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Archive for the ‘Baffling behavior’ Category

Fifteen years ago, I dropped out of college.  I’ve spent a decent amount of time, especially lately, feeling like a schlub for having no degree.  This afternoon, I decided to apply for an online degree.  I’m writing the application essay now.  Before I talk myself out of it.

It’s not a glamorous school, or glamorous degree for that matter.  I Just want a piece of paper with two little letters, B and A, to remind me that I don’t need a piece of paper to be smart.

I could write about my thirst for knowledge, or my envy every time C comes home from the bookstore with another pile of books. The truth is, though, I get my back up every time anyone talks about education.  Because deep down, I think I’m a failure for not finishing college.

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Had you stopped by between midnight and one am, you would have found…

one baby who refused to stop nursing long enough to sleep (or who stopped sleeping every time he unlatched.)

one preschooler crying about how sad she was but who couldn’t come up with an explanation of why

one husband trying to catch a rest in between ethnographies

two cats sprawled out and curled up, respectively, sound asleep

one me ready to pack bags and check out.

I finally got Lucy into her bed and not sobbing by explaining that I was exhausted and irrational and if she continued to cry and keep me awake I was going to get very angry.  C had retreated to the couch by this point.  Chico passed out for a good hour and a half between 3:30 and 5, and then again from 6:45 to  7:30, when Lucy began yelling from the bathroom that she had a nosebleed.  The above hours reflect my sleep for the night.

So clearly there was something in the air last night.  Whether it was a reaction to C having these papers he’s busting ass on or if it’s the dryness, there was apparently some sort of issue that only affected the under-5 set.  And it sucked.

So at this point I’m amusing myself with YouTube and dreading the inevitable ass-dragging day that I am facing.  Please tell me that I won’t spend all night every night with a child attached to me because I love nursing, but I’m not so jazzed on having to nurse to get the kid to stay asleep.

And just so this isn’t total complaining, the little dude is quite a happy fellow when he’s not dead-ass exhausted.  He smiles up a storm, and he’ll try to get your attention by making a ‘hi’ sound.  I have a ton of fun with him during normal business hours, so to speak.  I think even if he was up at night and happy it’d be easier, but this awake and wanting to be asleep thing…

Anyway, I’m gonna go go go until I crash crash crash.  And I’ll probably be found, face down in my coffee, listening to Kool Moe Dee.  And, yes, the baby is sleeping now.

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  1. SIL–done (handmade)
  2. Lucy cousins–4/6 done (handmade and WWF adoptions)
  3. family gift draw–both done (handmade)
  4. friend who lives outside of computer–box done (handmade)
  5. Lucy started (4 handmade, 1 adoption)
  6. C birthday from Lucy (adoption)
  7. C giftmas (not ordered yet but handmade)

Cheap Plastic Crap/mass produced lameness: Zero

Unfortunately, the rest of the folks we have to gift all want mass produced stuff or I haven’t found anything yet. The upside is that we have a grand total of 4 people left to buy for (5 if you count Lucy.) Oh, and C’s birthday from me, which I have no idea what to get. Probably not handmade. Am I a terrible person for not getting anything for Chico? I don’t think so. Let’s just say ‘breastmilk’ for Cheeks, which is totally handmade.  ETA:  forgot we have 2 more folks to add to the need-gifts list.  This happens every.damn.year.
Speaking of ‘terrible’ and ‘children’, there was another monster meltdown yesterday. Taking her out onto the balcony did the trick–I went with her and, aside from the mom and little kid who stood across the street watching to make sure I wasn’t beating my child, it seemed to do the trick. A proper night’s sleep has worked wonders, and I’m hoping my description of the sleep bank was clear enough for her to follow. Once again, the eruption was because of being tired and not wanting to lie down for a rest. It is one of parenthood’s biggest fuck-yous that you can neither make your child sleep nor sleep for your child.

Today: SNOW!!!!!!!!!!

note: It’s in the 20’s outside and still not cold with the heaters off.

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This morning my firstborn stood in the bedroom, sobbing.  ‘But Mommy, I want to keeeeeeep it!  There’s things I want and things I want to keep and it isn’t fair…’

What it, you ask?

A banana peel.  It’s now in an old take-out container on the counter.  I don’t know what I’m going to do if she decides she still wants to keep it when she gets home from school.

Also…if you are in the market for cloth diapers, buy them here!   I placed my order on Friday and it was here yesterday morning.  She has an awesome selection too!  I can’t wait to get it all washed and dried so we can have a big ol’ Fluff Lovefest.

El Hombre Chico is finally able to hang out looking at stuff without being glued to a person.  In fact, he just put himself to sleep in the co-sleeper.  I’m still not ready to put him in there overnight though.  It’s far too nice to wake up next to his little face.  I think maybe I’d be the happiest mommy if I could wake up next to both of my kids, but Lucy sleeps like she’s performing feats of acrobatics in her sleep and I always ended up waking up with her toes in my nose or something equally unpleasant.

