Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My (not so) baby girl

Let me tell you about my big girl.

Lately I've been a little stressed, maybe more than I should be given the circumstances, but I've been on a shorter fuse than normal and so I've been snapping and yelling.  Sometimes because I'm genuinely concerned about how what BG is doing relates to the safety of herself and others, sometimes because I've told her the same thing 7 million times, and sometimes just because I can't deal with whatever she's asking for or doing at that exact moment.  It's not great, but I'm human.

But every single time I yell, do you know what my two year old does?

She drops her voice to a whisper.  Puts her hand on me.  And says "Mommy, stop yelling.  I need you to calm yourself down." Or "It's okay, mommy.  What are you worried about?"


Which isn't to say that she doesn't sometimes scream in my face or throw herself on the ground sobbing over being told no, or occasionally throw things across the room.

What can I say, she's mine.

Lately when we tell her she can't have something (like TV), she says "But I have to!  It makes me happy and it's good for my body."

When we tell her anything else she doesn't want to hear (like that we'll do something later or we're all out of something she wants) she says "Don't say that to me, I'm a child!"

At which point I am at a complete loss for words and if my husband is around we have to avoid eye contact so we don't burst out laughing.

She can't stand when the baby cries.  Usually she starts by trying to tickle her or talk to her.  Yesterday I heard her say "There's no reason to cry, Baby Sister, mommy is right here."  But if none of that works, she starts screaming "NO BABY! STOP CRYING! STOP CRYING!"


She likes to ask DH about his day, and then repeat things back as if she understands.  "Oh!! A presentation?  What's in your presentation?"

She makes me absolutely insane on an almost daily basis.  Everything she does is BIG and dramatic.  If she can't have something she wants, it's the END OF THE WORLD.  If I washed her favorite pajamas it's the BEST DAY EVER.

She wants to be just like me.  Even though I'm pretty sure I'd rather be just like her.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One of those days

I'm having one of those days.

I woke up to a dishwasher full of water, 2 screaming kids, a husband who was running out the door for an early meeting, and a headache.

I left a message for an appliance repairman who wouldn't call back, yelled at my toddler for trying to brush her sister's teeth, broke a bowl while trying to rewash all my dishes, and sliced my finger open on a piece of aluminum foil.

I plopped my toddler in front of the TV and tried to nurse the still screaming baby again, for several minutes before realizing she actually needed a new diaper.

I strapped the changed baby to my chest, then almost dropped her out of the carrier trying to get the toddler on the potty in time.

I didn't.

While I was cleaning up the pee, the toddler tried to brush the baby's teeth again.  I yelled.  Again.

I called my husband three times to remind him not to be late to BG's swim class because he needed to take the baby.

Then I was late.

BG was thrilled to be in the water, and we both took a deep breath and actually looked at each other and smiled for the first time in what felt like days.

Until she tried to do a cannonball and smacked the back of her head on the edge of the pool.

My sweet baby slept for her entire lunch with daddy.  And then woke up and smiled when she saw me.

And started screaming as soon as we got in my car.

It is 4:30 in the afternoon.  I have a crying hangover, can barely keep my eyes open, but want to run a 5k from the nervous energy and the second cup of coffee I had when BG finally settled in to her post swimming nap around 3:00.  I have accomplished nothing today except keeping everyone alive.  I am sitting in my desk chair with my tiny adorable tyrant breathing on my neck because she screams again if I put her down.  

I am grateful.  I am fortunate.  I am madly in love with my children.

But today is not the day to remind me of that.

Friday, July 12, 2013

7 months old

This post was going to be titled 6 months old.  But then I procrastinated writing it for, umm, about 4 weeks.

My baby will be 7 months old on Monday.  I'm not sure how that happened.

She army crawls and almost-really-crawls around the room like it's nothing.  I put her down in the living room and go to clean the kitchen and suddenly she's there on they vinyl floor looking up at me like "oh hey, mom, you're here too?"

She seems intent on figuring out how everything works.  She picks up all of BG's toys and examines them.  She knows how to make the princess castle play music.  DH saw her flip over a book to look at the front cover and almost had a heart attack.

She has started babbling instead of just crying.  Which is both adorable and hilarious, particularly when her tone is complaining.  The only time in her life when her whining will actually make me smile.

She "smile talks" and she reaches out and grabs for  whichever of us she wants most.  Which is usually her sister.

She adores BG, who likes to get directly in her face and tickle her tummy.  Little sister will giggle hysterically and BG will look at me and say "The baby thinks I'm funny!"

She kind of sleeps.  She can sleep for long stretches, but when she wakes up, she doesn't want to go back to bed.  She just wants mommy and to play.

I could never have imagined this sweet, happy little girl into existence.  Sometimes I look at her and am so overcome with happiness and gratitude that I can't imagine why "they" are letting me keep her.

7 months.  How did we ever live without her?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Because I deserve it

There's this thing I do when things start to get hard in my life or up in my head.  I decide to give myself a day off.  I put on yoga pants instead of jeans, cancel any plans, drink too much coffee and eat too much chocolate.  I tell myself it's okay to let the kids watch TV most of the day once in a while, that I don't have to get off the couch all day.  I tell myself that I'm allowed, that I DESERVE IT, that everyone needs a rest sometimes.

And it feels wonderful and indulgent and refreshing.  For about 5 minutes.  After that it sucks.

I don't want to go out or do anything or write or even play on the floor because it seems HARD and SCARY and completely overwhelming.  But the longer I sit on the couch, the more I try to "give myself a break," the worse I actually feel.

Whenever I try to explain this, I seem to get it wrong.  People tell me, "No, no, it really IS okay to let them watch TV.  It IS okay to rest.  You DO deserve it. Tell guilt to shove it."

But it's not guilt, really.

I get bored.  I get lonely.  I spend too much time on my computer trying to do something that makes me feel not bored and not lonely, and consequently I withdraw more from the things that will actually make me legitimately fulfilled or stimulated or connected.  I get in everyone else's business in the hopes that helping them will distract me from myself and make me feel good, and sometimes that works but sometimes it just sweeps me into more dramas.

I need to get dressed.  I need to get out. I need to clean my house and cook real food.  I need to write.  I need to just show up.  Even though I don't feel like it.

And this is different from faking it until I make it.  Because it isn't fake.  This put together person I haven't been able to find in the mirror, the one who is smart and capable and loving and brave, she is REALLY ME.  The sulky slob on the couch who doesn't care about anything is not.  And I'm not going to pretend to be happy when I'm not, I'm just going to step into the arena and be who I really am and start to face the things I've been lying to myself to avoid.

Because I deserve it.