Parents Just Don’t Understand

April 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm 21 comments

Happy April Fool’s Day, Internet! I kind of hate this day, because it gives everyone the false impression that any prank they pull or lie they tell will be funny. And most of the time, it’s not. Like the time when we were in college and I thought it would be hilaaaaaarious to tell Brad my period was late.

I don’t think he remembers this, but let me tell you: he did not laugh.

Anyhoo, one year ago today I took the day off work in the false hope that maybe I’d go into labor, since I’d had contractions throughout the night and morning. Also, FoST was rooting for the baby to be born April 1st, as it’s her birthday. Well, we all know how that turned out, HOWEVER: guess who’s good and knocked up now? FoST! Woooo!

Please send 7-up and crackers along with your congrats. Poor girl has been barfing up her shoes for about 6 weeks straight. You’d better be getting awful damn cute in there, Fetus of said FoST!

In other April 1st news, I start rehearsals tonight. I am beyond excited, but also feeling a little bummed about missing out on evenings with the shorty.  I’m holding out hope that my presence won’t be needed at every rehearsal, since I’m only in two scenes.  The play mostly centers around the three younger characters, with my old ass hovering around the perimeter to play “Teacher,” then later “Reporter.” Have I mentioned that the most senior of the other actors is all of 20 YEARS OLD? Internet, I have never been the oldest one in the cast. EVER. I keep catching myself in the mirror, thinking, “Do I really look old enough to be their teacher?” which is kind of pathetic, because I am literally old enough to be their MOTHER (I mean, I would’ve been knocked up at age 13, but still: possible). And then I try to see myself through their eyes: I’m married, I own a house, I have a baby. Yep, I’m a fucking grown-up. Yikes. I think I’ll be OK as long as I don’t make a joke about Punky Brewster only to have them all reply “Who’s that?” because then I’ll have to go set myself on fire somewhere.

Was searching for a more traditional Punky Brewster image and found this. WHOA! What the fuck, Punky Friend? Holy Macanoli!

Speaking of things daughters do that make their mothers want to pass out and die, Sadie cried when we dropped her off at daycare today.  She’s fussed a little at a handful of past drop-offs, but is usually easily distracted and never does the full-on Ugly Cry, complete with crawling towards us as we turn to leave (like she did today). We think she’s been dealing with another tooth making its way into the world; the last two teeth to come in have been BITCHES, my friend. I’m talking Joan Crawford/Naomi Campbell/Joan-Collins-on-Dynasty-style hair-pulling, phone-throwing, wire-hanger-beating, husband-stealing, baby-kidnapping kind of bitches, and they have been taking their toll on poor Sadie.

And they are also – if you can believe it – sharper than those shoulder pads.

So, the teething has resulted in a fair amount of bitch-ass-ness, but…there seems to be something more behind Sadie’s recent behavior of bursting into hysterics every time we change her diaper/dress her/refuse to hand her a steak knife that has caught her eye. We figured we were just entering the next stage of her transformation into a Toddler of Doom, but then last weekend when we left her in the care of my parents? She didn’t cry once. NOT ONCE. Not one single tear or an ounce of protest. Which made me look like a fucking nutbag, since I’d spent the greater part of the Saturday morning prepping my mother for how to deal with the diaper-changing bitchfests and the mealtime arching-her-back-and-crying-out-to-Jesusfests, only to have my mother report back that Sadie was the smiliest, most easygoing baby ever to grace the planet.

An evil genius in a ladybug sweater?

So, I’m realizing every day that – while I am relatively prepared to deal with the nuts-and-bolts* side of parenting (feeding schedules, bottle-weaning, teething, immunizations, etc.) – I am totally lost when it comes to this behavioral stuff. Is it normal for an (almost) 12-month-old to be pulling this Jekyll & Hyde routine? Are we supposed to ignore her melodramatic weeping and wailing when we refuse her desire to sample my scalding hot jalapeño pierogies? Is she old even enough to understand our efforts to teach her that bitching does not equal getting her way?

