parenting

We Weary All Right

My husband and I thought the parenting thing was pretty easy with Little Man. How hard could it be to raise a kid who was kind, respectful, relatively easy-going, etc., right? So we had another kid and the universe pretty much laughed in our faces when it handed over Baby Girl.

There is so much I love about Baby Girl. And I feel like it’s important to emphasize that before I write anything else. Funny, bright, strong-willed, spirited, loving…did I mention funny, already? She has quite the sense of humor and can already deadpan with the best of them.

But whoa, that child. I’m scare to look at my hair too closely in the mirror, because there are probably gray hairs. Some of it would be due to worrying over her and the rest would be because of how taxing she can be.

Here are a few of the things that might lead to her having a shit fit at any moment:

Baby Girl, eat your breakfast.

Baby Girl, time to take a bath.

Baby Girl, you watched your show, now it’s time to turn off the TV.

No, Baby Girl, I can’t play; I have to work right now.

Baby Girl, it’s time to pick up LM from school.

Baby Girl, here is the lunch you ASKED for.

Baby Girl, I can’t carry you right now, walk and hold my hand.

Baby Girl, let’s work on our letters.

Baby Girl, time to go to bed.

Considering that five of the items on that lists are musts every day, there are lots of shit fits. I don’t understand why it’s so problematic to eat a meal or put on pajamas. Little Man had his complaints over food that was deemed spicy or clothes of textures he didn’t like (hello, sensory issues), but it wasn’t anything like this. Attempts at reasoning with her are fruitless and generally met with her throwing her head back and screaming loud enough that I fear the neighbors will call CPS since it sounds like she’s being killed. It’s her way or it’s hell, so unless it’s one of those minor “pick your battles” situations, it’s hell.

I know some people think we suck at discipline, but we try so hard. We’re consistent, we try to offer choices, we do all the things that are usually recommended for tricking toddlers (well, preschoolers) into behaving. She mostly sees through that and is like “fuck this.”

She makes me so weary and on edge — those shrieks make my anxiety go haywire. Going out in public, going grocery shopping, whatever has me in that anxiety mode, knowing the odds are high that the shit will hit the fan. I just want one day where we do the things we have to do and there is compliance and no screaming. Some people say a compliant child is a child who can’t think for herself or some shit, but I think they’d welcome a compliant day or two if they were in my shoes. When she’s not in that mode, she’s in total sweetheart/hilarious/all the good things mode, so the bipolar joke/misconceptions where people flip from one mood to the other rapidly would totally apply here.

(Can kids this age have bipolar disorder? Maybe the apple didn’t fall far from the tree? Shit, I’m not looking that up and getting my brain off on something else right now.)

Baby Girl is three and a half now. We’ve been in this “phase” forever it feels like. Really, though, she started off refusing to eat food and being very demanding about who held her when she was 6-9 months old, so forever isn’t much of an exaggeration. Much like I did with ages 2 and 3, I’m hoping that some of this stuff phases out as we get closer to 4. (After writing this and reviewing, I realize that the instances of her head banging the floor have decreased big time, so there’s some progress.)

On another note, this child will be going to kindergarten next year. Sure, it’s a year and a half away, but still, it feels so weird to say that, considering she was only 4 months old when I started this blog. A part of me wonders how she’ll be close to being ready — physically she still moves more like a toddler and she rarely lets anyone (including her preschool teacher) know what she knows (like, she’ll say that a T makes the “ssss” sound or that a 2 is a 9 just for the hell of it). But, again, a year and a half is roughly a third of the time she’s been on this earth now.

Now y’all know there is loads of good stuff I could write. Many of y’all have seen it on my other blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But I don’t usually write about the more stressful aspects there, unless they’re kinda funny, so this is me venting. I kinda feel like an asshole for venting about a three-year-old, and am aware that this probably reflects on my parenting fails more than anything, but…whew.

I’ll move on to Little Man for the next post.

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Hello, 2018

My husband thinks I’m weird. Again. Shockingly, after being together for almost 13 years, I can still manage to surprise him with my weirdness. This time it was because I commented, “Thank God, I hate odd-numbered years” after the ball dropped and we welcomed 2018. You’d think that for a guy who gets irritated when he finds out that I stopped pumping my gas at the $12.97 mark instead of the $13.00 mark, that he’d somewhat understand. But  nope.

