The Digital Age

I know there are many out there who claim to have been born in the wrong generation, but I for one am exceedingly grateful to be raising a child in the digital age. Do you know how many home videos my parents have from when I was a child? Zero. None. Zilch. I think they had one, at one point, of my brother and I at Christmas, but it got lost or destroyed. And sure, they have snapshots. Photos snapped with the hope that they turn out well, taken to the local WalMart for photo processing. They’re stacked together, loose-leaf style, in an envelope. Except when they’re not. My mom was pretty great about putting together photo albums until we got a little older and life got in the way. Discovering the photos now is always a guessing game of well your hair is longer/shorter/curlier or you had that dress/those glasses/that watch to pinpoint a year, but we’re really never sure unless some foresighted individual happened to date the back of the photo in 1994.

Me? The dumpling is 2.5 years old and I have literally thousands of photos and hundreds of videos. I have them effortlessly organized into albums, some for sharing with the grandparents and some just for us. The albums are sorted by years for easy access and reminiscing. I’ve put together little collages for decorating my office and a Father’s Day video for my dad. I’ve shared a picture, here and there, on social media. I’ve captured smiles and giggles and songs and quirks (his brief, yet passionate obsession with a pink umbrella). I’ve guiltlessly purged the bad. I’ve marked my favorites.

The ease and simplicity with which we document our lives is astounding.

And yet.

There are things that I fear I will forget. Because there are things we just can’t capture. The way his eyes light up when he sees me at his classroom door, reunited after a day of school and work. The way his body, still so small in the grand scheme of things, feels so solid and strong next to mine. The moment I pick him up and realize that he’s heavier than the last time I carried him. The moment he reaches for something and I suddenly realize he’s never been able to reach that before. The feeling of his arms wrapped around my neck. How he pats my back when I carry him or fiddles with my shoulder blade. The way he clings to me when he’s scared or melts into me when he’s tired. I hope to never forget those feelings.

I love the way he runs: up on his tippy-toes, shoulders lifted like he’s trying to fly. His hips wiggle back and forth like an excited puppy.

I love the sound of his feet as he pitter-patters across the house, always at full speed. Never slow.

I love the way he tucks me in, when he plays pretend, covering me softly with a blanket, offering me kitty or puppy.

I love the way he sings our goodnight song to me, taking care to change the words to “goodnight mama goodnight.”

I love the pride in his voice when he finally accomplishes something he was trying to do. “I did it!” he exclaims.

I love hearing his voice from the other side of the house when I bump into something. “You ok mama?” he asks in concern.

I love laying in bed and listening, over the monitor, to him giggle with his dada on the mornings Luffy gets him. They always seem to have some game going.

I love when he declares that kitty is sick. We take her temperature and determine that she needs snuggles. He takes such good care of her.

But probably most of all – and more un-capturable than all the rest – there’s this moment we share sometimes. He’s in my arms and our eyes will meet. And he just looks at me with the purest love. He’ll place both of his hands on my cheeks and lean in close, almost for a kiss. But no, he just looks at me like I’m his everything. Like I’m the most beautiful and mythical creature in existence.

My sweet, sweet boy. I hope I never forget.


Pancake morning

If someone – a friend, a neighbor, a random journalist interviewing me – were to ask me for my top two parenting tips (Parenting hacks! Click here for 5 hacks you’ll never believe work!), it would be:

  • Always cut the sticker sheets in half, or quads, or hell, sticker-by-sticker.
  • Never, ever ask a kid what they want to eat. You tell them what they’re eating.

I have been burned so many times by asking the dumpling what he wants for breakfast. Especially back in the hellacious 18-month-old toddler-hell-demon phase, when he seemed primed for a tantrum each morning day night 24/7. Because inevitably, he’d say something we didn’t have (sausage!) or something just flat-out unacceptable (cake!) and I’d have to break his poor heart that we didn’t/he couldn’t have that. Mean mommy.

