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Friday, July 29, 2011

A brilliant idea.

Since Anna is on the cusp of three-dom, I figure it’s a great time to start implementing new and fun activities into our schedule.  Our options for outside activities are pretty limited since we live in the sweaty butt-crack of the sun, so any activity we choose must have the following:

1) Central A/C
2) Food
3) Loud sounds to distract others from my independent and sassy three-year-old.

This past weekend Joe finally had some time off of work, so we excitedly discussed the possibility of going to the beach for the weekend.  Granted, the beach is missing #1, but the gulf breezes and sand castles would more than make up for it. 

Since we’re brilliant, we told Anna the night before about the next day’s activities.  “Anna, guess what?! Tomorrow we’re going to get to go swimming and play outside in the sand!”

Of course she was excited.

I wake up to this.


I had to break the news to her because of course her memory is like a vault and she forgets nothing.  Before she could throw one of her Titanic-sized tantrums, I compromised and told her that we’d take her bye bye to watch Cars II on the big TV. 

Of course if she hears the words, cars, TV and bye bye she gets excited.  So, she soon forgot about our failed beach excursion and started picking out her outfit to wear to Cars.

The day wore on and on, and every other minute I got to hear, “Mommy, we go bye bye and see Cars on big TV?”  Of course the showing we could attend wasn’t until 2:40, so I had to answer this question at least 206 times.

We all got ready and left fairly early just to get her to stop asking us when we were going to go bye bye.  This meant that we got to the theater early.  I figured she’d be easily amused by the sights and sounds and would have no issues waiting from 2:00 p.m. ‘til 2:40 when the movie would start.

Yeah.  No.

She wanted to play in the arcade.  She wanted to use the bathroom, and now that she’s Miss Independent, I can no longer be in the bathroom stall with her.  She shouts, “NO, MOMMY, GO AWAY!” and all of the people in the bathroom stare at me like I’m Chester the Molester. 

We finally decide to go to where the movie entrance is, and we hear that the earlier showing is ending.  People start leaving, and Anna is ready to go in.  This was around 2:30.

We grab our popcorn and belongings and head into the theater.  We decide to get a seat at the top because that’s what smart parents do.  The big TV lights up, and I think we’re finally getting somewhere.

Then the previews begin.  And keep going.  And going.  And going.

All the while Anna is flipping out of her seat, leaning on the seat in front of her, shouting that the TV is “too loud,”  running up and down the theater stairs because she loves stairs, saying she wants to go because it hurts her ears, yelling that she’ll be right back and heads down the stairs again. 

I glance over at Joe, and he has his – I told you so and you didn’t listen – face. 

I sink into my chair and then grab my popcorn, my Diet Coke, my purse and Anna’s bag and walk down the stairs with my tail tucked in between my legs.

I look down the rows at all of the good girls and boys and wonder where we went wrong, what was the one second of something we did that made Anna a movie terror.  Did I eat too many sour cream and cheddar potato chips while pregnant?  Stand too close to the microwave?  Or am I just na├»ve to think that a vocal three year old would sit perfectly still in a movie theater for 2 straight hours?

So, if we ever attempt to take her to another movie before she’s thirty, I will do the following:

1) Get to the movie theater exactly 30 minutes AFTER the movie starts and just have Joe sit in there saving our seats until we get there.
2) Muzzle my child.
3) Leash my child.
4) Take a Xanax.

At least Joe got to gloat and do the “I told ya so” speech as we were walking to the car with a screaming toddler.  ‘Cause you know as soon as we left the theater she wanted to go back.

$15.00 on a movie ticket.  $8.50 on a drink and popcorn.  Taking your three year old to a movie way before she’s ready.  Priceless.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The burning bed.

A few weeks ago Anna made the big transition from crib to full-size bed.  I had planned on keeping her in her crib until she was at least 16, but once she became Spider Man and decided that cribs were for chumps, I made the unfortunate decision to switch her to a grown up bed.

I ultimately decided to forgo the traditional toddler bed with rails and give Anna the guest bed which had been turned into a glorified bow holder in my Piggy’s Place craft room.  I did this because 1) I’m a cheap bastard and didn’t want to spend money on a bed with rails (which I now regret) and 2) I figured Anna would easily transition into this new phase of life much as she’s easily transitioned into every other phase of life. 

Potty training…a BREEZE.
Crib to full bed transition…a sick, satanic joke.

To make Anna more excited about being in her big girl bed, I forced myself to go to my least favorite store on the planet – Target.  (That’s a bit of sarcasm for those of you who are unaware of my Target addiction.)

I wanted something cute, something that matched the pink and brown curtains we already had in her room and something cheap.  So, I went with this set:

The brown wasn’t a perfect match, but for $60 for an entire set of bedding, why split hairs?  (This is how cheap people think.)

I took apart Anna’s old crib and moved the guest bed into Anna’s room for final placement.  I washed all of the bedding and set everything up for her.  She was pretty darn excited.

I decided to place it against the wall until I was confident she’d be able to stay in bed without falling out.  I’ve since moved it to another location of her room to allow for more play area.

The first night went great.  Anna was super stoked to have her own big girl bed.  I was super stoked to know that if she did happen to fall, it would be much less of a descent than had she fallen from her crib.  It was a win-win.

How cute is she?

(Sorry about the crappy cell phone pictures.)

Are you sensing a great turn to this story?

Good, you should be.

I switched her to the big girl bed on July 6, 2011.  She slept in it for one solid night.  Every night since then, we’ve been re-enacting the Exorcist – 360 degree head spins and all.

Here’s how a typical night in our house goes.  I’ve made some drawings to better illustrate my personal hell.

Me: Anna, it’s 8:30, time for bed.
Anna: No, mommy, watch Spider Man!
Me: No, bed time.
Anna: OK, mommy, you lay down me?
Me: OK, but just for a few minutes, and then you have to go to sleep.
Anna: OK, mommy.

I wake up at 3 a.m. and go to my own comfortable bed with sheets that aren’t made out of sandpaper.  Within about 30 minutes, my child is screaming from the hallway for me to come back to her bed.  Or she will try to worm her way into our bed which means that Joe and I are hanging on for dear life (as illustrated in this fine graphical representation – I drew this beautiful picture before Anna had hair):

Rinse, lather, repeat.  Every.single.night.

Now I know why Target is able to sell entire bed sets for $60.  They use recycled burlap potato sacks to cut down on costs.  This explains why I wake up in a puddle of my own sweat with skin abrasions and lesions from sheet friction.  Of course Anna doesn’t care – it’s just toughening her up.

Here’s what I’ve resorted to to avoid this nightly ritual.:

”Anna, if you go to sleep without mommy, I will buy you a pony.”

”Anna, if you go to sleep without mommy, I will buy you a shiny, new Corvette.”

”Anna, if you go to sleep without mommy, I will  take you to the North Pole to see Santa.”

None of it works.

I read to her, some nights she falls asleep in the middle, others she chooses to interrupt me to talk about She-RA.

I bribe her with candy and toys and diamonds and pearls – none of it works.

Friends, nighttime is my time.  I need this for my sanity.  I need this to be a good mommy and wife.  If I can’t watch Celebrity Rehab soon, I am going to need to be hauled away in my own burlap sack. 

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