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I’m Stuck In Toddler Prison


The Horrifying Gods of Teething are making damn sure I regret never, ever being bitten on the nipple while nursing, making sure I regret being slightly pleased by Alex’s non-Jack-o-Lantern-type smile for the first 12 months of his life. I’m getting paid back for every time I ever sneered at a bottle of Ambesol, and friends, let me tell you this: payback is a BITCH.

Earlier this week, I was feeling pretty rung out, dragged through the muck, and buried by my cat in a pile of soiled kitty-litter. I tried to pinpoint why, and finally decided that my thyroid must be out of whack (neglecting to remember that well, actually Becky, my thyroid is GREAT during gestation. It begins to suck when I come down with a nifty little ditty I like to call “Post Partum Thyroiditis.” And yes, my people, it is as sexy as it sounds. I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM, PEOPLE).

I trundled off to my endocrinologist (can I just tell you how decrepit I feel admitting that I have an endocrinologist? I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM, PEOPLE!), certain that my TSH would be off the charts, insane, and I would require a heaping double helping of my already ridiculously high dose. My trusty nurse friend called me to report that actually, Becky, my thyroid was behaving magnificently.

It was then that I turned my previously blind eye to the toddler standing before me, ripping apart the cords from my laptop, pulling each and everything I’d ever put in my kitchen out of the cabinets, while simultaneously laying on the ground, screaming for “kitty” (his term for wanting to watch YouTube videos about, you guessed it, cats) while banging his ample noggin against the Pergo.

I think I might be suffering from a mutant form of Asshole Toddler-itis.

While he’s never really been a model sleeper (I will not go into it here, for fear that other pregnant women may read this and hyperventilate), only ceasing to get up every 1-3 hours at the ripe old age of 10+ months, and his napping schedule would have you convinced that I was addicted to crack during my pregnancy, he used to go down for his pathetic naps pretty easily.

Blankie, bottle, bed, DONE.

Now, I know better than to think that The Way Things Are Today is the same as The Way Things Will Be Tomorrow; I’ve had kids and am not terrifically naive, but I was not really expecting that he would suddenly have to scream himself to sleep as though he was being poked by the fire of a thousand burning suns. And yet, my eardrums tell another tale.

It appears that he’s taken his Willful Level from the top of the charts to 11, leaving his 20 week pregnant mother and his harried father scratching our heads. What do we do now? Can I drop him off at the Toddler Shop and take a quieter loaner model home for several weeks, while Alex’s attitude is readjusted? Can I build him a wee house outside to live in where he cannot destroy anything else I own (I’d bring him out meals and change his diaper–don’t worry)?

And more importantly, will this ever end?

40 Comments to

“I’m Stuck In Toddler Prison”

  1. On September 19th, 2008 at 10:55 am Marie Says:

    Sounds like you have your hands quite full today. Fake an illness and call the nearest relative for a break!

  2. On September 19th, 2008 at 10:56 am Kyddryn Says:

    Drugs. Lots of ’em. Or liquor. Lots of it.

    Heh. Place spoon in freezer. Once cold, dip spoon in bourbon. Give spoon to child. Child gnaws, pain goes bye-bye. Or child gets drunk and passes out. Repeat until teething done or child begins AA meetings.

    I’m only partially kidding – apparently this was a common teething remedy when I was a kid. Hmm…perhaps that explains the huge gaps in my memory??

    I’m sorry its’ sucking, sugar – and I hope things improve.

    Oh, and? It will end – but then they turn into teenagers and make noise about other things. Whee.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  3. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:03 am Backpacking Dad Says:

    It will end when he finds a girlfriend to torment.

  4. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:12 am Maria Says:

    S has been teething rampantly for TWO MONTHS straight. All his molars. It makes him A. a dick and B. drool-y. All the time.

    I’m so over it. And also starting to panic that he has inherited my Idiotic Teeth.

  5. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:17 am SciFi Dad Says:

    It will end, but not before the new baby comes.

  6. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:18 am Vered - MomGrind Says:

    Yes, it WILL end. Of course it will.

    But in the meantime, I feel for you!

    Hang in there.

  7. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:20 am honeywine Says:

    When you’re in the cold hard ground. Not the nicest answer I could give a very frazzled pregnant woman, I’ll grant you. But oh so true. It gets easier once you can ship them off to school for hours on end though!

