09 January 2008

Longing for a Bygone Era

Today is one of those days when I could really use a two-martini lunch. Too bad those days are over and I had to settle for a caffeinated latte.

Maddie and Riley had their eighteen-month checkup today. They are perfectly healthy and quite large: Maddie is 90th percentile for height, 75th for weight, and off the chart for head size. Riley is 75th for height, 75th for weight, and 90th for head. Despite their colds, their ears were clear. All of this is good.

What was not good, but is normal for their age:

  • the thrashing around like wild beasts while getting weighed, measured, poked, and prodded.
  • the screaming, crying, and carrying on.
  • the clinging.
  • the throwing of toys.
  • the general lack of cooperation.

By the end of it all, I was absolutely exhausted. I spent the appointment doing one of two things: (1) holding down a shrieking, windmilling, snot-disgorging toddler for vitals, or (2) consoling the hurt of the woeful and wronged, which involved balancing 53 pounds of kid on my lap while wiping noses, reaching for toys, and doling out hugs and kisses. My doctor had warned me that the eighteen-month visit is the one at which kids become very leery of the practice of medicine, and she was not exaggerating.

I'm finding eighteen months to be a challenge. I know many people do. We seem to have hit the eighteen-month sleep regression, which has brought on crying at bedtime, night waking, and naptime disruption. "No" is the word of the day. My daughter has started to shove and hit. My son has been seen engaging in throw-the-body-on-the-floor-and-scream tantrums. I was not ready for all of this at this age. Naively, I thought I had a few more months.

It's a good night for me to be hosting my book club. Wine, snacks, and good conversation will help me through.

25 comments:

OTRgirl said...

I love that you got the tatoo! Can't wait to see it.

Sorry the kids are hitting one of the 'fun' stages. Especially with two at once...ugh.

Lori said...

Having spent most of yesterday morning at the doctor's office with a 2.5 year old (who came :this: close to getting catheterized) and a screaming, hungry 3 week-old, I kinda feel your pain.

The doctor wariness hasn't improved around here much yet. And the "no" thing, in our case, morphed into "yes, no, yes, no," which is equally normal AND irritating.

Hang in there, and enjoy the book club!

Becca said...

I can't imagine doing the pediatrician's with two toddlers! It is so hard with just one. Mine finally has gotten over his leeriness of the doctor, but only after many many ear infection appointments in the span of two months. I think he thinks it's just another place we go regularly, like the grocery store or Starbucks. Enjoy book group... that sounds lovely!

Maggie said...

Eighteen months is absolutely the hardest age. It's been over 20 years and I still remember it vividly--and I only experienced it one child at a time. I can remember going through a bad patch where I couldn't wait to get my daughter down at night and immediately after doing so, began to dread her getting up in the morning. Things got better in time.

thrice said...

I had this. What worked for me were doctor kits, so my twin boys could be the doctors at home. When going to the doctor they would be the daddies, strolling (doll strollers) in their babies (cookie monster and elmo) with the doctor kits. The nurse and doctor had to first examine cookie monster and elmo and then they would let the nurse weigh and measure them and then let the doctor examine them. Of course we practiced this multiple times at home first.

It's hard. very hard.

BK said...

It's so unpredictable how they'll act at the pediatrician's office. Case in point: Last June, my almost 3-year-old son was in for pinkeye and had a wonderful time. He jumped right on the scale, made silly faces at the ped, and giggled through the whole visit. Then in August when we were in for his 3-year checkup, he spent the entire visit with his face buried in my chest, whimpering pitifully with every little touch. This is AFTER I had to get on the scale with him because he absolutely would not stand on it himself. Yeah, there's nothing like getting weighed in your kid's doctor's office (when PMSing and bloated, I might add) to boost a mom's self-esteem. Especially annoying because he stands on the scale all the time at home, so I knew exactly what he weighed, but they wouldn't take my word for it. Ugh. Something to look forward to.

Enjoy your night with grown-ups!

Keen said...

Oh, Snick, I feel your pain. I wish I could have a) helped you out at the doctor's office and b) bought you a BIG alcoholic drink afterwards.

Sleep regression sucks. And tantrums of the throwing-yourself-on-the-ground variety do, too. It's like they're hard-wired to do that.

So glad your book club is tonight! Enjoy the wine. Have a few glasses of it.

Yankee T said...

Oy. A distant memory, but vivid. But with one kid, not two. Sending my love-

Tiffany said...

I hate to say it but it is going to get worse before it gets better. One thing I have found with my daughter is the more positive and happy I sound and better mood she is in. Even if I want to scream and cry and yell and shout if I brush things off and stay as happy as possible it makes the rough times easier.

We actually have not been to the doctor since her 18 month check up because to me there has been no reason - she is very healty. BUT I have to have the doctor fill out a health questionaire on here and therefore we have to go see him. She is very shy so I am sure I will deal with what you just dealth with at her next appointment.

