Saturday, November 6, 2010

my undoing

I have no dishwasher and no camera. Damn the modern need for this gadgetry! It turns out I live in a very fragile and procarious tower (midieval stone and tiny window variety) where one brick goes and the whole thing tumbles down. I'm falling apart over here. I couldn't even get it together enough to go vote. And I really wanted to vote.

At first I thought it was the dishwasher that put me over the edge--the final straw--, or simply the snowball effect of sitters who cancelled and Mitch's migraine that put him completely out of commission for bath/bedtime routine the night before my embarrassing emotional collapse in the middle of the gym (while on a machine, no less. I had to flee to find a more discreet place to disintegrate). But it wasn't the dishwasher. It's Clark. Clark Clark Clark, who used to be my sweet baby, my agreeable one, the easy going, the less intense, the one who could adjust and flex and roll. I somehow thought his personality would allow him to bypass this developmental stage. How silly of me.

Let me be clear. He is no longer a sweet baby. He is two and a half, and he is a monster. MONSTER. Perhaps we are at the height of the thing? The most intense it will get? Perhaps he's not still building to his full monsterdom? Oh please let that be so. For everyone's sake, let that be so, and let this peak not last long, let us soon come down the other side oh so gently.

A MONSTER. It's gotten to where I don't want to go anywhere--the library or the carousel at the play museum or the hardware store--because there is a 100% chance he's going to be incredibly difficult about something. Getting in his carseat. Getting out of his carseat. Which carseat to sit in. Which song is on. The fact his blankie fell on the floor.

He's got a terribly traumatic life.

But the thing that undoes me is the 100% chance that once we get to the bagel shop, farmer's market, grocery store, he's going to throw a fit about something he absolutely cannot touch, climb, hit. Mr. Destructo coming through! I simply cannot take it. So we go nowhere.

He still throws fits at home, of course; about my telling him he can't throw Little People at the dog, or hit the cat with the wiffle bat, or climb daddy's dresser. Today we had a fit with Every Single diaper change.

It exhausts me.

It's not that I'm embarrassed about his displays in public. It's not that I feel like an incompetent parent because he's delivering them. I know it's a stage and it will (eventually...!) pass, but somehow the shrieking or the flinging--or something--has tripped my panic button and I don't know how to turn it off. I feel like a crazy person. (A couple of days ago I seriously wondered if I could come back from it, thought maybe we'd have to hire a full time nanny for a month or so, so I could lie in bed and read The Age of Innocence and the New York Times Magazine. I'm way behind on current events.)

I'm trying. I'm doing all the right things; going to the gym, being social, doing laundry. I have absolutely no motivation to organize and prepare food, and that's a bummer for everyone. But a few dinners of mac and cheese never hurt any kid. And a few dinners of cereal for mom and dad never did either. Hopefully the tide will turn and my energy will come back, my motivation will return. This hideous gray rainy weather isn't helping I'm sure. I'm holding out for the pretty white snow...


andrea said...

You need a Mommy break. Children teach us all the things we never knew were inside of us:
the good, the bad and the UGLY.

Lord, I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better.
-Let him run outside naked in the cold?
-Build a padded, sound proof room with lots of soft things for him to throw and to knock down.
-lots of mommy time-outs?
-a padded room for mom?
-vitamin B
-a bottle of wine or two or three
-deep breathing, deep breathing
-love that passes all understanding

Hang in there and remember somebody somewhere has it worse. That always helps me with my personal HELL.


Cali said...

love that passes all understanding. oh thank you, andrea. it's true that that is the answer, the solution. it made me calmer just reading that. maybe i'll take it up as a mantra, just under my breath. the padded room could be good too, however.

in fact, the kids are getting a bouncy house for xmas, the grandparents all going in together. i sure hope that helps with our indoor winter. i look forward to being able to just send them to the basement to get that energy out. it's as close to a padded room as i'm going to come...!

WendyKrug said...

What an awful phase. Nothing to do but wait it out, that's what I tell myself. I yelled last week more than I ever imagined I could possibly yell at my children. Felt like a horrible monster all week. It has to pass eventually. Good for you for trying to nurture yourself so you can stay afloat. Hope to see you very soon!!!

Paige said...

Cali, I'm in it too, and Marley's not even 2 yet and I'm sure is merely on the uphill of this particular wave. It's awful. The coat is the worst. I mean, we have to put it on and off a minimum of twice a day, and usually more than that. And she HATES it. She goes limp. She screams. She refuses to keep her freakin arm straight. And the carseat is her #2 hate at the moment. Which is also very awful. And #3 is the grocery/other store cart. She screamed SCREAMED at the top of her lungs for FIVE minutes (I timed it) after I put her in the cart at Target last week. I was just in a daze, I couldn't even think. It was also awful.

Yes, yes. Love. Love. Love. Plus my "inner core of peace that cannot be disturbed", right?

It's going to be a very long winter. Love the bouncy house, SO wish we could do that. We had a friend who did it last winter, it was a HUGE hit. I'm considering just one of those little trampolines.

Amy said...

I have recently started doing Reiki and have found it very helpful. I feel more at peace and at ease when my energy isn't all out of whack. I can deal with the kids and their "issues" much better and with more patience! It might be worth a try:) Love you:)

Amy Coen