Saturday, May 24, 2014

The terrible two's...again...and 10 ways music can help

I know I've been absent from my blog for the last month. Not because I wanted to be... But y'all? Life happens. So what major life change happened a month ago? The youngest turned two! Fair warning dear readers, this is at least half-way to being a mommy post. When the oldest one turned two, the terrible phase started at 26 months and lasted for about 30 days. I talked about that time in my life in a previous post.

In some ways, these terrible two's are easier to handle because I have experience with this from dealing with the older one. In other ways, the younger one makes this soooo much more difficult. His personality has always been noticeably independent (which is a nicer way of saying belligerent and uncooperative). And he's loud! He is so loud. At least when the oldest was this age, I -knew- the reason why he was screaming. This one though, seems to scream for no reason. Or at least no reason that I, as a grown-up, can fathom. And did I mention that he's loud? Like banshee loud? So, who out there can write a blog post with a two year old screaming in their ear? If you raised your hand, then bully for you friend. But the Zumbamommy? Not so much. Here it is the long weekend though, and with Bry off work, I figure I should have enough uninterrupted time in the next three days to actually get a post done.

The terrible two's are not pretty. This time through, I'm not letting this boy run roughshod over me. The newest policy in our house, as of this week, is: "If you want to scream, you may do so in your own room." This works actually. He's always been a kid who appreciates time alone so he'll happily sit in his crib with some toys and books and lovies and entertain himself for as much as 25 minutes. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping and praying that his two's phase will be as short lived as his older brother's was. If not, then perhaps I should consider investing in stock in Bayer Aspirin.

Want to know what else I do when I have a headache? I will frequently put on some reggaeton music and turn it way up. I know that may sound counter-intuitive, but doing it just seems to make my brain relax. I thought I was just being my typical weird self until I came across a re-post on Facebook that was originally from Men's Fitness.

If you want click through the whole slide show, and read all the descriptions, just click the picture. Otherwise, here's the list:
1) Change your mood.
2) Feel connected.
3) Form a biographical marker.
4) Overcome insomnia.
5) Reduce stress.
6) Increase the focus of your workout.
7) Work through feelings.
8) Improve your brain chemistry.
9) Sharpen the senses.
10) Improve your attention span.

Looking at this list, I'm pretty I'm using No.5 when I have these "mommy headaches". Then again, it could be No.1, or No.8...or maybe some combination of all three. Isn't music amazing? I've also used No.4, just not for myself. When our youngest was an infant, he had trouble sleeping once we moved him into his own room. Through some trial and error, I discovered that if I played the Putumayo Dreamland CD on repeat all through nap times and all night long, he'd sleep soundly and deeply. So maybe in a way, I actually was using No.4 for me because when the baby sleeps soundly, the household sleeps soundly. Heh.

I have definitely used others on this list. For example No.6. Is there a more boring workout than a treadmill? No, no there is not. At least to me...sorry treadmill lovers. Music makes it a lot better though, and I found that (in my pre-Zumba days) I was able to extend my workouts by as much as 20 minutes. Or how about No.3, I hate the optometrist. And by hate, what I really mean is HATE!! Anything having to do with the eye makes me squeamish, but during this most recent visit, I put my ear-buds in, put my Zumba music on, and kept the volume low enough that I could here anything the eye doctor was saying. But also loud enough to take my mind away to somewhere much Zumba class... For me, it's impossible to be stressed out at Zumba and listening to my music reminds me of that; it reminds me of it well enough to stop me from hyperventilating during the eye exam. So. Not. Kidding.

These days, all my MP3's are on my phone and my phone (and a pair of ear-buds) goes everywhere with me. Long gone are the days of my phone laying forgotten at the bottom of my bag for a day and a half. I am "that girl" who is rarely more than an arm's-length away from her smartphone. Sure, I use it to check social media and stay connected with friends, but that's all secondary to having my music ready and on-hand at a moment's notice.

Best advice: Find a safe and healthy way to alleviate stress while your kid is going through a "terrible phase". It will save your sanity! There is no trying to make peace with a two year old. No truces, no cease-fire's...this is war people, and the "enemy" is unrelenting! Heh, kidding...mostly...

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