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Inflection

Last night Charlotte was sitting on my lap and kissing me when I got home from work.  She looked so sweet and innocent and kept saying “oh I love your earrings! Oh I love your shirt!” and just giving me so many compliments and I thought to myself, “oh my god, I can’t believe I made her.”  I’m sure that is something most parents can understand, that in some moments it’s crazy to think you made this beautiful, sweet, innocent child who has completely stolen your heart.

And then I thought the same thing about two hours later.  Except this time it had completely different meaning since she was sucking ice cubes off the floor and then licking the mirror.  And I thought, “oh my GOD, I can’t believe I made her” and rolled my eyes so far back into my head they stayed there.

 

Nobody Told Me

There are so many things people tell you when you are about to become a mother.  That you’re on your way to unconditional love that you’ve never experienced before.  That you’ll never sleep again.  That life is over as you knew it before.  That it goes so fast.  All of these are true.  But there are so many things nobody tells you.

Nobody told me that I would still be this overwhelmed 3 years later.  They say it gets easier.  Sure, some things do, but every day is my own personal battle.  Am I doing this right?  Will I ever do this right?

Nobody told me that having a conversation with a toddler could bring me the joy that it does.  How when I ask Charlotte if she had a lollipop today and she looks at me and says “I sure did!” or when I’m asking her to help me with something and she responds with “oh sure mommy! I be right there!” that I would smile and laugh at her for the simplest sentences.

Nobody told me that saying no to a kid is so, so hard.  I really thought it would be easy to say no and set boundaries.  But when Charlotte is asking for ice cream before dinner and starting to scream and I am tired from a 12 hour work day, saying yes is so much easier.  And nobody told me the guilt that would come from this.  I couldn’t fall asleep the other night because I am petrified that I am raising an entitled brat who gets whatever she wants.  Over ice cream.  Nobody told me what a head case I’d become.

Nobody told me how sometimes every day feels like a constant repeat of the day before.  How it feels like you are on a merry go round, seeing and doing the same things and never getting off the ride.  How sometimes the moments are so difficult that you think this stage of life lasts forever.

Nobody told me how unprepared I would be for a second baby.  I guess nobody could tell me this, because nobody knew what a difficult child Charlotte was going to be.  But I am so not ready, and I feel like I am behind everyone else because everyone else is ready.  It is such a difficult feeling.  I do want another baby, just not yet.  And everyone else has already added to their families and I feel like I’m doing something wrong.  Do you SEE what a head case I’ve become?

Nobody told me how sometimes when I think of Charlotte I cry.  Not because I am exhausted and defeated, which to be honest, is most of the time.  But because I really do love her so much.  And even though there are billions of people in the world, I’m responsible for raising this one.  And even though I have no clue if I’m raising her right, most of the time I feel like I am.  She’s funny as hell, she has manners (most of the time) and she says “I luh you” 650 times a day.  That’s got to count for something, right?

 

Busy Weekends

We had quite the busy weekend.  Friday was Passover, Saturday was a haircut (!) and Frittatamania (a family tradition the night before Easter for those of you asking) and yesterday was Easter Sunday.  Charlotte was able to see all of her cousins in one weekend and it was great.  While it was super busy and therefore went by in the blink of an eye, I feel fantastic about it this morning because I was having a rough couple of days prior to the holiday festivities.

On Friday morning I woke up feeling like I have just been living the same day, every day.  Do any of you ever feel like that?  I was on the couch with Charlotte playing the same game I was playing with her only 9 hours earlier.  It was an odd sense of deja vu and I felt like every day has been the same.  Wake up, go to work, come home, make Catboy and Gecko talk, fight to go to bed.  And repeat.  And repeat.  So the weekend full of activities really made a huge difference in my mood and therefore will spill over into my parenting.  At least I hope.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Here’s to a good week, even though it’s April 2 and it’s snowing and NOBODY ASKED FOR THIS.

Coffee, please.

Last night Charlotte woke me up at 2 am. She told me it was “wake up time.” She said we were going into the living room and wanted milk and was acting as if it was actually time to wake up and not the middle of the damn night. She cried when I told her it wasn’t time to be awake and how we had to go back to sleep. She kept pulling my eyelids open. She said “I don’t feel like sleeping!” Over and over.

And it was in this moment that I fully understood why some animals eat their young.

Threenager.

I used to think that Charlotte’s meltdowns back when she couldn’t talk were the worst because I could only attempt to decipher what it was that was bothering her.  Like most things in parenting, I was wrong.  Charlotte’s meltdowns are even worse now, because she tells us exactly what is wrong and most of the time her logic is absolutely bonkers.

An example: yesterday morning before I went to work Charlotte flipped her lid because Eric got her milk ready and I didn’t.  She threw herself on the floor and proceeded to scream bloody murder.  So then I put some more milk in the mickey ba for her, but she screamed even harder, because she wanted me to pour the milk out of the bottle and then refill it.  So I pretended to do this because it was 6:30 am and it was way too early for this nonsense and I needed to get to work.

Another example: Last night Eric said she had the biggest meltdown he’s seen in a while.  We’re talking the kind of crying where kids stop breathing and then do that terrible intake of breath every few seconds that makes them shudder.  Want to know why?  Because the napkin on her ice pop was too loose.  And then it was too hard.  The napkin wasn’t right you guys!

KIDSARESOFUN.