Monday night was a prime example of HI, WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?! She’d gotten an uncharacteristically long nap at daycare, so we figured the evening routine would be relatively pleasant with Sadie’s well-rested self.  Her escalating fussiness throughout her bath informed us otherwise, and by the time I attempted to feed her dinner, she was inconsolable. We tried the hard line: not picking her up, waiting for her to calm down, etc. No luck. She started crying harder than I’d ever heard her cry before – that awful, can’t-catch-your-breath cry – and I eventually picked her up and (20 damn minutes later) got her to calm down. Suspecting teeth, we gave her some teething tablets. And then? Normal, smiling, affectionate Sadie for the rest of the evening.

PARENTING FAIL.

But then there are other times when I try the teething tablets and it doesn’t work! It’s not like when she was younger and there was a concrete cause for her unhappiness: hunger, wet diaper, dissatisfaction with healthcare reform, etc. So what is it then? And why is this behavior only happening around us? I mean, I guess I’m glad it’s not the other way around – I’d hate for her to spend her entire day at daycare a sad little teary mess, but WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, Internet?!

All you more experienced parents please leave your advice in the comments. Aren’t we supposed to have AT LEAST another good 12 years before she starts to torture us with her general disdain?

If you have – or at any point in the future might have – a daughter, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.  You will never stop shitting your pants, I assure you.

*Heh. I said “nuts.”

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Entry filed under: Gobble-gobble.

I Hate These Things, and I Hate Their Ass Faces! Down Wit’ O.P.P[eeps]

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sass  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    All I can say is that my son is just days (I think – he was born 4/9) older than Sadie and oh.my.god. Last night it was just outright screams. For no good reason. He is definitely being a grump.

    I’ve been ignoring these ridiculous outbursts at everything and I hope that is the right thing to do? I’m guessing that he’s just at a frustrating point where he can’t communicate what he needs. Otherwise would he like me to leave his poop filled diaper on all day? I will! Kidding.

    I want to know what your readers say as well…

    Reply
    • 2. jiveturkey  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      Yes, just two days older than Sadie! It’s comforting to know you’re experiencing the same thing. Eagerly awaiting reader input…

      Reply
  • 3. hillary  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    JIVE TURKEY! I have a strict “warn Hillary if there are fucking pictures of fucking snakes” rule. PLEASE ABIDE BY IT. Thank you.

    Reply
    • 4. jiveturkey  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Oh sweet lord. Apologies! I was not aware! Allow me to help you find your skin, as I am sure it has crawled entirely off your body.

      Reply
  • 5. Dana  |  April 1, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Sounds like teeth to me. Ethan is a complete jerk when he is getting teeth. (THANK YOU GOD that he has all the teeth he’ll be getting as a baby)

    But maybe she is just frustrated she can’t communicate (talk) ?

    Hopefully it will pass. Right now we are going through the “NO! and falling on the floor/parking lot/grass fits” and the “Let’s see how high I can climb before my mother has a heart attack” stages. Anyone know how long THAT lasts?

    Reply
  • 6. Sarahviz  |  April 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Def sounds like teething. Do you just do the teething tablets or do you do Tylenol? Or Anbesol on her gums?

    Whiskey, perhaps?

    FOR YOU. NOT HER.

    JEEZ.

    Reply
    • 7. jiveturkey  |  April 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      We give her Motrin for teething when she needs it, but the fact that she’s totally cool ALL DAY LONG and only freaks out with us makes me think maybe it’s NOT teething? I DON’T KNOW. Pass the whiskey.

      Reply
  • 8. MLE  |  April 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    College Boyfriend and I once played the “MLE is pregnant” joke on College Boyfriend’s brother. It was funny at the time.

    It’s not so funny now. Welcome to cycle 10, bitchez.

    Reply
    • 9. jiveturkey  |  April 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      NO. I absolutely refuse to acknowledge this.

