Long Showers Are No More

Last night I was taking a shower for what I thought would be my only 5-7 minutes of peace for the day when the door was violently thrown open and I heard the whining of my offspring right as I began to shampoo my hair that was desperately in need of a wash.

“MOMMMMMYYYYY. THE PHONE IS DARKKKKK. MOMMYYYYYY I NEED YOUUUUUU.”

And the next thing I knew she was trying to thrust Eric’s phone into the shower to fix whatever video she was watching as I was trying to shave my legs and remove shampoo all at the same time because heaven forbid I take a shower longer than 30 seconds.

I started shouting for Eric to come assist me and get the child out of the bathroom but he couldn’t hear me at first because he was playing Fortnite with his gaming headphones on.  Because of course he was.

When she finally started screaming loud enough for him to hear her over the chatter of his gaming friends, he came to the bathroom to help her when she started yelling even louder that he couldn’t help her.  Because he is a boy and she is a girl and only girls like mommy can help her.  Eric said “I’m not a boy, I’m daddy!” Which is confusing AF, but she listened to him and I was able to finish my shower in peace.

I have no idea where this thought came from but she better get it the hell out of her head real quick.  I’m all for the feminist “women can do it all” rhetoric but I am certainly not going to do every little thing for her because I’m a girl.  Hell to the no.

Also, I’d like to point out that Charlotte no longer asks me what wine is when she sees me pour it and bring it into the bedroom while we watch TV.  She just says, “oh, wine! I have a taste?”  I’m pretty proud of that.  I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Charlotte has always been difficult to dress.  You all know how much she hates dresses and skirts, clothes that are too tight, clothes that are too big, most kinds of shoes, etc., etc.  But now we’re in this lovely phase, that is lasting much longer than I’d like, where she doesn’t wear clothes at all.  It isn’t unusual for me to come home from work to a completely naked child. Underwear thrown across the room or hidden in the couch cushions.  In fact, yesterday when I got home she was stark naked and stayed that way.  She prefers to sleep in the nude now too.  And because I am tired/lazy/sick of fighting with her over everything, I let her.  So really it’s my fault that I am prolonging the naked phase.   I had to let our babysitter now this morning that when Char woke up she would be completely naked just so that she wouldn’t be alarmed when she came waltzing out of the room looking like an actual animal.  The babysitter says they usually have to “work up to wearing clothes.”  They start with underwear and then hours later get some shorts and a shirt on.  I never imagined this being a thing, but alas, here we are.

What’s funny is that she has two pairs of sneakers that she has refused to wear in the past but now thinks they are “so cool” and “so awesome.”  So she’ll wear them around the house, but she’s still naked.  The other day she was running around with her Frozen light up sneakers and nothing else.  We went to a party on Saturday and immediately took her shoes off and was trying to get her pants off too.  Since she’s starting school in less than a month we have been drilling it into her head that she can’t take anything off when she gets there.  Not even her shoes, unless the teacher says it’s okay.  She will randomly look at us and shout, “OK! AND YOU CAN’T TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS AT SCHOOL! NOT EVEN YOUR SHOES BUT REALLY NOT YOUR PANTS!”

So hopefully she’s getting it.  Or else I’ll be writing a post in September about how on Charlotte’s first day she stripped down naked and we were banned from the premises.

Monday Melt Downs

Last night Charlotte had two melt downs.  The first melt down was because she wanted an ice pop, and, since it has been the temperature of the surface of the sun outside, I obliged.  But the ice pop was too cold for her.  (WTF?!)  She was laying on the floor kicking and screaming and crying that I needed to cook it.  “Put it in the oven! Cook it! It’s too cold!”  This went on for some time.  I even put the ice pop in the oven to “cook it” but she wouldn’t eat it.  So not only did I have to listen to her crying over the most ridiculous thing, I had to eat the ice pop and consume unnecessary calories because nobody throws out a perfectly good ice pop.  She stopped crying over this to focus on something even more ridiculous.

Her ankles.

Charlotte decided last night that she didn’t like her ankles.  She wanted to take her ankles OFF.  She was sitting there with tears streaming down her face trying to actually take her ankles off!  She said she didn’t need ankles.  “Why do I have these ankles? Take the ankles off!”

I know people say kids make you crazy over the things that upset them, but this was seriously insane.  I never thought I’d have to explain to my daughter why you can’t take your ankles off.  I never thought I’d have a daughter who thought she could take her ankles off.  I just never envisioned this as a conversation I would have.  But here we are.  Ankles and ice pops, man.

Hello Again!

Hi there! Sorry I’ve been MIA for quite some time but it’s been for good reason! Eric and I were both on vacation last week to go to Great Wolf Lodge with our friends and their kids but also we moved! (It was simultaneously the longest yet fastest week of my life.)

