Birdy is wearing me out. I love her deep down to the pit of my everything, but my goodness. Where’s my cute little munchkin who pops out from around the corner, pointing at me and giggling? Where’s my snuggly smoocher? My at-least-sometimes decent eater?
The child that’s been at my house for the last two or three days is a screeching thing that looks like that sweet snuggler, save for the contorted face and tears and snot, but ranks far lower on the parental enjoyability scale. She’s learned to react to disappointment by collapsing and weeping and wailing on the floor in a sad, diapered heap. I know I said that a few weeks ago, but I had no idea what I was talking about. She is for REAL this time.
She is so frequently overtaken by this crushing sadness that I am at a loss for what to do when she’s melting down over the cold hard fact that I won’t let her eat whatever that is she found under the dishwasher, her tiny little almost-big-kid body shaking with uncontrollable sobs on the floor. What’s a mama to do?
Especially a mama who spends a precious few hours each evening with her sweet biscuit, who wants to preserve the gentle goodness of that block-out-the-world time together? Because now, my friends, that time is filled with unbearable noise that makes me want to simultaneously run screaming from my house, leaving my child behind, and also want to pick her up and hold her to my chest and kiss her fat cheeks until she is smiling again. Except that that does not happen. She arches her back and demands to be put down, then claws at my knees wanting to be picked up and loved.
And what about the eating? What about when she throws every morsel of food on the floor, or retreats so forcefully from the idea of putting it in her mouth that she is practically climbing backwards out of her high chair? What then? Reward the behavior with MORE cottage cheese and toast (the only food items she will entertain) or stick to my sweet potato guns and shrivel with the guilt of starving my child? WHAT THEN, GENTLE READER? WHAT FREAKING THEN??
I have a feeling this does not get much easier. Different, yes, but I’m guessing the struggles will continue and that this is what “they” mean when “they” say that parenting is so hard. I’m fine with that, with hard work and great rewards. Just make the screaming stop.
Of course, I also sat in my patho class this morning spinning my brain-wheels about what if Bird has apendicitis or something invisible but terrible and she’s just trying her birdy-best to tell me about it? And then I realize how unlikely that is, unless her appendicitis is triggered by not getting to watch YoGabbaGabba
on the computer for the seventh time. But the thought is still there, the medical catastrophe thought, which I guess I can go ahead and welcome permanently because I am that kind of person, which I makes me that kind of parent.
On a sad note
I hear that Britney and Kevin are breaking up. It’s a good thing my state voted to preserve the **ahem** sacred union of man and woman in marriage, and “protected” the definition of beautiful unions like this one from people who want to enter into loving committments responsibly and without disgusting blonde hair extensions. (Or with hair extensions, I’m not judging.) Not that the Souwf has a fantastic record when it comes to recognizing and not trampling on the civil rights of its people, but this one was a no-brainer and we have proven our brainlessness as a state.