What kind of kid gets sick in August? Or: The post in which I invent the term ‘smile-stab’ August 10, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable, Pesky memories.
Story time! Gather ’round children: When I was about 14, my family and I and some cousins and aunts and uncles were going to go to Chicago for a vacation.
The night before, my mom and my two brothers and I peeled ourselves away from late afternoon black-and-white reruns on TV to eat a dinner of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. We were very, very healthy eaters. All the time.
I dug in my plate but my brothers hovered over theirs. “I’m waiting for it to cool off,” my brother Derrick said.
Famous last words. They’ve haunted us for more than a decade now; we still bring them up in jokes and when we’re really asking “Do you feel OK?” I remember it clearly, like he just said it a second ago: “I’m waiting for it to cool off.”
Seconds later, of course, he was puking to my left and then my youngest brother, Christopher, was puking to my right, and I was pinned between the table in front of me, a wall behind me and two puking brothers on either side. I screamed “NO, MOM, NO! MAKE THEM STOP, I WANT TO GO TO CHICAGO” and rammed Christopher’s chair forward — mid-puke because I’m that sympathetic — to run out to the garage. I held my breath the whole way out, all the way to the backseat of the car, where I hid, crying because I JUST DO NOT DO VOMIT.
I’m a natural born nurse, obviously.
This little family gem popped in my head this morning when Alice threw up over breakfast. I do mean “over” in the literal sense, SORRY INTERNET, but I think you, the childless bunch, need to know what you’re signing up for. It’s not just being able to watch cartoons and buy stuffed animals and cutesy dresses (oh, and that family togetherness thing, too). It’s not: Sometimes it’s puke at 7 a.m. I forget that often. Selective acknowledgment.
We were supposed to leave at 7 a.m. tomorrow for vacation, a misnomer because our three-day jaunt to Ohio is full of people (us included) smile-stabbing (new verb, I’m trademarking it) other people over how we’re going to divide our short time there. I’m pumped about seeing new babies, the only woman I can call my BFF without gagging at the junior high school-sound to the phrase, and of course our families. It’s just … Hard.
And now you have vomit on top of that.
You just know — you KNOW — that Violet’s next. You do. It’s coming. PLEEEEAAAASE, no. Please, fate, nooooooooooo.
Last night we were taking pictures of Alice kissing Violet. Note to self: STOP THAT.
Some discord among the siblings July 19, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
Some strange, sticky yellowish green substance had dripped along the top shelf in the fridge, all the way to the back, down underneath the bottom drawers that hold our yogurts and apple sauce cups.
I don’t eat green things, I don’t drink green things … I’m not really sure what it was, but perhaps lemonade? But we haven’t had lemonade since … uh, we had that party in August 2008. And I’m quite sure I’ve cleaned the fridge out since then. Right? Uh. Awkward silence.
Anyhow, today I said, Well, there’s no time like today to clean up the mess that I’ve been wiping at with paper towels and cleaning off the bottoms of milk jugs for at least Violet’s entire life. YES. Look at me go! Violet was sleeping in the swing, Alice was talking to “Sesame Street” on the TV. I got a bucket of warm soapy water and started pulling out items from the shelves and wiping up crumbs and feeling very Hints from Heloise and accomplished on my happy little Monday off work.
But then Violet woke up, and I had to stop and feed her (babies are such a drag, man), and Alice wanted apple juice NOW and I had many small toddler emotional fires to put out. Smoke still lingering in the air (figuratively), I put a happy Violet on a blanket in front of the TV (which you’re not supposed to do, TV makes babies stupid — but I had a strange green sticky substance in my fridge and I needed Elmo’s help). Alice yanked her baby stroller from its place in the corner and put Baby Cuckoo inside and as I dashed into the kitchen I thought I had five, maybe seven minutes to work with.
I was just removing a shelf from its hooks in the fridge when I heard the scream that can only mean a.) “I’m in a great deal of pain” or b.) “WOLVES HAVE BROKEN IN AND THEY’RE LOOKIN’ HUNGRY, MAMA,” and luckily for me (because Mr. Big was nowhere to be found to toss for bait), it was the former, from my baby. My BABY? I dropped the shelf on the ground and did the most graceful flying leap over the pile of pickle jars and ketchup bottles and leftover containers on the floor to run at Olympic speed to the living room.
Where Alice was standing, frozen in place, her STROLLER ON MY BABY.
OK, “on” is a little misleading, it wasn’t like ON her head. But its front two wheels were clearly touching Violet’s — no, POOR, defenseless Violet’s — head and belly.
And Alice was just frozen. “WHAT DID YOU DO?!!!” I yelled to Alice, the little traitor, the little booger who’d all Violet’s life been nothing if not gentle with Violet (except for that time she dropped the toy piano on Violet. But I would’ve — until this moment — called that an unfortunate toddler’s misjudgment of spacial relationships). Alice jerked from her “Oh shit” stance and backed away from my red-faced and gasping baby.
“DID YOU HURT VIOLET?” Clearly I had the screaming answer in my arms as I tried to survey the damages. Visions of an ER visit ran through my mind: Was it her KIDNEY? Did Alice ram her hard enough for there to be internal bleeding!! HOW WILL I EXPLAIN THIS TO MY MOTHER.
“TIME OUT. YOU NEED A TIME OUT,” I said, and Alice nodded and sat on the couch willingly, scared, I think, at both my all-capital-letters and of Violet’s reaction to a little friendly nudge with the stroller.
Seething. I was seething, positively fuming. Violet’s head and belly are fine, and judging by her smiles she’s going to survive her injuries.
But jeez. JEEZ. Poor little Violet, who did nothing but lay there and love her sister and smile and kick her chubby little legs and flail her little arms.
Anyhow, the take-home lesson is this:
You know that time you asked your mom whether she liked one of her kids more than another, and she told you in a falsetto “No! Absolutely not! Don’t be silly!” — SHE WAS LYING.
“What’s this? I’m 2? Clear the floor! I’m about to fling myself upon it in protest of Mama taking too long to fill my sippy cup! Commence wailing!” July 11, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable.
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You know when you have a baby on your hip and another one pulling at your leg whining “Alcie HUNGY,” and you’ve just worked all day and all you want is a bowl of spaghetti and for it to be 8 p.m., and you grab a stack of mail from the box and it doesn’t look “that” important, so you shove it in the only open space on the counter in the kitchen, between the mixer and the cupboard?
Then a month later you say “What’s this? A dentist bill? But I haven’t been there in … Uh oh.” I call that Tuesday around here. What’s new. I’ll tell you what’s not new: Those dentist bills. Wah-wahn.
