Monday, June 29, 2009


Yesterday, we were having dinner at my mother's house and Lila was in the form she always is in at Grandma's... "Total Brat Mode" (TBM). During dinner Lila starts whining and crying about something and since she probably didnt really know what it was that she wanted she couldnt tell us and it turned into a fiasco of whining and screaming and trying to wiggle out of the high chair.

My aunt was there and gave me a sorry look and I said "welcome to my whole day, every day". Ben had the fucking nerve to say to me "Really? How do you think I feel? I had her all day today and most of the day yesterday. I am sick of hearing you bitch about how hard it is."

Now besides the obvious "FUCK YOU," which I couldn't say in front of everyone there, I wanted to clarify something. BEN DID NOT HAVE HER ALL DAY. We were both home with her. We both took her to the grocery store. He thinks that just because I am in the next room doing the dishes and he is responsible for making sure she doesnt crack her skull on anything that he "has her all day" and I find that fucking offensive. Like I was out of town on a spa date for the weekend and it was just him alone with her for days at a time (I fucking WISH!!!).

During the week while he gets to be a productive member of society, I get to tend to her every whim (and believe me, there are millions of them) and try to stay sane while watching Calliou for the 400th time before noon. And because a couple of days a week my mother keeps her while I work part time just to have some grown up time, she is spoiled and has no sense of boundaries or rules. When Lila falls down or cries dramatically for 45 minutes because her doll fell off the couch, there is no one else there so that I dont have to drop everything and comfort her. There is no second parent to keep an eye on her so I can take a quick shower. There is no other parent there to give her lunch so that I can get a few things done. And that is the luxury that Ben has when he claims he "has her all day" on Sundays.

I shouldnt complain too much. I realize that most people dont have the help I have with Lila. I realize that Ben helps more than many Dads and that he tries to participate as much as possible. But we are FAR from equal in our parenting and this kind of traditional arrangement is something that I vehemently protest because I figured that I was more evolved than that.

And yet, he has the NERVE to tell me he's tired of hearing ME complain about how hard it is? Maybe I need to take more time for myself to show him what it's really like to have her ALL DAY.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dining-in, forever.

It's not very often that Ben and I feel brave enough to take Lila out to eat. But occasionally, insanity strikes and we decide that it may be okay.

Yesterday was Fathers day and Lila and I went to breakfast with Daddy. We chose a hole in the wall little diner thinking that if nothing else it would be quick and quick is good when you have a kid that only sits still for about 15 minutes. It was trouble immediately. We should never have gone. Lila woke up extra early which meant she was extra tired and grumpy and by the time we arrived at the diner she was already fighting us about our choice of music in the car ("Duck song! Duck song!" she yelled over Led Zepplin).

We alowed her to sit in a big girl seat (booster) instead of the high chair and for about 45 seconds that was thrilling. Then the whining started. Then the yelling. We are not barbarians, we have established rules and for several minutes I tried to ask her "What do we do when we go out to the store?" "NO yelling, No running, no screaming," she reported back to me. "Then why are you yelling?" "NO MOMMY!!!!" She relplied and then let out a mind blowing shrill scream.

The waitress saw our struggle and brought over a big box of crayons and a coloring book which appeared to save the day...For the moment. We ordered our food, and Lila sat contentedly coloring until the food came. She actually ate like 7 bites and then decided that good-girl-time was over. Nothing could get her to stop the yelling and screaming and whining until finally, half-way through my meal, I picked her up and took her out to the car and Ben got our remaining breakfasts to go.

Here's my question...What's worse? Being that parent who yells at their kids in public or being the one that tries to talk to them in public? Either way, people look at you like you are doing it all wrong. I would love to be the kind of parent who just throws Lila a look and she KNOWS that it's time to knock it off. But instead, I try to talk to her. No negotiation. No pleading. Just simple "Stop it." But when she doesnt listen, and I am sitting there and everyone is being made to listen to my kid yell at me, all I want to do is be that parent who nobly stands up to her 2-year-old and says, "I AM NOT TAKING THIS ANYMORE," and have her understand that I mean business.

Since I dont spank her, I am left to wonder (along with Lila) what "meaning business" actually means. Leaving is often what she wants so to get up and leave isn't really a punishment. And sitting there isn't necessarily an option.

Sometimes, like yesterday, I sit there with my head in my hands and think, "I hate being a mother."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sugar and the meaning of insanity

My mother likes to load Lila up with sugar when she babysits her. The other night, Lila came home and I swear I thought someone had slipped her some Methamphetamine. It was not pleasant.

