Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

Strike

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

We’re currently going through a delightful and exciting stage of development called “I’m 14 months old and I hate everything”. It main consists of Baby Evan hating things and making his hatred known in the loudest, screechiest, most ear-splitting way possible. Things Baby Evan currently hates include:

1. Diapers
2. Getting dressed
3. Being told not to hit people
4. Being told not to throw things
5. The floor
6. Sleep
7. The cat
8. Shoes
9. Hats
10. Sunscreen
11. Water, especially the river, especially people going swimming in the river
12. Children
13. Any food besides the one specific kind he wants at that exact moment but has no clear way of communicating what that one specific food is
14. The world “no”
15. EVERYTHING ELSE

I think I could deal (if not exactly patiently and lovingly) most of the time if we could get back to the happy place where Baby Evan sleeps 7pm-7am with one early morning feeding. I’m not even asking for him to sleep through the night. I just need him to get more than 8 hours – for EVERYONE’s sanity. For the last week we’ve done our normal bedtime routine at 7:30 or 8:00 pm and then fought a screaming child for close to an hour before giving up and letting him come back downstairs to empty the cabinets and torture the dog for another hour until the face-rubbing and whining reach epic proportions. We considered having him asleep by 9:30 on Sunday night a victory…only to have him wake up for the day at 4:45 am. Last night was another “victory” where he only whined for a few minutes before passing out and AGAIN was up at an ungodly hour.

E and I are understandably exhausted, not just from our own lack of sleep but from the mental strain of a crying, unhappy child we cannot seem to comfort. We spend hours every evening having the same discussions over and over: Do you think he’s teething? He must be teething. One year molars you know. Do you think he’s hungry? What else can we feed him? He must be too tired to sleep, poor thing. Should we just bring him downstairs? I know we don’t want to but what else can we do? It’s probably his teeth. I’m clinging to the hope that it’s just a phase, a temporary setback before he goes back to the good sleeper (relatively speaking) we’ve had for the last 6 months. Either that or I’m selling him to gypsies. Do they still take babies?

The only other possibility – although it sounds sort of crazy to me – is maybe he’s having nightmares or bad dreams or terrors. I don’t know if that’s the sort of developmental milestone a baby grows into around the 1 year mark and I have no idea what to do about it. What does a 14 month old even have nightmares about? A sudden peanut butter shortage? Losing his last sippy cup? The passage of federal legislation making shoes mandatory at all times? Whatever it might be, my only hope right now is to fill his life with so many happy thoughts and new experiences he forgets all about it. Maybe there’s a circus I can take him to. That sounds exciting. And also like a good place to find some gypsies.

I was doing better when all he ate was milk

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

So finally, at almost 14 months, my child officially eats solid food. All my fears about poor oral motor skills and gag reflex and allergies and exclusively nursing until he was 8 proved to be just normal first-time mommy induced panic and now I can go back to freaking out about the important stuff, like why doesn’t he say “mama” more often and will he grow up to be a serial killer because he likes to stand on the cat?

Baby Evan’s new and somewhat sudden interest in real, human food has left me woefully unprepared to offer healthy, age appropriate choices. It’s incredibly embarrassing to realize the only food in our house is stale bread, frozen pizza rolls, ancient cans of soup and fourteen kinds of cheese (which happens to be one of the only foods Baby Evan is still totally uninterested in) while Baby Evan whines and signs “food food food food foooooooood”. And even when I do have apples and Cheerios and yogurt and wheat bread and raisins and four dozen other things to offer him, all Baby Evan wants is cookies. Or french fries. Or jelly beans. Or one of the other terrible, horrible, no-good-for-babies things I’ve fed him over the past six months in a desperate attempt to find ANYTHING he would eat. It’s a lucky night when we’re having chicken or pasta or salmon or something I can offer him without the horrible guilt brought on by food coloring and corn syrup.

How did I end up doing this so wrong? I’ve seen plenty of news reports about childhood obesity. I scoffed at the idea of french fries being the most common vegetable in a child’s diet and swore “not MY child”. I know intellectually how important it is to start good habits now, but then suddenly it’s time to eat (breakfast, brunch, mid-day snack, lunch, early afternoon snack, etc etc etc) and all those good intentions fly right out the window. I am failing.

It’s crazy to realize feeding my child is turning out to be my greatest parenting challenge to date, especially since I thought I got the baby-feeding thing under control when Baby Evan was 4 months old. Wasn’t breastfeeding supposed to be the hard part?

Moms (and childless healthy eaters), how do you do it? How do you make sure your kids eat real, healthy, non-processed crap more (or at least as) often as they eat junk?

