orthodontist appointment. When we got into the BRAND NEW van outside the school and pulled away, the way the van drove felt different--no pickup, and when I looked at the instrument panel, the engine light was on! I consulted the manual which said that this could be caused by totally running out of fuel and driving the vehicle empty (I didn't think that was possible) or a myriad of other problems that must be solved by the professionals at the service department of the dealership. I was low on fuel yesterday, but not totally empty, and the problem occurred today, many miles after I put fuel in. I called the service department of the dealership, because I wanted to know if I could continue to drive it without causing further damage. I was told it was safe to drive unless the engine light is flashing, which it is not, and that the problem might be that the fuel cap wasn't screwed on tightly. I checked this and rescrewed it but the engine light remained on.

A call to the orthodontist was next, to determine if they could still see J, even though we would now be rather late. Of course not! We need to reschedule (they make appointments at least a month in advance). J was now missing lunch at school, so we picked up sub sandwiches and a slice of pizza for K and went to the park to eat. I put some pop in K's sippy cup because it was all I had, and didn't even have water to dilute it with. He refused to eat pizza, which he normally loves.

The exciting part about lunch with J was that I got to find out how she did in the spelling bee-2nd place in the entire 5th grade! She gets to attend both the school spelling bee, which will be 5th and 6th grade, and the regional bee. I was so happy for her.

After lunch, I took J back to school, and had a little time to kill before preschool ended, so bought a few Christmas gifts, which made me feel productive. We retrieved T from preschool, and on our way home, I put the gas pedal to the floor, and the van would not go over 55mph.

K had a yogurt and took a nap. When I went to pick up J from soccer practice, I realized we'd made another mistake: today was a piano party at her piano teacher's and I'd planned to pick her up early from soccer so she could attend it, but I had forgotten, as had J. It would have been more than half over by the time I could get her there, so she decided to just skip it entirely. On the way home from picking her up, the van drove normally, accelerating easily over 55mph, although the engine light was still on.

We had an extremely minimalist dinner, hamburgers on bread instead of buns, no side dishes. Dessert was caramel apples. K, who had had a few Cheezits and part of a donut as a snack, would not eat the hamburger, which I anticipated since he doesn't each much meat. He then ate a few bites of leftover pasta. When it came time for the caramel apples, he wanted one. He doesn't really have the teeth for either apples or caramel, so I planned to sit him on my lap and let him lick mine. Oh no, that was not at all acceptable: he wanted to sit in his highchair and expected his own apple. I cut off a small piece of mine, but that was no good either. Then I realized, he wanted it on a stick! I stuck an extra stick in his piece and he was happy, and was able to do a better job of chewing up the apple than I predicted.

Today my 1 year old ate the following:

1 bowl of maple and brown sugar oatmeal
1 cup of whole milk
1 small package teddy grahams
1/2 cup Sierra Mist pop
1 whole milk vanilla yogurt
1/2 cinnamon sugar covered pumkin donut
few Cheezits
Few bites pasta
1/2 Caramel apple

Doesn't look too healthy, does it? Not to mention high in sugar.

K also mildly objected to his blanket sleeper, but got over it quickly. The amazing thing about all of today's negotiations and arguments with him is that he cannot talk! This was all done nonverbally. He does point and gesture, and do things like get a plate or bowl out of the cupboard and present it to me, or climb into his own highchair, and of course scream, cry and run away. It's amazing how well he communicates with no words. His verbal understanding is excellent--I can tell him it's time for bed, or ask him if he's hungry or thirsty, or tell him to go get something and he totally understands. The few words he says so far don't help: hi, bye, various names of family members.

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SE Michigan, United States
Mother to 10 fabulous kids, ages 4 to 21 years! Married for 26 years to my best friend.


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