We sold our co-op in Queens and moved to Staten Island. It was a homecoming for me but a whole new ball game for Eric. We’re currently renting an apartment from a wonderful family friend while we begin our search for a house (so if you know of any that aren’t 10 million dollars, send them my way!). I have to say that moving is probably up there as one of the most stressful things in life. I had been slowly packing for months and bringing things to store in my parents basement thinking it would take the stress out of it, but I was obviously wrong. Last Monday I spent the ENTIRE day packing and I still didn’t finish. By the time of our closing, we were literally throwing things in garbage bags and shoving them in my car. And it isn’t like unpacking is any better. I’d say I’m 95% done except for the random bags I stuffed with crap that I’ve banished to the corners of the room.

I think that this is the one time it worked out in our favor that Charlotte sleeps with us because I honestly don’t think this child even realized she moved. It isn’t like I had to put her in a new room. She hasn’t brought up our old place at all. I guess it’s good that little kids are so resilient. This week will be a big change for her because she is getting a new babysitter and our family is adjusting to our new life here right now, but little by little things will fall into place. She’s really been so great throughout everything, which is a change of pace for her usually acting like a Richard.

If you made it this far, thanks for still reading and sticking by me. It’s crazy to think I’ve been writing on this blog for over 3 years and all the changes that have come my way. I love that I have this space to come to to put everything “on paper” and have people read about it. It makes sharing stuff like this all the more special.

BLIPPI!

I don’t know if any of you parents out there know the hell that is Blippi, but if you do, just know that I am with you and I am sorry.  For those of you who are good parents who limit screen time, Blippi is a character on YouTube that posts “fun, educational videos for toddlers” and he starts every video with a catchy little jingle that goes “SO MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT IT’LL MAKE YOU WANNA SHOUT, BLIPPI!!!”  That jingle repeats in my mind over and over and over and over and over.  I’m singing it right now.   I bet if you’re a parent who has a kid that watches Blippi you even sang that instead of reading it.  It NEVER GOES AWAY.  Anyway, Blippi does have some cute videos where he does teach random things and sings songs about stuff like animals in the ocean, tractors, colors, numbers, etc.  But because YouTube (even YouTube kids, which is the only thing Char is allowed to have now after the Kermit Commits Suicide debacle) is a black hole, Charlotte somehow manages to find Blippi videos in other languages.

So NOW every time she starts a Blippi video she asks me if it’s in English.  And because toddlers seem to enjoy arguing about everything, when I tell her it is, in fact, in English, she screams at me that it isn’t.  She looks for the ones that aren’t in English just so she can be right.  She is infuriating.  This is my daily struggle.

Have kids they said.

I didn’t really thinking clothing fights with Charlotte would start until the teenage years.  I only imagined the “that’s far too short” type of argument when it came to getting dressed and not really the “you HAVE TO WEAR PANTS FFS” type of argument we have daily.  Summer has always been the easiest season to dress her.  Shorts, dress, skirt — boom we’re out the door.  NOT THIS SUMMER.

Charlotte REFUSES to wear dresses of any kind and her reasoning is that she can’t sit in the car in them.  I don’t understand this logic, but getting her in a dress is absolutely impossible.  The few times I have gotten her in a dress she says it hurts her because of the elastic on the waistband and then tries to violently rip it off her body until she is tangled inside the fabric and suffocating herself.

Shorts are a whole other issue.  She won’t wear any of the shorts that have any kind of elastic.  They hurt her.  Everything hurts this kid.  I’m starting to think she doesn’t think that word means what she thinks it means.  She will only wear a certain kind of shorts from Old Navy that are soft enough to her liking so I have purchased them in every color and pattern, but when I run out of them and they’re in the laundry, like they were yesterday, we have an apoplectic meltdown.

She won’t wear rompers of any kind.  Bikinis?  Forget it.  One piece bathing suits? No effing thank you. Underwear that is too tight is “not fair” in her own words.  Sandals that have any kind of snap or button that touches her precious little feet? Toss them in the trash.  Pajamas haven’t been necessary in a very long time.  She sleeps in only underwear (that are too big, because tight ones are obviously no fair) and even occasionally takes the underwear off in the middle of the night.

When I do manage to get an outfit to her liking on her she has to immediately take it off when we arrive at home or our destination.  Her shorts were off within 30 minutes of being at my grandma’s yesterday and the shirt came off not shortly after.

I have so many clothes this kid won’t wear.  Just drawers full of shit she got as gifts and I stupidly bought thinking she’d wear them.  I’ve wasted so much money on her and all she wants is to be naked forever.  Yesterday she fought me and Eric for over 20 minutes and she was crying so hard by the end of it she was basically having a panic attack. Over shorts.  SHORTS!

God help me in September when she goes to school.

