Archive for the 'Grown Up Talk' Category

Changes. I has them.

Tornado Eirinn is going to be replaced with a younger, more interesting version. 

The blog, that is.  The kid will soon be complemented with a younger, equally interesting version.

The T.E. blog has served its purpose well.  I’ve had a place to brag and vent and enquire about all things Eirinn, which is exactly what it was designed to do.  But in 3 short months (short, short months) we will have a new blessing in our home.  And I will, naturally, want to brag and vent and enquire about all things New Baby.  Technically, I don’t think anyone would object to me doing that here but, being certifiably A.R. (anal retentive), I have a problem relaying New Baby stories on a blog named after Eirinn.  I just don’t think it’s fair to New Baby stories. 

So I have a new blog in the works.  It’s going to be very similar to Tornado Eirinn in that the meat of the content will be my day-to-day adventures in parenting.  But the difference will be that I will have more freedom with the posts.  I will be writing about Eirinn, New Baby, Bosco, and also some totally un-parenting related quips.  Occasionally I have something interesting to say that doesn’t involve tantrums, milestones or poopy diapers.  Or peeing on the floor in front of the potty while reading a book about using the potty after being asked ten times if she had to pee and even if she doesn’t have to pee, could she please sit on the potty just in case.  But I digress.

Anyway, this is just a warning to my legions of fans, couple of readers, mom that starting later this week, all of the Tornado Eirinn content will be moved to the new blog, which is called My Tornado Alley.  I will keep Tornado Eirinn open with a link to the new blog, just in case you forget.

Where I’ve been

Well, where on earth have I been?  One post a week?  That’s hardly worth it.

I’ll tell you where I’ve been.  In MISERY. (Please note that I tend to lean towards the dramatic.  I can not be held responsible for any slight exaggeration that may occur during this post.)

This whole pregnant-while-parenting-an-active-and-tantrum-prone-toddler business is seriously kicking my butt.  It’s been dragging me down physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  Dark circles are eclipsing my once young, sparkly eyes (ahem…).  I am developing a slouch that can only be described as a Stress Hump, in the most G-rated way possible.  I float between utter joy, infuriation, and complete dispare; the mood changing so quickly I am often wondering “what is wrong with me?” or “where did that come from?”

When I look at my situation objectively, I really do have it fairly easy, given the circumstances.  Anonymous Husband does more around the house than most men (seriously, I’m not just looking for bonus points here – he does the vast majority of the cleaning and more than half of the cooking).  My mom looks after Eirinn, instead of some stranger, which is an enormous blessing.  I have a good job, 10 minutes from home, which pays well and is pretty stress-free (most of the time – this morning was questionable).  I have a network of moms I meet with weekly to de-stress, vent, and gossip.  I have a best friend who I can email daily.

And, actually, Eirinn has been extremely well behaved this past week (as I knock on wood, cross all my digits and limbs, and pray to sweet Baby Jesus).  She has been happy for the most part, has been sleeping well, and has decided that food is not, in fact, the devil, rather is quite delicious and she’ll have more please.  And more.  And when she’s done seconds thirdsies she’ll have dessert.  And then second dessert.  And then maybe a snack.  What are we having for supper?

But.  BUT.  Even a well behaved toddler is still a toddler.  Which means High Energy, itty bitty attention span.  There’s still a lot of running and jumping and catastrophe-aversion and game-invention and TALKING  going on.  I just don’t have that kind of energy.  I have just enough to pass, probably with a C or a C+, but I feel guilty and like a failure if I don’t average a B+ in Parenting 101.  And that, compounded with the hormones and the discomfort, usually brings me to some sort of meltdown.

Evenings are spent just getting through it.  I try my best to keep up, to be cheerful, to be a normal mother and wife.  But I know it’s not working as well as I’d like.  I’m probably not fooling either of them.  I’m doing the best I can playing and hanging out with Eirinn for the few hours before bedtime.  I’m doing the best I can to be patient and strong and The Meeter of All Needs.  I’m doing the best I can, but the best I can right now, to me,  is sub-par.

