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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Make it half a banana and a Sunbutter spoon, kid, and you've got yourself a deal.

So I can keep on whinin' 'bout these kids and y'all won't bang on the Unsubscribe button until your index finger fingernail turns black and falls off?

Actually I am not so much whinin' about the kids themselves, personally, as I'm whinin' about the condition of bein' Mom to two small people, generally. Of course MANY people, including y'all, warned me that this adjustment'd be HUGE and make me want to pull my hair out.

(My hair, which if y'all could see it you'd immediately come to the same conclusion that I have, that the angry prairie dog has in fact finally found his way into my house and shimmies up the bedclothes to gnaw off hunks of my tresses in those otherwise fortunate few moments in the night that I fall into a drooling, comatose sleep.)

(I no longer have a mullet. I have a P-Dawg. At this point, makin' me pull my hair out may be the biggest favor my kids'll ever do me.)

Hello distractability and short-term memory loss! Hmm, now where was I?

Oh yes. The chiddren. Preppy Pettit asked yesterday if Bean's jealous of Peabody.

I'm gonna go with YES, but I think bein' just under 4 years old, Bean doesn't necessarily feel or express it as jealousy of the baby so much. Oh no, Bean places the blame where it ultimately belongs, squarely on the shoulders of the woman who produced the boy in question, Yours Truly. To wit, yesterday over lunch she directed a white-hot angry glare at me and asserted, "You need to move to another house."

"Why?" I asked innocently. (One day I will learn, people.)

"Because I don't want you HERE anymore. And NEITHER. DOES. DADDY."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I just went with a slump-shouldered blank stare, which of late is my default disposition anyway, and so required no effort on my part. Later, as I was snuggling her in her bed, I told her calmly that what she'd said had hurt my feelings and she replied, "Well, YOU can stay here, Mama, but the mean monster has to move."

And then, you know, I felt OH SO MUCH BETTER.

By contrast, Peabody would prefer I remain affixed to his personage at all times. In my waking hours, I am required to wear him vertically on my front in the Snugli or be subjected to first, his absolutely heart-breaking pouty face followed immediately by blood-curdling wails. Mostly I'm okay with this although I have to admit it seems strange to me that this person for whom standing on his head was the position of choice 8 weeks ago is now so resolutely determined to be upright and only upright.

But who am I to argue with Brutha Naycha?

So I wear him in the Snugli, all day long, just like I did his sister before him. And I rock and bounce to quiet him so much that it's become second nature. Heck, the other day I let a neighbor hold him when we were outside one afternoon and he started fussing, and I started rockin' and bouncin'. Another neighbor happened along right about then who's hard of hearing. After she'd stood there a few minutes, she looked around and asked, "Are you guys listening to some music that I can't hear?"

"No," we asked her, "Why?"

"Because Megan's dancing!"

Oh yeah. That.

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I took both kids grocery shopping this morning.

(Stop laughing.)

I did. And Peabody cried, even though he was in his Snugli as directed, THE WHOLE COTTON-PICKIN' TIME. I don't know about y'all, but for me, the sound of my own child crying makes nails on a chalkboard sound like romantic violins playin' on the shore at sunset. Seriously. And he screamed. And screamed. People were staring at me with that, "Woman, what on earth did you do to that poor child?" look on their faces.

I'ma tell you right now, people, and I know you will be able to relate, that if I were a smoker? I'da forgotten all about the zucchini and the dishwasher soap and the coffee filters and I'da gone up to the VICES AND OTHER SUNDRIES counter and bought myself a carton of the strongest brand they had, sat down in a corner, stuffed a cigarette in every orifice and sat there puffing away until the authorities came and hauled me away.

But instead I bounced and I rocked, bought Bean some candy she picked out in the check-out line (which I HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE) and paid for my groceries with great big tears in my eyes after she said, "Thanks Mama. You're the sweetest Mama EVER."

Amazing how that one little bribe-driven compliment after all that screaming and embarrassment was enough to completely undo me.

I do NOT feel like the sweetest Mama ever these days, to say the very least.

And we walked out to the parking lot, me sniffling, Peabody wailing, and Bean askin' me "Mama, can I just have a half a banana for lunch today? I need to save room for my candy that my sweet little Mama bought me."





