Monday, October 09, 2006

and i don't think a monster truck would help

if you took a poll of all the moms i know, i think the consensus would be that the first 12 months with baby is the hardest. it's all-consuming. you don't sleep. you never ever ever ever have a minute to yourself (okay, you have a couple, but it feels like you don't). you have to take blind stab-in-the-dark guesses as to what the hell you should do to stop the crying, and at least 50% of the time you're wrong. and the main, overriding thing is that it's such a complete departure from your life up to that point. when you call up one of your friends who doesn't have kids and they tell you about the great day they had shopping and going out to dinner, it's all you can do not to hang up on them. right after telling them to kiss your ass.

but where we are now? at 2? hard in a totally different way.

for that first year, for the most part you're dealing with physical needs: poop in the diaper, hunger, gas, too cold, too hot, etc. but now the little muffin has turned into a person. and he doesn't only have needs, he has wants. let me rephrase that: he has WAAAAAANTS.

stephen and i were just having a little discussion about something, and the first thing that popped out of my mouth was "don't argue with me—i spend all day every day arguing."

it's true. i'm less a mom than a hostage negotiator. i listen to demands, i weigh their validity, and i give my answer. sometimes the guns are laid down; sometimes innocent victims (our afternoon, my nerves, his nap) die.

our latest standoff came about an hour ago when i was putting him down for his nap. first he laid down on his bed, on his stomach, and said "mama change diapy upside-down." he wouldn't accept that that was just not phsically possible, and screamed as a i hauled his butt up to the changing table and laid him down on his back. then i took off the diaper. "no mama wipe wile hurt butt! no mama use dat cream! no wile wear black diapy! wile wear yey-yow diapy! no, maaaa-maaaaa!" i put him back down on the bed, and he grabbed his pajamas from where they were hanging on his bed guard. "wile wear truck jamas!" no, we only wear jamas when we sleep at night, you can nap in your clothes. "no, wile wear truck jamas! wile wear! wile wear truck jams!" wile, just lie down, it's time to– "noooooo! wile wear! wile wear truck! wile wear truck jamas!" at which point, as he spiralled off into a parallel universe, a very loud, very tear-filled universe, i had to go out in the hallway for a minute and let him scream. i went back in, picked him up, he calmed down a little, i laid him down, and he went down for his nap.

now, at this point, you may be thinking, as i was, why not just let him wear the gaddamn pajamas? and believe me, i almost did. but if i give in, am i only letting myself in for exponentially more screaming fits? i don't want to live in a world where screaming and crying = getting what you want. i've lived in that world for the past two years, and it's time to start moving on. it's time to free the hostages. but it's going to be a long standoff....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fight the fight! you can do it! you're doing a great job, and from someone who knows nothing about being a mom, you're doing it gracefully and in your own way, which i admire. xoxo