Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tractors, Trees and Thunderstorms

Boys must be born with an obsession for tractors and other heavy machinery.

My sister and I were raised in this same house with my farmer grandparents as neighbours. We have a huge vegetable garden and two tractors - a riding lawnmower, and a big one for blowing snow in the winter.

My sister and I both grew up watching Opa use the tractors and plant and harvest the garden year after year, but we never showed much interest. I had a small patch of garden that i grew radishes and flowers in when i was smaller, but it only lasted a few years. I think i wanted to mow the lawn once, but after running over a pine sapling i was too afraid to do it again.

But ever since Toby knew what a tractor was he's had this complete fixation with anything large and motorized.
He spent his whole 'one-year-old winter' watching Opa blow snow out of the driveway making BBBRRRRMMMMM sounds with his lips ad infinitum.

When the snow melted and Opa was cleaning out the flower beds infront of our house I thought it would be a laugh to seat Toby up on the tractor seat.

March 2010

Little did I know that this allowance would be a never ending game of  "Opa tacto?? Toby up-y"

May 2010

 June 2010

 Aug 2010 - not our tractor. Visiting a farm and trying to commandeer their farm equipment.

September 2010 - Finally deemed 'big enough' to ride in the trailer

October 2010 - Finally allowed to sit on the big tractor

 October 2010 - chillin with Chaos while Opa pulls potatoes

He can hear a tractor starting a mile away. He lives for harvesting season when we can drive down to road and see at least two combines on the way to town. He has a million tractor themed toys and books.
I can keep  him entertained by finding videos of tractors driving on youtube.
This one he watches over...and over... and over... exclaiming WOOOOOOOOOW Look at THAT! over and over

There are surprisingly more videos than one would have expected. Our 'TV time' consists mostly of either home movies of himself playing outside or tractor videos on the computer.
And to top that off, he loves digging in the garden and my Opa has been letting him help plant and pick things. 
We all think Toby's going to be a farmer or a heavy equipment operator.

Two years ago we started a tree farm. The three fields bordering our house are now filled with red pine, white pine, red oak and black walnut saplings. It's a constant source of entertainment for Toby to watch Opa mowing the grass up and down the rows of trees.
This spring we're replanting ones that have died or been mouse-eaten.
Toby is actually big enough to walk from one end of the field to the other, and so each time Opa disapears over the hill with the tractor, we follow him out with a shovel in tow so Toby can 'help' him.

Today 'help' consisted of baby-sitting the tractor, which he can now climb up all by himself.


But then he decided that digging would be a good idea, and so Opa put him to work. He actually did a really good job.

Thunderclouds moved in and it started to rain, but Toby  has never minded the rain and will in fact burst into a fit if i suggest that going out in the rain is maybe not a good idea when it's still cold weather. Needless to say, it took a long time and a lot of moping and whining to get him to walk back to the house with me. Even then it took an other half hour of playing in the sandbox, riding on the swing and tormenting the cats to finally get him to admit that it was lunch time and being out in a thunderstorm wasn't the best idea.

I just think that it's funny how different he is compared to my sister and I. He is truly his own person, and I find it fascinating that people growing up in virtually the same environment find interest in completely opposite things. Does it have to do with the fact he's a boy? Is it a genetic fascination from the other side of the family? What made farming such a highlight for him instead of, say, sports?
I realize he's not even three, and here I am analyzing his personality...
Anyways, I'm sure there are more changes to come from this fascinating little kid.... I guess I"ll just have to keep our video camera rolling.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Being sick sucks.
Having a sick baby sucks.
Both those things together royally blow.

It was one thing when Toby was a baby and I could sit infront of the TV the whole day or lay in bed and he would sleep most of the time and I'd get some reading done or whatever... but now he's a toddler. No, he's more than a toddler, he's a tornado. He's the energizer bunny. He doesn't know how to not do anything.
So fine, I can follow him around and blow my nose and hack into my thermos of hot tea and just let him play... but then he got sick too.
It started with the whining. Lots of it. I couldn't put him down for more than a minute, I couldn't leave the room, he wanted to nurse constantly. Great... he's getting sick...
Then he sneezed.
This is usually a normal occurance. He sneezes a lot. Several times a day. Always. I blame dust in our house but who knows. The week before we had been raking leaves outside and stirring up who knows what all kinds of dirt and mold from the winter.
But no, this sneeze left him with a far-away stare and glassy eyes and a thick yellow stream of goo on his face... which he immediately used his hand to wipe away... which he then used his other hand to try and wipe off.
So now it's 5 days later and the noses are still running and the deep bronchial coughs have set it. I"m sick of being sick.
And evidentially so is Toby.
He doesn't like being told what to do at the best of times....
But now that he's sick and there's so many other things he cant do... like dont get his face so close to the rug please... or keep you mitts on outside please... or no we can't dig in the flower bed today, I dont want to make our coughs worse.......He's developed a loud frequent used of the word 'NO'.

