Since Rocket turned 18 months I feel like he has progressed in to a little person, He’s not a baby anymore, And much like his mum and dad he has a BIG personality. We always knew that he was going to live up to his name, but jeez, I totally underestimated what living with a little boy toddler was going to be like.
Rocket has always been a pretty easy child. He has always slept very well and been a very happy boy. He is however, a very stereotypical “boy”. He is a whirlwind. Jumping off everything he can climb on to, He has a right arm like a professional baseball player and can throw a toy car at a surprisingly alarming rate, and he is very vocal! All of these things I love him for. He is very expressive, but that being said, can be a real handful! He’s very strong willed and if he doesn’t want to do something, he absolutely wont, and if he does want to do it, there is no stopping him.
At the beginning of the year all these things were very overwhelming to me. While we settle our life here, we are renting a tiny apartment. Which should be adequate for two adults and a toddler, but is not when your toddler has the personality of Hulk Hogan. He needs space to jump and dance and sing and play and at the moment, with it being winter and not so easy to get outside, he is not getting it.
Throughout January I have felt very guilty because of this. He goes to a wonderful day home where they have lots of space to play, and he has lots of friends to run around with. Then I pick him up from work and he does not want to come home. Why would he? Back to our tiny apartment when he can’t do anything without trashing the whole place. Henry and I both feel claustrophobic in the apartment so I imagine he feels it even more so.
I always try to have a sit-down meal all together every day. Some days are harder then others if we are running late or one of us has something else going on, but the majority of the time we all sit down at the table together at least once a day. I have been trying to be a “good mum” and give him a proper dinner, which recently has bought on some serious toddler tantrums. Doesn’t want to eat veggies, doesn’t want to sit down unless that involves drumming on the table… He basically doesn’t want to do anything accept run around like a maniac and us watch him while he does it. (god forbid I try and fold the washing or do the washing up)
Something has had to change. It’s not been enjoyable. I’ve been getting stressed and that doesn’t help anything.
I don’t want to fight with Rocket, he’s my best pal. So now when he has his big melt downs we walk him to his room, shut the door and wait for him to scream it out in there. Usually after 1 or two minutes he’s over whatever completely terrible thing has made him scream in the first place (usually something like asking him to take his shoes off, or stop kicking the dogs… you know the usual terrible things us mothers ask them to do) He then opens the door, comes skulking out and gives me a hug and then plays nicely until the next melt down. It’s a small step but certainly feels better then me telling him off. The silent treatment seems to get through to him a little bit better. As for food… He still doesn’t want to eat his vegetables! What kids do! So I now make time to batch make him tasty snacks that look like fun food but are in fact packed full of hidden veggies. I love cooking, so it’s been nice to make time to get in the kitchen and be creative. This weekend I made Brussel Sprout and potato croquettes covered in cheesey bread crumbs, Spinach Waffles, Butternut squash muffins and a batch of oatmeal and raisin cookies.
I’m happy to say all these things went down a storm, so now our evening meal time battles are a fun experience of “frog waffles” “Chips and dip dip” and “cakey”
I’m sure all mothers have come to these conclusions far before me. I don’t write this to be any kind of parenting tips or guidelines. But more of a milestone, over coming a hurdle, and doing it on our own.
Times like this I miss my mum and dad so much. To be able to offload the monster for a couple of hours so I could get my head straight would be great. Our life is pretty jam packed. Wake up at 6am, get myself ready for work before rocket wakes up, He’s up at 6.30 so I get him ready for day care, we leave at 7am, I’m at work from 7.30 – 3.30, go straight to pick Rocket up when I finish, get home, do chores and dinner and try and play, He’s in bed by 7 so I try and make half an hour to work out and then me and henry pass out on the sofa watching some shit on netflix! As beautiful as it is living in the Rockies, it’s not all mountain hikes and snowmen. Day to day life is the same as before. Covid makes it harder because we can’t have a babysitter come to the house anymore to watch him so Henry and I can go out. Not that there is anywhere to go out too.
Being the parent of a toddler is very trying, but I want to make it work. I want him to have fun with us, but I also want him to respect us, be healthy, eat right and learn good manners. All while we both have full time jobs, try and stay fit and healthy ourselves, have some kind of a social life, make time for our own interests and hobbies and still make time for each other. (Oh and don’t forget applying for visa, selling a house, buying a house and keeping ties with all our UK friends and family)
Fucking hell! It’s a wonder I’m not in the nut house yet!