Of Baseball and Tantrums and “Mom Memory”

Yesterday, Matt played baseball with his step-dad, brother, my sisters, and a bunch of neighborhood people. Matt’s step-dad and his friend organized it, choosing people for their teams to play. Matt’s stepdad came up with a unique name and team t-shirts too.

I brought the kids to watch, and they had tons of fun watching Daddy play and ignoring my requests that they keep off of the baseball field!

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It was fun watching the game and as a bonus: I got a little workout in from all the kid-chasing. I’ll confess…baseball is not my sport and I didn’t follow it completely. But I know a good pitch/hit/run when I see one! Everyone played great, some of them more committed to winning than others. Like my older sister, who slid into home like a boss. They didn’t win, but they had tons of fun.

The boys listened fairly well, until towards the end…when Archer’s exhaustion started to display in its typical, throw a thousand tantrums way.

He wanted daddy to sit with him, not mommy, and couldn’t understand why daddy couldn’t.

Mommy is just poor company, I guess. Isn’t that the way it goes? The parent that is otherwise indisposed is the one in high demand?

After the game was over, Archer, Nolan and the other kids got to run around the diamond. On his way back, Archer tripped and scrapped up his poor little knees in the dirt.

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His crumbled face of pain and surprise didn’t happen immediately, the poor love. He took it like a champ. We washed the dirt out and he latched on to the water bottle like a pro and almost feel asleep held in the most awkward position ever.

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After the game, everyone went to the other team captain’s house for a BBQ. We sort of bailed out early on that one. Archer was exhausted, having skipped his nap, and listening was not happening. Matt predicted it and didn’t even want to chance it, but I stubbornly assumed I would be able to magically make my children listen. After all, I am their mother.

You’d think I’d learn by now, that is never the case. Like, ever.

But it was ok, because it was crowded and my head was pounding from all the sun and I just didn’t feel like attempting to be social while struggling with a 30 pound toddler with brute strength who can totally kick my ass and who was hell bent on tumbling head first into the pool, just so he could cause me to sprout 11 more grey hairs. I’m 24.

Archer’s public tantrums and refusal to listen can be really exhausting, and I’m ashamed to admit that my go to solution is to stop the activity.

When I got home, I got to thinking and reflecting about this second child business. I tried to recall memories of Nolan at this age, and for some reason…I just couldn’t.

I can’t remember much about Nolan’s early days as you’d think I’d be able to. I remember cuddles, and I feel like things were easier with him. I feel like he was a more agreeable child and I feel like his temper tantrums were never as bad as Archer’s.

Matt assures me that I’m entirely wrong. He claims that Nolan was every bit as difficult and prone to temper tantrums as Archer is now.

It’s a pity that I can’t remember. Did I have a magical way of getting Nolan to behave? Or did I just ride it out like I am now, leaving the situation when he gets super bad and explaining (or, rather, trying to explain while he kicks and flails about in my arms) why we aren’t staying?

Maybe some posts in my archives carry the answers. I’ll have to check.

In the meantime, all I’m really able to do, since time outs during these situations don’t work and I’m not game for letting my child run amuck and not listen, is pack ’em up and head home. Sorry kid, if you don’t want to listen? You miss out on fun activities.

It just sucks for Nolan, because he’s typically able to listen better and has to miss out.

Alas, life isn’t fair.

But seriously, why can’t I remember Nolan’s toddlerhood? It just ended, like, yesterday, and I’m having so much difficulty recalling it.

I suppose it has to do with a woman’s unique ability to forget or block out the negative. We forget (or at least, dull down the intensity of) certain things of babyhood. How exhausting it was, how it strained our relationships with our spouses. How we truly felt while pregnant (hint: it’s not glowing and happy, at least not all the time. It’s sweaty and emotional. Or at least that’s how it was for me…not every experience is the same). This, I think anyway, helps you believe that you want another baby, even if you know you’re done. It’s the urge to procreate til the cows come home.

I still have that urge and two is all I want, thank you very much. But being pregnant and caring the offspring of my handsome husband was such an amazing experience that I almost want to relive it over and over again. Almost. But that’s the urge talking, not me.

But I’m not the only mom who has difficulty remembering the tough stuff about child rearing in the past, am I? I mean, it’s easy to write about the stuff that happens now…but will I remember it a few years from now? Or will I tell everyone that Archer was such an easy baby?

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