LauraC said...

No advice, just a comment to say we are getting our butts kicked in the 18-24 month phase. Some days I prefer obedience over this newfound independence. My favorite this week - NO NO NO!!! (said while running away)

Rachel said...

I agree that 18 months is a tough age. I can't imagine how hard it must be to wrangle two toddlers at a doctor's appointment. Aargh! Glad they are healthy, though.

Hang in there. It does get better, eventually.

Julia said...

I find wine to be a good response to many parenting issues. :)
We had the 18 months doctor thing too. What's worse, she hated the shot, and then remembered it, and at 24 months threw a huge fit and crying thing when we had to go to the doctor. Fun! Hope you are spared that part.

Sylvie said...

Ooh, you should come to Mexico. Tequila at lunch is totally normal here. Today I had a little bit of wine: also normal and so welcome!

elderflowerpressee said...

Yeah: all that stuff about the terrible twos? I don't know any normal kid who doesn't start them at 18 months. Currently making the most of my second baby's actual babyhood. So innocent! So trusting! So easily satisfied! So fleeting!

Angela said...

Yes, let's hope you get to drink some really great wine tonight at book club. Hope you get to relax and forget about the awful appointment. So sorry to read that everyone had such a horrible time. Sending you a big hug.
Glad that the twins are doing so well health wise. I never tell new parents about that little known fact that the "terrible twos" are a misnomer, both my kids hit this stage at around 16 months. You will survive, we all do, we have the grey hairs to prove it.

ainin said...

Hey,
My twins are 26mths. I just picked up a parenting book (The Happiest Toddler On The Block) and it says Terrible Twos really start about 18mths !!!! 18-24 mths were the hardest with my twins. I holed up at home and just refused to go out after a while (tantrums everywhere, thrashing on floor, etc). Horrible. I feel your pain but it does get better. Just google and try all sorts of techniques to try manage the twins; I had to use two separate discipline techniques with each twin. What worked for one didn't work for the other. Exhausting. The good news is: the time will pass and they will grow up soon, and you will survive it. I wish someone had told me 18mths was the worst time, I kept thinking it would only hit at 24 mths. Good luck.

Jana said...

Ha! I just wrote about this same thing with my 18-month-old (born June 23, 2006). It's really reassuring to see your kids are doing the same thing.

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

18 months was the worst age for us. The. Worst. You have all the logistical inconveniences inherent in having twins and the maximum unreasonableness all at once. They fight all the time because they have no sharing skills yet (which, at least for us, were pretty well developed by a bit past two). Age 2 is hard, and you may have harder days with them individually, but for me, the collective experience of it all was much harder at 18 months. It is my hope that this sustains you even a tiny bit!

buddha_girl said...

Sucks. Cripes.

I'm taking Buddha (42lbs) for his CTscan tomorrow. The idiot in radiology told me that they want to try doing it without sedation. Good luck, bitch.

No. Tantrums. Kicking. "Leery." All that. I feel your pain, sister.

Kathryn said...

Ouch - my scars from the toddler years are aching in sympathy. Hope the book club was restorative, and things look up soon.

Mama Nabi said...

(yeah, wanna see that tat!)

Sigh... I know how disoriented I get with just ONE doing the usual toddler antics, I can't imagine what it'd be like with TWO...

*hug* and, if we're ever in a same city at the same time, the two martinis are on me.

~Denise~ said...

My youngest is 19 months and yes, there seems to be a switch at 18 months or around there. Hoping you can catch some good Zzzz's and enjoy some wine over the next week.

Anne K. said...

I've almost forgotten that space of time when my daughter was between 18 and 24 months. yes, it's a challenge for all. I sensed her continual frustration with not being able to form words yet(or at least I thought that's what it was.) You always hear about the Terrible Twos, but in my house, turning two for her was like getting a whole new, more verbal, much more agreeable child. Hang in there!

Crimson Rambler said...

Hoo boy. Two thoughts that might help. With mine (and I didn't have twins, but I DO have twin brothers eleven years younger, so I did a fair amount of twin-wranglin' at a tender age)...I found they were most owly and awful JUST BEFORE they made some welcome breakthrough in development -- teeth, walking, speech, etc.
And the second thing, when they're in their teens you'll be SO GLAD they've practised saying NO, right??? Meantime, \*/ and love.

Vanessa said...

Doctor visits didn't get any better for us until about age 5. They did, however, get a lot more embarrassing. It's one thing when your toddler is kicking and screaming and thrashing, but quite another when your 4-year-old is behaving the same way! (At that particular checkup, my husband said, "I bet a lot of kids do this, right?" and the nurse replied grimly, "Not the 4-year-olds." Ouch.)