Monday, March 19, 2012

Trying to blog... or do anything...

Last night, blogger inexplicably deleted the draft of our WDW travel advice post that I've been working on for weeks. I'd been writing for at least two hours and wanted to work on something else for a bit. The details aren't interesting or important, just several weeks and two hours worth of work, irretrievably gone in the blink of an eye. First world problems, I know. I can't decide whether I'll cut my losses or if I'll try to rewrite the incredibly insightful and original tips and advice. I might write it again, just to spite blogger. Because I'm competitive like that.

Except that I don't know where I'm going to find time to write that much about any one thing, ever again, let alone a few measly minutes to write about nothing. Between computer issues, blogger nonsense, work, and toddler tantrums, I don't know how I'll ever get anything done on my own time again.

I took Alice shopping this weekend, Saturday AND Sunday. She and I both needed warm weather clothes, for both the 80-degree+ weather we keep having in LA and an upcoming trip to somewhere even warmer than here. Except that yesterday - the only chance I had to accomplish this - it was pouring rain. Literally the most rain we've at one time this whole year, the most rain we've had at once in a long while.

I wore TOMS on Saturday. A terrible choice. I couldn't figure out how to hold the umbrella over me while unbuckling Alice from her carseat**. I needed her to help me, I needed her to take her arms out of the straps and stand up, lean towards me, and hang on so I could lift her while holding the umbrella. I tried to hang the umbrella over the door so I could use both my hands, but it kept taking flight. She watched the umbrella blowing away, saw the rain pouring over me into the car, and stayed firmly put in her seat. I wrestled her from the car, waded through the parking lot lake, and dragged her through the store and into a fitting room. Then I hauled her across the parking lot, through another store, into another fitting room, and then to the grocery store. Luckily, it didn't start raining again until I pulled into the driveway with a car full of shopping and grocery bags. And neither of us had any meltdowns.

We did that all again on Sunday, but with no rain. That morning, I told Alice we were going shopping again and she said "raining?" Luckily, no.

I've never tried on clothes so fast in my life. I mean, I'm usually pretty fast, but this was ridiculous. All the while trying to keep Alice engaged and occupied. I let her empty my purse and then made her put it all away. I had her prep herself for her turn trying on clothes. Take off your shoes. Great! Now, take off your socks. Good job! Now take off your pants. Good girl. Now put these sandals on. Oh, you can't do it? Mama will help, just a minute while I try on ten more pairs of pants.

By the time it was her turn to try on clothes, she was totally losing focus. Arms on my shoulders, step into these shorts. Shirt over the head, one arm, the other arm. Looks good! Or: too small, we'll get the 3T. Or 4T... Arms up! Shorts off! Repeat. Sit on my lap, put these shoes on.

Inevitably, she would turn in the exact wrong direction for whatever garment we were putting on. She started shoving her hands through the head holes, she pulled her feet out of the shoe at the last minute, she squirmed and wriggled the entire time. But then, I'd get it all where it was supposed to be, and she'd start dancing to whatever awesome '80s/hipster tune was on the Old Navy soundtrack du jour. Like, really boogie-ing. And how can you be mad at that ponytail, those luscious, chunky thighs dancing around in a hot pink 2T romper??

We think she's teething again, working on those two-year molars. Or it's something else, who knows. Her gums aren't bulging yet, if it's molars, only God my pedo dentist BFF knows how much more of this we've got. She's short-tempered and waking in the night like she does when she's teething, sometimes during our dinner or just as I'm headed to bed. Sometimes at 3:30/4am when Marceline stomps all over, crying, and Jon gets up to work. Sometimes we have to let her cry it out, but her crying has turned into blood-curdling shrieking screaming and she is now able to straddle the front of the crib. She hasn't figured out that she could actually escape, and she hasn't yet fallen out, but I fear she will the moment I close my eyes... Sometimes we can soothe her with a cuddle, or a new stuffed friend for her bed. Sometimes she needs a bed-night snack, other times she cries and signs "eeeeeat" or "potty," which is usually just a stalling mechanism. How do you say no, though? How do you know for sure? We stopped giving her Orajel, thanks to the FDA/AAP warnings about methemoglobinemia. Orajel always worked like a charm for Alice, before we had to worry that it would turn her blue and kill her.