Beside the point.
Alice apparently does that with her toddler mail, because she obviously found the envelope last week that was postmarked her birthday, June 3, and had the “open immediately” sticker on the outside. Inside was a reminder card that — hey! Alice! Yoo hoo! You over there, all quiet and content on that couch! — she had turned 2. And what does 2 mean? Oh you KNOW what it means.
Mama — You know. You knew this day was coming.
Insert scheming toddler cackle here. Oh, you don’t think toddlers have cackles? YOU HAVEN’T MET MINE.
OK, so that’s not fair … She’s yet to set fire to anything, or even kick the dog. That’s the good news: She’s probably not evil. Always a relief to know I won’t have to go on “Dateline” 20 years from now and lie about not knowing my daughter always was a little off? You know? Just a little … Psychopathic. Just a little though! Dab eyes, cue close-up.
No. She’s not psychopathic. She’s just 2. (These afflictions share some similar traits.) And she just realized what 2 means.
Evidence: Before church this morning I’d told her to start her 10-minute trek upstairs so I could brush her teeth. I was picking up dirty clothes from the living room floor, where I’d changed the girls 14 hours earlier (shame). Well, my appreciation for a chaos-free living room floor turned Alice’s world upside down, because she was at the top of the stairs before me and OH MY WORD MOTHER. She yelled, and I quote: “EH-WIN. COME. UP-STAY-UHS. NOW.”
Wait, what? Oh, uh-unh: She called me by my NAME? And ordered me? And used that all-capital-letters “NOW”?
Oh. Uh-UH. NO SHE DID’UHNT.
And later: The whines. The perpetual whines. And the “no”s. And the little not-mischief-but-obviously-someone-forgot-to-turn-on-their-listening-ears toddler pranks like hitting us — but never hard, just enough to know she knows Mama’s starting to get that crazy look in her eyes — and suddenly I’m dropping lines like “WHAT DID I JUST SAY?” “DO YOU WANT TO GO TO BED?” “DO YOU NEED A TIME OUT?” And yes, I speak in all-caps.
YOU try speaking in calm, lower-case words lined in sugar and gumdrops after 12 hours of someone saying “MAMA rweeeead boooks! NO MAMA. NO WREEAAD BOOOOOKS.”
WHAT. PICK ONE. Just please stop making that whining noise, please, I beg you.
Where, oh where, has my sweet baby gone? I look down at Violet in my arms as I type this and I want to squeeze her baby cheeks and beg her not to pay attention to this screaming sister (“MAMA SAID NO! OH nooooooooooooo! End times are here! WORST MOM EVER!”) and to love me and never make me say “WHAT DID I JUST SAY?” because it’s not very becoming.
But I know now. Two is inevitable.
I can’t promise this will be the last post about work, but if you’re lucky I’ll take a break from it … one week with no mention of it can be yours for $500 — any takers? June 21, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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I am just a couple hours away from dragging my unwilling body and soul to work for the first time in almost eight weeks. I am not handling this well.
I was terrified during Dave’s lunch break today, with Alice hugging my knees and Dave telling me “it’ll be OK.” Sweet, you say — but allow me to translate Husband Speak: “Did you SEE that hospital bill? And that’s just the first bill of many. GET YER WORK CLOTHES ON, WOMAN.”
“I will miss so much. These are our only kids, and they’re going to grow up too fast, and then it’s over and then what? Why did we even have kids if we can’t be the ones to be with them together?” I asked not to put it in his face; not in the snotty way it probably sounds, but in the most literal interpretation of that question. Why does anyone have children if they only get to see them for a couple hours at night and for Saturdays and Sundays?
Oh, I know the answer to that question. I’m just not thinking clearly. I would be a horrible stay-at-home mom — you know, I know this.
(And you want to know a dirty little secret? I love money. After spending years as the child of a single mother, I love being able to buy a shirt for Alice on a whim without feeling as if we must then eat Ramen noodles in penance. I realize work = money. I realize I must go.)
But yet … Since you can’t buy babies at Target, I am 98 percent sure this is it. And I just don’t want to miss all this: Alice makes dinosaurs from Play-Doh; we painted by shaking paint and marbles in a shoe box; we drew the letter A all over the sidewalk with pink chalk (and I still have 25 other letters to teach her?! IMPOSSIBLE); Violet watches Alice as Alice walks around the room dancing, and Violet smiles and it sounds boring, but it’s impossibly cute. Violet coos and curls her lips and “whoooo!”s in the bathtub. All these things, I want.
Anyhow, I could’ve saved myself 15 minutes by just posting this photo. It sums up exactly how I’m feeling:
OK, OK. That’s ENOUGH.
I will hereby shut up on this topic and be happy I have a job and all that crap.
So, uh, what is there to talk about? Um, hot enough for ya? Vuvuzelas?
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The catastrophe that was my noon hour began when I was lugging a load of laundry through the kitchen. I kicked a toy bus from underneath my feet and my toes landed in a pile of God knows what; it resembled syrup but we haven’t had waffles in a month, and Mr. Big is much better at his job than that.
“This floor is so DISGUSTING.” I yelled it, OK. So what. So all I’ve been thinking about is going back to work on Tuesday and how much I’d rather jump off a cliff (if at the bottom of the cliff was a car, a new identity, my children, a million bucks and a really soft mattress to break my fall).
“Erin. It will be OK,” Dave said, emphasizing each word because he’s repeated this phrase for the last couple of weeks.
And OK, I lost it. “NO IT WILL NOT. WHEN WILL WE MOP? NEVER. WHEN WILL WE WASH BOTTLES OR DO LAUNDRY OR CLEAN THE BATHROOM? NEVER. BECAUSE WE WON’T HAVE TIME. WE CAN’T DO THIS.” Only we can, because we have to, which is the part that sucks the worst.
And I realized the absurdity of what I yelled (“Who cares if dishes don’t get done! Go play with your kids! Dishes’ll be there later!” WHICH IS MY POINT, there really is no choice, it’s the anti-procrastinator’s worst nightmare). If, however, you heard the argument in my head you’d have perhaps forgiven me. I’d have reiterated my points aloud but I was by this point sobbing. Yes, my friends, sobbing. Full on, set-the-laundry-down-on-top-of-the-dog’s-crate sobbing.
I do not do this, for the record. (I store my emotions in a bottle for inappropriate moments — such as (ta-da!) carrying laundry by my 2-year-old who’s watching on in horror. And Christmas. And my birthday.)
Dave really, really loved his second-shift job at this point. Oop! Gotta go!