So that’s how my 2018 started, which was probably better than how we’ve previously rung in the New Year — with drunk people who had access to fireworks, firearms, and Fireball. Yikes. We watched part of the new Dave Chappelle special on Netflix, switched over to watch the ball drop, argued for a few minutes, and then finished the special. Obligatory “we’re officially old” comment. And then my husband turned 40 yesterday, so the oldness is legit on his behalf, and now I’m old by association.

Little Man and I talked about writing down New Year’s resolutions, but we didn’t. Considering that both of us essentially had “be organized and get shit done” as one of our goals (his was phrased less cursey), it appears that we aren’t off to a great start.

I had a few goals last year, some I was successful with and some I wasn’t. The main goals was actually losing more weight, which I did. I was down almost 40 pounds when Thanksgiving rolled around. And then after Thanksgiving, my extended birthday weekend, the cruise, multiple Christmas get-togethers, and my husband’s birthday, it’s more like 35. Now it’s time to get back to it. Another goal was to open an Etsy shop, which I did. I only had a few sales (most of my sales were from my Facebook page), but I was able to check that off at least.

Now for some positives from 2017 that weren’t really goals. I was hired for a new job about a month ago. (And got offered for two others I applied for within the same week, go figure!) Typical work from home content writer, part-time, flexible schedule deal. It’s more hours than the other freelance gigs I’ve had in a while, and I’m still trying to get adjusted to that. I like more hours, but finding the quiet time I need to write has been tough, especially with the kids out of school. Note to self: maybe don’t start a new job during the busiest time of the year.

The positive thing that I’m most excited about from 2017 — I was recommended for cochlear implant surgery and will get implanted this month. The insurance company denied it at first and gave the two most bullshit reasons ever, but after a peer-to-peer with my doctor, they approved it, so yay! The doctor said it isn’t guaranteed to work well and that it could take up to a year to see max benefits, but I’m hopeful. Worst case scenario (assuming I don’t die or get meningitis and then die), is that I lose the residual hearing in that ear and am in about the same place I am now. Best case — through rehab and relearning to hear in that ear, I might get close to normal hearing in that ear. The risk is worth it.

This is a big deal, since it recently hit me how much of a struggle it would be with most traditional jobs (Baby Girl will start kindergarten fall of next year), struggling with using the phone, not being able to hear most conversations with background noise, etc. If the implant works, I’ll have more options as far as job opportunities go, plus it’d be nice not to depend on my husband so much.

So, hello 2018 — bring it on.

Any goals for your year or are you just gonna keep on keepin’ on? 

Things Kids Say: Strawberries, Fevers, And More

Yesterday Baby Girl gave me enough material to do a few weeks worth of Things Kids Say. Instead of making you wait for it, though, I’ll post it all today, because I’m cool like that.

While changing Baby Girl’s diaper, she started scratching herself. She’s got a bit of a rash going on. It’d be nice if she were ready to potty train (and she did show interest briefly but has since flat-out refused to go on the toilet), but that’s not where we’re at right now. So, as usual, I instructed her to stop her clawing.

“Baby Girl, don’t scratch at your vulva — it’s already red,” I told her.

“Ooooh, Mommy, do it look like a strawberry?” she asked excitedly. I had to inform her that, no, her vulva did not resemble a strawberry. File that one under “Things I Never Thought I’d Say.”

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Little Man is sick with the flu. Again. Yep, he had to go ruin our Illness Free streak, which I think lasted about three weeks. (I’m kidding — poor Little Man.) So, Baby Girl loves going to the doctor and often asks to go. She has a little doctor kit that she plays with a lot, too. (Yep, I’m already boasting to Sam that our daughter is gonna be a doctor.) I commented to BG that Little Man was sick, so she asked about the doctor, expressed regret that she didn’t get to go, and immediately went to doctoring.

“My doggy sick. I get my step-o-scope and shot and take his fever.” She went through the motions with the toy stethoscope and syringe, used the thing that’s used to check the nose and ears, and then pressed the button on the digital thermometer I had left out. (You can tell she’s paid close attention in her visits.)

“It say he got five dollars! He sick!” she said when the numbers popped up on the thermometer. Poor dog.

*      *      *

Our power went off briefly yesterday evening. After taking out the lantern (which BG declared to be “amazing”), Sam talked about getting some candles out. This made Baby Girl super excited.

“It’s my birthday?! Yay! It’s my birthday! Where’s my cake?” It took a while to make her understand that there was no cake. I was tempted to stick a leftover birthday candle in a Little Debbie cake, but she didn’t eat her supper, so no Debbies for her.

