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Trying not to suck

Work-wise, November is slower that I thought it would be.  I was first choice for that role I hoped to get, but they couldn’t make the schedule work.  Figures, once a year I go away, and that’s when somebody wants me for a good role.  Sigh.  I wouldn’t have made enough to warrant cancelling the trip, so… moving on.  I have a couple days of typing coming up so that’s something.  And of course, my little boy’s 3rd birthday.  He’s excited to have a party and invite his friends.  I’ve arranged to rent a place for his party as we don’t have the room to host one at home.

Hubby and are I getting along better, we’re both making more efforts to be gentler with one another.  I’m reaching out more, it’s tough, but I’m trying. One night I was freezing so I actually slept snuggled up next to him and he was absolutely delighted.  Such a simple thing but it meant so much to him.

I’m still dealing with a lot of anxiety when it comes to things like visiting my mum and staying at home all day with the Precious.  Seems like my little guy could spend all our rainy days just watching the Lion King and The Wild and playing with his cars.  I have to practically drag him out of the house on non preschool days.  Correction, I have to chase, yell, threaten to call dad, joke, negotiate, bribe him to get him to put on his boots and coat.  This can take anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes.  This means I’m supremely aggravated before 9 am in the morning.  Sigh. This child is designed to teach my patience apparently.  On occasion, I just pick him up like a sack of potatoes and put him in the car without shoes or a coat.  At least, he knows I’m not kidding around when I say we have to go.  He does not do this with his dad or his grandparents,oh, yes he saves this delightful game for mum.  It’s just routine he wants.    I kiss and hug him more and tell him how much I love him and I remind myself to lower my expectations of what I’d like to get done during the day (and in the order I’d like them done).

I  read a post the other day about a mother experiencing difficulty with her child wanting constant interaction with her.  Heck, I once even googled “my kid won’t leave me alone”  and found dozens of women who were desperate for answers.    I could understand, it can be overwhelming, parenting 24/7 can be mentally and physically taxing.   I  learned the importance of structure and routine and different ways of interacting.  For example,  I let my son help me make scrambled eggs, as long as I don’t micromanage the way he does it and accept that it will be messy.  I would prefer a brisk  1 hr walk through the woods with the dog with music in my ears, but that’s not going to happen, so we meander a couple of blocks and walk through a local boardwalk through a bog.  I have also let my son know that everyone (including the dog) needs quiet time.  Most people find it quite distressing to be physically tugged on most of the day.  I haven’t met a mum yet who has not admitted eagerly anticipating naptime or bed time or to clock watching, waiting for hubby to come home.

Then I remind myself that  no matter how depressed or miserable I feel on any given day, I am still responsible for loving the heck out that little boy, and not just in the way that it is easy for me to do, but in the way that he needs.  In my core, I can recall my childhood need for unconditional love, and suddenly it is crystal clear to me that  hormonal mood swings, fatigue or anxiety can make my days seem like I’m walking through water so I need to take care of myself as well.   Still considering meds and when I get more money, I’ll go back to counselling.

My sisters or I did not grow up in a loving, peaceful atmosphere.  We were not encouraged to show our true feelings, we were to be seen and not heard for the most part.  My parents did the best they could, but they were busy working and trying not to get crushed by the man.  But my mother fought to give her girls the best she could.  She was a fighter.  Oh, yes, I witnessed her degradation and her breakdowns, but I also saw her get up every time.  She kept all my crappy artwork and threw me birthday parties.  Right up until the time she had a stroke, she would call me on my birthday and sing me happy birthday.

So I owe it to myself and to my kid to try and do better every day.  I kinda hate being smooched and hugged as my husband’s family can attest.  It drives me nuts that they gotta give cheery good mornings and hugs and kisses before bed time or when they walk out of the door.  My family barely touches each other even when we say goodbye at airports.  But I smile when Boo walks in the room and I hold his hand when we cozy up together and I kiss him even after he’s stepped on my last nerve.  As a matter of fact, this has also been related to me as Buddhist guidance for my husband.  Mmmm. I’m not going to lie, I’m no Suzy Homemaker.  I don’t find creativity in all things domestic, unless it’s a domestic red if you know what I mean.  I am however, finding creative ways to be present in my parenting, staying true to my word and cutting myself some slack.