In my head, I was saying “All these things will never get done. Unless I just don’t spend time with my kids. Or unless I stay up til midnight. Or unless we waste a whole weekend doing it. Because I won’t be here during the day, Dave won’t be here at nights, and I’ll never see my kids or Dave anyway …” On and on.
Ugh, WOMAN. I hear you say: Women do it all the time, no big deal! Get over it!
Oh yeah? YEAH? Hush. And yes, I will be returning to work only part time for a few weeks. Yes, yes. But you can’t sell rational thinking with empty promises of four-day work weeks. I’m much smarter than that.
Anyhow, back to the sobbing over the laundry. I pulled it together long enough to fold and put away the towels, and moved onto the kitchen to dry and pre-fill a bunch of bottles.
“It’s going to be fine,” Dave said as he left for work.
“DON’T EVEN SAY THAT,” I said through clenched teeth, sniffling. And he left. (Proud moments abound in my house today.)
Alice wandered into the kitchen and noticed my sniffling. “Mama sad. Mama cry.”
“Yes, Mama’s sad, but she’ll be OK.”
“Yes, it’s OK.”
Wait, wait, cue heartbreak: She toddles into the living room and returns with a box of tissues from the coffee table. “Mama need tissue! Mama sad!”
Cue the breath-holding silent cry. The worst part? I didn’t teach her that.
I’m missing everything.
So I cried a bit and then told myself to shut up (what is this? Christmas! No! Bottle that up! Sadness gets better with age!), and we went upstairs and read “Pigeon Wants a Puppy” and now I’m blogging.
I’m not OK, but what are you gonna do? Mama needs to makie some money.
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Alice went to the sitter’s today so I could relax.
Only I don’t give birth to babies; I give birth to pterdoctyls. Today was a ball of awesomeness wrapped in a layer of mother nature’s birth control. The Beast (I say that lovingly) spent all day reminding me why Dave and I swore we’d never have another child after Alice was born. Whoops!
But wait! Stupidity meets misfortune in our house: Violet waited until 9 or so to start her daylong rant, so I’d already pulled out all the boxes of Alice’s outgrown clothes from the closet to start sorting them by size. “You didn’t have them sorted by size?!” you ask. No! Because silly Erin thought — in all my “look at me, I get 8 hours of sleep” wisdom of days of yore — that just tossing them in the nearest box would be good enough. Sure, tossing a few items together in boxes at one time puts them all in the same general vicinity, but I still had 3-month outfits in with last year’s shoes. IDIOT.
So. That was a stupid idea. One I stepped over about 87 times today while consoling the inconsolable.
The afternoon passed by with me swaying back and forth in front of the TV while watching “Pride and Prejudice” with the subtitles on. This is what I think they mean by “experienced parent.” Also “half nuts.”
But wait! There’s more fun. Ahhh, yes, it’s a laugh a minute here at our house. At 6 p.m., Alice ran in to greet Violet and I with some weird rash around her eyes. GREAT. I threw my body over Violet’s to avoid the kiss that would pass whatever creepy plague onto my baby, yelling “DAVID LOOK AT THIS.” “Oh crap,” he said. It’s gotta be THE BUBONIC.
“I don’t know what to do. The walk-in clinic’s only open til 8,” I said. I knew this not because it’s good to know when your local clinic closes, but because the receptionist at Violet’s doctor’s office told me so that morning when I called to make an appointment for tomorrow. Why was I calling her? OH, didn’t I tell you? My month-old baby’s got conjunctivitis. For the fourth week. She’s spent four weeks wondering why the noun anyone would want to be born into a world where they’d spend every day getting ointment rubbed in their eye. You know? I’d be pretty pissed off, too.
Anyhow. Alice’s rash.
“It’s probably nothing,” Dave said.
“But what if it is. Some lady in Real Simple wrote some column about her daughter getting strep throat and dying 36 hours later! I just don’t want her to die!”
Blank stare. “They’re not going to die.”
“We have to keep two whole people ALIVE, Dave. This is a big deal. I just don’t want to mess this up.”
Meanwhile, both kids are screaming. It’s 7:15. No one’s eaten yet. Alice’s bedtime is 7:30. It’s bath night. The laundry’s laying in the middle of the living room unfolded, and the dog wants outside and it’s so HOT and his collar’s missing and no one got the mail in today because that’s such a big deal, and none of my clothes fit right, the fish tank’s filter’s broken and the water’s green, the towel rack broke in the bathroom in April and it will be 2019 before it’s fixed because OH MY GOD KIDS ARE RELENTLESS.
Yes, I do feel better now. Thanks.
Two weeks into this thing May 12, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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Two weeks: Right on time, she’s become a real infant with needs and a fine set of lungs with which to express those needs. I’ve become the overwhelmed, hormonal mess — alternating with the briefly appearing happy, hormonal state — that Dave’s come to know and love.
Violet just wants to be held — no, that’s not true. She doesn’t “just” want to be held. She wants to be held at a 45 degree or 90 degree angle. She wants to be slightly bounced, and she wants the binky. No, she doesn’t. Yes, wait, give it here, Mama. No, never mind. Gagging sounds, cry, repeat. Give me the binky, Mama. GAG.
I’m excruciatingly patient from about 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Then I panic — because if Alice taught me anything at all it’s that infancy can be the longest 12 months of your life — because it’s 10 p.m., I’m tired, my neck hurts from carrying her all day (seriously, my neck? I am that out of shape?), and DAMMIT WHY CAN’T IT BE MIDNIGHT so Dave would be home and I could hand him to her with the same fanfare that I would hand over a sack of flour. BABIES ARE SO NEEDY. (And so are post-partum women, are you catching on to that?)
Yet then I think in a few weeks I’ll have to go back to work and my baby will only remember me quietly tearing up and sniffling over not being able to soothe her, and that’ll cost her a fortune in therapy bills a few decades from now. Oh, Violet.
I didn’t forget how difficult the first few weeks are with a new baby, but I’d underestimated just how much it would suck when I had a crying baby in my arms and it was Alice’s bedtime, and Alice needs the world’s longest children’s book about dinosaurs read to her (WHEN IS THIS BOOK DUE AT THE LIBRARY AGAIN?), and the dog’s dragging its butt on the carpet and suddenly I’m shouting to no one, because he’s at work, “DEAR DAVE: DO NOT TOUCH ME EVER AGAIN.”
As I said, Dave’s really loving this, too.
