Friday, June 15, 2007

No Sugarcoating

Damn. It is hard being a parent.
Yesterday, EARLY in the morning, around 5AM (O! MI! GAWD!), Stella decided it was time to wake-up... for good. Dan and I are both very bad morning people. I have donkey breath, and Dan resembles a Tenderloin street person. You would think our mere appearance would frighten Stella into submission, but no, us two crazy people are her everything, her playmates, and with excited screams of "Up, up, boobie, boobie, read it, read it, Bird, Bird (the big one of Sesame Street fame)!!!" we are faced with an explosion of requests.
We have DVR, a version of TIVO, and automatically record Sesame Street every morning, so that we can have an hour of free babysitting. Bad, bad parents.
At 5AM it is too early for the new episode, and I feel guilty about repeats. After zombie nursing, I found some bad cartoon to flash on the screen and tried to curl up on the couch, one eye open, the other shut in a false attempt at snoozing. Thankfully, Dan took over, recognizing my complete ineptitude at engaging our daughter at this hour.
This was only the start to a long day of tears and struggles. Eating time is a big drama-filled hassle. Dan, usually the patient one, cannot maintain his cool as Stella topples every thoughtfully prepared meal onto the floor, and refuses to try anything. She pushes spoonfuls of veggies away, as an annoying whine begins to emanate from her throat. "No. No. No. No. No. No. No." spews forth from Stella with the precise rhythm of a metronome. This girl is a nightmare to feed. One day she likes corn, the next day she drops each kernel onto the floor, INDIVIDUALLY. She asks for juice, then hocks her sippy cup onto the floor without taking a drink. She loves rice and beans, but than screams when you mix the two. Her impatience for cooking is exacerbating, and her unwillingness to try anything is a challenge we are failing to cope with. Here I am, trying to wean, but feeling like our girl is a string bean without my nourishment. Yesterday, it seemed our frustration was too much to bear and our failure tantamount.
To top off her mealtime shenanigans, we cannot seem to control the girlie screams that Stella seems to love making. This and her crying tantrums seem to always occur right when one of us thinks it is finally safe to make a phone call for work. The end result is that Daniel and I take our anger out on each other, and bicker like two little, immature brats. Having children does wonders for a marriage!

Night time comes with the rituals of bath time, p-js and 'nigh-nigh'(tucking our hopefully tired baby girl into her crib). Last night's bath ritual started off with Dan and I arguing over whose turn it was, trading off mid shift. I got the easy start, with Dan getting the gawd-awful end. Being the proud farter that my husband is, he and Stella amused themselves with a little bath-time bubble-making fart game, which was all fun and laughs until Stella pushed a little too hard. With a poop explosion in the bath water, I was urgently called to help deal with the mess. This is by no means the first time that we have been faced with a poop disaster in the tub. It is like Dan and I are performing a slapstick routine as we try to figure out which one of us is going to hold Stella out of the water, without touching our body, who is going to dump the tub of the offensive soup, who gets to rinse her dirty bum, and who gets to clean and disinfect all of the surroundings, including numerous toys and water books.
Less than 30 minutes later, with temporary order resumed, and a clean toddler in my favorite pair of pajamas, I heard a ripping fart emanate from her corner...and then another one, sounding juicy. Oh no. A tell tale yellow stain started to appear on her leg. We both whisked her up and away to the diaper station to check out the damage - stinky, wet diarrhea all up her front and back. This is so NOT fun, and this is our reality. I love Stella, immeasurably so, and I wouldn't change our family for all the fortunes in the world, but I also do not sugarcoat the truth. It is hard, very hard, to be a parent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Move closer! You need regular time-offs! Life is becoming way too stressful... and yet, I too was once in your shoes, multiplied by three...minus the pressure of the corporate world though and I'll admit that is a big minus. Also we had more room to roam and that probably helped us all. I hope that our visit will provide some relief. Till then I can only send you my loving understanding. Mom

12:50 AM  
Blogger Reino said...

LOL, wait until they wake you up in the middle of the night to tell you they don't feel good. Just as you are saying what, they throw up all over your face and get it in your mouth!

I have three and one is autistic, I don't offer much sympathy, sorry. I can laugh with you and commenserate too.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you guys need a BREAK !!!!!Really you need some time for yourself and Stella needs to go see grand ma for a few days. Children always behave much better with everybody else but the parents and I am sure she will eat better at grand ma because there is not the same pressure to eat there....

3:26 PM  
Blogger Swankyloma said...

I feel for the both of you facing all the trials and tribulations of parenting. You and Dan certainly have your hands full: full of poop and full of love. Stella is very lucky to have you two as her parents and even with all the mess she creates there is no doubt in my mind that you both are extremely grateful to have her. That love is tantamount to all the grossness, grief and lack of sleep.

4:19 PM  

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