  8. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:24 am kalakly Says:

    one word, BEN A DRYL….lots

  9. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:27 am Jenn Says:

    It ends. After all, they only get 20 teeth. 😉

    Seriously, as you know, Boo is like Alex in girl form, as far as attitude and sleep habits anyhow. She very recently needed to have her teeny arse kicked back into sleeping well. (If I’m being honest though, I’m the one who got her ass kicked.) Her last tooth (woo hoo!) finally came all the way through and now things are going back to normal. Of course, she started teething at 3 months. I’m not sure how many teeth Alex has but you might have a way to go. Good luck with that!

    It must be harder having to deal with that at 5(ish?) months pregnant when sleep is about the most important thing to you! (Or it was for me anyway.)


  10. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:31 am Badass Geek Says:

    They let you swap children for quieter ones? What do they do when the people don’t want their original kids back?

  11. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:39 am As American as Apple Pie Says:

    It kind of sounds like he is getting an inkling that something in his life is changing (your ever expanding waistline would be hint) and he is rebelling against it. Went through this with Chile 2 when pregnant with 3. They are only 18 months apart.

    It does get a little better when they are all in school.

  12. On September 19th, 2008 at 11:51 am Rachel Says:

    So nice to know that I’m not the only person contemplating a ‘trade in.’ For the gory details, refer to today’s entry on my blog.

  13. On September 19th, 2008 at 12:08 pm deb Says:

    It does end, but then they become teenagers and introduce to a whole new world of torment.
    Kids…Gotta love ’em…

  14. On September 19th, 2008 at 12:21 pm Mrs.Spit Says:

    Brandy. In a bottle. Or, just open his mouth and pour it down. If you actually feel squeemish, I’d try cough syrup. Or maybe gravol. ..

    (I’m going to be such a great mum!)

  15. On September 19th, 2008 at 12:34 pm The Mommy Says:

    It will end. But, when, you ask? I’ll let you know when I find out. I haven’t slept through the night in 5 1/2 years. {SIGH}

  16. On September 19th, 2008 at 12:42 pm momumo Says:

    I assure as a mom of teens – it ends, and you survive — I was vehemently opposed to the bourbon on the gums method — ahem, until my MIL babysat and when I picked up my children the teething baby was a delight — and he doesn’t drink now, so maybe he got it all out of his system back then?

    I recommend frozen washcloths, something about the crunchy cold terry cloth, and they are all wet anyhow, so who cares if they get wetter

    Also, I recommend you just leave them screaming on the kitchen floor while you go do laundry or something for 5-10 minutes – give yourself a break.

  17. On September 19th, 2008 at 12:43 pm Honu-girl Says:

    Oh honey, you are SO not alone in contemplating a trade it. I often tell my daughter that it’s a good thing she’s cute, or she’d be outta here…

    I third (fourth? FIFTH?) the brandy/bourbon suggestion. Prolly will get me sent to CPS here in the south, but I like the suggestion my doctor gave my mom when I was a wee one – Pour out a shot of bourbon. Dip your finger in it, rub on screaming child’s gums. Drink rest of shot. Repeat until one or the other of you doesn’t care anymore. Unfortunately, you can’t do the second half of the directions while gestating 🙁

    Good days stick with you longer than the bad ones, in hindsight. But the bad days sure do suck when you’re going through them. Wish I could come take the Ben-ster off your hands for a couple hours, but I think the commute is a bit far.

  18. On September 19th, 2008 at 1:44 pm Susan Says:

    Bourbon on the teeth, benadryl down the hatch.

  19. On September 19th, 2008 at 2:16 pm tash Says:

    Sadly, Lately, I’m convinced 4 is the new 2.

    It’s disturbing, this.

  20. On September 19th, 2008 at 2:25 pm Petra Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this terrible time! As the mother of a 2-year-old who mood swings from complete angel to Tasmanian devil with an attitude, I feel your pain baby!

  21. On September 19th, 2008 at 3:00 pm Lola Says:

    My teething survival prescription involved bourbon on the gums, tylenol, the frozen facecloths and a giant glass or two of cabernet for me. Drugs and alcohol, mama, drugs and alcohol!

    Your pregnancy really throws a monkey wrench into all of my solutions for dealing with the rotten times.

    You could always try teaching him to speak like a pirate, since everyone is talking like one today.

  22. On September 19th, 2008 at 3:03 pm ally Says:

    I would like some clarification from my fellow commenters, as the mother of a teething semi-toddler – – – is the bourbon for mom or baby? Both? Whoever gets to it first? I just want to get this right….

  23. On September 19th, 2008 at 3:44 pm giggleblue Says:

    someone recommended one word but i think two may be more effective. after all, he is two right??

    duct tape.

    all problems solved.

