Gauging Normal in Parenthood

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I invited some friends over for lasagna on Saturday because a) I was craving lasagna, b) I like having an excuse to invite friends over, and c) I like having an excuse to not eat an entire pan of lasagna myself. It was fun, but Boof noticed their little one eating everything on his high chair tray and was like “does he always eat whatever you put in front of him?” and when they answered that yes, he does, it made me suddenly think:

I have a high maintenance kid.

I have no doubt that there are things I could be doing ‘better’ to make my son ‘behave’ more or ‘comply’ more, and I lack the energy and wherewithal to follow through on that type of parenting course. But I also think…maybe…maybe…my kid might be high needs. Not high needs like special needs, but this is a kid who REFUSED for-the-love-of-God any form of milk from a bottle/sippycup/regular cup until he was about 2 (or at daycare). He nurses straight from the tap and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe I’m ‘spoiling’ him with all of this attachment parenting, but I also wonder…maybe my kid is just difficult in his adorably lovable sweet way.

He wants to sleep a particular way, and only eat particular foods when with us (and he’s picky at daycare, though less so), and watch particular shows and basically overall has his mama’s stubborn personality.

But he’s my only kid. So I have nothing to compare it to. And I’m not saying parenting him is easy, or that my friend who’s struggling with her ‘good eater’ on different issues has a better/worse time than me, but it makes me wonder. I focus a lot on my son’s sweetly stubborn personality and think he’s overall an easy kid, but…but…what if he’s not? What if my exhaustion is because he’s actually a very demanding and particularly needy kid who I love dearly, but am exhausted and mystified by most of the time?

Daredevil Evil Genius ‘Baby’

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I gave birth to a daredevil evil genius child.

While at yoga on Saturday, I get a text from Boof with this picture. Apparently he turned his back for a few minutes (my guess is he was in the bathroom) and he heard a lot of rustling in the living room…came out to find this scene before him.

Whoa, gotta get a leash for that kid, right?

Is the drive to climb things a leftover evolutionary trait from our life in jungles past? Because I don’t really see any necessity to it’s use today, except to get cookies off the counter. And he’s taken to climbing the changing table, and the TV console and possibly soon the bookshelf. I know that my biggest task is going to be to teach him how to climb DOWN so that he’s remotely safe and self-sufficient, but I really don’t like him doing the high chair balancing act on our coffee table.

There are some people in my life that are pretty judgey about my ‘letting’ Potamus climb on things. These people aren’t parents, though, and have no idea the exhaustion that would result in constantly telling him ‘no’ and making him sit still like a doll. And Facebook trolls friends on Boof’s profile had the nerve to write, in response to Boof’s caption ‘hopefully he will use his genius brain for good and not evil,”

“He will use his brain for both…..but a wise parent will instruct him how to shun evil and cling to what is good! This is not evil, however (unless he was told not to do this). It was brilliant!”

Which makes me want to throw up in my mouth a lot  little, and rage against the whole Christian machine because seriously? The sort of Christian drivel being spewed in Facebook posts makes me want to a) give up Facebook altogether, or b) teach Potamus about EVERY DAMN RELIGION OUT THERE out of spite. He’s not climbing onto the coffee table because of original sin motherfuckers.

But I digress.

How do I channel my son’s physical need to climb in a healthy and positive way? We don’t have the resources yet to buy a Big Toy climbing thing for the backyard, and the weather is crummyish outside, so going to the park after work (or on the weekend) isn’t as much of an option. When it’s nice, like yesterday, we took him (sans coat even) and he tromped down the sidewalk and hit things with a big stick. He’s definitely a physical kid and I want him to be encouraged to be physical in a way that’s safe for him!

What crazy dangerous cool things have your kids done that made your hair turn a little bit gray? How do you handle douchecanoe comments from friends and family members?