If you have never been in the presence of a kid wound up in this manner, I will take you through it now.

First, the mania. Lila ran and ran and ran and ran and the whole time was babbling and talking about god knows what at a volume that would rival the best of the Arena Rock shows from the 80's, complete with the screaming and some head banging. It was about 45 minutes of "Mommy...MAMA...MAMA...MOMMY...MOMMY....MOM....MAMA!!!!!! All of this was punctuated by little trips or falls where she would have a total nervous breakdown and scream and pound her face into the floor/wall/chairs and then, suddenly, jump back up and laugh maniacally and run some more.

It was getting close to dinner time and although I KNEW that she wasn't going to sit in her chair to eat, Ben insisted that we try. See, here's another thing I never understood until I had my own spawn: If your kid doesn't eat dinner, she doesn't sleep well because she is hungry. So you will do anything to get a few good helpings of mashed potatoes into the mouth because it is the difference between a rough night and a decent nights sleep. Lila threw her food at us. LAUNCHED her bowl onto the ground and screamed in a way that I held my glass of soda afraid that it might shatter.

Ben put her into bed. She jumped and yelled and screamed and in fact, we decided that she was having more fun in there than she had been having running around. Some disciplinarians we were turning out to be.

Finally, she crashed. We put her in the tub, kicking and screaming, and by the time bath time was over she could barely keep her eyes open for her story.

And she slept! My kid still wakes up most nights, but this time she slept so deeply that I had to check on her in the morning because it was freaking me out.

Note to Grandma: NO SUGAR AFTER 2PM because I don't want to deal with that shit ever again!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Confessions or "I was a total asshole"

Before I was a mom, I was really judgmental of parents everywhere. I was never one of the types who just LOVED kids and in fact I was more the type that thought they were all assholes. So when I would see parents out in public doing certain things or hear about certain trends in childcare, I would rant about how shitty the parents must be and how MY CHILD WOULD NEVER NEED ANY OF THOSE THINGS. And now I TOTALLY get why these things exist:

1. The shopping cart with the car thing.
2. Baby Leashes
3. Backseat DVD players
4. 24 hour childrens' networks
5. Lunchables
6. Time Outs
7. "Inside Voice Please" and 'Use your words."
8. Barney (or Doodlebops or Backyardigans) CDs
9. Noisy toys
10. Martinis during naptime.

Sorry for all the times I was an asshole. I just didn't get it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

And here is what apparently makes me a terrible person...

I am back to work part time. It's a shit job but it gets me out of the house and puts spending money in my pocket.

You would think that after a full day at work that I would be excited to see Lila and that perhaps she would be happy to spend some time with me. But that is not the case. Today I went to pick her up thinking that since Grandma had taken her "shop for toys" that it would be an easy later afternoon until Daddy got home.

I was SOOOO wrong. Lila started in on me immediately. Not with the excited frenzy of someone happy to see you, but with the kind of psychotic energy that I usually reserved for ex boyfriends that I stalked when I was 20. "Mama...Mommy...mama...MAMA...MOMMY...MOMMY....MAMA!!!!!!"

"Mommy needs a minute" but no 2-year old understands that. On the way home she had a near nervous breakdown because her toy fell on the floor and I couldn't reach it. Once home she decided that she wanted to take a walk with "mommy 'round a block". I usually enjoy that because it kills a bit of her energy and she is usually (USUALLY) really good. But for some reason she decided today that what she really wanted to do was wait until we were at the exact farthest spot from home and sit down. She wasn't tired...she didnt want to be carried. She wanted to sit down and sit. Normally, I see this whole "stop and smell the roses" thing as cute, but I had a backpack full of library books that I wanted to drop off so I told her we had to go (NOW!), to which she proceeded to pound her little forehead on the pavement. Yeah, I stopped her but she kicked and screamed because now I was holding her and I managed to carry her home. No one tells you how fucking heavy a 2 year old can be.

What I wanted to do was take a break when daddy came home. Hell, thats all I ever want. But Daddy is now picking up side work so that we can save for a down payment on a house and I am not allowed a break from her when he comes home from a 12 hour day and I "technically" only put in a 5 hour shift at work. Because my "OTHER" job doesn't count. I dont get lunch breaks or time off. I don't get paid. So it isn't a job. I am supposed to cherish my time with Lila, even when she is a monster. Chasing her around and keeping her from killing herself and keeping myself from killing her (figuratively, of course [?]) does not count as a "shift". And I am some kind of asshole for wanting to be left alone for half an hour.

I have had all my friends tell me it would get better. They lied. And she STILL doesnt sleep through most nights.