Thursday, December 12, 2013

Moo!! Neigh! QUACK.

I hope you enjoy my unintentional mullet...
Merry Christmas.
Today is by far my busiest day of the holiday season. I hope there won’t be one to top it!

After work at 12:30, I have to go to the bank and gas station, then head north for an appointment with the kidney specialist. I’m hopeful that all is looking normal and no more tests are required! Prior to that appointment, I have to have my blood work done – never a treat for me (or anyone), I’m sure.

Still, there are people in much worse shape than me this holiday season, and I have so much to be thankful for. My amazing husband is super supportive and E, my tiny, little mini-me gets cuter by the minute.

After my appointment, I get to shop for our company’s adopted family – toys and clothes. Woohoo! Spending other people’s money to spread holiday cheer – always a blast! Then I need to grab a quick bite to eat and head home to make our day care parent meeting at 6pm. Sometime in between, it’d be nice if I could… … … and I totally lost my train of thought. What else is there?? I have no idea. I blame mommy brain.

Anyway – do you know how cute my kid is?? She is amazing. She’ll be 2 this January, but she already acts like a 3- or 4-year-old most of the time – okay, minus the screaming, crying temper tantrums 10+ times a day when she hasn’t had a nap. That stops in a year, right?? Hmm, considering the fact that I’m (cough) 30 (cough) and on the verge of having one myself most days, probably not.

And the temper tantrums have made me act crazy, weird, goofy, strange. Point is, I’m losing my mind. Last night, E refused to stop washing her hands. If in the next 5 years the world’s water supply is completely depleted and you want someone to blame, look no further than my house. This child would wash her hands for 24 straight hours if I let her. Of course, the act of hand washing itself actually involves splashing water, filling and pouring water into cups, using my toothbrush to scrub stubborn soap-scum stains from the bottom of the sink, and ultimately flooding the bathroom.

Last night, after I finally cut her off, she threw herself on the floor and screamed her head off. She got temporarily distracted by a game I made up to get her to put her night shirt on, then she moved to the living room to sit in her baby bath tub (I use it for toy storage in the living room). Something about the baby bath triggered another temper tantrum. I don’t even remember what it was, but I was so exhausted that I just… lost it. I went crazy… in the simplest, calmest way possible.

I was sitting next to a pile of unfolded laundry. I reached for a sock and threw it at her (playfully, though I admit there may have been a little frustration behind my throw). Then a shirt, a pair of her pants, all small, harmless items. I filled her tub with laundry as different clothes items bounced off her face.

At first she stopped and looked at me like I had really lost my mind. Then she got laughing so hard she could barely breathe. So did I.

I finally ran out of laundry to throw and stopped. She looked up at me, big grin, hair a mess, out of breath, and said, “Again!?”

Sure. Why not?

Ever since last night, I’ve dealt with all temper tantrums in this way – by calmly acting like a crazier lunatic. I make animal noises, sing made-up songs like, “It’s Raining Mittens (Better Put Them On)” and “Where Did Your Hands Go (Let’s Find Them in Your Shirt Sleeves)?” Anything to get her to dress herself without a screaming fit.

Sometimes I just scream and run around like Pee Wee Herman until she laughs.

I swear, by next week, I'll be dressing up like a donkey and running out into oncoming traffic screaming, "Save yourselves!"

And, of course, we talk it out too… but when it gets beyond the point of reason, I think Mommy’s allowed to have a little meltdown too.

If you had asked me 6 months ago what my advice would be to new moms, I would have said something like, “Just love your kid(s). Marvel in all that they do, enjoy every moment, and don’t stress about always doing what’s “right” by everyone else’s definitions.”

If you asked me the same question today, I would have a much simpler motto: “Just survive. Grasp onto any tiny thread of dignity and sanity you have left, and do whatever you have to, to survive.”

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