Luckily, he seems to be past that for the most part (though, as a side story don’t get distracted Belle! side story at the bottom*). This morning, he refused all of my offerings though until he spotted the syrup in the pantry (and that should be my actual tip up there – never let them see in the pantry). He decided he wanted syrup! For breakfast!

“What are you going to put the syrup on?” I reasonably asked him.

He pondered this for a minute before very seriously answering me.


Now let’s pause here for a second. This right here is the type of situation that makes my working arrangement invaluable to me. My job may not have a lot of upward movement in terms of responsibilities or job titles (I’ve been doing the same thing for six years at this point), but I don’t care. They pay me well and I literally can’t put a price on working from home half the week. Because if I had to go into the office this morning? I would have had to say no to impromptu pancakes. If I’d had to go in yesterday, I wouldn’t have been able to take the dumpling for a walk at 7:30. If I’d had to go in Tuesday, I wouldn’t have been able to witness the dumpling sing-shouting Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at the neighborhood park. It’s wonderful to have more time with him in the evening (especially when he was little and had a 7pm bedtime), but the mornings are where the real perks lie.

Most of the mornings, I don’t have to rush him out the door, trying to make sure I’m not late myself. And if there’s one thing every parent knows, it’s that rushing a preschooler means that everything will take twice as long as they staaaaaaaaallllllllll. Fact. Instead, our mornings are leisurely spent eating breakfast, reading books, or watching Daniel. We’re able to be flexible getting him out the door, depending on his moods, which makes everyone’s morning a thousand times easier. We can take a walk or run an errand (I’ve definitely taken him to the grocery store in his jammies when I discovered we were out of milk). And I don’t have to worry about getting myself presentable for work because I just need to be dressed. That’s it! No hour-long commute or putting on business casual clothes. No making sure I have everything I need for the day before heading out (and I can’t tell you how nice that was as a pumping mother). Our mornings are far less stressful, and most times downright pleasant, because I work from the house.

“Pancakes?” I said, skeptical at first, “… that does sound pretty good. Can you help me make them?”

“YES,” he enthusiastically answered me.

So we set about making pancakes. I measured ingredients, he poured them into our bowl. We stirred and stirred and stirred, taking turns (mama stir fast? he’d ask me when it was time for me to do the real whisking). We got them into the skillet to cook and debated who should flip them. He, of course, got the first batch and ate them at the counter while I continued to make pancakes. Once Luffy got his (and took them to eat at his computer in the living room), the dumpling decided that he wanted to eat on his chair in the living room. So he hopped down and took his plate to dada for help getting set up in his chair. He adorably chowed down, asking for milk or help cutting up pancakes. I stayed in the kitchen, devouring my own plate of pancakes while also finishing up cooking the batter (I like to freeze any leftovers so that I can pull them out when he requests them later). I also took care of the dishes and was charmed when the dumpling brought me his empty plate to wash.

From the living room, I heard this exchange:

“Did you tell mama thank you for making us pancakes?”

“Yes,” he answered, but that wasn’t accurate and Luffy knew it.

“Can you tell her again?”

[pitter patter of a running preschooler]

“I love you,” he tells me as he peers at me around his tower.

[sound of my heart melting]

“Awe, I love you too sweet boy. And you’re welcome for the pancakes.”

Side-story: While he doesn’t make wild requests anymore (most of the time), we do run through this hilarious conversation occasionally:

“Mama! I hungry, I want breakfast,” he’ll say to me, rubbing his presumably empty tummy.

“Ok, let’s get you breakfast,” I’ll say, walking into the kitchen.

“Do you want yogurt?”

“No! I want breakfast.”

“Ok, how about crackers?” (meaning his Belvita crackers)

“No! I want breakfast!”

“Hmmm – a strawberry bar?”

“NO! I want breakfast!”

“Ok, what about an apple? Or applesauce?”

“NO mama, I want breakfast!”

“I know child! What do you want for breakfast?!” is what I always want to say in response to that sass. I abstain though. Go me.

