When Good Kids Go Bad
On a Tear
Then, They Are Here
Just a few days ago, my email beeped with a message from one of my parenting emails I subscribe to. They email me at least once a week with milestones I can expect my child to reach and all about his development. Normally I laugh, because he had already reached their milestones months before he was supposed to. I should've known when he was walking by 8 months that I was going to be in trouble. I ignored that sign because my other son was the same way, and I remembered him being tame. But then I remembered that I worked his entire first year, and he was asleep most days by the time I made it home.
This one email from a few days ago informed me that now "was a fantastic time for my child". He has developed his personality, and it was starting to show the kind of child he will be. Will he be calm and quiet? Will he be outgoing? Then I looked up at my son and this happened. (See the package of diapers he emptied and the blanket he stole from my oldest son, and an empty bottle of soda someone forgot to throw away.) I sighed. I closed my eyes and remembered more relaxing times. Then I opened them and I was getting smacked in the head with said empty soda bottle.
After a few weeks of sleepless nights as a result of our little one still recovering from his surgery, I found myself going the way of "Go the F to Sleep" and creating a lullaby of my own, reciting the words "Please please go to sleep or mommy's going to cry". I then tried to bribe him with a Porsche or a BMW or an Audi or whatever else would make this "too busy not sleeping" baby to want to sleep. Then he falls asleep comfortably in my arms, until the mean ol' mommy tries to put him down in his crib. Then another hour is spent cradling a baby until I get too scared I'm about to fall asleep while holding him.
Then, there's the new ability: taking off his diaper. I'm not sure if it's the same pain in the butt milestone that my other son went through, or if this is because of his surgery wounds still healing. But everyday, I'm chasing a naked baby through the house. With the heatwave, extra clothing seems painful to put on my baby, especially as a result of the eczema which seems to be getting worse. Either way, I spend more time putting diapers on the child than I am doing anything else. And chasing around a naked baby boy with a "spray" capacity, isn't as fun as you would think. It's probably very hilarious to watch though, but it's not fun to live it.
So, I don't sleep at night, I spend all day on my feet chasing a naked baby, and I keep playing "don't drop that" more than I would like. I'm tired, and I'm cranky and I want nothing more than to cuddle up in my jersey knit sheets on my pillow top mattress and sleep until I've caught up with a years worth of not sleeping. It's a dream, a fleeting one it seems. But it's my latest aspiration. Sleep, and a meal I don't have to eat standing up in 5 minutes. Oh, and to do something fun. Oh I miss fun. Fun that doesn't involve children or children.
Then after the tiredness gets to a point where I don't even remember my name, I realize the most important thing: all of that doesn't even matter. What matters is the happy moments, they'll come more often. You won't remember any of this negative stuff in a year or two. I won't care that he can't keep his diaper on when he learns to say "Mommy, I love you" and wrap his arms around you for a hug. Then in 18 years from now, I'll be too sad seeing him go off to college instead of remembering the sleepless nights. Maybe those sleepless nights are a gift, a quiet moment that only we share so I can remember that closeness when he's going to college or getting married. Every second, no matter how miserable you feel, is a gift you should be grateful for. Love that sleepless little ball of trouble, because you'll miss him when he's a teenager.
Nothing Can Contain Him
Boatload of Personality
I mentioned above that they said now you can find the personality of your baby. They also mentioned the fun part is to pick out which traits of your baby belong to which of you. You should play this game with your baby, and I'm going to now.
- OCD. My baby seems to be.. well to put it bluntly, anal. If the TV is paused or a cabinet door is open, he will sit there and point and keep saying "ga". And he will repeat that until the situation is remedied. He also pulls little pieces of fuzz out of everything and won't stop until all fuzzies are removed. The only time he has an attention span is this. I hate to admit this, but this trait is absolutely mine.
- Temper temper. My baby has a temper. He doesn't like "no". He doesn't like anything he doesn't like, and that is that. If he doesn't, you will know and that is the end of discussion. At first I thought this was my trait, a fiery Irish temper. But I'm wrong, it's a Korean temper. This round goes to my husband.
- Stubborn. I mentioned that he didn't like "no". Well "no" doesn't stop him. He gets his mind set on something and there's nothing you can do to stop this. You can try to stop him by blocking his path to an object he wants that you don't want him to have. But then he finds another equally "no-no" spot, and heads there. When you find yourself standing there, he's already back at the original spot of doom. He finds a way to get what he wants, and won't stop until he does. This trait is absolutely my husband, no doubt about it.
- Pensive. He gets this look in his eyes, where he sits quietly and stares. He observes his surroundings, he takes everything in. And he uses this knowledge to make his next move. He takes in every toy, every piece of furniture. He plans his next move carefully and plans ahead. This is me.
- Full of Spunk. My husband once said that one of his favorite traits of mine is that I'm spontaneous and full of a unique spunk all of my own. This is an accurate description of the baby. He's his own person, and full of a special form of silliness. This (obviously) goes to me.
- Easily pleased. The baby can sit there laughing over a game of peekaboo for hours. A soda bottle or empty snack container gives him extreme joy. He's generally always smiling. He's laid-back most of the time. He finds amusement in most things. This final trait of his is my husband. My husband's rule is "the more stupid the joke, the funnier it is".
It'll Be Okay
We've all had those days as parents: those ones where it seems like the children just want you to have a heart attack and die. You're not alone, and I'm sure you're not alone in imagining yourself in your own happy place, thousands of miles away from the madness. I know at the end of the day I fantasize about a giant bottle of wine and enough aspirin to compensate the after effects of said bottle of wine. It'll be okay though, that's what I tell myself anyways. It will be though, won't it?
Think of this as your excuse to drink as much caffeine as you can or want. Guilt free. You need it, hell I say you even deserve it. Did I mention that you need it? You do. In any form really. My weakness is a nice glass of regular Coke. (I note a glass as to not confuse people in thinking that I mean the drug, not the high calorie soda. I do mean the soda.) I'm picky about coffee, and I need it to not taste like coffee or else I want nothing to do with it. When I go out for coffee, I drink caramel or french vanilla flavored coffee from Dunkin. Normally though, just Coke. It's cheaper and probably less calories than a coolata.
This is also your chance to learn acceptable bribery. I bribe the baby into taking the cheerios over taking that newspaper I'm reading it and turning into a shredded masterpiece. I think he's going to be either a politician or high powered business man with how swiftly he's able to shred paper.
Finally, I'm going to try a new diaper. Maybe those cruiser diapers that are overpriced that you can slide on and seem difficult to take off. I'm reluctant though, because I'm a huge fan of Luvs. They are the best price, and they absorb everything. I think I've only had 2 blowouts it couldn't handle. But it's skewed because the baby took off the diaper in one and put his hand in it on the other so it's hard to say if the diaper couldn't handle the poop or the baby.