I"ve never been one to shout 'no' at him. I try to talk him down from whereever it is his mood had gone. If it persists or if he's doing someting dangerous I'll shout 'no'... but it's not as though I've been demonstrating this habit to him.

I don't even remember when it started... day 2 of the cold? day 3? But I"m about ready to throw something out a window.

"Toby can you put your socks back on please I dont want your feet to ge-'
"You're feet are like ice Toby i don't want-"
"NO" *kicks/screams/bursts into tears*


"Have another drink of tea Toby it will help your-'


"Toby, honestly, if you don't stop kicking me I"m just going to turn the TV off and leave"
"Don't yell at me Toby, I"m getting sick of it"
"Alright see ya later *turn TV off and leave*"
"That's fine, but not until you calm down"
"yeah... ok..."


'Toby we DO NOT hit the cats. If he's sleeping just walk around him"
"if you're going to spout rules back at me then please follow them."
"NO *holds finger up* NO. NO."


"Just close your eyes and relax ok... you need a nap to feel better"
"... who told you that... or is that new logic you've come up with?"
"i see..."


....A small insight to the last three days.
Then last night he woke up in the middle of the night and asked to nurse. I was dead asleep and not awake and needed a minute. I pushed him back over to his bed so I could roll over.
" I know Toby.. i heard you... give me a sec"
"NO. NOT. ONE. SEC." A coughing fit ensued.
"That's good. cough it up. Here let me blow your nose, you're plugged u-"
"NO. NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE. *more coughing and gagging*"
"Please do not yell at me in the middle of the night. I know you're sick and miserable, but I feel the same way and i'm getting REALLY sick of you screaming at me all the time when all I"m doing is trying to help you feel better."

He pouted and nursed for 5 seconds.

"Mommy nursing other side."
"uuuung...Toby this side is fine. I"m so tir-"
"calm down"
"Dammit Toby it's the middle of the night just relax please"
"This IS the other side"

I turned the light on.
"Look. Other side. Here. Nurse"
"NO. Nursing UP"
"That's the side you JUST had Toby, for pete's sake just go to sleep." I turned the light off and lay there with my shirt half off waiting for him to make up his mind. He settled for the 'down' side, cause i hadnt rolled over still. Then the nipple twisting started. I think I've complained about it before... his habit of wrapping my free nipple around his finger and pinching and digging his nails in, much the way a cat 'kneads' your leg when they're trying to get comfortable. I was pissed. I was not having any of it. I wrenched his hand off for the hundredth time that night. Toby screamed.
"NO. NO. NO."
Toby starts to cry, but quiets and keeps nursing. My throat now hurts again.
"mummy nursing up..."
"whatever Toby."

He crawled to a sitting position and leans his head up on my chest to nurse. I"ve been trying to discourage this because it kills my back, but at this point i just want to go back to sleep. I hugged him and coughed a few times. I felt him pat my tummy.
"poor mummy" he whispered.
I heaved a huge sigh and hugged him. I sniffed a few times and grumbled to myself and took a huge raggedy breath. Toby whipped around to look at me.
"Mommy, don't cry." He's never said that to be before.
"Toby i'm just so frusterated becasue I want you to get better and I"m trying to help you but I dont know what else to do. I feel the same as you. I know you're plugged up and hurting, but i'm the same and I need sleep too. I'm just scared you're cough is getting worse and i just need you to let me help you. I don't like being yelled at all the time, it's not nice for me to listen to and it doesn't get you what you want anyways. So I need you to please calm down. I need sleep Toby"

It took another hour of tossing and turning and nose blowing and grumbling but we both finally fell back asleep.

He seemed fine when he woke up this morning... he told me he pooped... so i said I'd change him...
"NO. NOT. CHANGE. YOUR. DIAPER."*bursts into tears*

I need a week to sleep.
I don't know what else to do.
I can keep up what I'm doing if i know this will all stop in a few days, but I'm really hoping this is not a new personality development.
I don't want him to get pneumonia.
I just want to do our normal day-to-day stuff without getting screamed at.
I know he's moody because I am too. I know he's plugged up and frusterated.
I am too.
Hopefully things get a bit better after nap time....