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23 comments:

  1. Hang in there, darlin'. You're bigger than they are. You will eventually win, I promise. (((((hugs)))))

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  2. omg, I have been there, long years ago when my yougest was a newborn and my oldest was 3 and a half. There were three of them, and one of me, and I hated going anywhere with them. Now I'd love to see them all at the same time.

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  3. I have three, all under 5, but my baby is 18 months so she THINKS she's quite big. It does get better in the not-so-distant future!!! Promise!

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  4. You will have very thick skin when these 12 weeks are over my friend! So thick that you will know what to say and do at a moments notice and you will not even think about letting them get you! Though I agree with you completely about hearing your own baby cry, just know that the second one will cry much more than the first did because there are two not one in the equation. He will be fine and so will you. Think back to your work days and how tough and strong you had to be. It isn't suppose to be a piece of cake or being a mom would not be as rewarding. CANDY IS ALL IT TAKES ONCE IN A WHILE!
    Katie

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  5. I'm so sorry this is tough. You're a great person, and an even better mama. In a few short days, you will feel like you've turned a corner, and have all this figured out! :o) And don't forget that we're praying for the FriedOkra clan. And also don't forget to believe in yourself, and know that you are not alone. :o)

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  6. You're doing fine. When I had a newborn and a toddler, all of my rules went out the window. It was survival of the fittest and they were whipping my butt.

    I'm afraid I sought solace in addictions. A little bit of Nick Jr. here. Some PBS kids there. Soon I moved on to carefully chosen DVDs. Then it was anything animated. I'd just throw it in the shopping cart with whatever friggin' candy they wanted. I give. Just. stop. screaming.

    As a mom, you do develop your tricks. Kids aren't just demanding. They're also very gullible. Combine that with a short attention span and it's just a matter of time before you regain control of your kingdom.

    That bag of candy? Deftly redeposited on the shelf as I distract them. (Hey look! Something shiny!)

    If they happen to remember that I put it in the cart when I get home? (Most of the time they don't.) Oh yea. Hey! Where did the candy go? Don't worry about it. You can have some as soon as I find it. Do you want to watch Dora? I think we have some all fruit popsicles. Do you want one?

    By the time Dora is halfway over, they have strawberry juice running down to their elbows and they've completely forgotten about the candy.

    Yep. That's the key to parenting more than one child. Distract and evade.

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  7. much love to you Megan. I wish I was full of sunshine and rainbow advice, but I have never been in your shoes. I do know that you have strength and this too shall pass.

    question though...have you considered that baby boy is not tolerating something in your breastmilk? I know Sugar get super fussy around 3 months, and I limited my diet and it was like heaven on earth.

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  8. Megan,
    I know it seems tough right now...the grocery store...I can SO relate. It's a horrible experience to take the kids unless it's a "quick trip" for 5 easy items or less. Even then, you get the sticky fingers wanting everything in sight! (Wait, that's every store I take them to!!)

    I'd get my necessities then start trying to go when Al has the kids or something. I made many trips to the store after 8:30pm when all 3 kids were finally asleep. (going on weekends while they were up made them BEG to go with me and cry at the door as I was leaving! UGH!!) I was tired but it still was better than dragging them along. I don't ALWAYS leave them at home, but they do stay home when I have a long list or I need FOCUS while I'm shopping.

    I just found out I'm having my fourth and while I have been excited and happy, reality hit home the other day when someone who learned of my pregnancy asked: "Oh is it your first? Second?" and I answered "Fourth." After that, I remained terrified for about an hour as to how I am going to handle this!

    I do agree that giving in to some TV or a treat is not bad! I loved treats from my mom when I was little!! Sometimes I think we feel like we are weak, but honestly, you aren't "giving in" as much as you think. I felt like a horrible mom for TV and candy some b/c it seemed too often, but then I kept track of it and it really was only a few times a week on the candy and a reasonable amt of TV! Give yourself a break...you are doing great!

    I'll be praying for you and the "fam." And as for Bean, my middle child (he's almost 4) tld me he "didn't love me anymore," didn't "want me" and wished I'd "go to jail" the other night??? Talk about a 1-2-3 knockout!! (Of course this was right before bedtime when he'd had a rotten nap, etc.) I just said I loved him very much and that his remarks were not nice and let him go to sleep. He was better the next morning, but he's done it before and probably will again! (sigh)

    Sorry for the long post...motherhood ain't for the weak of spirit, is it girl?? LOL I SO feel ya!