Sibling Rivalry

Did I miss something, you’re wondering…

Isn’t the dumpling an only child, you’re thinking…

Someone asked me the other day if my kiddo is pretty good with other kids, meaning: is he nice? Does he share? Is he the kid at the playground shoving other children out of the way so that he can go down the slide? Does he fight over his food? Does he claim other kids’ food as his own?

I legitimately paused to review my son’s behavior and was pleasantly surprised to realize that yeah, he’s pretty good with other kids. Partly because it’s just not in his nature to go barreling through other kids or to bulldoze his way into other snacks. He generally shares well and takes turns. If you ask him nicely, he’ll share his snack with you. He’s genuinely a sweet little kid.

And then I realized the exception to nearly all of those things: Jas.

She goes near his toy? Mine! Miiiiine! MINE!

She sniffs his long-discarded snack bowl? Mine! Miiiiine! MINE!

She rubs her head on the book we’re reading? Stop Jas STOP!

She gets on his tower? No sir, Jas. No SIR!

One morning, he was being particularly ornery. It was one of those mornings where he seemed to be primed for a meltdown. I had just gotten him calmed down (AGAIN) when he ran back to the living room and promptly burst into tears. My nana bread! he wailed. When I went to investigate, he told me that Jas had eaten his (doubtful, though I will concede that she might have licked it) and, in his outrage, he had thrown down his only remaining piece.

He loves to chase her and give her hugs. He’s saddened when she struggles out of his grasp, as cats are wont to do. He seems to dislike when I give her attention over him, often calling me back to a book if I turn my attention her way. They can’t share my lap. She can’t touch his toys. He takes great pride in helping take care of her though. He loves to tuck her in under his most favorite blankie as he sings her goodnight. He also loves to tell her to stop doing things.

I don’t want you to feel too bad for her though. I realized this morning that I’m fairly sure the feeling is mutual:

Jas, being a cat, pretty much decides where she’s going to sleep for the night. We don’t curtail her in any way except that the dumpling’s bedroom door is closed. Other than that, she can sleep in the office, on the guest bed, on the couch, in the closet, or in our bed. In our old bed, she used to stay tucked behind my knees. In our new bed, she sleeps curled up by my pillow. Sometimes she’ll stay in one place the entire night, but it’s fairly unusual to go to sleep with her beside me and wake up with her still there.

One quirk though: six out of seven mornings, she’ll come in and settle down on me. Always in the same position: across my rib cage (I’m a side-sleeper). And usually right around dawn. At first I thought it was the specific time of morning, as she typically comes in right as I’m starting to wake up. I always joke with her that she has the worst timing – settling down right as I need to get up.

And then, this morning it hit me: she’s not just randomly coming to join me in bed… she’s literally coming in to pin me in bed and I think that her cue is the dumpling waking up. I kid you not, I realized this morning that most mornings, she comes in after the dumpling starts requesting to get out of his crib. Or if Luffy gets him, she’ll wander in before I get up. Or, on the off morning that the dumpling wakes up in a fighting mood and I’m out of bed lickety-split, I’ll stumble over her on my way out of the room as she comes in.

We don’t even have a second child and I’m already dealing with sibling rivalries. Luckily, a cat is slightly less vocal than a human. And like 98% less prone to throwing tantrums.

Trucks and Goats

Can I preface this by saying that I’m still way too busy to be here? Too busy to take the half an hour or so to jot all this down? So busy that I shouldn’t even consider taking the time to be here? But…. we also had a pretty awesome weekend and I just can’t let it go by undocumented. So. Here I am. Don’t tell anyone.

Our weekend started off with a whole lot of walking.

Let’s rewind back to Friday afternoon. I picked up the dumpling from school and he requested, rather forcefully, that we take a walk. Sure! That sounds fun! and I loaded him up into his wagon with his water and milk and off we went!

However, when we came upon our usual time to turn back (completing the circle around our development), he requested that we cross the street into the next development. Sure! A little extra exercise never killed anyone! and we crossed the street, talking about the traffic and some birds. I walked and walked, pulling him along (which, I have to say, dumpling + wagon is getting to be quite the heavy load nowadays). I walked several blocks down, with the intention of turning back, except that every time I tried, he adamantly insisted we continue.

