Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Five More Things I Should Know By Now

OMG! I just realized I'm a jackhole!
Every once in a while it occurs to me that I should pay more attention. Because there are certain things that I should know by now and I just don’t. Or maybe I just choose to block them out. In any case, please use the following as either cautionary tales, amusing examples of how I am stupid or further evidence of why someone should probably call the authorities.

The Much Maligned Cheetos Directive:
Go ahead and judge me. I can’t stop you. But I have recently embraced the dark side. Some may call it bribery. I call it strategy. Do not underestimate the infrequent and deliberate use of cheetos as an effective parenting tactic. I can get the little terror suspects to clean the playroom in about 15 minutes for a .99 cent bag of neon orange junk food. I don’t do it very often, but it’s my fail-safe when things start to derail. Some people use carrots and sticks, I use cheetos and taking away the Wii.

Every human being requires sleep, except of course for mommies.
My youngest does not sleep. She naps. She demands to be snuggled at 3am or screams the house down. She is two and a half. About a year ago, we had her sleeping through the night and it lasted for quite a while. It was amazing. It was like someone had ripped the film off my life, in the manner of a very surreal Claritin ad. Suddenly I felt like myself again. I could function, finish a sentence, even occasionally summon the energy to do something that I had forgotten about for several years; like scrub behind the toilets or pluck my eyebrows. Now I am back in a sleepless hell, deep inside The Blur and have accepted that it is my lot. I no longer fear the need to prepare for the zombie apocalypse as I am already a zombie. So that’s at least an upside.

You will always win, ear infection. And that’s why I hate you. A couple of months ago, my toddler got an ear infection. A very painful double ear infection that made her pitiful and puny. DAMN YOU, EAR INFECTION. Damn you to hell. That’s when everything melted into a giant puddle of warm. She stopped sleeping and we couldn’t get her back on track. And this time, not sleeping (after having a taste of what life could be like if I was well-rested) was like a karate chop to the cranium. It was awful. And then Kate had an “a-ha moment” where she remembered that ear infections always furck up your program. They’re like mommy-kryptonite. And we did a double facepalm, because we should’ve known that.

The One Minute Car Nap.
The very next afternoon I was confronted with another taco-kicking realization. On the days when you most need your kid to nap, anti-mommy forces deploy the most nefarious of sleep-related enemies. Here’s the scenario: your child really needs to sleep because (insert critically important reason here). Your kid nods off in their car seat for about 45 seconds, usually just as you’re pulling into your driveway. You have a moment where you think: “Hurrah! I will plop my child in bed and have maybe a whole hour or two in which I can pee alone/pay bills/ bathe myself/facebook/fold laundry!” Then you stupidly try to remove your child from the car. That one minute car nap has fortified your offspring so that they think they have slept. There is no getting them down for a real nap after that. There is only whining. And tantrums. If you’re lucky, you may be able to work in an early bedtime. But probably not.
Potty training is so very, very special.
You know what’s more awesome than spending several hours per day in the bathroom with a toddler begging them to poo? Doing it at the pool. In the putrid, damp, public restroom. In 101 degree heat. It would be wrong and bad of me to just toss the kid a pull-up, take her to the picnic area, and tell her to do her business, right? Well then I decided to be wrong after three 20 minute trips to the potty during a 2 hour pool excursion. And this is why she’s still not potty trained. Yay me.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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