    Love,
    Angela in SC

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  9. Hugs to you sweet friend, wish I could come on over and help you babysit - then we'd at least be 2 against 3! ;)

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  10. Hugs to you sweet friend, wish I could come on over and help you babysit - then we'd at least be 2 against 3! ;)

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  11. Megan you're doing a wonderful job. Did I mention that I did not venture out of the house with both kids in tow until your namesake, who will be 21 next week, was FOUR months old. And even then it was only to the corner store where a tub of potato salad fell on her little head.

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  12. When the kids are older you won't remember these days, unless you think really hard (and why would you want too?) You'll remember things like that cute comment from Bean and you'll know that those were some tiring days, but the specifics will be gone and believe it or not - you'll wish you could go back to it for 1 more day!
    Hang in there. You are doing great and it will get easier!

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  13. Oh I love Bean so very much. I get a lot of the "I don't want you to live here anymore!" from Riley too. It's just the age they are at and it would probably be happening regardless of sibling status, honestly. She won't remember your grumpy days that well, she'll remember the hugs and the kisses and that unconditional love that you dish out so well. As for Peanut, I remember feeling exactly that same way (nails on a chalkboard...) whenever Boo cried as a baby. So while I have no advice (sometimes it stinks that all babies are different, eh?) I can definitely sympathize. Love you. xoxo

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  14. I have a 3 week old baby and am encouraged by your baby stories because they mean I am not alone with the crying, screaming and sleeplessness! ;-) thanks!!

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  15. I think by the six month mark I felt like I had two figured out. It will get easier, just hang in there!

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  16. Hang on -- Mr. P will get more of a schedule for his crankiness in the very near future, then you can plan your shopping for when it its not cranky time. In the meantime, sanity comes cheap if all it takes is a little candy!

    I echo the mom who asked about a reaction to something in breastmilk -- dairy is a common culprit at this age. (My 1st son has food allergies, and it really helped when I cut out dairy . . . too bad we didn't know he was also allergic to eggs & peanuts!!)

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  17. Awww, it will get better. My littlest one is now six months old and he is in the most lovely routine.

    My preschooler, as a baby, had horrible, horrible reflux, he cried, cried, screamed, wailed and cried some more. I thought I was going to loose my mind. I don't think I slept more than 2 hours at a time for the first two months. The reflux was giving him heartburn. They put him on reflux meds and our lives got so much easier and quieter. Maybe Mr. P has something else going on. . . I know I am echoing other moms. Just a thought.

    You are doing great and things will get easier. Hang in there.

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  18. We're adjusting to number 2, also. It's fun to relate to you.

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  19. Oh yeah. Miss Pink made me feel GREAT about myself a number of times when Mr. Blue was a newborn. "You...spoke HARSHLY to me, Mama!"

    I'm pretty sure she wasn't scarred for life. Though I suppose the jury's still out until she's 18.

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  20. Oh goodness. I do not envy you these first few months, nor that first grocery trip. Good news--the day to day life definitely gets easier. The baby learns to sit in a bouncy seat, or even, eventually, on the floor. The older one gets used to this other being, and you will get your brain back. Oh, wait, not so sure on that last one. I'm still waiting.

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  21. you're doing a wonderful job as a mom! hang in there!

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  22. Oh Megan. I can just feel your angst. You're in the thick of it, aren't you?

    I echo the comments of "it does get better." I remember sitting in the rocker with Teyla last January, as my Mom got the older two kids to school. I was in major pain from breastfeeding, the kids weren't cooperating with Grammie, the house was a disaster, and they needed to leave in 10 minutes. I just started to sob, thinking, "How in the world am I going to manage this ON MY OWN next week?!?"

    But I did. And it got better. Slowly. But it got better.

    Prayers for you, sweet one. Your kids know you love them, no matter what they say.

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  23. It gets better! My 3 year old was really angry with us for about 3 months, and expressed his displeasure by peeing on things. The baby just hit 6 months and we realized thus weekend that our happy boy is back.

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Thoughts?