Alright. It’s 10:20 pm. It’s a Monday night. Two nights ago my husband and I had a ‘staycation’/mini-escape to the beautiful Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach (for F-R-E-E, with an oceanfront suite upgrade…yay Hyatt credit card points!!!). Yet, I’m blogging at this hour, buzzed after numbing my mind on mindless TV (thank you, ‘New Celebrity Apprentice’) and sipping on a generous pour of vino.
How did I get here?
Well, I have 3 kids under 2 1/2.
Yep. That’s right.
Intentionally, no less (timing, not # of kids).
I have a 2 1/2-year-old boy and 16-month identical twin boys (pregnancy planned, twins….not so much).
You read that correctly.
15. Months. Apart.
Okay. So that partially explains the late night blogging and the need for wine. So why am I lushing it on a Monday night (and I don’t even have football to blame!)? My two and a half year old is testing me at every level possible– ALL DAY LONG.
How does that differ than any other 2 and a half year old? Honestly, I don’t know. He’s my first, so I don’t have much for reference. However, I can say, that it’s an all-fronts affair. He’s clingy. He’s needy. He’s moody. He’s whiny. He’s adorable. He’s sweet. He’s polite. He’s a total monster. All within 5 minutes.
To top it off, he says ‘NO!’ to everything. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear he had multiple personalities. One second he’s loving on me and three minutes later he’s throwing a tantrum the likes of which have yet been witnessed by man. It’s a crazy age. Now throw in the twins. Life is crazy.
What pushed me over the edge? My two and a half-year-old BIT MY TWINS.
Let me clear the air by saying that he’s done this before, but not in a really long time. (Several months and has never bitten anyone other than his siblings and not on a regular basis–THANK GOODNESS–and it usually happens when they’re wrestling around and he get’s a little too riled up). Today’s were not just little ‘love bites,’ these were leave-teeth-marks-and-bruises kind of bites while they were in our ‘baby octagon’** while I was prepping morning snacks.
In less than 30 seconds from when I was ready to pick them up and get them all situated at the table, I hear a blood-curdling scream. It’s Kellen. I look at Declan (my 2 1/2 y/o), he’s already doing a head dive into the couch and burying his face into the cushions because he KNOWS he is in the deepest you-know-what.
I pick up Kellen and try to soothe him. I simply look at Declan and he knows.
My normally chatty, energetic and whiny boy is S-I-L-E-N-T and is sitting perfectly still. He knows that if he makes a move or sound, mommy is going to lose it.
Fast forward to bath time. Declan had already endured discipline from me and quite the tongue lashing from my husband when he arrived home from work. I am bathing Evan (the other twin) and notice fresh bite marks on him as well. WTF?!
In a nano-second, so much ran through my mind at that moment:
1.) When did this happen? I didn’t hear you [Evan] cry in a manner representative of this bite and I (obviously) didn’t see it happen.
2.) What is going on?!?!?!
3.) Am I the WORST parent ever???? (Because I am certainly feeling that way)
4.) I am failing!
5.) I feel terrible.
6.) I am SO ANGRY!!!!!
Immediately, I am (eerily calmly) summoning my husband to the bathroom. I show him the bite marks on poor Evan’s shoulder. We call Declan upstairs to show him his dirty work. He starts to cry. (Thank goodness, we can uncheck the sociopath box!) We talk to him– AGAIN –as to why biting is such a bad thing. We finish our bath and bedtime routine. The kids are asleep! What a freakin’ day.
My husband looks at me and pleads with me, “Please tell me this is going to get easier…” I don’t have a concrete answer for him. All I can muster is a defeated, “So they say…”
As I sit here writing this, all I can think of is, “I know I’m not alone. There are other moms dealing with similar, if not (heaven forbid) worse things than I right now.” Okay. Reality check completed. So why do I still feel so terrible?!
I’m trying to give myself some grace, but it is not working. I have ‘a biter’ and two maimed children. I suppose there are worse things, but right now I am having a hard time grasping that this is only temporary. I am hoping that tomorrow will be a far better one and I can figure out how to solve this biting issue (aside from cloning myself). That, and the pipe dream that it really will get easier.
PS– If you have a sure-fire method for getting a toddler to stop biting his siblings (a method in which I won’t be in fear of CPS taking my kids away from me), PLEASE share. I am desperate!