The base for the baby’s car seat’s in the car. The D batteries for the swing are purchased (and haven’t dropped in price over the last two years, hot damn; why does everything for babies cost so much? Little money pits, they are). The outfit she’ll wear home from the hospital sits on top of the dresser she’ll share with Alice. While I may appear to be staring into space I’m probably more than likely pushing a foot out from under my ribcage and counting the days til I’m my own, singular person. Or I’ve slipped into a daytime nap with my eyes open. Entirely possible, if you’ve ever tried to “sleep” at 38 1/2 weeks pregnant.
I’m ready. Physically, yes, I’ve been ready: You need not look further than the tank tops that won’t stay tucked in my pants (Dear World: I’m SO SORRY.) to realize my body’s juuuust about had enough. But really, emotionally, no one has ever been more ready for this to all be over — or for that glass of wine I’ve been promised. Just one! I just need one. Big one.
“Maybe this will be the last weekend,” I said to Dave as we drove to the sitter’s after work to get Alice. Life sucks less when I try on optimistic phrases like that.
“Hopefully.” Dave’s thinking of that breakdown I had because not one of my three remaining pairs of work-appropriate pants that fit were dry this morning. HOW DARE HE NOT JUST KNOW THE STATUS OF ALL THREE OF MY PANTS. ROOOOARRRR. Two flights of stairs! RUN, Dave, RUN.
“Can you picture doing this” — making big circles in front of my body, to indicate life itself — “for another week?”
“We need a plan. At the doctor’s appointment Tuesday, if she doesn’t mention induction, how about YOU cry? Because I’m sure she’s immune to my tears. She might listen to you.”
“Yeah I’ll cry and say ‘YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE. SHE’S SO MEAN TO ME.’”
“Exactly.” And he’s right. That’s the thing. I love this man. He’d run down to put a pair of overworked pants into the dryer at 6:45 a.m., and he’d cry in public for me.
So in a couple weeks when I want to kill him for breathing weird, would someone remind me of this? Thanks in advance.
Maybe Alice can convince No. 2 to show up early April 19, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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“Alice, come here and talk to the baby,” I said. She lifted up my shirt to peek at my belly.
“HI BABY,” she said.
“Tell the baby to get out.”
“BABY! OUT! GET OUT BABY! GET OUT BABY!” she said.
“GET OUT BABY!”
And so the eviction notice was issued yesterday. I decided I’ve had it. About every hour last night, that sentiment was repeated as I switched from one side to the other in bed, trying to keep my legs and hips from aching and tingling. “GET OUT, BABY.”
I’ve had it.
I’m a bad mother for admitting this, but it must be said: I resent this baby for taking her precious time. I resent sharing my whale-like body, I resent the extreme fatigue, the heartburn, the aches and pains and the inability to concentrate on an-y-thing for longer than 2 minutes.
No. 2 still has about two weeks, during which she’s allowed to gather her things into boxes, clean the apartment she’s called home for almost 10 months, send in her change-of-address forms … But I — and now Alice, and by extension poor Dave (who is tired of my attitude, my weeping, my moodiness, my lumbering movements) — am ready to move on with the next phase of my life: sleeplessness, weight loss, and — my favorite — complaining about sleeplessness and weight loss.
GET OUT, BABY.
We’re scene-makers March 21, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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I’m pretty good at remaining cool, calm and collected (in public) but there it was: the tantrum that did me in.
She cared not that we didn’t know when the last time that store’s floor had been mopped. She paid zero attention to my reddening face. She stopped whining from her belly-down position on the tile floor to smile at some well-intending lady (with no knack for social graces or timing) passing, saying “what a cute little girl!” Yes, cute, I wanted to say. And only $50, now for a limited time! Get your money out, lady.
But I’m not kidding about this tantrum. She wanted to keep rolling a toy dump truck around the clothing displays. I wanted to walk down and look at clocks. See the dramatic build up here? Wouldn’t you throw yourself prone on the ground for that very same reason? MAMA IS UNREASONABLE.
I attempted to pick her up when she was still in her crouched position, but only managed to pop up with the truck, as she wriggled her arm out of my grasp and did her best wet-blanket imitation on the floor.
Oh good Lord, I thought. “Alice, let’s go.” “Alice, I have your truck.” “Alice, Mama’s leaving.” “Alice, where’s Daddy? Let’s go get Daddy!” I even shut up and tried walking away. I made it about 10 feet away before I realized she didn’t even know I was gone, because she was too busy heaving great big sobs into her folded arms under her head.
NOTHing worked. NOTHING.
And where was Dave? GOOD QUESTION. He’d taken the cart and was halfway through the clocks aisle for all I knew.
So I reminded myself that I had quite a few years and pounds on the little punk – I could totally handle this (insert me pushing my sleeves up my Popeye’d up arms here). I did the pregnant lady stoop – an arm full of stuff I hadn’t gotten the chance to put in the cart yet – to peel her body off the floor, but – oomph – I just – heaving breaths, red face, Braxton Hicks out of left field – and I – ugh – couldn’t get her boneless body off the floor and into a standing position, let alone pick her up. And she knew it.
But then. Then! Like a mirage, he appeared.
I pulled myself back up in time to watch him carry her across his shoulders like a sack of potatoes – light beams shooting out of his fingertips, I swear it. “Let’s go, Alice.” That’s it. Just swooped in, grabbed her and hauled her away.
It was the sexiest I’ve ever seen Dave. My hero.
I’d like to tell you I did some masterful parenting skill here or that I broke her almost-2-year-old’s resolve and got her to understand that just because she wanted to push the truck didn’t mean she was going to get to push the truck … But I really just needed a bathroom, so I’m putting this one squarely in the “next time” file. And, maaan, do I give single mothers (and one-parent shoppers) some major kudos.
The joys of being a one-car family March 10, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable.
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I just wanted some damn Cheerios. That’s all I’ve wanted for the last two weeks for breakfast, in fact, so when the box was emptied on Tuesday and I had one of those “oh crap, grocery day was Sunday” moments, I immediately did what any vehicle-less person would do: I begged Dave to pick up a box later.
Only he didn’t.
Which is why when he informed me at 7:30 this morning that there would be a lot of “oh craps” but little cheer in my morning, I broke down. Had he been standing closer to me, the fire I was breathing would’ve singed his eyebrows off. “Can’t you eat something else?” he kindly suggested.
“NO. I CANNOT.” Stomp, stomp, went the chubby pregnant lady down the stairs. Oooh yeah, a definite proud moment in my life.
Later in the day when I was able to joke about it — really, I realize this is out of control — and we were on the way to pick up Alice from the sitter’s, I surmised my crappy day all started because I didn’t have my Cheerios. Yes, all of it could be traced back to that: The cold I picked up, the 45-minute wait at the doctor’s office, the dragging second hand on the clock, and the McDonald’s filet-o-fish song stuck in my head. Especially the filet-o-fish song stuck in my head.
“Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a litt–”
“EIGHT MONTHS’ PREGNANT WOMEN DO NOT OVERREACT.” Rooooarrr.
He flinched and laughed at the same time. ”OK! OK! I’m sorry!”
I’m better now, if you must know.
And I admit some people (me, hi!) just shouldn’t ever be allowed to communicate with others at 7:30 a.m., pregnant.
I apologize, world. And Dave.
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So that whole ambitious potty training thing didn’t happen.
Not at all. We’re not even talking about crash landing, or stalling on the runway. We’re not even talking about getting lost on the way from the car to the baggage counter. Nah. I bought the plane ticket, so to speak, and then promptly shoved it in the back of Alice’s dresser drawer til summer. Or college.
See if I have problems keeping the boys away from my daughters in high school — ooooh yeah, that’s right, boys. Back up.
Anyhow, the 31 weeks’ pregnant mother in me was waaay stronger than the determined mother who loathes buying diapers by the boxful. All it took was one nasty look from Pregnant Me — the piercing, beady eyes of a hungry woman already 30 pounds over her normal weight — and the Erin From Days of Yore retreated to that secret place where shirts clinging to waists is a style, not a fact of life. Erin From Days of Yore was a little petrified. I put the Elmo underwear back in the drawer and vowed to approach the subject again when someone other than Buzz Lightyear was excited about using the potty.
Call me lazy — go ahead, I dare you to call the pregnant lady lazy, DO IT — but really … do you know how much stuff I have to teach this kid? Kids know basically nothing. Peeing can wait; I’ve got colors, numbers and Billy Joel songs for her to memorize. Time is fleeting, my friends.
That and I’m just that afraid to fail — I may be a potty-trained veteran, but what do I know about teaching a kid what it means to value dry pants? Especially one who doesn’t follow logic or get my best sarcastic one-liners yet. Truth is, I’m just not ready.
And I’m tired. Blah.
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play (clap clap) February 25, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
“BABY! Mama? BABY!” Alice points every time I walk within a foot of her. She’ll freeze mid-activity to thrust her arms up to my belly. “BABY!”
Oh yes, Alice. I know. It’s that obvious. Whole meals can balance atop my belly now, knickknacks perched on tables quiver in fear that I will make a sudden movement and shatter them to pieces just by turning around too close to the table’s edge. Oh, Alice. I know.
“We’re in the home stretch!” Dave says, one shoulder-punch away from singing “Put Me In Coach.”
“Rah-rah,” I deadpan.
Living with these two is becoming like one of the scenes from any and all sports movies with a message — I’m the girl on the boy’s team/ the waterboy turned quarterback/ a player on the team with the grungy jerseys up against the all-white-clad semi-pro team. “Chariots of Fire” plays as I stand up — mainly because it’s impressive each and every time I prove I can still stand up without grunting — and the ghost of Walt Disney himself cries a little bit when he sees a success story like this one slip away from his namesake studio’s grip.
I am 30 weeks pregnant, and I’m every bit the underdog here.
Every time I refresh my Facebook feed, someone else has had a very cute, very not-mine baby.
Every time I roll over in the middle of the night, some bones whose names I undoubtedly knew for 23 minutes between cramming and filling in the bubble on some anatomy test grind together or pop, and my stomach does this lurching (sexy!) motion as I snuggle back into the pillows.
Each morning for the last week or so, the baby’s woken me up at 4 a.m. for some quality bounce house fun time. Cute for 2 minutes, yes. Tiring by 6:45 a.m., very.
And every time I reiterate this to Dave, he reminds me with a smile that “we’re in the home stretch!”
“We’re in the home stretch!” SMILE! Shoulder punch! “Come on! Cheer up! Less than 10 more weeks now! Home stretch!”
I was always more of a quiz bowl type of girl myself. I don’t speak “home stretch.” But isn’t his optimism darling?
‘Buzz Lightyear goes potty’ February 21, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
The surest way to get her to shake her head, repeat “no, no, no,” and hear her feet patter across the floor faster than Mr. Big when someone crinkles some plastic in the other room, is to tell her “Let’s go potty!”
Poooottttttyyyyyy — muuuhaaahaha! Insert evil cackle here! This must be the latest crazy trend Mama found in some lame magazine, she thinks.
“Alice, everyone goes potty. Elmo goes potty, Mr. Big goes potty, Daddy goes potty,” I say. Yes! She’ll agree, and run off to grab a toy to shove in her potty chair. That plastic chair’s so far been THE hot spot for the likes of celebrities such as her Buzz Lightyear action figure, her Tickle-Me Elmo and both her Cabbage Patch dolls — and no, I didn’t initiate that. I was just angling for some good old fashioned peer pressure. She bought into it like a sixth grader, which would be worrisome if I weren’t too busy making sure Buzz didn’t jump from the fake potty to the real one, a suicide dive she’s launched him on a few times.
“Potty!” she’ll say, commanding their smiling faces to just love the heck out of that potty chair. But when I place her on her potty, clothed or not, her arms clench at the elbows, her mouth wails a silent scream of horror and she freezes as if in so much fear she can’t even shriek or stand up and run.
Oh yes. She’s clearly ready … to run away. Oh yes — this is going to be awesome. I have no idea what I’m doing … Is it that obvious?
Dinnertime drama February 16, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, It's how we roll, Kind of unreasonable.
Dave and I have a plan on raising this kid. We’ve got rules we want to enforce, we’ve got a method. It’s just putting that into practice we have some trouble with.
Alice has been testing us — because toddlers are evil, and this is what they do — which leaves Dave and I gaping at each other like idiots, loudly whispering over Alice’s head “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO”, and “ME EITHER BUT MAN I FEEL LIKE GIGGLING!”, and “I KNOW! ME TOO!”
Last night, for instance, was one of those occasions where holding our shit together was nearly impossible. Alice goes through moods where she doesn’t want to eat dinner unless she’s sitting on one of our laps. Harmless enough when she had that double ear infection, right? Well. Only now she’s healthy; she just prefers my shrinking lap space over her more practical booster chair, because my bulging midsection offers the opportunity for her to hold pears up to my belly “for the baby” (no I didn’t teach her that; yes, it’s cute, but only the first three times and never afterwards when my shirt is splotched with wet pear marks).
Last night, we decided to be Mean Mom and Dad: “No, you have to sit in your chair if you want to eat.” Oooh, hear our intentions? Oh yeah, we meant that.
