the kids are in their room. chloe is asleep. moses, who knows. he hasn't napped in years, but after the week they have put me through, i hurled them in their room in a Satan-like fashion, turned off the lights and shut them in. You might think they went striaght to bed in a little huff, but Dear Disillusioned Reader, how they screamed and how they howled.
i will also admit that chloe got a handful of smacks on her mouth prior to this monstrous response.
it always sounds crazy when i describe it, always sounds a little ridiculous to explain how the behaviour of such small beings has the power to drive a normal person to the brink of insanity.
before your cross that parental threshold, those words and their meaning are not tangible experiences. those long days at work. those allnighters. those miserable hangovers. those things do have an end.
it seems with children, there is no end. there is no start and finish. it is forever.
i remember feeling the same way when writing my frustrations as a new mom. there was never an end. it was a 3 hour process 24 hours a day, everyday, for months. let's just say 3 months. 3 months of repeating the same things: feeding, burping, changing diapers, cleaning up blowouts, throwing out diapers, rocking and rocking and bouncing and bouncing, and TRYING TO PUT THEM TO SLEEP.
3PM-6PM. 6PM-9PM. 9PM-MIDNIGHT. MIDNIGHT-3AM. 3AM-6AM. 6AM-9AM. 9AM-NOON. NOON-3PM. 720 times in 3 months. and that baby cries. and you don't know why. and you can't get away. and when you are offered the opportunity, you can't tear yourself away because that's all you have been doing. MY BABY!!!!! yup. that put together little number you used to be is now clinically insane.
you have NEVER done this before. and maybe you are the first and have no other mom friends yet and you are ALONE. it seems like it should be a piece of cake, but in fact it is the most draining thing in the world. AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT FEELS THIS WAY??? (GUILT GUILT GUILT) the physical beating (carpal tunnel from breastfeeding, aching back from carrying and rocking and breastfeeding), the mental imbalance and emotional roller coaster of motherhood is why your mom is crazy. the physical impacts the mental and emotional which is why the hospital sends you home with pamphlets on HOW TO STOP YOURSELF FROM SHAKING YOUR BABY. because you haven't been sleeping, your body is an abomination, your clothes don't fit, your hair is not combed, everything hurts and you have no time to consider your own well being as you try to figure out this new tiny person. OF COURSE YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO SHAKE YOUR BABY! I STILL WANT TO SHAKE THEM!!!!
even if you do have a chance for peace, you don't even know what to do with yourself. you don't even know how to begin to think about yourself. you don't know how to begin adjusting to this new lifestyle of servitude when all you ever had to do was to take care of yourself.
yes, they grow. which is one of the biggest surprises. they grow at a glacial pace that is set on fast forward. the days are endless, the nights even worse. you might get more sleep, but you might not get it until they are 18 months! and then once they sleep, they start having nightmares and will fight you to stay awake because they are terrified of having more nightmares. yay!
it doesn't end. that particular schedule will eventually expand and morph into another which you will follow lest they fall asleep in the car or in the stroller on the way home AND NOT NAP ONCE YOU GET HOME!!!! the naps, the nap, they are essential, my dear non parents. it's not so much that the child needs to nap as the parents needs fucking sanity. so try your best not to roll your eyes and scoff when your new parent friend tells you a million times about nap schedules. it's the only way they know how to survive. so non-parents: be kind. parents: tell non-parents YOU need the child to sleep, not that THE CHILD needs to sleep. you might get a little more sympathy. remember, they have no idea what is going on and they are not pleased to be held second tier to the tiny barfing smelly baby that has interrupted your one conversation 20 times.
chloe is 2.5 and moses is 4. they are much older. i am not anywhere near baby and toddler hemispheres. i can sort of still guess how old younger ones are, but my memory of those days are mostly muck. they are older, yes, but the exhaustion levels are no less. the worries are no less, both are just different. the crying hasn't stopped and yet incessant whining is added to the plate. the sibling rivalry and fighting every 10 minutes is just as mentally and emotionally taxing as bouncing the crying newborn for 45 minutes.