Finally, I convinced him to at least turn down a street (rather than make a u-turn) and I sort of maneuvered him on a path that would take us closer to returning home.

All of my maneuvering went out the window though when he spotted the playground at the elementary school. He quite literally took off running, leaving me in the dust, and was three-quarters through the whole thing by the time I caught up. We spent probably half an hour there and I only got him to come home with me by doing the parent-patented all right, well have fun, I’m gonna start walking back, byeeeeeeeeee move. When he finally decided to come along with me, he wanted UP-UP-UP as he always does. I’ve been trying to work on this a bit because (1) he’s old enough now that I shouldn’t need to carry him everywhere and (2) he’s big enough now that it’s genuinely tiring to carry him, especially when I’m also pulling a wagon. So I would carry him a few houses, then put him down and convince him to walk for a house or so before we’d repeat the whole thing. Also, I should note that this whole process makes the walk ten times longer because we’re stopping every 30 feet. And we had already been out and on our feet for an hour and a half at this point. Suffice to say that I was VERY ready to get home.

So I gave in a bit and carried him further so that I could at least power walk some and get us in our own development instead of a mile away from home. So I’m hoofing it, preschooler on my hip, wagon trailing along behind me, cars whizzing past – probably wondering why on earth I am carrying my child when I have a clearly empty wagon behind me – when all of a sudden the dumpling leans towards me and gives me a big kiss on the cheek.

Just like that! Muah!

It was precious and made the whole walk completely worth it. I stopped and we spent a few minutes giving each other kisses on the cheeks (because he has to kiss both cheeks and then he also needs kisses and I was so delighted that I gave him several and he felt the need to reciprocate).

Anyway, we eventually made our way home and I fed him some dinner since it was now getting very close to his bedtime.

We also had a blast on Saturday at a Touch a Truck event near our home. I happened to spot it on Instagram as I was scrolling through (waiting for the dumpling to wake up from an impromptu car nap). So we went! And we saw firetrucks and ambulances and garbage trucks and police trucks and SWAT trucks and farm trucks and a school bus.

It was great fun, but of course there were lines everywhere. We did wait in the line for the fire truck, allowing the dumpling to sit in the back (he adorably wanted to take off his shoes, make himself comfortable). We skipped most other lines, just literally touching the outside of the trucks rather than sitting in them. The dumpling seemed happy enough with that.

And then on Sunday we visited a goat farm!

Our friends recently made a major life change and decided to give up their day jobs to start a goat dairy business. They sold their home in the city and purchased land (and a home) about a half hour southeast of Dallas. This is their first kidding season (aka birthing season), so that’s what prompted us to make the trip. (These are also the same friends that we had wanted to see for the birthday party last year, so it felt like a milestone of sorts, to actually be able to go.)

We got to play with the baby goats. They have ten right now, with four being born within the past three days and one more pregnant goat waiting to give birth in a couple of weeks. I fed a baby goat and helped the dumpling hold one. He thought it was ok, but mostly he was excited to run around on their farm and play with their little boy. We busted out the water table and they played on the tractor. So much fun!

We rounded out Sunday by playing on the neighbor’s trampoline and introducing the dumpling to Nerf guns. What a weekend!

The Play-place Predicament

One of the cozy little weekend rituals we’ve created is Saturday lunch at Chick-fil-A. It’s kid friendly, for obvious reasons, and the dumpling has just always done really well there. He behaves really well and Luffy and I enjoy watching him eat his chicken nuggets and fruit cup like a miniature civilized person. We don’t go every weekend, but it’s definitely what we’re doing if we’re free for lunch on Saturday.

The Chick-fil-A that we go to has a play area in front, as I think many do. When we started this little ritual, the dumpling showed zero interest in it. I’m not sure he even saw it, even though other kids swarmed to it. On the drive to my parents’ house at Thanksgiving last year, we stopped at a Chick-fil-A play area to let him stretch his legs and I wondered at the time if he’d want to play at home now. Even after that though, he never asked to play at our usual place, which was perfectly fine by us. However, the last time we went, he seemed to finally catch sight of the play area as we were leaving. We almost had a tantrum over it, but managed to successfully distract and divert and GTFO.

