So my current dilemma in life is “What do I do with my toddler?”(among other dilemmas, obviously) We had to take Karate Kid out of school after my husband lost his job in early December, so his socialization has been decreased drastically. He is an only child 3/4’s of the year so having a sibling to interact with is not an option.
We are currently in the “I am 2.5 and I know everything, control everything and hate when you interfere in anything I do” stage of toddlerhood. I mean I hate to say that my precious bundle of joy, the only thing I ever wanted in life, drives me up the wall daily…. But seriously there is only so much torture one can take.
It doesn’t help that we live in Illinois and 6 months out of the year require you to retreat indoors, and doesn’t offer the largest variety of wonderful play spaces. I mean there are only so many McDonalds and Chik-Fil-a trips one can make before the employees start to figure out that you only come there to play. Not to mention steal their sanitizer as your child gets a bath in it on the way in and again on the way out.
Sure we have a wonderful Children’s Museum in the next county over, but unless you hold one of the prestegious jobs and inhabit one of the million dollar homes in the area, it becomes a HUGE dent in your wallet. Even to go a couple times a month. So that is good for maybe 1 day out of the month, after you work a few extra hours just to afford yourself that day out of prison (house).
We have a pass to the Zoo, which is awesome! (in the summer) And the parks are equally as fun in the warm months, but it is the current season that leaves me struggling to find things to do. Snow covered slides are not as safe as one would think.
We have colored the same pictures, played with the same magnets, done the same puzzles, watched the same episodes of”Super Why”, “Daniel Tigers Neighborhood” and “Bubble Guppies”, that I can now sing the songs when I hear them in the distance as I am cleaning or doing laundry. I have even broken down and let him draw all over the fridge with dry erase markers. I thought that would be a fun new platform of creativity to break up the monotony of art projects… that back fired quickly. Does anyone know how to get dry erase marker off the kitchen wall? I seriously was just doing the dishes, and looked away for a few minutes.
So the library is always our backup plan. Awesome in theory, awful in reality. A 2.5 yr old boy, who is full of energy, has 2.5 yr old listening skills and doesn’t understand what “whisper” means is just a recipe for disaster. And not to mention Karate Kid knows the way out and he knows how to turn the self checkout monitors and printers on and off… I seriously feel like after I cross the threshold I am the center of attention, everyone is sitting back with their coffee, book and snack to wait and see what unfolds this trip.
You know you are up the creek without a paddle when a trip to the grocery store needs to serve as a fun, educational, energy burning opportunity for the day. Karate Kid now tells me what we need to buy because we have been so many times, and he knows the Target sign when we pull up and he immediately requests a milk (those little organic milks from Starbucks) Oy Vey, I’m embarrassed to walk in.
So basically I have run out of ideas when it comes to entertaining Karate Kid. He is a very energetic boy. I am asked on a daily basis “Does he always have this much energy”, and every time I just want to roundhouse the inquirer. Obviously he is always this energetic. I wouldn’t look like a disheveled mess if I had a nice quiet little boy who sat and played with dinosaurs, instead of them “crashing” everything in my house with brut force. I wouldn’t covet quietness as much as I do if my son was a nice independent player!
While all these things weigh on me daily, I also know that this too is a stage. This too shall pass, but it is hard to see the light at the end of the storm when you are living in the eye of it. He has his sweet and funny moments as well, although they feel very few and far between as of late. My only wish is that we can start to build back some monetary resources, so we can give him the activity and socialization out of the house that he so desperately needs. Mom just does not cut it, and Karate Daddy expects too much from him for his age. That can be attributed to his profession. The kids he teaches listen, respond with “yes sir” and conform to his teachings. Clearly he doesn’t spend a lot of time at home in “real” life.
Does anyone else struggle to entertain their toddlers? I want him to have fun and learn everyday, and I know he does when we are home doing daily things, but I know I get bored, so he most certainly does!