Random Little Things

  • The other night when Charlotte wouldn’t go to bed (shocker) I was eating a cookie to cope and she looked up at me and said “whatchu eating?” And I told her I was eating a carrot and she looked at me very seriously and said “oh good. I don’t like carrots.”
  • Spanky got a much needed haircut but his ears had to basically be shaved down and last night my brother and I were laughing at him and Charlotte goes up to him and starts saying “don’t be upset fanky! You look so cute! You look good! So tiny and cute!” Positive body affirmations here, people.
  • In the car on the way to my mom’s last night she burped and says, “oh, I got agita.” I almost crashed the car from laughing so hard. For those of you that don’t know, agita is Italian for heartburn. She must hear me and my mom say it because I’ve never heard it come out of her mouth. She also says the F word in Italian so at least I can say she’s bilingual.
  • Also, I’ve heard the song “hey hey owlette” so many times now I am fairly certain I could play the instrumentals for it, and I don’t even know how to play an instrument. MAKE. IT. STOP.

Working Girl

I’ve noticed lately that when Charlotte plays by herself she takes one of two routes.  The first is her usual PJ Masks plot, in which she takes her headquarters and various PJ Masks figures and has them act out episodes of the TV show.  She’ll do this by herself or she’ll ask me to come in and make the characters talk so that she can properly reenact a scene.

The other avenue she takes is to have a mommy and a baby play together, and she always has the mommy go to work.  She will hold them up and say “I go to work now! I see you soon! Kiss and hug!”  Then she makes the baby wait until the mommy gets home and when the mommy comes back she says “hug! kiss! mommy’s home!”  At first I was feeling a little bummed about this role play, but now I think it’s actually doing great things for her.  For one, she recognizes that mommy goes to work and she always comes back.  She associates both the leaving and the coming home with hugs and kisses.  So she’s watching our real life and just inserting that into her play life.  I think it’s awesome and is just reinforcing the idea that mommy can leave and work and come home and everything is okay.

There are days when Charlotte throws an absolute fit when I have to leave in the morning.  Just last Friday she was clinging to me as if she were holding onto a tree branch for dear life and shouting “mommy stop working!”  But on those days I try not to say I have to go to work in a negative way because I don’t want her to think me working is negative.  I want her to know that I go to work for many reasons and although I miss her, it’s a good thing.  And the fact that she plays by having mommy go to work is a good thing too.

Besides, I have to work to afford all of the upcoming sales at Toys R Us.  Seriously, I’m going to buy everything for Christmas before the beloved toy mecca closes its doors for good.

I was such a good mom before I had any kids.  Before I had any kids I swore we would sit at the dinner table every night as a family with no TV on and eat a nutritious meal I concocted after work.

Want to know what we did last night?  Eric went to sleep, I threw some leftover plain spaghetti in the microwave and Charlotte sat on the couch watching Paw Patrol whilst eating said spaghetti with her hands.  And I didn’t give a damn, because 1) I was tired and, 2) she was consuming food.

But you know what?  It was whole wheat spaghetti.  SO THERE.

It’s Time

The days of co-sleeping are coming to an end.  Charlotte has been in my bed forever now, and while it didn’t bother me at first, it’s bothering me now.  She talks in her sleep, she requests music at 1 AM, she shouts out “mommy hold me, I so bery cold!”  I cannot take it anymore.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I got any uninterrupted sleep.  It is maddening.  So I’m making the decision to gradually shift her to her own room and her own bed.  I have no idea what I’m doing and want to make it as painless as possible for the both of us.  So I started yesterday, on daylight savings day, because I’m a moron.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it wasn’t great.  I’m hopeful though.  I gave her melatonin because I was not messing around last night.  I bought the kids one that says its all natural, blah blah blah, so I assume it’s fine.  It’s fine!  She fell asleep on the couch around 8 which was a miracle in and of itself, and Eric put her to bed in her own room.  And then I couldn’t fall asleep because I had anxiety about when she would wake up and call for me because I am ruined from this child’s sleep habits.  She woke up once at 11 and I was able to rub her back and she went back to sleep.  She woke up again at 1 calling for me and asking me to lay down, so I did for about 5 minutes and she went back to sleep again.  Annoying that I had to be woken up, but optimistic that she went back to bed quickly.  But then she woke up at 2 and started shouting “SAM! SAM! SAM!” and was wandering the hallway and at this point I just told her to come in my bed because I was exhausted and I obviously suck at sleep training.  But when she starts calling me by my name then shit is about to hit the fan and I wasn’t playing games anymore.  I’m hopeful for tonight though.  Baby steps, right?  I mean, she’s only 3.  I’ve screwed it up for this long, what’s the harm in doing this gradually at this point?

Any ideas are welcome!  Just do me a favor and don’t tell me melatonin is bad.  I have no time for that kind of negativity.

Happy Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across the nation.  A day to celebrate how far we have come and how much further we have to go.

So here’s to all the kickass women in my life.  I love you all.  Whether you’re raising babies and dealing with everything from working out of the home or trying to get 15 seconds to yourself or whether you are kicking ass and taking names in your career, I salute you and I love you.  You’re my tribe and my people and I’m proud to be raising Charlotte like all of you.

“Here’s to strong women.  May we know them.  May me be them.  May we raise them.”

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And really, I’d just like to end with a quote from Adele.

(When asked whether her husband minds her not shaving her legs for a month) ‘He has no choice. I’ll have no man telling me to shave my fucking legs. Shave yours.’ (From Vanity Fair)