We went this past Saturday, as usual. We were eating, also as usual. The dumpling was being adorable (he has this new thing where he acts super excited about the food that you put in front of him “ooh! strawberries! I like strawberries! ooh! french fries! I like french fries!). All of a sudden, he got down from our bench and purposefully strode away. Luffy and I just looked at each other and back at him like wut?? When it occurred to me that I should probably follow him, I realized he was headed for the play area. I guess since we thwarted him last time, he figured he’d take matters into his own hands this time.

I didn’t see any harm in letting him play some. It was packed with kids, which always worries me a bit since I (ALWAYS) forget that the dumpling really is a peanut compared to other kids. Plus school-aged children usually don’t have any concept of being gentle with younger kids (or they’ve forgotten) and mow him over on their way to the slide. I was actually very pleasantly surprised when not one, but two older kids offered to help the dumpling up the obstacles when it was clear he couldn’t. It freaked him out and he did not accept their help, but it was still precious for me to witness. As I stood on the ground floor and gazed up, I was privately very glad that he couldn’t manage the obstacles (those offset triangle platforms that let them climb up to the next level) because this was the highest indoor play area I’d ever seen.

Now, I’m a petite person and I am not shy about jumping into those things. At the indoor play place at the mall, for instance, I climbed through every inch of that place. I follow the dumpling around the playground, climbing through tunnels and up ladders and over obstacles. It’s not a big deal for me. At this play area though, the one time I tried to help the dumpling get down from the triangle platform, it sagged under my weight. Plus these particular platforms seemed poorly spaced – too high and too narrow – making the transitions exceedingly awkward for an adult.

So combine the fact that this place was so high and I doubted I could get to the top and I was very happy that the dumpling seemed to be stuck at ground level too.

Seemed to be.

Important words there.

At one point while we were in there, the place sort of cleared out of other kids and I relaxed my guard a bit. The dumpling decided to head up the slide (of course – what is it with kids and the urge to climb up slides?!). Since the slide went to the very top level, I figured he wouldn’t get far. I figured wrong.

The next thing I knew, he was on the very highest level absolutely pleased with himself. Unfortunately, this was also about the time that Luffy came in, ready to leave.

We started slow: time to go home! Slide down one more time!

And escalated: mama and dada are leaving now! do you want to come with us or stay here?

And got increasingly more ultimatum-y: dumpling – come down the slide now or mama is coming up to get you.

Long story short: I had to climb up to get him. It definitely wasn’t my most graceful moment, but I got up there. To my satisfaction, he at least looked a little concerned when I appeared on the top level and the five or six year old he was playing up there with went uh oh. I did indeed grab my child and carry him down and out of the play area. He tried to tantrum, but Luffy and I just flat out didn’t give him a chance.

But this also got me thinking – what on earth do people who aren’t five foot nothing like myself do when their children won’t come down from the farthest reaches of the a play area???

Sleepy Little

To set this story up properly, we need a little review on the dumpling’s sleep:

  • The dumpling is, in my opinion, pretty low on the sleep-needs spectrum. According to the National Sleep Foundation, preschoolers (3-5 year olds) need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep a day. Toddlers (1-2 year olds) need between 11 and 14, so obviously the dumpling should be trending down towards that 10-13 hour range. Right now, he gets about 10 hours overnight and typically naps anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. I am quite sure that he will give up naps, especially on the weekend, at a young age.
  • Along with being on the low end of the sleep-needs spectrum, he’s also always been very particular about his sleeping arrangements. He needs to be tucked in properly. He needs his kitty. He doesn’t like co-sleeping. He’s only ever fallen asleep on me a handful of times in his life, usually right after nursing.
  • Because of the whole low-sleep-needs-thing, the dumpling is particularly challenging at nap time these days. We’ve thrown in the proverbial towel and no longer leave him to his own devices for naps because it would just mean that he never naps. He’d spend the hour jumping or chatting with puppy and kitty. We usually sit with him, rubbing his back until he falls asleep (if you’re Luffy) or (if you’re me) drive around for an hour while he naps in the car. The dumpling loves himself a good car nap, so much so that he’ll easily fall asleep at non-nap times too.