What I would like to be doing in the evenings (and, let’s face it, all day as well) is sleeping.  I’d like to come home from work, change into pyjamas (preferably flannel), crawl into bed and sleep until I feel like waking up.  Which might not be when the alarm goes off.  Heck, it might not even be the morning.

But I can’t, which is ok.  And I know this feeling of complete and utter exhaustion of my body and my mind isn’t permanent.  It will probably last for quite a while (newborn + toddler does not make for a stress-free environment), but it will get better.  Maybe I need a few rejuvenation days (or “sick days”, as my work insists on calling them) to get back on track.  Maybe. 

I’ll get there eventually, but I’m not there now.

Tag, I’m it.

I’ve been tagged!  Meme tagged, that is, by my friend Carly.  I have to list my quirks, but only six.  Hmmm…so that means I have to narrow them down to six.  Okie dokie.

(p.s.  I love lists)

(p.p.s.  That doesn’t count)

  1. In between bites, I have to lick my fork/spoon clean.  I have to be eating with a clean utensil with every bite.  I can control myself to not lick the knives clean, but only at restaurants.  I lick those at home.
  2. Nails (as in finger and toe) gross me right the eff out.  I have no idea what the point of them are, so I cut them down to the pink.  God invented husbands for getting itchy backs and pennies for playing Instant Bingo so why haven’t nails been evolved out of us?  Toe nails with french manicures make me heave. 
  3. Speaking of nausea triggers – I can’t drink ginger ale.  Ever.  Because it’s the drink we’re typically given when we feel sick, it reminds me of feeling sick.  And then I feel sick even if I didn’t feel sick before.  Also, The Killers first album came out when I was pregnant with Eirinn and Anonymous Husband loved them and played them, especially during the horrid first trimester.  Now I can’t listen to that album at all or I feel sick even if I didn’t feel sick before.
  4. I’m going to bulk my quirky physical capabilities into one point because there are a lot.  I can fold my tongue in half and stick it out.  I can also flip it upside down.  I can make a pop sound with my tongue and mouth that is so loud people don’t believe that I did it.  I can push my chin out like a frog (you have to see that one to know what I mean).  I can suck the skin in around my neck you can see all my bones and tendons.  I can wiggle my ears.  I can cross my eyes one at a time as well as the typical both at the same time.  My fingers are double jointed at the first and third knuckle but not the second.  I can turn my left foot backwards with only minor assistance from my right foot.  I think that’s it.
  5. I have to watch a movie all the way to the end, no matter how awful it is.  I even watched the last half of The Worst Movie in The History of Motion Pictures, AKA Gerry, in fast forward because I couldn’t bring myself to turn it off.  I feel like I would be disrespecting that first wasted hour of my life by not watching the rest.  And besides.  Maybe the ending will be awesome?  Oh, and for the record, it doesn’t count if I fall asleep.  Don’t know why, but it doesn’t.
  6. I cry when I’m mad.  Even the slightest bit perturbed.  I can’t even have a mildly heated conversation with someone because I either burst out crying or get too distracted with trying not to cry that I cease to make valid points.  Like a good Canadian, I excel at strongly worded letters.  And to make this a true quirk, I didn’t cry when I was proposed to, at my wedding, at the birth of my child.  I’ve never cried at a funeral or during a sad movie.  But get me angry and I’m a blubbering bucket of wuss-juice.

There.  Is that quirky enough for you?  Probably not worthy of being institutionalized, but a bit strange, no?

Seeing as all my blogging friends (all…two of them) have already been tagged, I’ll leave this meme un-tagged.  Very uncouth, I know.   

Those deep fried and iced – BEWARE

As confessed to my BFF via email in response to her lower-caloric admission.

Confession #1: I ate 6 chocolate Timbits for dessert at lunch because they were there and my mom made the fatal mistake of telling me no one else will eat them. They are now gone.