I woke up in a sweat last night and had to remove my socks and half of the covers.  I’m going to start lobbying for turning the bedroom heater off as well.  I want a winter of fleece and flannel and huddling together for warmth.  And yes, I used to pretend to be Laura Ingalls in The Long Winter when I was little.  Hells, I bought another copy of it over the summer to get myself inspired 🙂

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After Thanksgiving and the trial run of cloth diapers away from home, I realized I was ready to commit to prefolds.  They really work the best, and while not the cutest, def. the most practical.  I also realized (as I left the mini wet bag full of TC on the back of the bathroom door) that we needed a dedicated wet bag for the diaper bag (I also remembered that the diaper bag is pretty but totally impractical so we’re switching to a backpack.)  A couple of back-up diaper covers and a couple of really pretty pockets so Chico isn’t sitting in soak when we can’t get a quick change, and a few more inserts for good measure.  Voila!  No more disposables!  No more soaked suits!  And, best of all, no more freaking out about running out of clean diapers before I can get to the laundry room!  Hurrah!

Meanwhile, back in Parentland…now that I’m feeling like I’m doing ok with breastfeeding and cloth diapering, Lucy has fallen apart.  Not enough sleep led to a multi-hour meltdown/tantrum yesterday afternoon and night, and it sucked.  I don’t know what to do to keep it from happening again, and I’m feeling like the Wicked Witch of the West because the screaming and carrying on makes my skin crawl and blood pressure skyrocket.  Especially when all the kid has to do is take a few minutes and calm down, but instead sits on her bed and screams things like ‘No Daddy, stop’ when he’s in a different room, or ‘help, get me out of here’ when she’s not being restrained.  Please to advise before our neighbors decide we’re beating her.  I can’t take it anymore.  We’ve already covered crying wolf, as well as explicit instructions on how to get out of trouble or keep from getting into it, all of which fall on deaf ears.  I lnow she’s short on attention when she’s not in school, but this is ridiculous.

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Today’s forecast is for 87 degrees. It is currently 87% humidity. You have got to be fucking kidding me. It has been excruciatingly hot for, like, all of my pregnancy. This is incredibly unfair. Do you know how hot it is on the subway platform when it’s close to 90 on the street? I am furious.

Of course, these incredibly ridiculous temperatures mean that I will not, as I had planned, be going to drop Lucy off at school this morning.  Let me backtrack for a moment and give a little bird’s eye view of how pre-K has been progressing.

Week 1:  we receive list of things to send in on first day of school over the summer.  I am my usual meticulous self and prepare these in advance.  They are as follows:  one canvas bag with blanket and shoebox with complete change of clothes, all marked clearly with child’s name.  This is the sum of the instructions, and so Lucy is sent off to school with a canvas bag holding a blanket and also the shoebox with a complete change of clothes, name marked on the tag of each article except for socks, on which her name is written on the sole of each sock.  I settle in to await furniture deliver.  C returns with the shoebox of clothes and canvas bag.  The shoebox is the wrong size (adult instead of child’s) and the clothes have, written directly on the fabric in orange marker, my child’s name.  Ok, whatever, I’m not thrilled that her clothes have been basically ruined when they already had her name on them but I purposefully sent crap clothes anyway.  The shoebox, well, I suppose I should’ve known they meant child-size and not adult but still, it would have been nice had they specified.  I’m smarting a little from feelings of inadequacy over sending the wrong stuff, but it’s early, everything will be ok.  Day 2, C drops her off with the canvas bag again, which is sent home, and is notified that Lucy should be carrying a backpack.  Fine, we have one of those too, which I would’ve sent her with that morning had we been told The Day Before or, better yet, over the summer when we were initially told what the students would need.  We do not send in the canvas bag again on Friday because it was sent home in the first place.  Lucy’s blanket comes home in a plastic bag with her name written on it.  No further instructions.

Week 2:  We send blanket back in plastic bag because, my crystal ball being broken, I assume this is the actual procedure.  Blanket comes home on Friday in same plastic bag.  Likewise, I send Lucy’s lunch in 2, incredibly easy to open containers that she has little trouble with at home.  We receive back a letter stating that she may not bring them in anymore because she cannot open them without assistance.  Fume, fume, buy Ziploc bags to avoid confrontation.  Instruct child to bring them home at end of day so I may wash them.  This happens about 10% of the time.

Week 3:  Blanket goes to school in same bag again.  Comes home in same bag.  We think we’ve mastered the blanket drill.

Week 4:  Blanket returns to school in plastic bag.  C is informed that we need to send in canvas bag.  Friday comes around and I tuck a canvas bag into the backpack.  Blanket comes home in a paper bag.  I am baffled.