I have been struggling lately.  Not in the regular parenting ways in which I am tired or overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities or the fact that we’re moving in a few weeks and I’m dealing with the logistical and emotional aspects of that.  But I’m struggling with the idea of shaping Charlotte as a person and how important it is for the parents to set examples.  She’s starting school in September and I’m petrified that she’s going to be a disaster.  I already know she’s going to cry and scream and lose her mind when Eric and I leave, but what if she doesn’t stop?  Then there’s the unfortunate aspect of her telling people they are “disgusting” and that she doesn’t like them.  I have no idea where this came from and I have no idea how to stop it.  I don’t want to have the bratty kid.  I’m trying so hard not to have the bratty kid, and yet she’s still acting like a brat.  What else can I do other than explain to her that she can’t call people disgusting and that it isn’t nice and can make them feel sad?  Can a 3 year old even comprehend that or is she just going to continue to be a little jerk?  And I feel awful that perhaps I’m the reason this is happening.  That I’ve fundamentally failed somewhere along the line.  I try so hard, every day, to set a good example.  But is it enough?

There are times thought when I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  For example, Charlotte has been obsessed with makeup.  She asked me one day while we were giving each other makeovers if boys wear makeup and I told her anyone can wear makeup.  Makeup can make you happy and if boys want to wear it they can.  And now, every time she takes out that makeup, she looks at me and says “makeup makes you happy, even some boys!”  So I feel like I’m setting the ground work for teaching her that gender doesn’t define what you like or what you want.  It’s baby steps, right?

Now if only I could get her to stop calling everyone disgusting.

Sleep Talker

I’ve been keeping a list of all of the things Charlotte says while she is asleep.  They take place anywhere between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM.  I am very well rested.  Not.

  • *High pitched scream* followed by “NOOOO I NEED THE GREEN TRIANGLE!”
  • “Minnie needs to sit over there. OVER THERE!”
  • “I’m not ready.  Don’t take me out! I said I’m not ready!”
  • “Shut up Spanky.”
  • “You said a bad word.”
  • “I don’t need to eat.”
  • “Oh that is DISGUSTING.”

And my personal favorite: “oh my mommy, I love you so much.”

She says all of this crap when she’s awake too, so sleeping with her is basically just an extension of our day.  Our very long days.  She says them while she is completely out cold but very loud and with much gusto.  When I tell her she talks in her sleep she laughs at me and says I’m funny.  She doesn’t believe what an unbelievable pain in the ass she is.  I should really start recording it at some point because I’m afraid one day I’ll forget she did this stuff, but then again, she’ll probably never leave my bed so I’ll keep getting her sleep chats for the rest of my life.

 

 

Perspective

We spent the day yesterday at my friend’s house – she has a beautiful new home with the added bonus of a swimming pool.  We spent the 4th of July there and had a great day swimming, and since Charlotte is a fish in the summer I thought yesterday would be the perfect day to swim there because of how absolutely gorgeous it was.

Except Charlotte started acting like a real Richard.  She was whining SO much and I was losing my patience quickly.  When she was in the pool she wanted to get out.  She wanted her bathing suit off and wanted to go inside the house.  “I be naked in the house!” was uttered many times.  I was getting beyond frustrated because it was SO nice out and after the horrible heatwave we experienced last week I just wanted to enjoy some time outside.  Things got so bad that I even called Eric to come pick her up because I was this close to chucking her over the fence to wait for the Q23 bus.  But then she asked for some mac & cheese and I figured I’d give her one last chance.  She ended up eating a huge bowl of macaroni, drank some lemonade and had some chips and she was a completely new person.  My kid was hangry.  You would think I would know the signs of being hangry because I experience them on a daily basis, but as we all know my child doesn’t eat so I never thought that would be the issue.  But once she ate and I had a glass of wine and changed my attitude, the rest of the day was so much better.  I realized that I have to change how I respond to her in situations too because I can lose my patience too quickly, and if I just go with the flow everything seems to be a little easier.  So while I wasn’t entirely thrilled about having to throw her in the air 500 times in the water, or swim around while she held onto my feet, I have to realize my days of lounging on a float for 5 hours are over and the whole point is for her to have fun.  And when I realized that, I had fun too.

And it’s also a pretty good arm workout to throw a child that many times.

Magic Moments

Last night I went out after work.  I got home before 9 and Char was already asleep because Eric had her outside in the pool all day long so she was pretty beat.  However, the second I walked into my bedroom her eyes popped open.  I’m not exaggerating either, it happened the second I was at my bedside.  She looked at me and said “oh my mommy, I’ve been waiting for you!”  I climbed into bed and she snuggled up next to me and started to fall back asleep.  Her eyes were closed and she whispered “I love you so much mommy” and kissed my cheeks before promptly passing out again.

I want to write this moment down so that when I’m at the end of my rope and all out of patience with her I can look back and remind myself how good being a mother is.  How the love is always waiting for me at home.  How someone is always happy to see me, no matter what.  This is what they mean by unconditional love.  How beautiful is that?