Time Life Presents: The Toddler Years

Pardon me. I am a little crankier than usual today. Trombone got up at 6 am and has been acting like a real twit ever since. Thankfully I was up before him, writing in my sanity journal. This might just be magical thinking but it’s day three of my sanity journal (writing first thing in the morning before I even get out of bed) and I have managed to maintain my temper and hold my fire, even in the face of such hits as:

“I want a cupcake! I WANT A CUPCAKE! I WANT A CUPCAKE! I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME!” (this at Safeway, nowhere near the cupcakes. Sadly the Safeway staff refused to babysit.)

“I DON’T WANT TO! I DON’T WANT TO!” (this after I offered to remove his wet shoes [because even though it’s raining we still play at the water park])

“I DON’T WANT TO GO TO SLEEP!” (this after I offered him some lunch)

and one of my personal, all-time favourites, after I made it clear we were leaving the park:


I waited a minute to formulate my reply.


Yes, he is actually talking in all-caps, which is to say, hollering.

I think the key to the sanity journal is that even though I might not get a break for the whole rest of the day, at least I had that 20 – 30 minutes at the beginning. And even if it sometimes means getting up at 5 am to beat the infant (get there first, I mean, not assault) it is actually worth it. Physical exhaustion is easier to work around than mental / emotional exhaustion.

Otherwise how could I be strong enough to even be in the same room as a dvd called “Baby Animal Songs” by the good folks at Kidsongs. We watched their Old MacDonald dvd about 800 times a couple of months ago and it was pretty awful but I could at least find some humour in it. There was this kid, Sean, and he kept flubbing his lines and only after the 5th or 6th viewing did I notice and then I just kept watching him and it just got funnier…

(I guess you had to be there. And being 2 weeks post-partum wouldn’t hurt either.)

Anyway, Baby Animal Songs, no. No humour here. It stars obnoxiously cheery children with glossy lips and huge, white teeth, lip-syncing while they hold and dance with baby animals. Here is the description from the website:

In this charming music video starring dozens of baby animals, you’ll meet fuzzy little bear cubs, tiny foxes, busy monkeys and a long-legged giraffe. There are even white tiger cubs, a sweet baby girl elephant who dances to Oh, You Beautiful Doll and baby chimps create chaos in Yes, We Have No Bananas. Baby zebras, llamas, horses, puppies and kittens round out the cast of this fabulously fun sing-along you’ll want to watch over and over again!

I mean, you get an inkling of how horrible it is, (see: baby chimps) but you will never know. Never. Until you have seen it. I was sitting here this morning, while the children sang “Jeepers Creepers,” remembering how the boys used to sing that to the girls in grade 6, referring to our breasts, of course, and thinking: who the HELL thought this was a good idea.

It is just wrong to see 8 – 10 year old children mouthing the lyrics:

“Golly gee…when you turn them heaters on
Woe is me…got to put my cheaters on
Jeepers, creepers….where’d ya get them peepers
Oh, those weepers….how they hypnotize”

…while we watch footage of the eyes of owls, monkeys, lemurs, etc.

or a tune I had never heard before, (despite it having been penned, apparently, in 1924) called “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On The Bedpost Overnight.” Not so bad in itself but acted out by chimps? Kill me now, Kidsongs. Kill me now.

We have watched this dvd only twice so far (it goes back to the library on Friday) and today at lunch I overheard Trombone singing to himself, “Jeepers. Creepers. Jeepers. Creepers.”

Go ahead and recommend better dvds to me. Don’t matter. He loves this stuff, which makes me think I have given birth to the next Liberace or Ethel Merman. Longer term, I don’t think the journal is going to do it. I think I need a sanity island.

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