Three Line Tales: Kingdom

tltweek69

I sit cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by a court of teddy bears, dinosaurs, and toy cars.
I am the queen of this kingdom, the finder of lost toys, the mender of boo-boos.
And beside me, atop his throne of Legos and coloring books, sits my perfect, tiny prince.
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My weekly response for Sonya’s Three Line Tales (Week 69) writing challenge. Photo by Carson Arias via Unsplash.

#3LineTales

Take A Walk With Jan #14

Hello, friends! I am one frustrated mama right now! I try not to judge others too much on how they raise their kids (let’s be real, we all judge people at least a little bit when it comes to certain things), but this woman at the park today got UNDER MY SKIN, y’all. Specifically, how she chose NOT to parent her child. I just gave my own toddler a bath, put him to sleep, and grabbed another cup of coffee, so, let me just start from the beginning.

After weeks and weeks of rain, where we’ve barely been able to go outside, let alone play at the park, we were finally able to take a loooong walk and get some good playtime in today. It was 83 degrees, partly sunny, and breezy. Absolutely beautiful. We stocked up on water, slathered on some sunscreen, and headed out.

I was sweating profusely by the time we got to the park, which is less than a quarter mile from our apartment, and had already gone through nearly half my water. Despite putting on my SPF 15 moisturizer, and a little bit of Liam’s SPF 50 sunscreen before we left the house, I could feel the skin on my face and shoulders getting a bit tight.

That got worse later, but onto what REALLY got me burned up.

When we got to the playground, there was only one family there. Well, I assumed they were a family. A young woman, a guy, a little boy a bit younger than Liam, and a baby girl, maybe 10 months old. The two adults were sitting on a bench nearby with the baby, while the little boy ran around the park like a tiny hurricane, as little boys do. As soon as I parked our stroller, the very red, very sweaty, little boy ran up to us, and went straight for Liam’s fruit snacks, which were sitting in his tray. I gently blocked the boy’s hand, and told him that they were not his. I looked up at his mother, but she hadn’t noticed, so I just brushed it off, and the little boy wandered away.

Liam ran around the playground, climbing the stairs, scaling the rock wall, and sliding endlessly down the three slides, all the while, the little boy trailed behind us, following us from place to place. The mom didn’t acknowledge it, and I didn’t care too much, as he wasn’t really bothering us. That is, until I noticed his little face. Aside from being completely sunburned and sweaty, this kid was also covered in snot. Snot all over his nose, his cheeks, and in his mouth. He also had goopy, yellow/green crust all around his eyes. I couldn’t tell if it was nasty allergies, or nasty conjunctivitis, but I didn’t really want him touching us either way.

Is that mean? I don’t care. It was gross.

We walked over to the swing, the little boy trailing behind us, and I began to push my tot. The little boy plopped himself down onto the playground pebbles, right at my feet, and began burying my feet in tiny stones. I moved to the side, but he kept doing it, and I kept kicking the rocks off. He then began alternating between piling rocks on my shoes, throwing rocks at my legs, and stomping on my foot. Twice, I asked him nicely to stop, both times loud enough for the mother to hear, and she didn’t even look up. The third time, I was more stern, and she definitely heard me, but she didn’t even acknowledge the situation.

Not once.

Now, I’m not one to raise my voice at another person’s child, especially a toddler, but the whole situation was frustrating. I can handle a small child pestering me, but several stray rocks had hit Liam, and you just don’t mess with my baby, man. He also kept running in around the swing, almost getting knocked over a handful of times, and I feared for his safety, so we left the swing, and moved over to the roundabout. The little boy followed, of course, but instead of climbing on with Liam, he began chucking more little rocks onto the roundabout. Once again, loud enough for his mother to hear, I told him that throwing rocks was not nice, and that he needed to stop.

Once again, he didn’t, and she ignored me.

Quite frustrated, I picked up Liam, and carried him back to the stroller so that we could both drink some water.

The boy followed.

Liam lifted his cup to his mouth, and the little boy immediately reached for it. I gently blocked his hand, and sternly said, “No.