Confession #2: The Timbits were destined to be consumed because I literally had a dream about eating doughnuts last night. I was at DMNO and we met at Tim Hortons and I ate the biggest, most delicious sprinkle doughnut I’ve ever seen. It was almost like a french cruller with icing and sprinkles. Forget dreams about making out with hot guys or winning the lottery or flying. I’ll take dreams about eating doughnuts over those dreams any day.

Is that crazy? Probably certifiably.

No amount of training

It started out all frayed nerves and tested patience.  It turned into fighting regrets, wavering self-trust, and lessons learned.

***

I’ve always been fairly confident in my parenting abilities.  I have a mother who, while raising us in a home that doubled as a daycare, provided us with more education on parenting than average.  We saw, come and go, dozens of children over the years, all of differing behavioral dispositions, receptiveness to discipline, even levels of intelligence.  And my mom was and is a fabulous parent and daycare provider.  She has always treated her charges as she would her own kids – no better, no worse, no more or less attention, and the rules that applied to us, applied to them and vice versa.  And the kids were (and are) always there.  They arrived before we were awake in the morning, and didn’t leave until dinner time.

Like I said, this meant I was involuntarily enrolled in a 26 year course in parenting before I had my own.  At the time I was living at home, when I was still a kid myself, this was a burden at times.  Just at times, not always.  We benefited from always having someone to play with, nevermind the fact that our mom was always home; a privilege, no doubt.  We constantly had fresh baked cookies or muffins, a hot lunch at home everyday, and a parent always present for anything we needed.  But this also meant we had to share her for the majority of the day with other people’s kids.  We had to share our toys with other people’s kids.  We had to share our home with other people’s kids.  By the time I was in my teenage years, I was ‘over it’.  A little bit of quiet would have been nice.

All of this is just to say, in theory and on paper, I know about this parenting deal.  I’ve been witness to pretty much any challange a child can throw at you and I’ve seen an expert deal with it appropriately.  But, as we as parents all know, in theory and on paper is dramatically different, like worlds apart, from having to put the knowledge into practice.  With a real, live child.

***

Eirinn was tough this morning.  Not the worst she’s ever been, but she had her moments.  She begged me for oatmeal (as a second breakfast) and after I made it she insisted she “No Like It.”  She ran up the stairs when I asked her to sit on them to get ready.  Nothing horrible, just naughty.

And then she hit me.  Smacked me square in the nose with her finger, hard.  It certainly didn’t hurt, but she meant it to. 

So I slapped her hand.

This is where I have been fighting with myself.  One moment I regret it deeply.  I have always said “how can you teach a child that it’s wrong to hit by hitting them in return?”  And really, how can you?  It’s all fine to say do as I say, don’t do as I do, but a two year old won’t ever understand that.  All she knows is that she did something Mommy didn’t like, so Mommy slapped her.  So, if she were to learn from this lesson, if someone does something she doesn’t like, she should smack them.  Not exactly what I was hoping she’d learn.

Yet in the next moment, I’m ok with what I did.  She has to know why we don’t hit and that’s because it hurts*.  And we don’t want to hurt people.  After the hand slap, we had a long, heart-felt discussion, which she understood so well it brought tears to my eyes, about how we shouldn’t hit people, that we should be friends and we don’t want to hurt our friends.  We discussed how if she doesn’t hit anyone, no one will hit her.  We discussed how much Mommy loves her and how it hurts Mommy’s feelings when she is mean to Mommy.  And in the end, with no provocation, Eirinn said “Poor Mommy,” apologized, and gave me a huge hug and a big kiss.  It was all I could do to not stay home all day and hug my precious little baby. 