  24. On September 19th, 2008 at 3:56 pm Don Mills Diva Says:

    It will, it will.

    For my own sake I have to believe that.

  25. On September 19th, 2008 at 5:03 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    Gah! For your sake, I certainly hope it does, and that it doesn’t morph into something even more intense when the new baby comes home. I have nothing to offer except my pleas that we can still be friends when I tell you I’ve got no experience in this area!

  26. On September 19th, 2008 at 6:23 pm Emily R Says:

    Yeah. Someday he’ll move out.

  27. On September 19th, 2008 at 7:41 pm electriclady Says:

    Did you see Ask Moxie today? Whole post about the hell that is 18 months. Sigh.

  28. On September 19th, 2008 at 8:43 pm chris Says:

    This the very reason why someone invented school!

  29. On September 19th, 2008 at 10:56 pm heather Says:

    I feel you; you know I do. Beans is just twitching with toddler rage these days. Writhing across the floor, throwing herself down in tantrums, slapping, screaming like a damn howler monkey in a rabied frenzy, BITING (oh, yes, the onset of a mouth full of teeth is the arrival of a tiny ginsu set indeed) with her 16 teeth. The boy and I hide from her like scared little children. Maybe you could hide, too? He probably smells fear, though, this child of little sleep.

  30. On September 19th, 2008 at 10:57 pm Carmen Says:

    I’m in a similar boat. G is cutting two molars. Our prison is a bit different though as she sleeps great at night, but only takes a one hour nap during the day. By 4:30 in the afternoon she wants to go to bed and it’s quite the push to make it to at LEAST 6:30. Here is what I have found to work – a dog. Our dog can keep her happy for about 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes is the TV. After that I’m at a loss. Is that where the alcohol and drugs comes in?

  31. On September 20th, 2008 at 11:24 am Madam Yu See Says:

    It ends when they move out of the house and start families of their own. However, by then, they know how to use the phone and still call at odd hours of the night with their problems: “Hi, I’m in jail, was arrested for smoking pot,” (son, age 17 fortunately 6 days shy of his 18th birthday), “Hi, I’m in jail, was arrested for shoplifting,” (daughter, age 17, from South Carolina), “Hi, I need money.” (never ending)
    Little children = little problems
    Big children = big problems

  32. On September 20th, 2008 at 1:14 pm Danielle Says:

    Oh man! I HATE toddler hell. They are so damn unreasonable, and the high pitched screams…OUCH! I don’t have any fantastic cures for you, but I will wish you luck! Hang in there and maybe it’ll get better..

  33. On September 20th, 2008 at 2:39 pm Anjali Says:

    I second one of your commenters: I think 4 is the new 2 (or should I say 3), too.

  34. On September 20th, 2008 at 3:49 pm kate Says:

    yeah, it’ll end, but then you’ll be paying college tuition.

  35. On September 20th, 2008 at 4:18 pm MsPrufrock Says:

    I nearly threw my kid in the sea today, so I have no advice for you.

  36. On September 20th, 2008 at 8:26 pm Sarah Says:

    I am a witness. My two are 18 months apart. Much love, Sister.

  37. On September 20th, 2008 at 10:22 pm Alex Says:

    If nothing else, thanks for providing me with the relief I got knowing that someone else’s kid is also…ripping apart the cords from [the] laptop, pulling each and everything…out of the cabinets…while banging his ample noggin against the Pergo. Mine doesn’t know about “kitty” and our laminate is a less expensive brand, but otherwise, oh yeah…

    Gosh, could you post the address for that trade-in store?

  38. On September 22nd, 2008 at 4:19 pm Brooke Says:

    Yes, it will end. Eventually. But then the phase where he asks WHY all the time will start. And once that goes away, he’ll realize he has free will and will say NO to everything you ask him to do. Once he gets bored with that he will argue until he is blue in the face about what time he has to go to bed, the color of his pajamas and they direction in which the sun sets in the effing sky.

    It’s all lovely, and all requires massive amounts of vodka.

  39. On September 22nd, 2008 at 9:04 pm mandy Says:

    Mine boy is SO being terrible too lately. He can keep yours company in that dog house. mkay?

  40. On September 23rd, 2008 at 2:15 pm Tina Roggenkamp Says:

    Our kids are freakishly alike. Mine is OBSESSED with cats. When he’s being a royal PITA, I show him cats on youtube.
    He also did not sleep through the night until 10 months… up every hour or two to eat.

    Teeth are the devil’s doing, I swear.

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