Tuesday, November 3, 2009

mad max.

i used to have a sweet baby named max. and then i had a happy toddler named max. he was so happy to be upright and able to chase ben. he would, for the most part, just follow us around and dig in whatever he could reach. a couple of weeks ago he really started communicating by pointing to what he wanted and grunting or chirping or squealing. and then the fits started. he will start by pointing and squealing, then he starts the shakey dance, which is him bouncing up and down and hyperventilating. if he still hasn't gotten what he wants, he will start to scream and cry, and either crumble onto the floor or continue with the shakey dance while crying.

and he's not just crying because i didn't snap his onesie. this particular "session" lasted for about fifteen minutes and i really couldn't figure out what he wanted. he would even briefly stop, walk into ben's room, then come back to his room and resume fit. when i would offer to hold him, he would reel backwards. i think i finally got him to stop by just picking him up, holding on tight while he threw himself backwards, and carrying him around for awhile. (so maybe it was about his shirt. maybe if he'd hold still for more than a nanosecond while i'm changing him, he wouldn't be so unkempt.)

you know, maybe the whole fit really was about me taking pics of him in such a disheveled state. "mom, i'm so embarrassed. my shirt's on inside out and untucked. what will everyone think?!"

oh wait...the fit began long before the camera came out.

right now i'm on the stress-induced diet of mothering known as the "i want whatever you have" diet. anything i try ("try" being the key word) to eat, max wants. even if it is exactly what he has on his tray. water is the same. he apparently doesn't like sippy cups anymore but he spills an unlidded cup as soon as i look away or get distracted. and they are not accidental spills. he doesn't want to eat in his chair-it seems he would ideally take all his meals to-go.

(alright, i have to admit, i started this post this morning, after max had just stole my muffin, and i was about to LOSE. IT. big time. but now the day has passed, we all survived, and i'm nearly too tired to continue my livid rant. and in writing it, it is almost amusing.)

but without ranting, i can honestly say that max has become very challenging. he gets really bored because he's thoroughly explored his upright world so it's not new and interesting anymore, but he's not coordinated enough/have enough attention span to do anything more complex. and it fills me with a certain sense of-dare i say-dread. because i remember this stage all to well with ben. and it lasted a very long time in which we were both very frustrated. i feel a little better equipped this go round, but still a bit frazzled. okay, a lot frazzled. any suggestions for entertaining the beastly babe?

oh goodness gracious. i sometimes fantasize about a mellow, docile child. but that child would have to be adopted.

i love my intense boys. really i do. last friday tim had to work late and both of my boys ended up on my lap, eating my dinner, before the "meal" was over. at first i was annoyed. but then i was thankful. yes, they are a handful, or in that case, lap/arm full. but i'm thankful that they are what my life is full of. screaming shakey dances and all.

(see mom, i've stopped picking on ben. now i've moved on to max.)


  1. It has to be the age! Ellie is a month or so older than Max, and he sounds extremely similar. :) Scarily similar - shakey dance and all! Does he know how to sign at all, even for simple words like drink, more, and please? It's so hard for that age to communicate because they KNOW what they want, their mouth just isn't developed enough to SAY it yet... so shakey dances are the result. Keep up the good work, though. You sound a lot more patient than me! :)

  2. the posts like this one make me a bit nervous to have babies, but i must admit, it's must less intimidating when i see that it's possible to be really stressed out and frustrated with kiddos and still find humor in it. case in point - the pictures are HALARIOUS! (probably not so much to you, but i think they're great!) and the fact that you circled around him in the midst of his fit-throwing to take them makes it even better!

  3. Oh Mary, you truly do inspire me. My "docile" children are trying their hand at being more challenging as of late, and I know I don't handle it as well as I should. Stubborn/cranky toddlers don't bode well with my temper (darn Irish/German heritage!) Free will under the age of 18 is overrated, at least that's my opinion right now :P

    Keep your chin up. You're bound to have some wonderfully well behaved young men that love their mom very much that appreciate everything she's done for them. At least that's my prayer for you :)

  4. you're rants are so amusing mary, as are the pictures to go with them. it is a hard age, discipline doesn't really matter its all redirection, distraction, and patience by the truck load.
    but max is a different toddler than ben. it will be different this time, and at least you have that second child prespective to help out :)
    send max our way sometime, we would find his fits cute for a while.

  5. Mary I agree with Michelle those pictures are really funny. One of my daycare littles had a fit throwing phase and it was really short lived, so maybe Max won't be too hard on you. I keep telling myself that Annika's phase right now of complete disregard for any directions I give her will pass soon too :)

  6. Motherhood can be EXTREMELY stressful at times! I love how you can find a way to laugh and find humor even in the very stressful times.
    Whenever my kids do this, and then I go and complain, I mean, pray, to God and ask Him to make it stop I realize I am probably just like the screaming, stomping child to Him! Ahh,, and He loves us anyway :)

  7. I'm glad no one was taking my picture the last time I had that same look! hee! I think your sense of humor is going to get you through this stage rather well, if nothing else does.

  8. max does sign a bit-but really he prefers to point and dance. jackie said it best "redirection, distraction, and patience by the truckload." glad the pictures amused. michelle-you'll do great. just keep your camera close by ; )