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Sick days

The Precious had his first really bad cold/cough this weekend.  He had one while we were away on the island, it seemed to be getting better though he had diarrhea all week.  So we cut back his milk, juice and even his homeopathic cough medicine (which had sorbitol in the first few ingredients.  Sorbitol and too much juice can be a culprit).  We risked a play date with his sniffly BFF, and then he seemed to get another virus.    His cough was wet and chesty and he was lethargic, whiny, irritable and broke out crying at the slightest thing.  DH and I took turns watching cuddling  with him on the couch.   Don’t ask me how many times I watched Dora the Explorer.

I was up with him in the middle of the night, with Advil in one hand and a cool cloth in the other.   I felt kind of grateful to realize that this was the only time he’s been sick enough for me to have to go in room and take care of him.  It made me remember how my mum would surprise me with Vicks Vaporub in the middle of the night.  Whenever I had a cough, I would try like hell to suppress it because I knew what would happen if she heard me.  And she always heard me.  Mmmm.

Anyways, he’s still hacking, but he’s better.  He put chewed up mac and cheese in my humidifier.  HE’S BAAA-AAACK!

Topic of conversation

The other day at brunch with our friends (and our kids), hubby reminded me that I was talking about my kid a lot.  “Remember, when you told me to remind you if you started to go on and on about your kid, well, you’re doing it.”  Ahem, he has done this twice recently.  And each time, I tell him, yeah, you can stop reminding me that I reminded you to do this 2 years ago.  You can STOP NOW.  Because frankly, I know I’m talking about my kid but it’s to someone I know very well who HAS a kid.  And it’s a CONVERSATION not a monologue.  Oh, I get his point, all right.  I did say that because it used to drive me NUTS when people went on and on about their kid to me when all I really wanted was to talk about anything else.  I wanted to talk about shopping or shoes or  sex.  I had scars in places where the sun don’t shine from my years on infertility island, the last thing I wanted to do was be caught in a conversation about the funny thing my kid said the other day or labour and delivery stories.  That was always my cue to go pee or get another drink or something.

I think what he MEANS to say is that HE’S sick of hearing me talk about my kid in public.  Which is odd cause all he ever does in private is talk about the kid.  This brings me to my next point.

I’m  a little bit embarrassed to not have ANYTHING ELSE to talk about.  Besides typing in the dark for 4 1/2 hrs for consumer research.  Which by the way, I’m not supposed to talk about because occasionally clients will ask me to sign non-disclosure agreements.  As if anybody but them gives a flying fig about the next new flavour of crappy cookie they’re putting out.  I used to talk about working with this or that celebrity or auditions or a film party or something vaguely glamorous sounding.

And speaking of auditions, I had one.  A good part, too.   I had to take the kid though – no sitter for the middle of the day.  I thought he could sleep during the drive there and back.    So off we went, me talking to myself the whole time, trying to psych myself up, trying to convince myself that I was bringing along my lucky charm, my #1 fan….. who proceeded to object to me leaving him in a waiting room full of good looking strangers. He clutched on to me.   What a nerve, eh? I forgot that the last time I had brought him, he didn’t have the power of speech or separation anxiety.  He used to be entertained by a smiling cute face of a woman with a shiny object.  Now of course, he was wide awake and not willing to let any facsimile of me get close to him.    I was next of course, and I had to tell them to WAIT.  Then I was invited to bring him in THE ROOM.  I was apologetic and mortified at the same time.  A casting director tried to say, hey, let’s watch mommy on the monitor.  He wasn’t having that either, so she went out with us into the waiting room and proceeded to baby wrangle (charm) him while I snuck back in to do my audition.  I thanked her profusely and we left. I bundled the Precious back into his stroller and zipped on the raincover as we strolled out of the studios in the pissing rain.   Of course, I tried not to dwell on the fact that I didn’t have two minutes to myself to truly concentrate and settle down before I unleashed my prodigious talent for the camera.  I don’t think I sucked, I just don’t think I did the job I wanted to do.  We stopped in at Starbucks  a few minutes later for a piece of cake and a coffee.  I wanted to savour the moment my career truly died.