*      *      *

And now for the super sweet thing she said yesterday — we were waiting on a call from Little Man’s doctor (the insurance denied his Tamiflu prescription, saying they wouldn’t cover it more than once in a 90-day period, so the office was trying to get that sorted out). I didn’t hear the phone ring, because sucky hearing, and Baby Girl told me it was ringing. I told her a little bit later that I appreciated her telling me it was ringing.

“Mommy’s ears don’t work very well, so I need your help hearing things sometimes,” I told her.

“Your ears not work?” she asked.

“Not very good,” I answered.

“Poor Mommy,” Baby Girl said, looking sad. “I go see Santa tomorrow. I say I want new ears for you. I say, ‘Pleeeease, Santa!'” All the feels right there.

Creepy Notes

Little Man can be pretty forgetful when it comes to…well, anything, but especially bringing home his homework and important papers. Kids are forgetful. Kids with ADHD are super forgetful. Kids with ADHD that have moms and dads who are scatterbrained as hell are super forgetful times infinity. Science knows this to be true.

So, the boy has a presentation due next month, and his teacher sent out a text message telling the parents to review the rubric. I checked Little Man’s bag, and there was no rubric to be found.

“Where’s the rubric?” I asked.

“What rubric?” he responded.

“The rubric for your project.”

“What proj–oh, I don’t know. Maybe I lost it?”

“Well, maybe you better find it and bring it home tomorrow,” I told him.

“The teacher said if we lost it that we can’t have another one.”

“Find it.”

The next day came, and he didn’t have his rubric, nor did he remember to look for it. The day after, I put a post-it note on his binder reminding him to bring it home. Still, nothing.

“If you don’t look for it tomorrow and ask the teacher about getting another one if you can’t find it,” I told him, “then there’s no screen. At all. Got it?”

Nothing came home and he lost screen. The next two days he was out since we went to Great Wolf Lodge. On the Thursday night before he went back to school, I put more post-it reminders in his bag so that he’d have no excuse of forgetting.

First I put one on his binder. I put another in his folder. Another post-it replaced the bookmark in the book he was reading. Another went in his pencil pouch. Yet another was taped to the handle of his backpack. And the last one was taped to the top of the inside of his lunchbox, so that when he opened it, the note was hanging down in front of his food.

One that didn’t get tossed.

Guess what? The rubric was found and brought home.

“Mom, you know that was kind of creepy,” Little Man told me after coming home. “There was the first note and then the second note, and I found the rubric. But I kept finding more notes as the day went on. The lunchbox not was super creepy. There aren’t anymore notes hidden, are there?”

He did find them all. And now I know what to do when he’s not bringing stuff home and taking stuff from him isn’t working — bombard him with post-it notes. Maybe even rig his sandwich container so that it kind of explodes with a hundred little post-it notes when he opens it. Paint the rock outside the school the post-it orange and put a note on there, too. Or, make a fake tattoo that looks like a post-it with the reminder on it and stick it on his arm. The possibilities are endless.

Praise Zeus

March has been good to us so far. We made it through the first week without anyone getting sick and puking all over or needing a prescription! And my washing machine is no longer running continuously. “Praise Zeus,” as Little Man is fond of saying.

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And, yes, I’m knocking on wood. All the wood. Even…nah, I’m not going there.

We have had a super laid back weekend. We took the kids out to dinner and did a little shopping on Friday night, did soccer and a little cleaning on Saturday, and all we have planned for today is taking apart Baby Girl’s crib to give to some relatives. Since she only used the crib a couple of times (she preferred her pack-n-play), I won’t get all weepy. (Although I am still a little annoyed that the adorable owl sheets I bought to match the theme of her nursery were never really used. I’ll get over it when she’s 20.)

In other good news, I had a few necklace orders this week, plus a couple of vinyl decal orders. If things continue being less chaotic, I hope to get more up on Etsy rather than focusing just on Facebook. People apparently love stuff that is pet-related, so that seems like it’d be a good focus once I start focusing. Little Man is making a bunch of necklaces for a festival at his school, and we have to have 50 ready for later this month, so I’ll be making necklaces one way or another. He has Pokemon, Star Wars, My Little Pony, Deadpool, Transformers, and some others.

Some of the necklaces we made last month.

He’s offered to help me with necklaces for my Etsy shop “for a cut of the profit.” (His class has an entrepreneurship theme this year.) I told him we’d talk after he helps me with 50 necklaces, so now he wants his own shop. He is obsessed with all things LEGO and wants to save his money to buy the Millennium Falcon. That thing is expensive — around $120 — so he better make a lot of necklaces.

What’s new with you?