Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Pooped!

So I may have gone into this whole parenthood thing with some false bravado. Whereas Scott has never even really held a baby before, I’d spent most of my teen and college years baby-sitting and nannying.

And it turns out, so far I can totally keep her fed and safe and more or less entertained. I think I do a pretty good job if I do say so myself. In fairness, she makes it very easy, she’s not particularly bothered by much.

And while I have read some articles or books here and there, for the most part, I’ve been parenting on instinct. I don't know how it's going, exactly. But she's alive. So, that's not bad, right?

It becomes infinitely harder when the kid is mobile. And when that mobility coincides with holidays, meaning you have to keep them fed, safe, and entertained for the ENTIRE DAY, no help from daycare and other kids.

Recent events had me doing the dreaded looking at a book.

For a stretch of days, Wee ‘Burb was not napping in the afternoons. I could tell she was exhausted, she was giving me all the normal signs: rubbing her eyes, pushing her head into the carpet, trying to use Cous Cous as a pillow. But I would put her down and she would squawk and talk and roll around for hours. Seriously, one day it was two hours!

So, naturally Scott is like “why are we forcing this?” And I’m all “the book says this can happen because she’s so mobile and social and wants to play and stuff. So we have to try to keep her on the schedule so she knows it’s not time to play.”

And Scott is all raising his eyebrows like “book says whah?”

So he can see how desperate I am. And when I’m desperate, I just keep repeating the new knowledge I’ve gained about toddler sleeping habits and at the end he’s like “just asking, didn’t need the dissertation. You’re saying leave her in the crib?” And I’m like “yup the book says leave her in the crib.”

To say these weren’t restful days would be an understatement. I start to wonder if this is going on in daycare and I just don’t know about it. I start to get resentful that she’s only pulling this crap with me to test my boundaries or manipulate me (more book theories).

I become obsessed about when my kid became such a jerk! And then finally I go in and check on her on day 3 of no afternoon nap. I take her out and change her, all the while faking the cheerful “hello, my love” while really thinking “you suck so hard”…but you can’t say that, the books tell you only say loving things, the books say kids can hear you and read you and one false move will guarantee she’s on the next season of Intervention talking about how she goes around giving BJs for smack because her mommy told her she was a jerk for not napping.

So I am putting all my energy into changing said diaper the way you fake having a good time on a really bad date, just to pass the time with as little awkwardness and horror as possible.

When it hits me.

She’s had a dirty diaper the last three days when I’ve picked her up. Each time. I’ve been so focused on pretending I don’t think she’s a big fat meanie, it never occurred to me! So I change her and put her back down and she squawks for five minutes. And she’s out.

Um, where is the chapter that says “it’s really hard to sleep with a load in your pants, MOM!”


Anonymous said...

Oh, lady! I'm SO glad that the mystery has been solved.

For what it's worth, I definitely agree with the concept of parenting on instinct. Hello? People have been managing children for thousands of years.

Small Town Mommy said...

Glad you were able to figure out what's going on. Sometimes the answer is easier than the books make it. I hope the rest of your holiday is restful and napful.

Reuben said...

This is sooooo true. If I shat myself, I'd NEVER be able to fall asleep without cleaning it up first.