May 22, 2006

Grace, Interrupted

Is it wrong that the people who run the ice cream parlor near my home recognize me? And knew just what I was going to order? Even though they hadn't seen me all winter? They probably just recognized the kids. Right? Right? And is it wrong that my high school PE teacher -- who came in with the local high school girl's golf team -- didn't recognize me? Probably has just been too long. Right? (That or she looked at me and said, "Yep, had her pegged for a future fatty. She couldn't do even one pull-up.") Moving on...

Can someone please explain to me how a store can get away for charging SEVEN dollars for a gallon of organic milk? And then place it next to the non-organic milk which is on sale for $2 a gallon? I understand why organics cost more, I really do, but come on. For seven dollars a gallon, there should at least be a prize in the bottom of the carton. (At my regular grocery store, I can usually get it for $4, hence my outrage.)

So my first morning as a more graceful parent did not go swimmingly. It began at 4 AM when -- somewhere in our house -- a smoke alarm started beeping. Not all Get out! Get out! It's an emergency sort of beeping but a Hey. You. My battery might need changing. Just thought I'd let you know. Oh. You were sleeping? My bad. Every 15 ever-loving minutes. BEEP. First I turned off one baby monitor, then the other to try to discern if it was in one of the girls' rooms. When I figured out it wasn't I weighed the work of going to the basement, finding the ladder, dragging it upstairs and ripping out the four remaining alarms against rolling over and trying to sleep through it. I considered waking M but as it wasn't waking him up, it didn't seem fair. So I woke up every 15 minutes from 4 AM on-- and for the record? The alarm quit beeping as soon as I got up.

Sass had one of those days, the kind where we say she loves Party Girl so much it hurts. If it's not passive-aggressive hugging just a little to tight, it's all out hitting and pushing. This morning I tried redirecting. Then I tried time-out. Then I tried shouting at her, which was by far the least effective of the three (surprise). Finally I put her to bed and though it didn't solve the problem it gave me a couple hours of peace. When Sass is tired, she wants you to know every minute of the day that she can not possibly do anything for herself that day. She can't spread out her own blanket, she can't pull down her pants to go potty, she can't walk into the living room because it's too dark. Here's a conversation from lunch:

Sass: Mommy? You didn't give me a fork.

Me: Yes I did, it's right there.

Sass: I can't see it.

Me: It's right there, by your bowl.

Sass: (voice rising) I still can't see it!

Me: (sighing, refusing to buy into it. I will not walk over there and pick up the fork that is right in front of her.) It's there, I promise.

Sass: I can't see it! I can't see it! (Looking up and deliberately away from the fork.)

Me: Guess you'll have to use your fingers then.

Sass: Oh. There it is.

When she's tired, she wants 100% of me, and when I'm tired I don't even have 100% to go around, so these days are hard. If I had a dime for every But Mom! today, I wouldn't have to worry about paying for organic milk.

To save us all from a certain spiral into bad behavior and even worse mothering, I loaded them into the bike trailer and headed for the dollar store (new smoke alarm batteries) and the park (to recharge their batteries) and to the ice cream store (to recharge my batteries).

It worked for a while, but then came Round 2: Dinner, Bath, and Bedtime.

I put Sass to bed at 7:30. At 10:00 she was still awake and I was nearing the edge of my already frayed nerves. (I used to lay with Sass every night until she fell asleep but have been working on weaning her away from this for the last few months. She's been doing really well, tonight was a huge regression.) M sat back comfortably in his chair and said, "You're doing it all wrong. Just put her back in bed. Don't negotiate with her, just put her in bed. She'll stay eventually." Before you could say hummus and chips, I had taken his chair and his snack and handed the reigns of bedtime over to him. I smiled a little smile as I watched TLC and briefly wondered if a family is burying their Fry-Daddy in their backyard as a symbol of their committment to good health, why did they wrap it in plastic first? Within 15 minutes -- and roughly 15 trips upstairs -- he was back.

"She won't stay in bed!" His voice was raised and his hands thrown toward the ceiling. "She keeps yelling at me No! I'm never staying in bed! NEVER! What should I do?"

"Call Supernanny," I said, having decided that grace had stepped out this morning and would not be back any time soon.

But I hauled myself off the couch and declared the battle lost. I crawled into bed with her, pulled her close, and we both fell asleep almost instantly.

I awoke this morning to what sounded like Party Girl shouting some of my favorite Thai dishes from her crib: Tom Kha Kai! Yam Nua! And decided right then that today would be a better day.


Blogger Margaret said...

Oh Sass. I can just hear her yelling "I can't see it!"

Here's to today being a better day.

May 24, 2006 7:16 AM  
Blogger Vikki said...

I can't get the frydaddy business out of my head. Why bury it? Why not just throw it away, give it away, sell it at a garage sale? I personally don't want to be planting a tree and run into an old frydaddy...

May 24, 2006 9:48 AM  
Blogger Moxie said...

I was also perplexed by the burying of the Fry Daddy. That show makes so little sense to me in general, though. But I cannot look away.

The shouting of the favorite Thai foods is dead on.

May 24, 2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

The Fry-Daddy slays me. SLAYS ME! Thank you for injecting it into my consciousness!

May 24, 2006 10:17 PM  

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