I looked up at the mother, who was deep in conversation with the man she was with, and still not watching her son, who had now pushed past my hand, and had fully grabbed onto Liam’s cup. Once more, a little louder, I said, “No!
The mother had now looked up, and sat there, watching. She said nothing to her little boy. So, I yanked the cup back from him, and picked up Liam so that he could drink in peace without the little boy pawing at him.

Looking back at the situation, the poor kid was probably thirsty, but it is not my job to make sure he is hydrated. I could see that he had a sippy cup of his own by his mother, but she hadn’t offered it to him once since we got there.

Speaking of the mother, she had finally taken notice of her son’s behavior, and shouted shrilly for him to get away from our stroller. He didn’t listen, and that was that. Nothing else. She just shouted, and gave up, going back to her conversation with this man, who I had now discovered was her ex-boyfriend’s brother, whom she apparently wanted to have a 3rd child with.

Yeah, they were talking loudly enough for me to hear all about their dirty laundry. It was, well, dirty.

I carried Liam away from the boy, and back to the slides. He took a few turns on the slides, then went to dig in the dirt.

Guess who followed.

Yup.

I stood nearby and watched as they played in the dirt and wood chips, when suddenly, the little boy ran up to me, and slapped me on the thigh. I scolded him loudly, a mere three feet from his mother, and all she did was glance up at us. I was now pissed off. I told Liam that we had to go soon, and asked if he wanted to go on the slide one more time. He went up to the top, and the little boy ran off. I watched Liam slide down the slide, and as I walked over to him, I saw the little boy charging toward me out of the corner of my eye.

Then, out of nowhere, he hit me with a fucking stick. Right across my knee. He may have only been a year and a half, but it hurt, man! Not okay!

Once again I scolded him. Loudly. And nothing. NOTHING from his mother.

I was done. Fed up. I was hot and sweaty, this toddler was being a total brat, and his mother was doing NOTHING to police his behavior. I picked up Liam and put him in the stroller, and the boy tried to steal his cup again. I yanked it out of his hands, and heard his mother shout, “HEY!” I don’t know who she was yelling at, me or her son, but I shot her the dirtiest look I could muster.

And she glared right back.

I was done being nice. I was done parenting her tiny, demon spawn for her so she could try to hook up with her ex’s brother, or whatever the hell was happening with these people. So, as I unlocked the tires and began to leave, I said loudly, “Sorry, buddy, we have to go now. Some people can’t control their kids.

Yeah. I said it. And I don’t regret it at all. I wish I had said more!

She kept staring me down as we walked away, and my two year old, in all his beautiful innocence, waved and said, “Bye bye!” to the little boy. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, yes, the little boy did follow us, and made it all the way to the road before his mom yelled for him to come back.

And then we were gone.

I called Kyle on the phone to rant about everything I just typed out, and before I knew it, I was at Dollar General looking for snacks and coloring books. It was uneventful, until it was time to checkout.

Try to wrap your head around this, if you will. Just try.

My total came to $8.35. I handed the cashier $3.75 in cash from Liam’s piggy bank to pay for his coloring books, and told her the rest would go on my card. She stared at the money in her hand, and asked me how much it was. I told her it was $3.75, and I saw the wheels start to turn. You see, Dollar General registers are the worst. There is no way to separate payment types, you just enter the amount left to pay. It’s really not that hard, but it tripped me up a few times back when I worked there, even with a calculator.

I swiped my card when she told me to, waited for it to say it was approved, and then… the cashier handed me a quarter back.

Wait… What?

The following conversation ensued.

Me: Um, wait, why are you giving me change back?
Cashier: Well, it was 8.35, you gave me 3.75.
Me: … Yes?
Cashier: So here’s the change.
Me: But… I shouldn’t be getting change back. I gave you cash to pay for some of it, and put the rest on my card… why are you giving me change?
Cashier: … Oh, well, yeah, I accidentally charged your card 5.00.
Me: Oh. Okay, so you owe me 40 cents then.
Cashier: Wait, what? *looks at receipt* No, see, it was 8.35, you gave me 3.75, and I gave you a quarter back.
Me: … Yes. And now you owe me 15 more cents.
Cashier: *keeps staring at the receipt* I don’t think so.
Me: No, you definitely owe me 15 more cents…
Cashier: Um, okay, if you say so.
Me: ……………………….

The elderly woman standing behind me could not stop laughing.

I was not amused.

