Tuesday, April 9, 2013

when life hands you a Jeffrey.

I was all set to write this kinda whiny, self-indulgent post about how tough {in a First World Mama Problems sort of way, but still} the last week has been... but, yesterday afternoon, the sun shone, my girl got her smile back, and the eight days prior just didn't seem like that big of a deal. 

Perhaps it's my natural tendency to hyperbolize, or maybe it's just an universal side-effect of parenting, but throw two or three {or more} consecutive bad days at me, and I start to feel very much like the bad days will last forever. 

This little mindfuck carries over as well... 

A few nights of sleep regression for reasons both explained and unexplained?  I WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. 

Breakfast, lunch, and supper offerings tossed defiantly on the floor and/or spit out with great dramatics?  MY CHILD WILL NEVER EAT AGAIN.

Fighting naps with the zeal of a convert?  I WILL NEVER HAVE FREE TIME AGAIN. Also: MY CHILD HATES ME. 

And then she goes back to sleeping twelve hours at night and clearing her plate with exuberance and napping like an angel and sidling up to me to give some {rare} unprompted sugar and life's pretty damn good. 

I will say this - and then we'll be done for now with my neuroses - being a stay-at-home parent to a toddler is a lot like being Jonah Hill in Get Him to the Greek... your moment-to-moment happiness is heavily dependent on the mood and behavior of an erratic, hysterical, belligerent individual with equilibrium issues and a distaste for social pleasantries.  One second, you're riding a tidal wave of pure joy... The next? You're vomiting on Meredith Vieira's shoes. 

Here's where I'm supposed to wrap this up with something cute about taking charge of what you can control {your breathing, your attitude, your vodka intake} and petting your own furry wall...

And then maybe I illustrate my final point with a personal anecdote...

But... meh. 

Enough with the extended metaphors.  It is what it is, and what it is is fun and crazy and messy and infuriating and flat-out wonderful.  

Well, okay.  One personal anecdote. 

After two days of fever, L seemed to have turned a corner after a decent nap on Sunday.  Ever attempting to strike the fine balance between Containing the Plague and OhhhhEmmmmGeeeeeeeeeeeeCABIN FEVER, we made the executive decision to meet my aunt for a late lunch at Toulouse.  Visions of adult socialization and my adorable offspring nibbling daintily on a baguette danced in my head as we took our seats... all of us, that is, but L.  Girlfriend did not want to sit in the highchair... did not want to sit in our laps... and definitely did not want to eat anything on the menu.  Taking a few breaths {picking my battles} {petting the furry wall}, I permitted the nugget to do something I swore I'd never allow {back when I was a childless parenting expert, natch}... that is, cruise around - and under - our table.  Barefoot.  

A little gross, yes, but she wasn't screaming or interrupting anyone else's dining experience {in which case, we would have left}.  And if she gets a tapeworm... I dunno, at least it'll be a really classy Highland Park tapeworm? 

After a few minutes of these shenanigans, I noticed an older woman seated near us with a wrist full of Yurman and a pinched look on her face.  If looks could maim, ya know what I mean?  And all of a sudden, I felt like the asshole parent she saw... the one who lets her kid run circles around her {/forces her to smuggle drugs in her unmentionables} {I've taken the Aldous Snow references too far, haven't I?}. 

Yeah, well, when life hands you a Jeffrey Judgy Hag, stroke the furry wall let your child be a child and enjoy your damn quiche.  

{Apologies.  I just couldn't resist.}

Party on, toddlers. 

And party on, parents of toddlers. 

12 comments:

  1. Loved this post and the Get Him to the Greek references, ha!

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  2. We are dealing with the same thing- one minute happy, the next, a total meltdown. Coupled with a refusal to nap and I am one exhausted mama!

    Twice now, I've bought my son toys while shopping in order to have just a few moments of peace & quiet. I hope he doesn't start catching on to my bribery tactics.

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  3. OF COURSE you let L. cruise around. Feet are sturdy. She was bothering no one. Old Hag probably has bad politics:).

    If I'd been there I woulda smiled and said, "Your daughter is really cute. I remember those days."

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  4. My week in a nutshell. Thank you!

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  5. Your Get Him To The Greek metaphor is the best metaphor for parenting I think I've ever read. So funny. So painfully true. Love it.

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  6. I am right there. Well, no fancy lunches with Aunts, but we have tried to take the peanut out for real dinners and have ended up not so much eating as walking around the restaurant or grounds in circles.
    Taking full-time care of a toddler is exhausting and makes me think I should have done the whole parenting thing in my 20's rather than 30's. But then I would have been a horrible parent because I didn't want to have anything to do with children. So, I'm patient and loving and usually happy, but tired and old.
    P.S. The quinoa cups are great - a great freezer/fridge cleanout and great way to hide veggies. The zucchini boats were amazing. I can't believe I'm eating something so healthy.

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  7. "Old Hag" haha. We've encountered our share. Sorry if I refuse to withdraw from public life because my toddler is not sitting pretty with her hands folded in front. That lady was probably raising her babies in the "Mad Men" era, when cigarette smoke was much more harmful than a few germs underfoot...

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  8. OMG this is RIGHT ON. I am totally going to share these references with my husband because I know he will full appreciate it.

    and for the old lady, err, hag- well, like Jenn A. said, she probably is from the Mad Men era. LOL

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  9. Love this. All hail the furry wall!

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  10. Ah, yes. Perfect description of life with a toddler---the highest highs and the lowest lows. I tend to be a bit dramatic and love/hate a good mood swing, too, so I hear you. Keep on doing what you are doing, mama. Kids are freaking nuts and awesome all rolled into one;)

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  11. Ugh! What is with the former toddler foodies and their food strikes?

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  12. Yes, I'm behind on blog commenting, but I saved this post to come back to. Because ... SO TRUE! Toddlers are exhausting. But you know what? I thought newborns were exhausting, too. And yet somehow we survived. It always seems almost unbearable when you're in the moment. But looking back, it really wasn't so bad, right? The days are long ... but the years are short.

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happy little comments!