Ikea and Toddlerdom

Is that a word?  If not, I think it should be.  That’s where I’m living right now.  Right smack in the middle and mayor of Toddlerdom.

I believe that at almost 18 months, my son has hit the terrible twos.  I think that it’s called that because it lasts for 2 years, not because it only happens when they are 2.  A friend says it starts around 1 1/2 and goes until they are about 3.  Lovely.  The fits are constant all day long, and they are getting bad with the back-arching, the screaming, the throwing whatever he can get his hands on.  I know that how I react to these things will determine my future and Carter’s.  I feel like I’m under a spotlight with a commentator off to the side discussing my every action.  “How will Mandi react this time? Ah, she’s trying the old ‘make no eye contact and walk away’ tactic.  Let’s see how that works for her this time.  The boy sees she’s not giving in.  He’s looking for something else to throw…”  Honestly, most of the time I don’t know what to do except NOT GIVE IN.  But, I can feel his frustration.  He doesn’t have the vocabulary to tell me what he wants and I don’t know how much of what I’m saying he really understands.  Are there any tried and true methods for dealing with toddler craziness?

My favorite (sarcasm) thing he does these days is look right at me while he does something naughty.  Like, dump the cats food into the floor or pull the spices out of my spice drawer.  No one believes me, but this child does already know right from wrong in some instances.  Somehow I have to teach him that doing the right thing is better than doing the wrong thing.  I’m sure that I’ll keep the parenting book industry in business over the next few years.  When in doubt, read a book about it.  Anyone have any recommendations?

On a FUN note, I took a road trip with 2 friends to Ikea in Charlotte this past Friday and it was A-MAZ-ING.  I had been planning the trip and saving up for it for about a month.  I went with money in bank account and list in hand.  I got everything on the list and them some.  The 2 big projects in the house right now are turning our dining room into a play room.  Right now the dining room is black and white with black and white toile curtains (Waverly’s Country Life).  My favorite part of the room is the huge black chandelier hanging down in the middle.  It’s all gorgeous, but does not scream playroom.  So, here the plan:  I’m adding 2 accent colors.  Right now I’m thinking lime green and pale yellow or orange.  I’m going to hand-draw the word “play” on one wall in a cool font and paint it.  My mother in law is going to help me make some cool, whimsical curtains.  I’m going to spray paint all of the little lamp shades on the chandelier to match the colors in the room, then put polka dots of the opposite color on each one.  I bought a cool lime green shag rug at Ikea and a super cute table w/ 2 chairs.  I still have to assemble them.  I’m going to do 2 or 3 paintings of some very whimsical, cartoony animals to hang around.  This is going to be a long project.

The other biggie is Carter’s bathroom.  Right now it’s navy blue with a daisy theme.  It was the only room that I decorated slightly feminine and now it’s all got to go for my little boy.  To fix this room we’re going to put 6′ wide lime green (can you see a pattern here) vertical stripes all around the room to lighten things up a bit.  I bought a new shower curtain that I’m going to cover in Carter’s handprints–beginning with his little 1 year-old hands at the bottom and adding more hands as he gets older.  I’m thinking it will take until he’s about 5 to fill it up.  I embroidered some white towels with his name in lime green and I bought a lime green mirror to hang that looks like a big water splat.  So cool.  That’s all I know about that room for now.

I transformed our bedroom very cheaply thanks go Ikea.  I bought a new duvet cover and some new lamps/shades to replace the HORRENDOUS ones we’ve had for years and years.  The lamps were horrendous, not our old duvet cover–it’s really nice.  So, I changed those things out as soon as I got home and what a difference it makes!  The room looks so fresh and bright.  I really like going in there just to look at it.

I hid all my DVD and CD’s in some sharp looking little boxes.  This is step one of organizing and slimming down my built-in shelves on either side of my fireplace.  They are TOO busy for my taste, so this will be a work in progress.  

 My last project is my recovering my chairs at my kitchen bar and breakfast nook table.  They are beige…or at least they used to be.  I believe it was at my baby shower when they got mostly destroyed with red punch and other foody things spilled by the TON of kids running around.  They haven’t been the same since then, and now, 2 years later, it’s time to do something about it.  I found some great microfiber fabric with a green/blue print for really cheap per yard.  My MIL says with 4 yards, we can recover 8 chairs and make a couple of pillows for the couch.  I’m psyched!

I’ll be back tomorrow with something a little deeper.  I just had to have a little break from the emotional journey and soul-searching that the Valentine’s stuff took me on.  It was pretty exhausting.

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