My son just beat the crap out of me. In fact, he's been roughing me up for months now. A fist to the chin, a bop in the nose, a scratch on the cheek, a kick to the chest...
Never mind that he's 11 months old. When I'm changing his diaper, he IS Randy "Macho Man" Savage, I'm Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, and we're facing off at Wrestlemania III.
Just now, I went for the diaper change, which only happens a couple times a day because of the physical transformation it requires me to undergo. And, so, we re-enact what has become a familiar scene in our house.
I place him on his back and he immediately starts with the squirm tactic. Like a seasoned boxer, I go into distraction mode, giving him a lotion bottle, a wipey, the whole wipey container, a ball (bounce it off his nose a few times -- he seems to be entranced), a towel, a remote control...aaaah, the buttons did it.
I have to move quick. I get the pants off, unsnap the onesie t-shirt. I slip the new diaper under the old one on him (there is a method to my madness -- need that new diaper ready to go before I even take the old one off). The wipey is already in-hand and ready for action. I am sweating. I know I don't have much time. He knows what's happening and immediately chucks the remote across the room (yes, I said ACROSS the room). My mouth drops.
Forget the distractions. I just need to press on. I'm not sure how I do it, but I get the 56-pound diaper off him. He tries to sit up. I push him back down. He yells. I yell. He tries to sit up again. I'm so close. I press him back down and hold him there with my left forearm. I get the old diaper off him. I am out of breath. The new one is right there and ready to go (see, method to my madness). I unfasten the velcro on the new diaper and all I can hear are his ear-piercing screams. I'm convinced the neighbors can hear him too and have called child services.
I make one crucial mistake in the melee, though...I forget to pull up the front flap of his diaper. All of the sudden, the room goes silent and it is as if we are moving in slow motion. I reach to pull up the front of his new diaper, but it's too late. My ears are ringing as I scream, "NOOOOOOOOO!" I am hit. I am down.
I am a fighter, though. I will not be swayed from my mission. I ignore the pain and humiliation (and spot on my chest). I am more determined than ever. I pull the diaper up, strap on the velcro, and emerge victorious.
The room is silent again. As I lift him off the changing table, I whisper to myself: "As God is my witness, my kid WILL have a clean ass."
My husband was gazing at me across the table at lunch today. But, not in that "You're so beautiful" way. Instead, his eyes were fixated on a very distinct area.
"Oh, you mean my hair? Oh, that's nothing. Just new hair."
That "new" hair I am referring to is right on the front area of my left-side part. It might as well have a huge red humiliating circle around it like grade school teachers used to make when they really wanted to let you know your answer was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Ok, it's not like comb-overs are in my future or anything, but I have lost a decent amount of hair as a result of participating in The Human Milk Project... twice.
It has grown back each time, thank God. The thing is, it has come back looking freakishly unlike my hair pre-children. Sort of like in that movie, Pet Cemetery, when the kid was brought back to life all creepy, freaky, and weird.
Occasionally I'll give my horn-hair in the front there, a little spit-shine, which rectifies the issue for a few minutes while the hair is wet. Gross I know, but effective. I also have put Bed Head on that area so that it will lay flat. No dice. Then it just sticks out vertically instead of straight up. On top of it, the hair has become like a poison dart arrow sticking straight out from my head, ready to stab someone in the forehead, chest, or shoulder, depending on how tall you are.
So, I just need to be patient. Just let the little guys grow.
Why does mama bear (of the Berenstain Bears) wear "that silly hat" ? Why does papa bear have that look on his face? Why is brother bear a boy? Why is sister bear a girl? Why can't we go to the book store at night? Where's my candy? Why do we eat dinner at night and not breakfast? Ew! Why is Jacky drooling? Why can't I eat baby food? Why don't dogs wear clothes like us? Why is it nighttime? Why isn't it Saturday? Why do Chloe and Olivia have the same mommy? Why can't I pee-pee standing up? Why is Daddy going to work? Why is it Monday? Why can't we eat pancakes everyday? Am I big? What is old? Where did Cheeba go? Why can't we watch more and more and more and more and more and more T.V.? Why is my teacher sick? Why is my dress too small? Why are my tights too long? Where is Grandma? Why can't we go to Grandma's today? What's that? What's this? Who's that? Where are we going? What are you doing?
The whole "terrible twos" thing is a completely crock. It's the threes that will send you over the edge.
One minute they love you, the next minute they hate you. You have no idea from one moment to the next what you're going to get so you just end up staring wide-eyed and shell-shocked straight into the eyes of madness.
She'll sneak up behind me, wrap her arms around my neck and whisper in my ear, "Mommy,I love you so much." You could just melt...and I do. So, there you are feeling soft, vulnerable, sort of like a mollusk without its shell. And, here she comes, wearing that little smirk. You want to escape, run and hide, but you're caged.
"I like you a little bit Mommy, but I like Daddy better."
A mind fuck...a true mind fuck. My old college boyfriend has nothin' on my 3-year-old.