Last night, the phone woke Alice after she'd gone to bed. Jon was at the store, buying Orajel Naturals in a last-ditch effort to have just one trick in our back pocket at midnight or 3am tonight. He called to ask a question and when he got home, he thought I was being bold by unloading the dishwasher while Alice was sleeping. I explained that she WASN'T sleeping and snatched the Orajel as I went to tend to her. Except, as is frequently the culprit in sleep interruptions, she was in the middle of soiling her diaper. I rushed her to her toilet so she could finish up there and was met with hysterical protesting - not the hilarious kind of hysterical, the literal kind. I tried convincing and cajoling and then gave up and whisked her back to the changing table. Where she immediately told me she needed to potty. So back to the potty we went.

I brought her book (a long one, an anthology of sorts) and mine. I got her toothbrush (she likes to brush on the pot, what can you do?), and we made ourselves comfortable. I didn't know how long we'd be there. After a while, she asked me "pea?" She wasn't talking about her bodily functions, she wanted her book Little Pea (which she enjoys reading on the pot, coincidentally). To be sure, I asked, "Do you want your Little Pea book?" and was met with a grin, a giggle, and an "ok?" When you're at the end of your rope, reading a book on the bathroom floor while your kid is brushing her teeth and dropping a deuce, that kind of grin and giggle can extinguish even the most seething rage. Which is exactly why toddlers are equipped with such superior survival techniques.

I can't believe that dichotomy of parenting. That she can make me mad enough to throw her stuffed animal across the room because she won't do anything else while holding it, but when I have to retrieve it to silence her screaming, she can stop me in my tracks by signing and saying "thank you." That even when I'm furious and need her to sit still/get dressed/eat dinner/go to sleep, I just want to freeze time and drink in her cheeks, her eyes, her bangs, her little teeth, her chubby thighs, her frog-hips. I want to remember every smile, every new word, every kiss. I want to bottle every sweet thing she's ever done and drink an elixir of memories any time I need a pick me up.

I think we're entering the terrible twos. If what we've seen so far is any indication, there's a reason they are called "terrible" and not just "kind of unpleasant." We're really lucky, though, that she's still very well behaved and very, very adorable. We're also lucky that both Jon and I generally have patience enough to ride it out and can relieve the other when they're at the end of their rope. I just don't think that I'm going to get much done. Maybe until she's three. Or four...

***

We made pizza on Saturday. Alice helped Jon mix and roll the dough, spread the sauce, and arrange the cheese and the sausage. We thought it would help entice her to eat the pizza if she helped cook it. And maybe it did? When we put her finished pie in front of her, she wanted nothing to do with it. I gave her a little bowl of marinara on the side, for dipping, and she went to town sucking marinara off each pizza point. And then, finally, she bit one. And chewed it, and swallowed it, and took another bite. Jon and I rejoiced. And here are the photos...



























**Jon just told me that he refrained from sharing the secret to the getting-the-baby-out-of-the-car-while-it's-raining maneuver, because I was so harried when I left the house yesterday. And I'm so dumb, it probably would have taken me ten trips in the rain to figure it out. You sit INSIDE the car while unbuckling the child. Duh.

3 comments:

  1. Stories like these make me miss you guys. Keep it up, wonderparents!

    ReplyDelete
  2. yay for eating pizza! and yay for little pockets of patience/sanity/bliss when living with a toddler! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think anything has ever made me feel more proud or more defeated than being a parent. You guys do a GREAT job. And Alice is so loved. Lucky girl. Lucky mom and dad.

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you! Kind words only, please...