So, with all that in mind, let’s get to our story!

On Saturday, I teach an exercise class in the morning and have since I moved here to DFW. Luffy and the dumpling have settled into a routine where they go visit Luffy’s parents while I teach. Luffy’s parents live about 20 minutes away and the dumpling is very fond of exclaiming “no sleep!” on the way back home before promptly falling asleep. It’s super cute and usually just means that he’ll need a slightly later nap time and a little more help falling asleep.

This past Saturday, however, I brought him into his room about 1:30 to try for a nap. He laid there while I sang and rubbed him, but he never fell asleep and we threw in the towel about 2:15. He seemed perfectly fine, happily chatting with dada and accepting a snack. Luffy and I figured we’d just put him to bed a bit early.

A little while later, we decided to run some errands and then visit the playground (in a bid to energize the dumpling a bit with some outside time). At our first stop, the grocery store, the dumpling requested that I hold him, which I never mind in the store (mainly because it ensures that I don’t have to worry about him pulling everything off the shelves!). We walked around, grabbing this and that, and talking about what we were getting. He requested bubbles, so that was on the shopping list much to his pleasure. We were about halfway through when he suddenly put his head on my shoulder.

“Awe,” Luffy said as he continued to load up the cart, “poor little guy must be tired.”

Since I would never turn down some preschooler snuggles, I didn’t mind at all! I rubbed his back a bit as we continued through the store. I was following Luffy to the checkout line when I felt the dumpling melt onto me.

Oh crap, I think he’s asleep!

Sure enough, when I quietly got Luffy’s attention, he confirmed that the dumpling was indeed asleep. On me! In the middle of the grocery store! In the middle of the afternoon! Who is this child?

I walked around the store, waiting for Luffy to checkout and marveling at how heavy a sleeping preschooler is. I shuffled out to the parking lot and scooted into the car, figuring he’d wake up any minute. He didn’t wake up though. He would stay passed out on me through all of that plus the car ride home, me getting out of the car, moving to the couch, and settling down on the couch. All the while I was talking normally and almost actively trying to wake him (I say “almost” because you don’t just shake a sleeping preschooler awake – they will scream at you for that tomfoolery). He finally woke up just a touch after four having slept maybe 20-25 minutes.

The rest of the day progressed pretty normally, with him going down at his typical bedtime after playing with the neighbors. I just wanted to memorialize the time my child fell asleep on me at the grocery store.

A fine line

I’m really struggling to find the balance between “this is not the hill to die on” and “do not negotiate with terrorists.”
– an excerpt from a text conversation with my mom

I’m not sure if it’s because he’s getting closer to three (years old) or if he’s going through some kind of mental leap or growth spurt but holy power struggles batman!

The dumpling is turning E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. into a power struggle, especially with me. While he does it with Luffy a bit, he seems to do it much more with me. And all of this has coincided with a parental preference again (me). He demands my presence so that he can quibble with me over everything. And I do mean everything. His medication (no Keppra!). Brushing his teeth (no brush!). Putting on his jammies (no jammies!). To read books (no read!). To not read books (read!). To feed Jas (no feed!). To not feed Jas (feed!). To turn the TV off (I watch!). To give him milk (no milk!). To go to school, to get dressed, to change his diaper. No. No. And no.

All. Day. Long.

Luffy and I were discussing yesterday how it can be so challenging because you don’t want to appear to concede or backtrack, so once you draw that line, you have to stick with it. Sometimes, I realize in hindsight that whatever I said no to probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but now I’ve got to stick to my guns. Or other times I give in, only to realize that – oh WOW – I should not have offered this or whatever. It’s such a challenge.

