I am at that point where I’ve neglected my blog long enough now that so much has happened with Jonah that is worthy of an update except all the memories are bleeding together making themselves tricky to articulate. The mentally filed away stories are backing up and the endless parade of words in my head are forming sentence after sentence, back-to-back, thirty miles long and my fingers are jerking nervously and cramping up with anxiety over the sheer weight of responsibility they have of typing all this mismanaged, chaotically organized, mental calamity of material down. I don’t even think my brain can recount half of what I want to be immortalized in this, this sorry attempt at self-publishing glory … Can I get an amen? Parents?
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I’ve said this before, but it warrants repeating (If not for you, dear readers, then for my fingers. A warm-up typing exercise, something familiar to bang out before all hell breaks loose and the real rapid key tapping begins.) Somewhere around Jonah’s twelfth month everything just started to rev up and change. Rapidly. And not all the change has been fun happy times. No, and to this end, I ask you what is more entertaining to read than a mother deciding to use her blog and her supposed writing talents to air her grievances and point the metaphorical witchy-poo finger while complaining via the interwebs with unbridled vigour? Sounds like your Tuesday night dream scenario, doesn’t it? Let me oblige you, my dear ones.

List of Grievances:

One: What the frigging frig is with my eighteen month old son’s favourite word? “No.” This little gem comes in many forms:
The crying no – “No. No. no, no, no, … no-no-no-no-no nooooooooo…” and cue total meltdown.
The adamant no – “No!” followed by the throwing down of whatever it was that displeased Prince Jo. Usually messy, like a masticated blueberry onto unsuspecting/undeserving white linens.
The questioning no – Asking him a question you know he knows the answer to and getting the inevitable, impish “No…?” and then the turd turns and runs away from you. Every. Time.
The repetitious no – Jonah repeats my “No. Don’t touch that.” with his “No.” FOUR HUNDRED TIMES but continues to do the thing I asked him not to do. This one is my favourite.

Two, three and four: My son’s hatred and refusal to sit in a stroller for any amount of time, followed by grievance numéro trois which is his refusal to walk on his own while holding onto a hand, and then our grievance number four, his reaction to being guided on his direction – while not holding a hand or listening – that reaction being “No!” or screaming indiscriminately. Banshee screaming. Until we give up and let him walk off the sidewalk, into walls, off into traffic, or straight into a stranger’s path.

Five: Scratching, biting, and clawing. What. The. Hell. Jonah is really into monkey-see-monkey-do. But when I scratch, bite and claw daddy, kid. I’m just trying to remind him who is boss … or we are practicing making another YOU. Time to learn not to repeat everything mom and dad do. Really, this will only serve you well.

Six: The I-am-almost-two-going-to-show-you-the-kind-of-hell-you-can-expect-from-me tantrums: … yup. I have no words.
At the end of the day though, there is what you might liken to a settling of accounts. I might be tired, weary and scratched up when I crawl into bed, but still, I take part in my usual nocturnal ritual without fail. I flip back through all the pictures on my phone that I take during day and every night I realize the same thing. In between the meltdowns, the screeching, the fluctuating appetite battles, the nap wars, the mess, the stress, the worry and everything else that parenting demands of us … there are these amazing milestones he’s reaching for and surpassing. They are numerous and plentiful, they are each amazing and precious and serve as a reminder to me that my son remains a happy, full of life creature that is absorbing life with a vivacious thirst for discovery that I hope he continues to keep even if that means he will always be a mischievous little explorer and boundary pusher.

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Every morning he calls for “mommy” and the list of grievances is wiped clean. And you know, it’s probably designed this way … because I know my kid has his own list of grievances with his mama but every time he finds comfort in my hug and I dry his tears, I know he’s clearing his list too. Who knew this relationship would be all about give and take, even this early on.