Maybe I could talk about THAT the next time we go for brunch.

Hooped

Just when I think I’ve got this kid figured out, he changes. He seems to have stopped napping the day we got back.  Or at least at his regularly scheduled time.  If he naps in the car or on a walk, even if it’s only ten minutes, we’re “hooped”.  That’s a Canadian expression meaning “we’re screwed”.  It means I can give him warm milk and put him in his bed and he screams and sobs for 45 minutes straight or until I can’t take it anymore and let him out.  I’ve tried letting him cry it out.  I’ve tried explaining to him that he needs a little rest and he can play later.  I’ve tried a later nap time.  And though I can see he’s tired – he tends to be more easily frustrated or loses his balance more – he presses through til about 7:30 or 8pm.    This is the kid who just a few weeks ago, went gently into that good nap and still went to bed on time.

Oh, sleep, sweet sleep.  I had a nap this afternoon – a very rare occasion.  I can count on one hand the times I’ve taken an afternoon nap in the past two years.  Even after the kid started yanking my hair and throwing himself on my chest, I went back to sleep.  Don’t worry, hubby was there keeping him company on the couch on a very rainy afternoon.

On the day we left to come back home from our trip, I was feeling absolutely crummy.  I thought it was a hangover but I was really coming down with something.  A cold.  I seem to be over it.  I had the help of Neo Citran and Nyquil.  I love Nyquil when I’m sick.  Seriously.  It’s like an instant coma.  And I get a brief buzz before I slip off into Land of Nod.  What can be better than that?!  I remember when my mum had her stroke and I was visiting her in the hospital at least two or 3 times – a day.  I got insomnia and that went on for 2 years.  I could always fall asleep but I could never stay asleep.  This was why I never minded getting up at 2 or 3am with the kid when he was an infant.   I was up anyway.  These days, I do actually mind quite a bit because once he’s up, the day is busy and if I am to get through it with balance, it helps if I’m well rested.  Now I dream of getting a cold so I can use Nyquil.

Which brings me back to my first point.  The kid is resisting naps with a vengeance.  Now when I make his milk, he runs away from me to close his bedroom door cause he doesn’t want to go IN.  Usually if we’re up early and I keep him busy and active with lots of fresh air, it’s not a problem, but I can’t always spend the mornings simply just playing with him, particularly if it’s cold and miserable outside.  And if I don’t have the car, then we can’t get the community centre.  Oh, it’s within walking distance but if he even catches so much as a ten minute nap in the stroller, then it’s game over.  Of course, it seems as if he’s sleeping through the night better.  But that means I don’t get any time to myself.  Even half an hour would be nice to make phone calls, or do laundry or read. So I’m not sure if he’s truly done with his afternoon nap or just screwing with me.

It’s after midnight and the only reason I’m still up, is because I took a nap.  But the morning will come soon and I’ll be tired again.

I’m hooped.

More grey hairs

First of all I just want to say thank you for your support.  When I wrote my last post, it was a pretty darn messy with grammar and punctuation.  I had been trying to write it in bits and pieces and kept getting interrupted.  I appreciate your empathy; it was like a warm internet -y hug.  Why am I not in therapy… oh yeah, spent that money on IVF and adoption.  Hah!

Wanna get some grey hairs and lose sleep, all within 24 hours – have your toddler scramble out of his crib and hit the floor.  Twice. He’s fine, I’m  not.

The Precious  has been acting weird lately.  In that toddler fine one second, crying the next kind of way.  He’s teething, not sleeping well, whining a lot and gets clingy when either one of us tries to leave.  I used to be able to drop him at the childminding when I went to the gym – now he screams and cries like he’s being flayed alive.  When the other mothers come to pick up their kids after a class and I’m not there right away, he starts up again.