      Sorry, my friend. 😦

      Reply
  • 10. HoST  |  April 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I just ordered a book to help parents navigate the toddler years. It’s called:

    “The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails”

    http://bit.ly/ara5Kf

    Reply
  • 11. JustLinda  |  April 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Oh, come on – give the kid a steak knife. What kind of mean hovering parent are you?

    When I was a kid, we juggled steak knives without helmets or seatbelts uphill in the snow – both ways!!

    That child will never grow up to know joy if you don’t let her play with steak knives.

    Parents today. I swear!

    Reply
    • 12. jiveturkey  |  April 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      Sadie? Is that you?

      Reply
  • 13. Marcy  |  April 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    My best guess is it is a combo of teething and a growth spurt.

    Reply
  • 14. Kelly  |  April 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I distinctly remember periods in both daughters lives when they were, straight up, bitches for weeks on end. With my youngest, it was like weeks 1 to 36, though. She’s lucky she lives.

    And then, inexplicably, back to normal. Sometimes I think they just like to fuck with us. Especially given how she’s cool with your parents. Don’t you wish you could sit them down sometimes and just go ‘WTF, kid?’

    Reply
  • 15. Amy@On Bradstreet  |  April 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I remember this state well, with my daughter. You might have good results with Chamomilla (30c) homeopathic tablets, or maybe Belladonna (30c)–I like Boiron–rather than the general teething tabs like the Hylands. Here are other suggested remedies: http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/2260005.html Also, lots of cuddling and close contact. At this age, they are starting to have a bit of separation anxiety, and if you put her off when she cries, her fears are reinforced, and the anxiety is only greater the next time around. My two favorite parenting books are this one http://www.amazon.com/Discipline-Book-Better-Behaved-Child-Birth/dp/0316779032 and this one
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932279768/pamleoconnepa-20 . Sometimes I never figured it out, but it always seemed to help to be nearby. I think that a lot of it is they are processing their day and they just need to vent, cry and fuss off the stress of the day, simply because that’s the only tool they have for working it out. They can’t talk it out and babies don’t comprehend “future”, yet, so all they know is that right now, they are feeling crappy. When it’s like that, all we can do is be there and be okay with the fussing.

    Reply
  • 16. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  April 2, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Just wait until she’s old enough that you’re both having your periods at the same time. ‘Nuff said.

    My son totally punk’d me today, though. And then had to repeat the “APRIL FOOL’S DAY” punchline twice before I finally fucking caught on. I’m so dim sometimes.

    Reply
  • 17. Lisa  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Teething tablets? How have I never heard of these? My daughter’s whining over the past two months can probably be translated as “Lady! Where are my tablets? You were just at Target and you didn’t get any tablets?!”

    Reply
  • 18. sweetbird  |  April 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    As you know I’m not a parent (mainly because my commitment issues are so bad that I’ve hemmed-and-hawwed over buying a flight to Seattle for the last five days because, “I’m just not sure.” Even though I’ve already made plans with 3 people while I’m there. ‘Nuff said.) but I can send lots of warm fuzzies your way.

    Or Valium.

    For babies.

    Whichever you prefer.

    Reply
  • 19. SF Reader  |  April 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Best. Book. Ever. on explaining toddler behavior:

    http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Life-Toddler-Alicia-Lieberman/dp/0028740173/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270661534&sr=8-1

    Has given me and B. a framework for understanding the emotional roller coaster that is being 15 months old.

    Reply
  • 20. FoST  |  April 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks for the shout out JT….I am behind on your blog due to toilet head….it’s like bed head but it comes from hanging your head in a toilet too long. HA!

    Reply
  • 21. Mermanda  |  April 8, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I saw that movie and it pretty much sent me to the depths of a dark depression. Hold me.

    Also, do you think those teething tablets will keep her angst at bay a decade from now? Keep those suckers stocked.

    Reply

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