29 Jul Life Lately: Have the ‘Terrible Twos’ arrived early?
I don’t mean to start this out negatively – I promise this post has a whole lot of good, too but… Life has been pretty shitty lately. Darren has been retrenched and is trying his hardest to work on websites, from home, and although he is always busy, the income is less than half of what he’d usually make. I am grateful that 2 months ago, I sold 2 trailers and that my bonuses are what are keeping us afloat, for the time being, but I am stressing about what happens next month. On the plus side, having him at home has been great for him, personally. The environment that he used to work in, was toxic and broke him down both emotionally and mentally, these days, he is doing a lot better!
I have worried, gotten angry, cried, gotten sick, picked myself up and thrown myself down but I realize that none of that will solve our problems and firmly believe that you are never dealt a hand that you cannot play, unless you’re playing Scrabble and are left with a bunch of vowels – well then, you just have to skip a turn, throw your tiles back and hope for a better hand next round.
But failure is not an option.
It can’t be.
Despite finances seeming like the topic of every conversation, we do have good – a whole lot of it. With Darren being home, we’ve started taking an afternoon walk just before I have to start work. It gives us the time to take a breath of fresh air, play ball in the park and get away from the computer screens that are consuming our lives.
July is a busy time for our little family. The 1st week is my mother-in-law’s birthday, the 2nd week is when we found out we were expecting Axl, the third week is Darren’s birthday and the fourth week is our wedding anniversary and my step-dad’s birthday. Looking back, it just feels like all of those occasions came and went in a big whirl! I feel guilty for not having celebrated as we would usually, but we did do what we could with what we have.
For Darren’s birthday, I arranged for his family to come over to our house for a Mexican themed lunch. Ashleigh, my sister-in-law and bestie, and I spent a couple hours mastering our little kitchen and making a spread of DIY tacos, fajitas and nachos. As per usual, we made far too much and I ended up eating salsa with everything for the week to follow. I also baked Darren a birthday cake, it was Caffe’ Latte flavoured, with latte icing, chocolate ganache dripped all over and Oreos around the edge. As great as it sounds, I couldn’t eat it – the icing nauseated me – but everyone else enjoyed it! The day went off well – I’d say. But I still felt bad because I didn’t go all out, like I usually do.
Our anniversary was spent working and we didn’t really do anything special to celebrate the day, but I was happily reminded by TimeHop how lucky we are to have one another. With everything happening, and Axl going through a demanding stage, I feel that we are neglecting our time together. Two years ago, we were in a completely different space, new house on the farm, expecting a baby and sleeping A LOT! I kind of feel that I have aged by 20 years, in the last 2 months. But despite everything, I am still one hundred and fifty three percent in love with the man that I married and am exceptionally grateful to have him by my side through the good and bad.
Axl is becoming such a character. He often surprises us with saying new words and finally went from calling Darren, “gaggy” to “daddy”. I have a whole group of names that he calls me, which include “Meggie,” “Megan,” “Mom,” “Momma” and “Mommy.” He says, “hello,” “come,” “no,” “car,” “dinner,” “yummy,” and a few others which I obviously can’t think of, right now. We’re focusing a lot on the sounds that animals make, he loves to roar like a lion and woof like our dogs.
His new favourite thing to do is dancing which includes headbanging, spinning until he falls over, shuffling and clapping. He also feels that everything needs to be climbed which often ends in him falling over. OH… Falling! He fake falls for attention all day long, cue the fake crying that follows.
We’ve started to do more crafts which keeps him busy for a short while but he finds it more entertaining to throw the crayons everywhere. Besides cars, he really loves any sport that includes a ball and has really taken to hockey. We found a cheap set of hockey sticks at the Crazy store and with very little instruction, he picked it up really easily. It shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise – his dad used to represent the Eastern Province in Roller Hockey.
Axl has really taken to technology, again, it should come as no surprise considering both his parents work with PC’s and phones all day. But it impresses me how he has learnt to unlock anyone’s phone, take selfies (yes – he knows how!), type and even play Crossy Road!
When Darren plays DotA, Axl puts on his own headset, sits in front of the PC and screams at the screen before hitting a bunch of buttons and running the mouse violently across the table. He watches everything and learns from it, for instance, he knows which of my brushes are for my eyes or which are for my cheeks and sometimes lends a helping hand to do my makeup, or play with my hair. He is like a sponge, absorbing everything, right from the fact that Bob The Builder swings his hand in the air, during the opening, down to the one cigarette advert on Hulu, which features a frightful monster – which he hates! He also doesn’t like any sign of violence or shouting and has a meltdown, even if it’s play-fighting. There will be none of that!
He is also far smarter than we give him credit for. For instance, I am trying really hard to introduce a bottle, cup or anything instead of constantly breastfeeding whenever he is bored. The other day, I prepared a milk bottle for him and gave it to him and zipped up my jacket. He ran over to his dad, hid his bottle and ran back before trying to position himslef for boob. I asked Darren for the bottle and tried giving it to Axl, he took the bottle and went and hid it by his dad, again. Before running over, and attempting to get breastfed. I asked for the bottle, once again, tried giving it to Axl and this time, he disappeared and hid it in his room.
But with growing up comes attitude and testing boundaries. I don’t know if it’s the teething, terrible twos approaching, the current changes or that he picks up that I am on edge and stressed out, but Axl is going through a tough time. I feel like he is constantly testing me and pushing all of my buttons. Yesterday, I got to the point where I had to step away from the tantrumming baby, who was throwing himself on the floor and headbutting the couch and just breathe, drink a cup of coffee and then try again. I try distracting him, reading to him, crafting with him and giving him a minute but it somehow always turns into tears. His new thing is hitting me and if I tell him to stop, he tries making himself bigger or taller than me and repeats the hitting. It becomes soul-crushing, when your baby boy just won’t listen to you and no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to be helping! He is too young to try taking away something as punishment, and shouting, reprimanding or even spanking gets us nowhere. How can I justify spanking him, if he can’t hit me?
This parenting gig is tough! And I feel like a flop of a mom because I feel like I am letting the trials of adulthood affect my mommy role. My patience seems to be on an all time low right now and it’s over silly things like ALL the toys in the lounge, Axl feeding way too long or him just doing things that he knows he shouldn’t be.