Oh. MAN — this was like that one time when … No, it’s even worse — She couldn’t even THINK of a time when we were being MORE UNFAIR. Oh! Drama! Wailing! Thrashing about on the floor, streams of tears running down her red face — there was no putting her in the chair, no talking her down from the ledge she worked her way toward. If she was the tweeting kind, this would end with a “#worstdayever” tag — I mean, you really have no idea how UNFAIR her parents are, OMG.
We tried the silly thing: “Where’s Alice?” we asked, looking everywhere around her chair. “Man, she should be in this chair.” Nothing. “Mr. Big’s going to get in your chair, then!” Let him, she cried, flinging her head onto my lap.
We were cool, calm and collected while issuing our demand. It was this giving of the middle finger to our ultimatum that sent our eyes wandering toward the nearest exit.
Wait, we looked at each other, that was a “no”? Really? Should we ask again? Still no? Really? But … but it’s food ..? This went on long enough for us to both eat and play the Ignoring You card, long enough for her dinner to get that weird glazed-over look, long enough for me to put it back in the fridge.
But, really, we asked: How long do we let this go on? Is there a point where you have to let them win? See, at one end was our rational “do not back down” mentality; at the other was the pony we’d have to buy her if we gave in to this now. Ponies make lousy pets; I wasn’t giving in this early.
But, really? Really? I wasn’t even sure she’s developmentally able to understand that she just chose STARVATION.
About 45 minutes and some bad (as in good) “America’s Funniest Videos” later she was up for a few bites. But we may have just scarred her. I’m still not convinced she got the point. I’m not sure we did.
And no, our baby name wasn’t Spot or Rover or something canine-like February 4, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable.
We were test-driving a name on this poor baby a couple weeks ago, and even though Dave’s tepid response to it didn’t scream “I HATE IT,” it wasn’t exactly the fireworks display I was going for.
Still. It stuck for something like three weeks, which led me to believe we could quite possibly have a NAME. Whew — scratch that off the list. Next up, eliminating the waddle from my gait.
BUT. (Here’s where the joyous music stops. Insert the needle being ripped across and off the record here.)
But then today, we get a postcard in the mail from Mr. Big’s vet. The reminder cards are cute little snapshots of the dog on one side, with the list of treatments or shots it needs on the other, signed “We can’t wait to see Mr. Big!”
We mysteriously got two postcards today, however.
“Hey … This isn’t our dog,” I said, holding up the postcard, which was stuck to our dog’s card, of some stranger’s Dalmatian-like canine. I flipped it over to check the address; it wasn’t even close to our street. Peculiar … “We can’t wait to see (OUR BABY NAME)!”
“What the (expletive deleted),” I said, throwing it back at Dave.
“What? Oh … OH,” he said, laughing. Laughing. NOT HELPING.
So, what the hell am I supposed to do with that, Fate? Huh? HUH?
I will trade emotional instability for sleepless nights, no questions asked. I mean, if there weren’t a third, less inconvenient choice February 2, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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The arrival of the third trimester has smashed to pieces many aspects of life I hold dear: my center of gravity, hips that don’t pop when I walk, uninterrupted sleep, speed and agility. It’s also taken hostage my emotions, which seemed to violently alternate between “have you seen my emotions?” and “HERE, HOLD THIS BAG OF EMOTIONS WHILE I GO HAVE A BREAKDOWN QUICK. THANKS.”
The worst part is, I realize how irrational all the anger, sadness, weepy sappy crap is — but I can’t stop myself. And because I can’t stop myself, it just makes the situation worse. “STOP CRYING,” I’ll say. “I CAAAAAN’T!!!” I’ll whine, inside.
Oh, Dave? Yes, he’s fine, he’s fine. Having the TIME OF HIS FREAKING LIFE over here, I can assure you.
I also feel utterly stuck: It’s February in the grayest state in the union. The landscape is barren of greenery (Alice shrieked “FOOTBALL!” and pointed at a few tan blades of grass poking out from the permafrost. See, the last time she saw real, live grass that wasn’t on a football field she wasn’t yet forming long-term memories). My girth is flirting with ginormous and my self-esteem fell between the couch and the wall the other day and refuses to come out. THIS is the part of pregnancy that so painfully stuck out in my mind from two years ago — and the part I so willingly shed and ran from, saying “NEVER AGAIN!”
You know, before I went and did it again.
Yes, I feel stuck. Those hormones can make my heart flutter like a caged animal’s when I think of the rut in which we’re languishing. (Call it irrational, but remember I haven’t worn a pair of pants with real fly-zippers on them since, what, October? Zippers make you real people, people.)
But you, sitting there all nice in your real pants, thinking “JEEZ, cut out the whining, woman,” also realize how close this means I am to seeing this unnamed baby, this cause of all my messy emotional state and my fluffy belly — 13 weeks. These last 13 weeks are the most trying of all the trimesters on me as a person, as a wife, as someone you might be so unlucky to encounter; but at the end of all this I get a new baby.
Thirteen weeks. Then SHE can do all the crying and I can have that single glass of wine I so desperately need.
Thirteen weeks and I’ll be holding one warm, squishy-cheeked baby for whom I don’t even have a name yet. I don’t know her yet but I expect she’ll remind me it was all worth it. That’s the hope, anyway.
How long til she realizes she’s been hosed? January 12, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable, Toddling it.
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How one contraption of plastic and rubber could cause so much drama is one of the mysteries of modern parenthood.
And, confession: I am weak.
Case in point: When you’re in the grocery store and your toddler’s walking (as she screams in the cart because her little wings can’t be clipped, man) and she takes off to poke her finger in bags of rice, to squeeze all the bananas, to peel once-orange-but-now-brown price stickers off the floor, what should you do when you tell her “no” and she dramatically throws herself on the floor? A., Give her a binky, grab the bread and milk and just get out of that aisle, or B., I don’t know, because to me the binky is the only option when leaving isn’t a choice.
The binky has made me a bad, lazy parent. I know this. Judge me. Go ahead. I do.
Over the past few weeks binkies have started to disappear. The green one was run over by a car. The white one is under a spare bed in Ohio. We lost the orange one when she bit through it after falling down in a mall parking lot. I’d give you $1 to find the pink one.
That leaves us with two. So imagine my tired panic tonight when I realized the last time I saw either was in the car. The car Dave just took to work. The car Dave would not be reappearing with until after my own bedtime. The car I could almost hear screaming “HA!! GOT YOU!” as Alice thrust her arms upward and leaned against my legs, begging for her “Beee! Beeee!”
Oh, cue the shark music, someone.