Oh sweet heaven. A wonderful, perfect day with the kids. No fits (ok, maybe just one, but that I can handle), no illnesses, all errands and to-do list items accomplished, a beautiful day outside at the park...
While making dinner, I grabbed Marley for an impromptu dance to some Bob Marley ("He's Marley just like me!"). We love to dance. A twirl, a kick, a leap. Jack sat eating cheerios and giggling at our silliness. I grab him, twirl him. Marley squeals. We all laugh and hug.
My kids are amazing. I am amazing. We are amazing.
I honestly never imagined how hard this job was going to be. Parenting blows any other job out of the water in terms of difficulty. And, I have Roslyn two days week so that I can do some work. I still find it challenging...wait, that is an understatement. I find it to be almost unbearably difficult at times. My neighbor across the street is the crazy lady on the block -- stay-at-home mom of three kids. She's been doing what I'm doing now for YEARS. I'd be batshit-borderline-psychotic crazy too. I never thought it would be possible to be bored and unbelievably busy...all at the same time.
Pick up the baby, put down the baby; crap, dropped the bottle; must lean down sideways and bend legs backwards to reach bottle and not drop baby. Put baby for nap; run and hold Marley so she feels loved. Baby wakes up. Load two children into car (about half-an-hour to prepare just to go - coats, bottle, water, shoes) to drive five minutes to get art supplies for Halloween decorations. Buy art supplies while managing 495 questions a minute from the preschooler; load both kids back into car; get into car exhausted already; crap, it's only 11:30 a.m. Back to house to start lunch and squeeze in an art project so as to avoid meltdown from preschooler; thank God they both eat without losing it; breathe a sigh of relief. Put baby down for nap. Start art project with preschooler; try not to be impatient with her mishandling of the glue; finish one witch after an hour..yes, I said an hour. Get preschooler upstairs for nap. Read book and sing song, which is not "long enough." Meltdown ensues. Resist urge to run screaming from the room, out the door, and down the street while ripping my hair out. The neighbors might wonder...Preschooler quiets down.
Aaaaaah, quiet...I run to the bathroom to finally...sit on the toilet, hurry up and take a dump so I can have a few minutes to just...do...nothing. No sooner do I wipe my ass, cries ensue. Baby is awake.
Well, at least I got to take that dump.
Thanks for listening. And, I was laughing as I was writing. Granted it was a little bit high-pitched and maniacal-sounding, but hey, still laughing...
I am going through some crazy growing pains with Marley right now. It's so funny how I've discovered how INflexible I am. I always thought I was pretty laid back, but I have to consciously (and constantly) tell myself to pick my battles with my 3 1/2-year-old.
As it turns out, I am not a flexible person at all! I hope Marley knows one day that I'm "growing up" at the same time she is...
I smeared oatmeal on my 9-month-old's face this morning. Is that wrong? Or, is it only wrong if someone catches you? Either way, it happened. And, truth be told, I did get caught.
Marley has been refusing to eat. Not only does she refuse, but when she actually allows some food into her mouth, she lets it ooze right back out while engaging in FULL EYE CONTACT. Needling me. Toying with me. Mocking me.
So, this morning she oozed and I smeared. I took a spoonful of oatmeal and just did a little blaah-blaah on each cheek. And, I actually made that noise, "Blaaaaaaah. Blaaaaaaah." One for each cheek.
It was sort of like tribal war paint...babyfood style.
She just looked at me, emotionless. "Like I care," her eyes said. "I have food on my face all the time."
Then I turned to find my husband standing at the kitchen entry, mouth open in disbelief. He had seen the whole thing.
I was speechless. No words. He just shook his head.
Life with children started nearly four years ago with the birth of my daughter, Marley. I wish I could say that my husband and I fawned and fussed over our beautiful baby girl, basking in the incandescent glow of parental love. But, the reality was we had a 20-something-year-old father not quite ready to let go of his pre-baby freedoms, a first-time mother embittered by sleepless nights and sore nipples, and an angry, angry little girl whose cry-of-the-valkyrie screams could send the most experienced yogi into a metaphysical tailspin.
My husband may have summed it up most succintly: "Man, I think she's super-cute and I sure do love her, but boy is she cramping my style."
So, there you go...parenthood -- and particularly motherhood-- is the ultimate tug-of-war between the selflessness of caring for your child and the selfishness of caring for you. And, let me be clear, just because you're a woman does not mean you're hard-wired to just give it all up for babies. It's a process. And, man, do you have to dig deep sometimes to get there.
But, before you go running to get the IUD inserted, or think I'm a cold, heartless mother that doesn't love her children, there is joy. The joy of my 10-month-old son reaching up to stroke my face and finding that sticking his finger up my nose proved much more interesting. The joy of my daughter singing "Tiny Dancer" with her dad in the kitchen while helping with the dishes. The joy of watching the two of them sleep, knowing you made them feel safe.
What I'm here to say, though, is that those joys come along with work. Hard, back-breaking work. If you have children, you know. If you don't...you'll see...