Then, Liam and I shared a strawberry crumble ice cream bar, and headed home. I also passed by a group of teenagers who were having an intense debate over whether or not Yoshi pooped out eggs, or spit them out, in the old Mario games. That made me laugh. However, by the time we got home, I was DRENCHED in sweat, pink all over, irritated with everyone on the planet, and beyond thirsty.

I guess that’s it. I’m done. I’m over it now, and I hope that I never see that woman or her bratty kid ever again, but seeing as how I live in a small town, where I see a lot of the same faces, I probably will.

At least Liam had a good time out in the sunshine.

But, I just have to ask: HOW HARD IS IT TO WATCH YOUR KIDS AND TELL THEM NOT TO HIT STRANGERS AND THROW ROCKS AND STEAL OTHER KIDS’ FOOD? SERIOUSLY!

Thanks for reading, friends. Sorry about the length!

Jan

Little Milestones | 2 Years Old

Hello, friends! My little man’s second birthday was on January 23rd, but I have been planning another milestone post for months. It’s been a long time since I did one of these, and I wasn’t sure what all to include, since toddler milestones are SO much different than infant milestones. I no longer am tracking when he rolls over, babbles his first word, or uses a spoon for the first time… he’s mastered all of that, and so much more. I tried to look up the same type of charts that I used when he was a baby, but I guess once your kiddo reaches a certain point, the charts just don’t exist.

So, I guess I’ll wing it, and just do what I did last time!

16107237_10208157496074623_2212953149510855899_oThe Basics:
Liam turned two years old on January 23, 2016. As of now, his exact height is unknown, but he’s weighing in at around 30 pounds. He has his two year checkup on February 3rd, so I’ll be able to fill that in afterwards. He wears a size 3T top, a 2T-3T bottom (depending on the brand and how they run), a size 9 shoe, and a size 5 diaper. He’s still my gentle giant! He has all of his teeth now except for his back molars, which we believe are coming soon, based on the rivers of drool, finger nibbling, and fussiness he’s been exhibiting. He’s still tall and skinny, and we still don’t know where he gets it from!

Physical Development:
Liam is active and full of energy. He runs, jumps, hops, dances, claps his hands, sings, and can even do somersaults around the living room. He is always on the move, and hates sitting still, which makes long car rides a bit difficult. His fine motor skills and coordination are great, and he enjoys twisting the caps on and off of every bottle he comes across, throwing balls and other small objects, stacking and filling cups, blocks, etc., and hiding objects around the house. He also loves to brush his own teeth, wipe himself during diaper changes, and blow his own nose. He can also completely dress and undress himself, including zippers and snap buttons. He’s pretty independant!

15977369_10208157500874743_1856180081958901388_nEmotional & Social Development:
It’s finally happened, y’all. My son has finally come out of his shell. He still won’t run up to random strangers and demand to be held, but he is finally sharing his all of his love with friends and family that he has seen before. From high fives, to blowing kisses, to giving hugs, to dancing and jumping around, and sharing his toys, my little one has finally started to get over his anxiety and open up. It is so refreshing to see. He is also able to communicate better now, and can articulate, in his own way, what he needs, which has resulted in fewer meltdowns… unless it is something I refuse to let him have. Oh, boy.

Learning & Vocabulary:
We’ve had to unfortunately put some of Liam’s learning on hold because of some other stuff we’ve been dealing with, but plan to pick it up ASAP. Currently, Liam knows all of his basic colors, a handful of shapes, and the numbers 1, 2, and 3. He can also hold up two fingers to tell you how old he is. He knows how to turn his toys (and pretty much anything with a switch or button) on and off, and we recently got a LeapStart to help him hone in on his fine motor skills, and to help him further develop his knowledge on all things toddler.