“Let’s find Buzz and Woody!” I countered. Oh did I counter. I rattled off her toys’ names from the kitchen to her bed, bribing her into bed without her “beeeee!” thanks to Buzz and Woody, her bucket of dinosaurs, two baby dolls, one Glow Worm, one Ikea frog, two blankies, one Tigger, one Eeyore and a partridge in a pear tree.
It’s like the Toys R Us giraffe threw up on the floor around her tiny toddler bed right now.
But there’s not one binky to be found. “Beeee!” she asked after I ran out of toys to pile around her.
“Oh, binky’s all gone.” We stared at each other for a few seconds as she considered this. We could both hear my heart beat and I swear sweat was flying off my brow like a cartoon character. But I kissed her head and walked out and closed the door and that was that episode.
I haven’t heard from her since, about an hour ago.
Of course, I also haven’t been up to brush my teeth, terrified my footsteps outside her door would remind her I was still alive and lying to her about the whereabouts of her binky.
Mama 1, Alice 0 right now. A recount may be necessary at 3 a.m.
Cranky and restless January 6, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Holidays, Home, Kind of unreasonable.
The drive back to Wisconsin was like seven Indianas long (north-south Indianas at that), all with “Up” and “The Grinch” playing in the background on the DVD player. A one-hour nap, greasy-orange cheese puff residue in her hair, whiny, whiny, whiny rubbing her ears and coughing til her crusty eye broke open — ah, happy freakin’ new year.
Yes, that’s how the holidays were meant to be wound down, I’m sure of it. Jesus himself had a birthday party exactly like that, you know. Mary then blogged about it on her site, while Joseph complained that he was also getting sick. It started out well enough:
… But Monday we found out she had pink eye and an ear infection; Dave had a sinus infection and I had a case of the Need a Vacations. Now, I’m stuck trekking through the work week, wondering where the I put my motivation, and what could be so bad about certain cough drops that pregnant women can’t take them?
Meanwhile, slapping me in the face this time — because time away from work apparently makes me feel as if I’m being assaulted by emotions I don’t have time for — was both the desire to never leave the comforts of my Wisconsin home again and yet also to walk away from it, key in the lock and a note for the city to do with it what it will.
This house is beginning to annoy me with its lack of furniture, its lack of play space. I cringe at the laundry splayed on the bathroom floor, just messy enough in the cramped space that you sometimes step on wet towels when you walk to the sink. It’s got less-than-ample “ample” closet space, our neighbors have strange hobbies. But it’s mine; my house. What do I do with this annoyance?
But being in Ohio for too long can feel like a turtleneck that’s a size too small in an 80-degree room. Your sweaty hands pull and pull at the collar but there’s no relief — and everyone ignores that and reminds you how NICE it’ll be when you move back. And all you can think of is how HOT it is in here, and WHERE did you get a turtleneck? 1991?
I didn’t know that sometimes, parents don’t have a clue what’s next. I don’t know what I want, but I’m pretty sure I want everything. Except the turtleneck. And this restless feeling. It’s gotta be the January talking.
We’re either moving to Ohio or staying in Wisconsin and doing the 2010 holidays over Skype January 2, 2010Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Holidays, Kind of unreasonable.
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Every hour Alice would wake up to cry and roll around in the Pack ‘n Play at the foot of the bed, snot dripping down her face and her left eye swollen and red.
We’d rock in the chair in my mom’s living room just long enough for my burning eyes to close, and then she’d wake up and repeat the process of loudly proclaiming her hatred of all things life-related. Around 5 a.m., a bed-headed Dave held her head still between his hands while I shoved the Tylenol dropper in her protesting mouth, her warm body squirming and kicking.
Ah, holiday memories.
Then I laid her down between Dave and I in the bed in the spare room, with the Tylenol still sticky on her cheek. She cuddled next to Dave, and I cuddled next to her, and the baby kidney punched Alice and Alice didn’t complain.
The holidays are great ’til you’re eight hours away from your own bed, and your toddler has dried goop around her nose and eyes, and it’s 5 a.m., and all you can think about is how many snot-nosed, whiny memories you’ll be cementing in that eight-turned-10-hour drive back to Wisconsin tomorrow, and the work you’ve got to return to Monday at 8 a.m.
Ah yes. Let’s have another child. And move somewhere far away. GREAT IDEA, ERIN AND DAVE.
She’s got a ticket to ride, she’s got a ticket to ri-hi-hide December 19, 2009Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
Tags: motherhood, pregnancy
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Tomorrow we’ll open presents, just the three of us and the dog, and we’ll oooh and aaaahhh over her new MagnaDoodle and her new instruments. I’ll ooohh and aaaahhh over “alcohol removed” wine and pretend it makes the muscles in my shoulders relax and my face grow red and warm, just like the real thing. I’m a very convincing NA wine drinker.
Tomorrow night we’ll see Santa Claus and take the photo I’ve been plotting — the screaming, terrified kid photo, because I am that kind of mother — and we’ll eat pizza and probably watch “Rudolph,” because that’s what we do.
And then I’ll be expected to sleep, like normal.
Despite my low-key approach to this pregnancy — I have not Googled one thing one time, GO ME — I am nervously excited about Monday’s ultrasound appointment. Watching the image on the screen means I’ll find out if we’re calling this thing by our predetermined boy’s name or if there are phone calls with lawyers in our future over choosing a girl’s name. It’s also science’s way of smacking me in the face as if to point out that second chin I was growing? Yeah, that one, the one that goes so well with that beach ball I’ve been carrying around? It’s A BABY. A REAL ONE. With strong lungs and probably its own colicky temperament and likely a button nose put there by God so you sometimes forget about the colic.
Ohhh, a second baby is what I wanted, but if I were the amusement park type I’d likely describe this moment of life as that fear that gives you goosebumps before you step on the ride — the kind that makes your fingers grow so cold that when your shaky hands push back your hair, your fingertips feel like ice on your scalp. The kind that tastes like cotton in your mouth, and sits like lead in your stomach, because you know. Oh, you know: While there might be enjoyable moments when you’re hanging upside down (or after giving birth), there’s also a strong chance you’re going to throw up all over yourself and wish you’d stayed home instead (where you’d just gotten your daughter to pick up after herself and sleep til 8 a.m.).
But you paid for that ticket and it was expensive and so you’re riding the damn ride, and you’re going to SMILE when you’re doing it! WE ARE MAKING MEMORIES, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?
And that, in conclusion, is what this is like for me.
The “F” word (furlough) December 8, 2009Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable.
I like to pencil in vacations for the whole upcoming year in December because I’m a goal-oriented person (read: neurotic) and I thrive when I have something to which I can count down (read: over which to plead ceaselessly with the gods of time).