Bad Words

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

So the good news is we won’t be moving this year. The bad news is we won’t be moving this year because E didn’t get selected for Limited Duty Officer by the Navy. Being passed up for LDO sucks, but it sucks extra hard because I know he feels like it’s a direct judgment of his worth as a person. Which I think it RIDICULOUS because he’s amazingly good at his job, including all the itty bitty meaningless hoops the military loves to make people jump through – like always saying numbers a certain way or rechecking a valve you checked literally 30 seconds ago just because it’s a step in the procedure manual. He knows that shit inside and out. His boss got a call from another captain this week just to let him know how awesome E is and how lucky the office is to have him. And yet some guys he’s never met down in Washington DC decided he wasn’t ready to be an LDO based on a few pieces of paper and one interview. I’m so pissed on his behalf I want to punch someone and scream profanity in their stupid faces.

Last year when he didn’t get selected, I wrote a blog post for Military Spouse magazine (which seems to have disappeared into the dark void of the internets Found it) about how even though I was sad for him I was super relieved not to be uprooting our life right then. I was 8 months pregnant, the housing market had just tanked, we were kind of broke, and I was totally unprepared to start over in a new city in a new state. I got a few positive comments about how hard being a military wife can be sometimes, but one asshole wrote a jerk-off post about how I was a terrible person for even THINKING there was an upside to not getting selected, let alone writing about it on the internet. He said my selfish attitude was probably to blame and called me everything besides a traitor to our armed services. Charming and helpful all around.

This time, my disappointment on E’s behalf is greater than my desire not to upset our lives. Even though his selection would mean an even more difficult move, leaving so many more friends, losing all my real-life support, and still be a pain in the ass financially, I know how much he wanted it. How much he DESERVED it. And I am genuinely disappointed that the Navy doesn’t appreciate all his hard work. I guess I’ll just have to make sure he knows I do…until we go through this whole damn mess again next February.

Let’s Talk

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

First of all, that is not the appropriate way to wear shoes, even weird sock-shoes with rubber treads on the bottom. They’re supposed to make walking around EASIER and somehow they just don’t look like that’s what they’re doing.

Second of all, I would be happy to put some clothes on you – since it’s JANUARY IN CONNECTICUT – if you would just hold still for the thirty seconds it takes me to get an outfit out of the basket. This pretending you’re going to sit quietly only to disappear completely as soon as my back is turned is getting old. I also don’t appreciate being kicking in the boob while trying to put on your pants. Treat your food with a little more respect.

Finally, whiskey tango foxtrot on the foxtroting BINKY?! NOW you’re ready for one? NOW you want to chew on something besides my nipples? NOW, when most moms are trying to take the binkies away? Hells no, child.

Oh ok. You can keep that one. For now.

You’re hot then you’re cold

Monday, January 25th, 2010

On Friday I had my first experience with projectile vomit. Now I understand what the doctor meant when I kept bringing in my infant saying, “He’s throwing up! There’s something wrong!” and the pediatrician kept saying “No no no, that’s nothing. Trust me, you’ll know.” AND NOW I KNOW. Boy do I know. And since I would like to keep all my lovely readers, I won’t even tell you about the diapers. Let’s just say whatever bug is inside my poor little munchkin his body REALLY wants it out.

Since Baby Evan is still on uncertain terms with the sippy cup, I spent most of Saturday trying to force liquids down his throat.  He doesn’t like nursing when he’s sick (which I think is ridiculously ironic – isn’t the whole point of nursing that it’s supposed to be comforting?) so he’s not getting much of anything in his system. I’m terrified he’s going to get dehydrated and end up in the hospital where the doctors will all frown at me and say “What do you mean he doesn’t eat food? What do you mean he doesn’t take a bottle? You can’t possibly have nursed him every feeding for the last 10 months.” Because even I will admit that sounds a little crazy. True, but crazy. Plus I haven’t yet figured out how to get Pedialyte into my boobs so the best I can do for a vomiting baby is a little juice in a sippy of water and hope he accidentally swallows some of it while he chews on it. He’s still having wet diapers so I’m not panicked yet but if things don’t improve by tomorrow morning I’ll have to make an appointment.

In true motherhood fashion, just when the baby starts feeling better I get catch the same horrible germs. Again, I’ll do you a favor by skipping specifics but lets just say the symptoms might be even more unpleasant in a non-diaper wearing adult. I managed to wait until the babe was asleep before collapsing in a miserable, feverish heap Saturday night but just barely. My temperature fluctuated so much I felt like a Katy Perry song, first lying on the floor in my bra complaining I was burning up and then huddling under the blankets begging E to turn up the heat. I spent most of the night lying on the bathroom floor because the cold felt good on my face (uh, and also so I could throw up in a more appropriate place than the kitchen).  A whole Sunday of misery brings me to this morning, where I’m getting by on a diet of Mountain Dew and several gallons of water, trying to stay awake while I watch the baby torture pet the cat.  My parenting today is going to be more “keep the baby alive” and less “stimulate his mind and development”, but I’m ok with that. Even Super Moms need sick days.