Welcome to the jungle...gym; Mischief 101

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Introductions are always awkward.
It doesn't matter who you are, when you don't know someone it is always intimidating trying to figure out how to open the line of communication. So yeah, I don't know you. You may have stumbled across me, or perhaps someone said “hey bro, I know of this ridiculous blog about this woman who has a crazy life but manages to maintain her sanity while silently praying for a straight jacket and some thorazine!”

I jest, I jest!
Welcome to my BG blog. I go by a variety of aliases online, but my name is Dani. I am a single mother to a wonderful little girl who turned a year on 28FEB. I'll be honest to say that I don't know where to begin, so we'll keep this one light. So, today's topic of discussion? Those days where you just want to tear your hair out because your kid appears to have taken Mischief 101 from the devil himself. Trust me, I know that all too well. At 13 months old, I am beginning to see the personality of my precious little cough “angel” cough and in all honesty, I know I have my work cut out for me.

Robin is as stubborn as a mule, struggling with her early feelings of independence while also wanting to crawl back into the comfort of her former uterine home. She wants nothing more than to exert control over this crazy world we live in. It's frightening for me as well as her.

Right now, we are fighting a battle of Will. I didn't capitalize “Will” for no good reason. Will is my boyfriend, and to Robin he farts sunshine and rainbows. He has become quite the obstacle for both of us as he is a huge object of our affections, and apparently Robin dislikes the concept of sharing just as much as I do. This is where the “tearing out my hair” part comes into play. This poor kid is so torn between her mother and her only father figure that when one of us is “missing” (working, college, appointments etc.) she just can't figure out how to deal with it.

Just 3 days ago I was dropped off at the house we are currently moving out of to pack up some more stuff while my boyfriend went to finish up his registration at the university for this quarter. In the 3 hours he was gone my precious little angel turned into the spawn of Satan himself. Here is a short list of the mischief she got herself into, in the child-safe-no-more house:

-Ate potting soil
-Knocked the trash can over (4 times)
-Tried to dump a 5 gallon bucket of water over
-Unpacked every box I packed
-Packed trash in with the clothes
-Unrolled every video game controller I carefully wrapped up to be placed in a box
-Got said video game controller cords tangled back up
-Tried to eat garbage
-Tried to eat dog food
-Got past the child barriers to a portion of the living room that was unsafe and proceeded to try and throw a framed certificate
-Unpacked more boxes
-Tore open one of the garbage bags
-Got herself stuck in the bathroom
-Got herself stuck in a bedroom
-Bit me
-Hit me
-Scratched me
-Threw her sippy cup at me
-Threw her sippy cup at the door
-Threw the world's biggest tantrum because I wouldn't let her play with her Halloween costume from last year
-Fell into a moving box
-Got herself stuck underneath of a chair in the dining room
-Got herself stuck in a closet

Finally, after 2 ½ hours of getting next to nothing done, I sat down, smoked 2 cigarettes back to back and waited for my reinforcements to arrive. It's not like I was not paying attention to my child. Normally, she is fairly well-behaved and listens as well as a 13 month old can. On that day, she decided to abandon her former training and to show Mama what a terror she can really be.

I'm pretty sure I appeared somewhat broken when my boyfriend and two of his family members walked into the house and saw me slumped in a chair in the dining room. I felt defeated. I would pack things for 90 seconds before having to redirect my little “hell spawn” and get her situated again with her toys, a snack and her sippy.

By the time we got back home to our apartment, I put her to bed for a much overdue nap, collapsed on the couch and tried to recount all my wrong-doings in life. Surely, there was something I did as a child that warranted a day like that day. Despite the fact that I had a tubal ligation after my little darling's birth, it was one of those days where the thought of ever dealing with another toddler made my reproductive organs shrivel up in terror. Bed time was even worse. Robin cried, screamed, kicked and flailed as we tucked her into bed. In my head, I imagined myself leaning down to her little ear and hissing “just shut up and knock it the hell off!”

In the end, I got over it. We all get over it. Everyone has their off days, especially toddlers who are struggling worse than a teenager to find their place amongst their kin. There are days where we, as parents, just want to fling ourselves on the floor, pounding against it with our limbs and scream like the little demons...er, toddlers, that make our hearts melt with pure joy. There are days where we want to hit our heads against the walls. There are even days where we lock ourselves in the bathroom, cry and say “I can't do this.”

We all pick ourselves back up, however. Sure, we have our child-like meltdowns; the laundry goes unfinished; the dishes get left for tomorrow; and the kids get hot dogs and mac and cheese for dinner because it takes zero effort. What makes us good parents is that we recognize that we are only human, we are inclined to be driven to a breaking point, but we still get back up, put our big-girl panties on and continue on this crazy, and rewarding, path.

So, my friendly readers, let us embark on this journey together. Let us embrace the REAL struggles of parenthood together, the things that most mainstream baby websites are afraid to approach.

Welcome to the jungle (gym).

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1 Comment
Melissa Dunkin Apr 16th '14

You know i can so relate! I am the single mother of 4....... 2 are grown and one with a child of his own and after 15years got pregnant with my now 3 year old and then had my only daughter in December. Though i have more patients witg my younger ones being older it is hard to have my grandson and son whom are both 3 and a baby as well....everything is a task i have to put on repeat continuously...... thanks for your honesty. it is greatly appreciated.....i feel the same daily