Week 5:  Which brings us to this week.  On Monday I send in an entirely different canvas bag, Lucy’s swim bag in fact, which she lovingly painted.  This bag did not come home.  Curious.  On Tuesday, I go with C to pick Lucy up and we are informed that she has extra homework because ‘somehow her homework book went home with someone else last week.’  Ahhhhh, this one can’t be pinned on me, can it?  Wednesday we send in check for Lucy’s gym class and C is informed that her field trip money is due as well.  Well, according to the sheet sent home, it is not in fact due until the 10th.  ‘I don’t argue with Ms. C,’ sayeth my husband.  In addition, on Wednesday I send Lucy’s lunch in brand new Laptop Lunchbox.  I must not only test her on her ability to open said lunch kit but also must explain that her school will not allow her to continue to carry it if she cannot get it open on her own so to be sure not to make it seem harder to open than it is.  So far no letters, but we’ll see how today goes.  She seems to think that if she’s having a hard time, she can just raise her hand for help.  I marvel at the innocence of youth.

Which brings us to today.  I kept Lucy home yesterday due to a spate of coughing coupled with a truly horrible night’s sleep so I was unable to take in the check for said field trip.  Unfortunately, I am precluded by the humidity level (read:  I damn near pass out on the subway platform when it’s this humid.  Every single time) from accompanying my beloveds this morning, something I was greatly looking forward to since I have no problem whatsoever arguing with Ms. C, especially when it comes down to compliance with rules that may affect my child.  I sent in the check with a copy of the original trip notice just in case, though I will certainly make that trip to the school should there be any issue with Lucy going on this trip.

I have never in my entire life had so much trouble with something like this.  I handled financial reporting on a multi-million dollar government grant without compliance issues, for crap’s sake.  I cannot even fathom that my kid’s preschool has rules so arcane that I can’t figure them out.  Seriously, I’ve gone from feeling chastised, to feeling picked on, to feeling like I’m dealing with idiots, to wondering if I can take so many more months of this.

I’m not thrilled about the homework thing either, but so far Lucy doesn’t seem to resent having homework so I’m leaving it alone.  I know it’s supposed to be so good for kids to get this introduction to school and whatnot, and Lucy really loves going to school, but I can’t help but feel like this entire situation is more about rules and figuring out how to follow them than my child having an opportunity to experience formal learning while meeting new kids.  I’m simply not sold on the necessity of pre-K for children.  It’s great to have time to get stuff done without interruption (beyond great, actually.  I don’t know how I’d survive without it anymore) but I don’t know what we’re really getting out of the experience.  I’m not convinced that Lucy hasn’t learned just as much with C and me.  I guess this is what school is about nowadays, and we have to either homeschool or do our best to supplement with creative and experiential learning when we can.  It just seems so…honestly, I can’t get my head around homework twice a week for 4 year olds.  It seems like, well, here we are trying to get Lucy ready to help out for when the baby gets here, encouraging her to become more independent and realize how many things she can do on her own.  And then she goes to school, which reinforces these ideas.  And then she gets home and has homework, and then clean-up time, and then dinner and then bed.  And that’s it.  There’s no time for kid stuff, and it has to be hard to have all of this growing up happening at one time.  It’s a real adjustment for me, and I’m 34.  I can’t imagine how tough it must be for a 4 year old to go through so many changes in the course of a year.  I guess one could argue that we could’ve started her at preschool earlier and gone through some of the changes then, but I just don’t know.  I don’t think we’d have started her in pre-K if she wasn’t only a few months away from turning 5.  I certainly don’t think I’ll be in any bigger of a rush to start Baby X in preschool earlier either.

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So in one of the brief stretches where I actually slept last night (thank you scratchy throat and mountain of snot) I dreamt that I gave birth, in a bathtub, with several other women, to a horseshoe crab.  With a broken shell.  It was like an assembly line; one woman gets in, has her baby, and the next slides down to have hers, and so on.  I have no damn idea, but I was convinced I was going to have my crab/baby taken away from me because I broke its shell giving birth.

Lucy fell out of bed for the first time and crawled in with us at 5.  Which means she was up at 5:30 wreaking havoc.  At 6:30 she came in to ask if she could get herself breakfast, and then helped herself to an apple.  When I got up a little bit later, she was complaining of hunger again.  The apple was nowhere in sight.  She insisted that she was walking around with it, then that she hadn’t taken it anywhere, and started looking for it in such places as my purse and under the remote control on the coffee table.  We tore several rooms apart looking for the remains (naturally, I was envisioning rotting apple for weeks to come and completely freaking out) when I thought to check in the trash.  She had taken a few bites out of it, decided she’d rather play, and thrown the thing out.  How she forgot this over the course of 20 minutes is beyond me, but I of course felt like a total heel for yelling at her for doing something she told me she did, but didn’t actually do.  I find the mind of the 4 year old to be completely inscrutable.  We ended up having to have the talk about wasting food and the importance of eating at the table to avoid such issues in the future, but man, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve bullied your kid into confessing a crime she didn’t commit.  I swear, I just asked her where she had been with the apple.  No wire hangers or nothin’.   I’m starting to wonder if my Big Pregnant Brain is contagious.

I was going to be all sorts of productive today but instead I’m going to lounge on the couch, sneeze myself half to death, and watch really bad tv until Lucy gets home from school and then I’m going to try to find Something Fun to do with her to assuage my guilt over the lost apple debacle.  And I’m going to try not to think about crustaceans.

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