And other times I’m just praying for him to ask me something I can actually agree to.

Last night, when we got home from school*, the dumpling had an epic meltdown and it all started with a diaper change and a clementine. When we got home, Luffy was eating a clementine and the dumpling thought that it looked pretty tasty. We obviously peeled him one and as I put it in a bowl, I caught a whiff of a dirty diaper. Suspicions confirmed, I took him to go change his diaper, bringing the clementine with us as incentive. The diaper change did not go well, but he seemed rational enough. (You know how little kids get. There’s complaining: they’re not happy, but they keep their wits about them. Then there’s a complaining: they’re completely lost to their emotions and there’s no placating or reasoning with them.) Anyway, he seemed ok except that he did not want his clementine anymore. Which would have been fine, except that my latest battle is his urge to throw unwanted food on the floor. Anytime he’s done or doesn’t want something – to the floor it goes with the most points awarded for spread and distance!

So that’s my current hill to die on. No throwing food!

Back to last night, the clementines get thrown. We clean it up, we talk about no throwing food when you don’t want it. Luffy takes them. (After all, they’re perfectly good). But woe! My orange, he tearfully says as he eyes them on Luffy’s desk. So we give him the clementine again, which he promptly tries to dump. So back on the desk they go and my brain thinks distraction! in the form of cookies I had baked earlier that day.

Of course, he loved the cookies. He was delighted by the sprinkles in a rainbow of colors. He was completely pleased and calm for, oh about two minutes until bad luck struck and his cookie broke in half, with the big half falling to the floor. Now usually, broken food doesn’t bother him much, so I should have known we were in for a doozy of a meltdown when he completely lost his cool over the broken cookie. He sobbed and sobbed that he needed a new one, that this one was nasty (his latest favorite word to describe trash). Considering the fact that I was actively making dinner while all of this was happening, I wasn’t too keen on giving him another cookie. But see hills and dying on – this was not the battle to fight. So I gave him another cookie, which placated him for a little bit longer.

He ate about half of it until I think he got full? Or maybe just tired of it? The point being, he ate about half and then put the cookie down. He was on his tower, at the counter, while I was cooking dinner. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him toss the cookie on the floor. My inner self was frustrated over the throwing of the food, but my outer self was busy and not interested in a battle. Then he tossed the craisins. Sigh. So much for avoiding the battle.

“Dude, we just talked about this. We don’t throw food on the floor,” I told him as I set him on the floor to help sweep everything up. I’m pretty sure it was in one ear, out the other. Then I swept up the cookie remnants.

“My cookie!”

Fine – have at it – I thought as he grabbed the cookie from the dust pan. Of course, of course, I should have seen through this charade. He took one tiny nibble before tossing it back to the floor.

“Ok, I see you’re done with this,” I told him as I scooped it up and threw it in the trash.

Tears. And screams. And snot. And misery. A little body flung to the floor. Such a terrible mama. This lasted for… a while. All while I ignored, ignored, ignored and did my best to pull dinner together. Through his tears, he kept latching on to new requests. He wanted sprinkles after digging them out of the drawer. He wanted cupcakes. He wanted chocolate. He wanted the butter (as he watched me put it back in the fridge). He wanted to make eggs. All of these requests were met with a no and a reminder that I was cooking dinner.

Finally, I made it to a point that I could step away from the food cooking. I gathered the dumpling up and took him back to his room to calm down some, away from the sensory overload of the kitchen. He woefully hiccuped that he wanted the butter a few more times and then finally requested water, something we could actually do.

So water was gotten and hugs were given and he decided to decompress with the bus song and that was that. Meltdown over. Cuddly preschooler present. Poor little guy – being 2.5 is just rough sometimes!

*I found out today when I dropped him off that due to multiple teachers being out sick and other uncontrollable circumstances, they’ve had to combine his class with an older class which means that not only was his classroom super crowded yesterday, he also probably spent his day dealing with some older, pushier kids. Could be why he had such a meltdown yesterday – he had a stressful day. I plan to pick him up early today if I can get my work done in time.