Oh, and speaking of communication, Liam has made GREAT strides in just the last few months. His word list is long, and silly. I’ve stopped trying to compare him to every other kid I see his age, who seem to be speaking in full sentences. As he’s shown, he will do what he wants, when he is ready. And, boy, can this kid talk when he wants to. Here’s a list of all of Liam’s known words and phrases. On occasion, he has been known to combine a few, like “Bye bye, baby!” to form small sentences as well!

words

See? He’s come quite a long way! I feel like I may have forgotten a few, but those are all the ones I have written down. His current favorites are “uh oh” and “pizza“. He’s been calling most foods “pizza” lately, haha. Which brings me to the next category…

16178972_10208221005022307_6057956033326460555_oFoods & Eating:
Aside from when he is sick, which he has been for a couple weeks now, Liam will eat anything and everything I put in front of him. Fruits and veggies, meat, dairy… everything. Some of his favorites include pizza, ice cream, yogurt, pineapple, macaroni with meat sauce, meatballs, carrots, mashed potatoes, and pretty much anything that I have on MY plate. He can also successfully use a normal fork and spoon without difficulty. When it comes to drinks, he likes most things, but it has been difficult getting him to drink his milk. He likes milk, but I think he just finds it boring. He’d much rather have juice, or a smoothie. Since he’s been dealing with a horrible cold, with mucus coming out of just about every hole in his head, drinking milk has been practically non-existent in this house. Hoping he starts drinking more soon. He can successfully drink with a straw, from a normal cup, and from a normal plastic bottle.15107352_10207692615652903_6837362670149185000_n

Potty Training:
We started potty training several months ago, and it was going well… then we had to put a pause on it, because there were some big changes being made in our household, and I was unable to continue. Now that things have calmed back down, we plan to pick it up again immediately. For the last month, Liam has been waking up with a dry diaper most mornings, and I’ve had success putting him on his potty, and him going. He still won’t poop on the potty, but he gets really excited when he pees in it. I’m excited to get back into it!

Naps and Bedtime Routine:
Nothing has really changed in our bedtime and nap routine, and I attribute our great success to keeping a strict bedtime and nap schedule. He still takes one nap a day, roughly 2-3 hours, sometimes a bit more or less, and he goes down without a fuss. The same goes with bedtime. He has started stalling, often needing to give daddy an extra hug or two, needing to grab one more lovey, or wanting several more sips of water, but he always gets to bed on time, and falls asleep quickly.

14947474_10207609960666580_7961387108818975879_nHe still sleeps through the night, about 12-13 hours in total, sometimes more. We have a toddler bed, but have yet to transition him to it. There’s been a lot of changes happening lately, and I don’t want to overwhelm him. He’s had some interest in sitting and lying on the bed in the past, but since we only have the one mattress, moving it back and forth is a pain. Having both beds in his room makes his room look a bit small and cluttered, but I am trying to use this crib until I can’t anymore. He hasn’t tried to climb out yet! And, truthfully, I don’t feel like our apartment is 100% child-proofed. Many of the doors are crooked, or don’t close properly, including his bedroom door. Most of our doorknobs have child-proof device on them, but if they don’t close fully, those devices are useless anyway. I think I may just be paranoid, but I’ve read too many horror stories, you know? I still feel unprepared.

Playtime and Activities:
I don’t even know where to start! Liam is at such a fun age now, where he loves to play. He’s gotten so many awesome toys for Christmas and his birthday, that I’ve had to rearrange our living room THREE times to get it all to fit in a spot. He has a play kitchen, tons of play foods and dishes, a play grill, a tool bench and tools, a play vacuum, a play cleaning set with broom, mop, spray bottle, etc, tons and tons of Mega Bloks, cars and trucks, a farm set with a TON of animals, and his current favorite, a two-sided easel with a whiteboard and chalkboard. He loves to color and draw, read books, do wooden puzzles, and recently showed an interest in Playdough as well.

Above all else, he enjoys doing the things that Kyle and I do. He loves to help with the laundry, and put the dishes away. He is no longer afraid of the vacuum, and when he sees me getting ready to vacuum the floors, he runs to get his vacuum to help. He was always stealing my broom and dust pan, so we got him his own, and he loves to sweep the floors. He was always trying to see what we were cooking, and we were afraid he would hurt himself, so we bought him his own play kitchen, and he plays with it all the time. Seeing him turn into a productive, independent little boy, right before my eyes, has been… everything. I’m getting emotional just typing that out!

Oh, and he enjoys watching cute animal videos on YouTube. I even made him his own playlist!

I suppose that’s it for now! I’ll give you all more updates as he grows, but I think that about sums up my sweet, silly, energetic boy. I am so proud of him, and he fills my heart with so much love.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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