But this time, the crisp pages of my spotless 2010 calendar just sat empty, because there’s just so much. On top of maternity leave and vacation time, we were handed another factor. Dave and I got an e-mail Wednesday that informed us we’d all be taking another week of furlough in the first quarter of 2010. Yes, I gagged a little bit.
The first quarter is not known for its sunshine, its abundant warm weather or its piles of cash (It’s not until about July that we have enough cash to just collect in garbage bags around the house). There will be no Billy Joel concert*, no party outside, no glasses of wine on a porch swing — the glimmer of our May 2009 furcation has faded. There’s about a foot of snow on its way here tonight; May seems a decade ago.
I’m trying not to mope about this: I should be reveling in my ability to coerce Alice to sleep until 9 a.m., and I should take every opportunity to do so before No. 2 debuts. I also have been whining about not having more time with Alice … Yeah, I know. I read my blog, too. Scout’s honor, I shall try to enjoy this one for what it is: time off. I’ll try to forget about that whole “not getting paid” thing.
But damn if it’s not a punch in the gut to hear that word again.
(*Truthfully, I briefly considered requesting my furlough for late February so I could make a pilgrimage to Kansas City, Mo., to see Billy Joel on tour. But Dave kindly reminded me how he’d rather get his right hand caught in the snowblower, twice, than ride in a car with a seven-month-pregnant wife. He’s honest. Give him that.)
Reading too much into it, because that’s what I do December 3, 2009Posted by erinfrances in Kind of unreasonable, Toddling it.
Tags: 18 months old
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Since my vacation in October I’ve been carrying around this brick in my pocket called “guilt.” The brick’s awkward and I have no idea how it got there or what I’m supposed to do with it, but what do you know; every morning I pull on my stretchy-waisted hot-mama (hot = not hot) pants and voila, I have mom guilt.
I miss my baby. No, my toddler. CRAP, the brick gets heavier when I realize how old she’s getting.
Tonight, a whole pallet of bricks (is that what bricks come on? Pallets?) arrived at my door in the form of a survey from the doctor’s office: the Ages & Stages Questionnaires for 18-month-olds. We’re supposed to make a game out of testing Alice’s abilities, and then bring it to the doctor’s in a couple weeks with our check marks all tallied up. I was an early-childhood development major long enough to comprehend all babies toddlers reach milestones at their own rates. But I have high hopes for this kid. She’s my own, see.
And this questionnaire’s activities, with its Clip Art-esque toddlers all over it kicking balls and drawing with crayons, make my palms sweaty.
I flew through the first few questions: Does she point to objects she wants? OH, DOES SHE. Does she go into another room to fetch objects when asked? Like getting Mama a drink? OH YES. But then my train of awesome-parenting derailed somewhere between “Does she use two-word sentences?” and “Does your child use two or three words that represent different ideas together, such as ‘Mommy come home.’”
“Mommy come home?” OH, YOU HAD TO GO THERE.
I didn’t think the questionnaire would let me count her many variations of “mmmmmmm” as a word. I was forced to fully darken the “No” circle. Waahhhn-waaahnnn-waahhhn (my bad-news-bears cartoon-like noise).
It just got worse from there. “Does she climb up on chairs?” What is this, a test? Am I supposed to let her climb on chairs? “Does she walk down stairs?” Walk down stairs? Her dad has problems with that.
These three yellow sheets of paper had me sweating out all kinds of guilt. My brick was walking over to the wall, stacking itself up and calling for the others to come join it. It looks really nice next to that Christmas tree. I’m just a few logs away from a full-blown brick fireplace. Quick! Someone remind me I’m having another child. Ohhh, yes. Get the marshmallows.
She walked at 16 1/2 months-ish — I know she’s not going to recite her ABCs tonight. But I’m scared I’ll miss teaching her how to climb a chair and then I’ll blink and it’ll be 2013 and the teacher will be telling Dave and I what a special little girl we have, but did we know she eats paste? Yes, Elmer’s white paste, right off the stick, cutest little thing. Probably nothing to worry about but, well, she eats A LOT of it.
And we’ll just smile and think ,”Paste! That’s more food-like than glue. OUR KID’S JUST FINE.”
Better than nothing November 30, 2009Posted by erinfrances in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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January, May, October and some of November: These are the months Dave’s managed to save thus far from our old computer by rigging it up to a hard drive and begging it for forgiveness. It’s very unforgiving.
I think it’s punishing us for watching Bob Dylan’s Christmas video.
I can’t underestimate how heartbreaking that is — my photo situation, not the Dylan video (that’s beyond adjectives). Three-and-a-half months is about a quarter of all the memories of Alice’s second year, a fact not lost even on my math-challenged brain. My stomach, if it weren’t being propped up with a baby, would be hiding in my socks.
Not to mention the baddest of my Billy Joel collection is lost, along with my Christmas music amassed without discretion over many, many years.
All that’s left is random photos. Better than nothing, but … not all I wanted.
Tags: bad news bears
The dude at the Apple store wasn’t even sympathetic, is the thing.
He couldn’t sense my pure, animalistic rage; he couldn’t tell how at any moment I felt like crying or leaping over the counter to yell at him “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS.”
He just stood there behind the counter, arms in his pockets like he couldn’t care less. HE didn’t lose all the files, now did he? Nooo, this wasn’t about HIM. He told us — the worried, panicked look in our eyes not registering to him – to bring our computer back next week when someone had the time to look at it, and maybe — just maybe — they could save all the content that I’m pretty sure has been lost to the gods of Should Never Have Waited So Long To Back Up My Files and WHY OH WHY.
We stood there quietly, old non-functional Mac in hand, Dave trying to be cool and me trying to name every single photo we’ve taken since our last backup in what, May? Furlough photos, gone. First birthday, sandbox, Halloween, mullet shot — all just gone. All gone.
And this calm and collected, non-invested old man just told us “And no backup, huh?”
NO, NO BACKUP. See me, irrational, emotional pregnant lady over here? I WANT YOU TO BE JUST AS UPSET.
So. Yeah, my trusty computer died last week. I’ve been blogless, Facebookless and general Internet surfing-less since last week. But nothing punches a mom in the gut with as much force as possibly losing all those photos.
I usually nag Dave to backup files all the time — OR AT LEAST MAKE PRINTS. Bt it slipped my mind because that stupid, silent Mac bearing the black screen of death over there is so old and decrepit we couldn’t make prints from it; our OS didn’t support even Walmart.com’s photo uploader.
Oh, God, WHY. Take my Billy Joel collection on iTunes if you must, but please let me keep the photos. PLEASE.
Pardon me while I go over here and scream.