He’s waking up at night whinging, crying and when I go in to calm and reassure him, well, he fake sleeps on me and won’t go back to bed choosing to cling to me for dear life.  I give him Advil before bedtime but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.  Not sure why he started doing this, is it nightmares or teething or what?  Then hubby has to go in and bounce him on his knee for 20 minutes.    But we put a stop to that once we realized he was getting used to the nightly cuddle and bottle of milk.  Now we just tell him to go back to bed.  That worked for a bit.  Until yesterday when he woke up unexpectedly early from a nap and thinking he was still hungry, I went in to give him milk.  Then I put him back in the crib and closed the door.  I’ve done this before and it’s never been a problem.  This time, he got hysterical and before I even got two steps away, I hear hysterical crying then a THUD.  I swoop in and scoop him off the hardwood floor, checking for bumps on his head.  He cried for about 30 seconds and then started to play with his fire station.  Apparently he just didn’t want to sleep anymore.

I call DH who was out walking the dog.   I’m teary, but relieved he’s fine.  We go out that evening with friends who flew in for the weekend.  I get tipsy and have a perfectly lovely evening.  Our friends are seasoned parents and it was really nice to get some supportive chat with the wife.  We think there’s no way he’s going to try that stunt again.   Last night, the Precious starts whinging again at about 1:30am.  Hubby yells at him to go back to sleep.  But this time, the crying ramps up and I hear that hysterical tone again.  I hesitate briefly before I decide that perhaps he needs some Advil for his teeth.  Maybe I should just go in and …. THUD!  –  We both fly in and he’s fine, daddy gives him a stern lecture about not climbing out of his crib (yes, the mattress is on the lowest setting, but the kid is tall and nimble).  I throw a king size pillow and blankets on the floor and proceed to stay up til 4:30 in the morning worrying, unable to sleep at all.  The sleeplessness nights are back.

Tonight, we padded the floor with pillows and a duvet, but tomorrow, we’re converting the crib into a toddler bed.  I’m pretty darn sure that’s going to create another problem, but it’s hubby’s idea.  I don’t think the Precious is quite ready for that, as he will surely just slide out of bed and start wandering around his room or pounding on the door.  It’s worth a try, I guess.  I suppose I could get a net or something to put on top of his crib, but it might freak him out even more.  Oh, boy. More toddler fun. Whee.

 

 

 

How to wage war with a toddler and lose

It took 45 minutes to get out of the house this morning.  Seems the Precious didn’t want to wear clothes and no amount of his mum asking, pleading, demanding, yelling was going to make him change his mind. Yes, I’ve read all about transitions and how difficult they can be for toddlers.  I’ve been practising my modern  mummy techniques for a while now.  On occasion they work.  Oh, I tried the, “if we get dressed we can go outside and play” explanation plus a few more variations on that theme followed by the stern “GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW AND PUT ON YOUR DIAPER/PULLUP/UNDERWEAR, etc” explanation.  That was met with grins and shrieking and running away.  Apparently this was a game and I was playing my role quite well.  Then I decided that I would just get ready and leave by going downstairs and shutting the door.  Sometimes if I put on my shoes and get ready to go, he decides he wants to come after all.  This  attempt however prompted much foot stomping, yelling and then peeing on the runner in front of the basement door.  So up I came and sopped up the liquid and  no, the Precious did not seem frightened or even teary in the slightest.  He did look chastened however.  I felt horrible as I grabbed him, put him on my lap and put on his pullups while he put up token resistance and then gave in.   Then I directed him to bring me his pants, shirt, etc til we were done.

We had a perfectly lovely walk to the park and enjoyed throwing the ball for the dog and swinging til it was time to go home again.  I bribed him with juice and animal crackers to get out of the swing.

Of course, when hubby and his buddy arrived home after soccer, I told them my tale of woe.  They schooled me on what I SHOULD have done.  Cause apparently when they say PUT ON YOUR SHOES or whatever, they NEVER have a problem, so CLEARLY, I have no idea of what I’m doing.  This whole talking reasonably is a waste of time and I’m not being consistent.  Well, that’s true, I’m not consistent.  I start off being quite reasonable and calm and THEN I try to be ALL SERIOUS BUSINESS.

ARRGGG!

How toddlerhood can break a grown man down

So DH says last night – “It’s all about making it to nap time, then after that, it’s all about making it til 7:30 (winding down to bed time).”  AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!   Maybe I should just start a series called, “Really?  I have no idea of what you mean.”

I’m the one who needs a full time paying job.  On a series.  For 12 hours a day.  You read it here first.  So hubby can stay home and take it “easy”.