Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The End of Happiness: Hello Terrible 2s

Ok, so that's much more dramatic than it needs to be. We are still a very happy family. So what has changed? What's going on that would allow such a title to a blog entry to exist?

JD tries to get through openings between furniture that don't exist. He throws a tantrum. JD wants to go outside but is redirected. Tantrum. JD wants to run from the sidewalk into the street but is blocked off or redirected. Tantrum. My wife or I try to put him into his high chair for dinner. Tantrum. He is stopped from going through the garbage can. Hitting the TV with a hockey stick. Running from the garage into the alley behind. Prevention causes tantrum.

And that's what's happening. He is easily rattled. It is frustrating for both of us.

Obviously, the reality is that we are at a communication impass at a time when the world is exposing itself and it's possibilities. He wants to play with every toy, to climb every staircase, to run full speed down every ramp, to join in three-on-three basketball games, so cross the street unassissted, and the list goes on. All of these things that are hazards and I don't know how to explain that to him.

Also, he has began to refuse all of the foods that he loved for so long. Egg sandwiches, pears, cereal and others have gone from being immediately consumed to immediately thrown to the floor.

There are certainly other factors. The weather here in Chicago has been less cooperative than usual, preventing us from being outside the house as much as we'd like. JD's also has some illness over the last couple of weeks that have prevented us from taking advantage of some of the few weather days. Those illnesses have also prevented us from participating in playgroups and Gymboree. JD is certainly craving some playtime with other kids. I know that I get stir-crazy when I don't get a night out with the guys or even just to play some hockey. It must certainly be the same for JD.

All of this is probably pointing to something that I am lacking as a parent: good planning skills. Not only planning for the next day or the next week, but planning for unforseen times. For instance, having a plan for a rainy day. Having a plan for alternate meals. I lack diversity in the activities that we do during the day. With JD sleeping so much (yeah, woa is me) we really have about two-and-a-half to three hours of play time. And that's if I don't have shopping to do. Otherwise we're eating or preparing dinner. Want to shower? There's thirty minutes.

But if I learned to plan better, and stuck to those plans, we would probably be more productive.

I'll try that and let you know how it's going.

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