they know they aren't supposed to hit one another. they get in trouble EVERY FUCKING TIME. so WHY DO THEY DO IT. well, i guess because they are 2.5 and 4 and i don't know, their brains are just not at that stage yet, but WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO???? i am so very very sick and tired of the sound of my voice saying the same thing everytime. what else am i supposed to say other than "PLEASE STOP HITTING SO-AND-SO. nobody likes to get hurt, you don't like it when someone hurts you, soand-so doesn't like being hurt either!"
they pester one another. they grab each other's toys from the other's hands (and sometimes run away laughing with it). they push one another's buttons. someone is always being a POS and instigating the entire situation, provoking the other to act, then, the instigator comes wailing to me that they got hit/bit/scratched or had their clothing or hair pulled. WHAT THE FUCK DO I CARE IF YOU GOT HURT WHEN YOU WERE THE ASSHOLE THAT STARTED IT. their sorries are rarely genuine if at all and these apologies are equally rarely accepted. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
item one. item two is the shitty attitude and the COOONSSSTTAAANNNTTTT WHIIINIIINGG. TALK IN YOUR NORMAL PERSON VOICE. WHERE DID YOU EVEN LEARN TO WHINE BECAUSE I DON'T TALK LIKE THAT. "talk properly" i ask. their reaction is to half crumble and struggle through their whining voice which now sounds like shaky dramatic crying, repeating whatever urgent request has popped into their brain. it usually takes about 3-4 attempts before they can talk like a normal human being.
in the first hour of the day i have probably broken up 7-8 fights and have had to run and hid in the washroom from whiny requests for stupid shit 2-3 times. by the time we have finished breakfast, my patience levels are already at 30% AND I HAVE 4 MORE HOURS TO GO UNTIL QUIET TIME!
as per shitty attitude:
I DON'T WANT TO!!! HMPH!!! (POUT & ARMS CROSSED)
that's a popular one.
I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING. I JUST WANT TO DO NOTHING.
that's runner up.
and because chloe is only 18 months younger but quick as a whip, her younger spongey sibling brain absorbs such shitty mannerisms at lightning speed. double awesome.
and of course, chloe is going through her Terrible Twos. she is very bratty. she tries to get away with everything. she thinks she can do whatever she wants or in terms of cleaning up, whatever she DOESN'T want. she screams really shrill and high these days when she doesn't get what she wants, which is why she was getting mouth smacks today. she's starting to hit and push a lot more. she is defiant and refuses to listen. yesterday, driving home from the doctor's, she cried in the backseat for 10 minutes because she couldn't put on her sunglasses WHICH SHE FUCKING KNOWS HOW TO DO.
moses is my mini teenager who is just drowning in a sea of emotion. he is certainly behaving as if "nobody understands me!!!" he has started closing the door when he retreats to his room. he screams and cries in his bed until he is bright red and sweating which is about a 20 minute session on average.
though they are 18 months apart, they are very much on similar wavelengths. the fighting, whining, shitty attitude, disobedience, and tantrums all day long is really wearing me out. like a new mother with her newborn baby, i still don't know what to do. and because they say your child is who they will be once they hit age 4-7, that's not a lot of time to get it right. that's not a lot of time to figure out what works for one child or for 2, 3, 4 children! that pressure to get it right, is huge.
and talking about pressure, we all have our own priorities as to what pressures we choose for ourselves. obviously, feeding them a healthy diet with wide variety is paramount for our family. but i wish we were more active. i wish i were more organized. i wish we could come home and go to bed in a clean home. i wish i wasn't such a collector and packrat. and so on and so forth.
and of course, there is The Pauhaus. i'm over the moon for having won the Reader's Choice for Best Portrait Photography and for having more clients every month. things have been fantastic but of course a huge amount of time is needed to support and keep the business going!
between editing photos for clients and for the blog (and writing the blog), making healthy meals, trying to get the kids out, cleaning the house, and dealing with the whining, fighting, never listening, shitty attitude... it is A LOT of phsyical, mental and emotional wear and tear! and we haven't even touched on the 50 things that i have MOM GUILT over. like how my kids can't swim so they will drown and die if they fall in a pool or get splashed by a big wave. like how i never spend time with them. like how trying to balance everything makes me an impatient and unstable basket case monsterARGH!!!!!
so i am really tired right now.
and really want to eat some indian food.
sigh. time to get out of here and get more work done before chloe wakes up. thankfully kevin has taken moses out somewhere...
END OF RANT.