The Time Change Vortex
So today I caught poop in my hands. Not theoretical poop either (if such a thing exists). But I literally had to catch the poop in my hands. Had I really thought it through, it would have been best to just let it hit the floor and deal with it in one clean swoop. But alas, my lightening quick reflexes kicked in and it was too late. It was on my hands, the wipe I grabbed in my futile attempt to not get it on my hands, the floor, and of course his hands, as he screamed and cried in horror at what he held between his legs and didn’t know what to do with.
He clearly knew what it was though. Potty training had been pretty successful these past few months. But one thing about the constant travel is the constant upheaval of the life you know, your kids know, and the disruption it causes in your potty training, napping schedules, mealtimes, and general routine. Even without the struggles of jet lag (which I generally escape the wrath of) the time time difference alone can wreak havoc on a family.
The son in question is 2 years and 4 months and we had been having pretty good success with the big boy pull-ups and the lollipop/skittle reward system. He had been telling us when he had to “go potty” as he so eloquently put it and we felt like we were winning as parents. But since we arrived in Belgium it’s been like one step forward and two steps back and we’ve had to way backtrack on the parenting wins.
It took us a few days to buy a potty, we were pretty busy with unpacking and organizing, and the away games were almost immediate so I was spread thin. He reverted to using his pull-up as a pamper and only once in a while said he had to go potty. So we kept him pull-up-less, guaranteeing that he has no choice but to run to the bathroom if he has the urge. It was working fantastically. Until, of course, it wasn’t.
So I share my poopy story, not to gross out or disturb, but to give a glimpse of some of the magical moments, either directly caused by, or made worse by, the time changes and disruptions we go through as a result of our lifestyle.
Sleep schedules are off and the kids are cranky at ridiculous times. Normally they might be cranky at 5pm after a long day, but out here they’re cranky at 10:30 am when they woke up at 10am. It’s like we’re living in some crazy parallel universe where nothing is as it should be. It’s almost funny.
This is the gang, looking beat up, and acting cranky as hell. It’s 11:30am!
I started documenting the crazy, because, well, what else am I supposed to do when the boys are running around the house at midnight mooning the dog and giggling. Midnight is the new 9pm and there’s not much I can do about it until their bodies adjust.
Most of my battles involve the boys, who share a room, and do what boys do best, play loudly. It’s cute, until they’ve run out of the room 20 times telling on each other about ridiculous things and asking for the 4th and 5th hug and kiss. Tristan, my 2 year old, is always the last kid standing. We’ve wanted to get rid of his pacifier since the summer, but with the recent long flight and the move we’ve decided to let him keep it for now, as it’s the last bargaining chip we have. But even that doesn’t always work when they’re wide awake in the middle of the night.
Here he is trying to sneak back into the living room at midnight.
This is at 12:30am, with all my threats of taking his pacifier and blankie, having fallen on deaf ears. He looks almost defiant, like “what are you gonna do about it?”
When I had just about lost it, at 1:30am, he had the nerve to smile at me like he wasn’t acting completely bonkers.
He finally gave in at around 2am. I could finally relax with a glass of wine and the girls of Lipstick Alley. Or I could pass out from sheer exhaustion, which is what happened.
The next night it was much of the same, but worse. There was fighting, screaming, and a barrage of “MOMMY!!!!!!” over and over again. I eventually had to separate the boys and take away the pacifier and blankie and this was the result. All while I attempted to finally sit down for dinner. At 11:30pm.
As I sat down to write this tonight, I had to take a million breaks because they were up to the same shenanigans. The hubby is in France for an away game so I think they know that there’s strength in numbers and that I’m a lone wolf right now. After another lengthy battle, I finally think I’ve gotten them all to bed when I hear the sound of a toy car rumbling in the hallway and turn around to find this.
I’m not sure what 2 year old thinks it’s okay to just hang out in the hallway at midnight playing with cars, and not even trying to hide it since I’m right here!
But not to be left out, I go to check on my 8 year old after practically dragging Tristan to bed, and she has clearly taken advantage of the whole ‘flying under the radar’ thing.
I told her she could read for 15 minutes an hour ago! Her excuse? She’s just not tired.
So the moral of this story is that time changes are a bitch. Also, big boy beds are overrated.