Parents Just Don’t Understand
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.
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.
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?
*Heh. I said “nuts.”
Entry filed under: Gobble-gobble.