It’s so hard to remember, as an adult who has mastered all of these basic theories, that starting out, we have no idea.  How is she to know, without being taught, that hitting is wrong, or that we shouldn’t throw toys at the dog, or that food belongs in the bowl or in our mouth?  So we have to be patient.  She has so many lessons to learn, all at the same time, that I can see how it would take several mistakes before she fully grasps all of these new concepts.  But it’s so hard to remember.  After all, I’m new to this parenting thing and parents have just as many lessons to learn.  The difference is, as a parent, we have to learn these while acting like we already knew them.  We have to be instant experts.  Or incredible actors.

Looking back now, I don’t know if I would do anything different.  I know in an ideal world where children only needed to be told once and their parents kept their cool under any circumstance, I may not have raised my voice and just given her a time out and all would have been peachy.  But my child isn’t like that and neither am I, so I slapped her hand to get my point across, we had our discussion about why I did what I did (because she did what she did), we apologized to each other, and if you ask her now, she knows not to hit.  So under the circumstances, I don’t think I could have done anything differently and still come out with the same result.

But I’m still beating myself up inside, and why is this?  Because there’s always self-doubt in parenting.  We can’t escape it.  No matter how much training we had before our kids came.

***

* I most certainly did not hit her hard enough for it to hurt.  Absolutely not.  She was shocked, for sure, but not in pain.  I would never, ever purposely hurt my child.  Ever. 

Later

Later on today, like when I’m home and not getting paid to do work for other people (not that I won’t be doing work for other people, Eirinn, I just don’t get paid.  I’m calling my union), I am going to do a fascinating post about our weekend.  You just wait.  It’s going to be AWESOME.

In the meantime, I’m still sick.  But I’m a brave little toaster and I’m at work, spreading my germs to anyone within a 5 yard radius.  Sorry, fellow lackies, I forgot my welding mask at home.  Besides, it’s kind of their fault for coming close enough to ask me to do stuff.  If they know what’s good for their health, they’ll keep their stuff to themselves.

Anyway, see you later.  There will be pictures…

Lapses in memory

You know, when people said “I can’t remember what life was like before *insert spoiled and frequently mauled baby’s name* was born”, I always figured ‘people’ were just romanticizing their situation.  Making me feel jealous that I had a baby who cried all the time, didn’t sleep EVER, and hated most things related to not crying and sleeping.  And they were doing this on purpose.  ‘People’ can be so cruel sometimes.

But now that Eirinn is older and she only cries when she’s throwing a fit (for the sake of this post, we won’t discuss how often these fits occur) and sleeping isn’t going to cause her skin to melt off (most of the time)(it still isn’t her favourite; puzzles are her favourite), I can kind of see where ‘people’ are coming from.

Just yesterday I was planning out our weekend (yes, on a Tuesday; when you have kids the planning of days never ends), and it got me thinking about what we did on weekends before Eirinn was kicking around.  And do you know what?  I couldn’t really remember.  I seem to think there was a lot of Canadian Tire, and we may or may not have done our grocery shopping in peace, but this is all just speculation and hearsay.  I have no idea what we did.  I’m sure we slept in.  We must have slept in.  And I have a faint recollection of, on occasion, getting a whole box of donuts for lunch.  Yes, one box of donuts, two people, one lunch.  Those must have been sweet, sweet times.

Is this lapse in memory permanent?  Is it placenta brain?  Is it just going to get worse when fetupus arrives?  Am I going to lose another two years, captured only in pictures, of a life that could quite possibly be a work of fiction?

Because other than these faint flickers in the back of my mind of a life that may or may not have been, I can honestly say that I can’t remember what life was like before Eirinn was born.

What I do know is that before Eirinn we had less to laugh about, less to be proud of, and less to live for.  That sounds sad and depressing, but it’s quite the opposite.  Before she was born, we had a great life with a nice little house, loving families, and good jobs.  And after?  Now we have a better life, one that has been enriched forever with an extremely intelligent, hilariously funny, and incredibly sweet little girl.  And I’m sure, I’m sure, that when fetupus makes his or her grand entrance our better life will be instantly transformed into an even better and fuller life.