The shift from full time to part time has been fairly smooth. I got what I was expecting in the way of the new career job. The home job, however, is a totally different story.
I’m not certain what I’ve gotten myself into, to be totally honest.
I was geared up for being home, baking cookies, reading books and changing diapers. But…….
I did not realize I was signing up to stay home with a two year old who climbs out of his crib EVERY day and night. For hours.
I did not know I was signing up to stay home with a two year old who strips down to his birthday suit EVERY time his diaper has a drop of moisture in it. Yet he is not terribly interested in potty training. A bit of a challenge for someone who doesn’t want to change diapers all. day. long.
I did not plan on having to remove the bottom of the crib and lay the mattress flat on the floor to keep him from climbing out. Unsuccessfully, I might add.
This kid is giving me a run for my money. I’m able to keep up with him pretty much all day long. We go on walks and play in the backyard and go to story time at the library. We make cookies and read books and color and color and color and color. I LOVE being home with him and his sweet sis. It’s the whole reason I made this semi-mega career shift.
BUT I NEED A 90 MINUTE BREAK EACH DAY.
Truthfully, I’d take 10 minutes at this point.
There is no hiding from him. Not in the shower. Not in the bathroom. Not on the tables.
He will find me. He has found me. He is a bloodhound.
While making cookies, he stuck his arm into the giant peanut butter jar. Not hand. Arm. Peanut butter is super easy to clean up on a squirmy kid, by the way.
While I was cleaning the kitchen, he climbed up the cabinet drawer pulls like they were a little ladder. I realized he was behind me only as he dumped out the entire contents of the bucket of candy I keep hidden in an upper cabinet.
I found a pair of pliers in the toilet. ( I swear I watch my kid. He is just fast.)
He repeats his demand rapidly until you get him his request. If it’s milk, you will hear the words “Nolk. Nolk. Nolk. Nolk.” screamed in increasing speed and volume until the milk is delivered. It’s like machine gun fire.
Today I spent the majority of the day trying to figure out which outfit I could dress him in to prevent him from stripping. I cannot count (no exaggeration) how many times he peeled off his diaper. If I had to guess, I would say three times an hour. At bedtime I am able to put him in pajamas that have been placed on his little body backwards. Zipper up the back. He has yet to figure out how to unzip them…..but I’m not holding my breath. During the day I feel a little less comfortable hauling him around in pajamas.
After the jillionth stripping episode, well beyond the point of caring that the neighbors see him hanging allllll out at the front storm door, he started talking about ‘the potty.’ Thinking it would buy me some time and create some movement towards potty training, I asked him to go sit on his little potty chair.
Then I heard sloshing.
Parents around the world know the sound of bathroom sloshing. It is never good. Never. Ever.
I raced around the corner to watch as he pulled his head out of the toilet.
The big kid toilet.
Baby child stuck his head in the big kid toilet.
As in, head sopping wet, gave himself his own swirly, saturated.
He was cackling wildly as if this new activity somehow replaced all the summer swimming in Mimi’s pool that had abruptly ended with the cooler weather.
I froze. Unsure how to handle the moment. In nearly a decade of parenting, this act of reckless toilet abandon was unlike any I had ever witnessed. I didn’t fully know how to proceed. Frozen.
Although frozen, I will tell you that I thanked Jesus with absolutely sincerity for the fact that I cleaned the toilets Sunday. Still super disgusting to dip your head into the bowl…….but Saturday night it would’ve been much worse.
So, as I contemplate my precious baby, the child who has UNDOUBTEDLY clenched his title as the baby forever, I wonder what I’ve signed up for. I can be a decent mom when given an hour to regroup, throw in a load of laundry and sneak a piece of chocolate.
I’m just not so certain what kind of mom is going to emerge under the reign of this fourth child.
Tick, Tick, Tick……..
Now, as I finish typing and the dust has settled, I think over my now spotless bathroom, my freshly scrubbed child and breathe easy. Because he is asleep? Yes.
But also because I get to go to work tomorrow!!!!!!