Friday, June 13, 2008

Child's Play the Prequel: Here's "Bucky" . . .

My son Bubby is curious, lively, energetic, and "problem-solving." He can't be left alone for long. He gets into everything. Everything. Yes, he is a busy boy, but his high level of activity is generally matched with a sweet, good-natured disposition. Sure, he doesn't always listen to what mommy and daddy say, but for the most part, he aims to please.

My son "Bucky" looks a lot like Bubby and started showing up sometime last week, just popping in and out throughout the day, especially at bedtime. "Bucky" likes to scream phrases like "I want it. I WANT it. I want it." Or, when he is feeling a little less demanding, "I NEED it. I need it. I NEED it." "Bucky" opens up the freezer and grabs a popsicle at 7:30 a.m. and then throws a fit when mommy or daddy won't open it for him. "Bucky" wants to eat dinner in front of Caillou and not at the table. "Bucky" has to be talked into taking a bath (Bubby goes willingly) and then pours water out of the tub. If "Bucky" wants to hear Barney's Easter Basket read to him for a second time, he does not say "again pease" as Bubby might, but "AGAIN. AGAIN. AGAIN."

Sure, Bubby likes poop, but "Bucky" takes the poop fetish to a new level. Tonight, I had the pleasure of disinfecting the tub after a particularly disgusting code brown. Bubby seemed confused by what "Bucky" had done, leaning over to inspect the poop smeared on the floor of the tub and asking, quite innocently, "What happened?" What happened indeed? Since "Bucky" started showing up last week, the hubby and I have thrice been tasked with cleaning poop off of the white carpet in the room where Bubby usually sleeps. Indeed, it seems that "Bucky" has regularly started pooping and removing his diaper at nap and bed times. Plus, whereas Bubby was falling asleep by 8:00 p.m., "Bucky" is not throwing in the towel until 9:00 p.m. and only after both daddy and mommy have taken a shift upstairs.

Why and how is this happening? How have we come to see less Bubby and more "Bucky" of late? I thought that there was a chance that "Bucky" had been visiting because Bubby was sick, but one doctor's visit (and the Thomas the Train sticker our $20 co-pay got us) has confirmed that he has no fever, no ear infection, and no other signs of illness. I thought it was teething because Bubby is getting some molars, but as we are generous with the Children's Motrin, I don't think Bubby's molars have too much to do with "Bucky's" frequent appearances. I thought it might be the heat, as the real summer weather has prompted some crankiness in mommy for sure (who is sleeping without covers each night and still waking up with a sweaty shirt each morning), but Bubby is not nine months pregnant and his normally heat-sensitive daddy does not seem that uncomfortable around the house.

So, what is the problem? Why has "Bucky" been showing up so often? I suspect it has something to do with a reminder that Bubby has been giving me and daddy lately: "I baby," he says, "I baby." It may also be related to his recent interest in having me rock him before he sleeps (he has not wanted to be rocked in almost a year). It may have something to do with the fact that after he removed his diaper before nap today and after he stalled by then trying to pee on the potty, he then went to the changing table that has been moved next to Bub 2.0's cradle, opened the drawer, and pulled out a Size 1 Swaddler diaper. "I want Cookie Monster diaper," he tells me. As Bubby usually wears a Size 6, it was not going to happen . . . but the request seemed a bit of a clue as to why "Bucky" has been making his presence known.

The question is what will happen when Bub 2.0 is out of the womb and into those Swaddlers. I am praying that my sweet Bubby--the one who kisses my belly and reads books to "brother"--will return and that if we do a good enough job of making sure Bubby knows he's still and always our baby (and, if we take the advice we've been given about making sure the baby comes home with presents for Bub), then "Bucky's" appearances will not become the norm.

Those of you have more than one child, dare I hope that "Bucky" is not here to stay? Any advice on how to make the transition easier and to deal with all this Child's Play in the interim?


Mom o'Bean said...

Oh my god! You're killing me with the Code Brown stuff! I had no idea. I am SOOO in for it.

I think this sort of thing is fairly common. I have no advice on how to make 1.0 feel special when 2.0 arrives but to quote Angeline Jolie, that icon of motherhood, she says she makes sure to spend a little special time every day with each of her kids and that when the twins arrive she will have the older kids feed them pumped milk and change diapers. I'm pretty sure there's a joke in there about third world child labor, but I'm going to leave it alone.

Best of luck!

cake said...

i feel you. my 2 and a half year old has been acting this way too, and there is no little sibling on the way. i bet it is more about his age, and development. the good news about taking off the diaper after pooping in it is that it could be a sign that he's getting ready to get out of diapers. feeling uncomfortable in soiled diapers is a motivation, don't you think?

i am sure he will be a great big brother.

LAP said...

My two little girls are angels and best friends all the time so I really can't relate. ha ha. All I know is that various "Bucky" phases seem to come and go, but never really last long. I mean, I know the Bub well, and not even he has the energy to keep up all those antics too long? (Though he does have impressive strength and stamina...)

Anonymous said...

And I thought I was tired. And hot. And pregnant.

You win.

Sara G.

Mandy O said...

When we saw ANY kind of positive behavior (even if it was not quite positive... but at least it wasn't bad behavior!), we would say something to the point of, "Wow, that was great Big Brother behavior... Bub 2.0 is going to be so lucky to have you as his Big Bro!". Then we would follow up with taking him out for ice cream or a special shopping trip as a reward if he had been "Big Brother-ish" several times (we even had that as a category on the magnet chart) in a row. Even though Bub 2.0 is not here yet, you can maybe really play on the Big Bro card for all the big boy behavior or non-baby behavior he shows. Keep us posted!

msh said...

i'm with lap--these phases come and go and some last longer than others. when in a "bad" phase (as i simply call it) at our house, i used to act on my impulsive and desperate need to buy parenting books (that i would never read) just to make myself feel like i was doing something to figure it out. now i just trust that it really is a normal developmental phase and do my best to pave my way through it. an extra glass of wine at night usually helps. (luckily eli was pretty good while i was pregnant!) so just hang in there!

like the bub, josie has recently become fascinated with her bodily functions--sticking her hand in her diaper constantly. what she's doing down there, i'm not quite sure. unless she has pooped, then it is quite clear what she is doing, as i find it rubbed all over her and everything around her. when i tried to block the passageway with a onesie and pants, i found her with her arm twisted down through the armhole of her shirt. would it be wrong to put houdini in a snowsuit in the middle of summer?

Actchy said...

I think that a popsicle sounds like a perfectly rational breakfast.

Steph said...

I just can't imagine that sweet little face doing anything but being sweet! Good luck with these transition trials! You're up for it!

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