Tag Archives: things that suck

Not For Weak Stomachs

10 Dec

It’s been a hard month or so here.

Six weeks ago I tripped over the preschooler and tweaked my back while keeping myself from falling or dropping the baby.  The following day, I walked into my bedroom after bathing the kids and collapsed on the floor in agony.  My L4 disc blew.  Again.  For the third time in 2 years.  My screams terrified the baby while I begged my husband to call my mother and then an ambulance, in that order.  Within three minutes, the room filled with firemen and a medic was pressing his knee into my back to ease the tremors that the shock were causing.  They rolled me onto a frigid metal board and carried me down a flight of stairs and the stone steps leading from my front door before loading me and my exposed nursing bra into the ambulance.  I refused any pain medication on the ride, not knowing what was compatible with breastfeeding.  The medic called me “one tough cookie” upon our arrival at the ER.  One IV of morphine later, the pain subsided and I was both high as a kite and severely nauseous.  I spent a week in a haze of codeine and bed rest, only to suffer a seven-day regimen of oral steroids that brought on a severe (but temporary) depression.

Four weeks ago, I contracted what I can only describe as officially the world’s worst cold.  Not quite the flu.  More than a cold.  Body aches, fever, congestion, fire throat, zombie brain, and finally a hacking cough.  It’s still not completely gone.

Eight days ago, I woke up at 1am with my heart racing, almost jumping out of my chest.  My first thought was a random panic attack and I wondered where my Ativan was.  Then the vomiting began.  And continued every ten minutes for three straight hours.  The heart palpitations only increased and between my fatigue and signs of dehydration, I graced the ER with my presence once again.  The male nurse who placed my IV tossed each vial of blood he took for tests onto the bed as if it was the bane of his existence.  I have never had such a painful needle stick.  And yet I could kiss him for bringing me the Zofran.  And though the nausea ended early in the morning, the following day’s fever, body aches, and fatigue had no magic cure.  It took until Saturday – seven days – before I felt like myself again.

Six days ago, my mother took the preschooler overnight so DH and I could focus on my recuperation.  DH took some Tums in an attempt to cure his indigestion and I prepared for the worst.  At 10:01pm, I watched on the video monitor as the baby threw up over the side of her crib.  There is nothing worse than the sound of a baby attempting to cry in-between dry heaves.  I started nursing her in-between bouts of nausea just so she wouldn’t have an empty stomach.  We snuggled in the guest bed until morning, when her nausea subsided and her body relaxed into a deep sleep.

Three days ago, we packed everyone up and drove 40 minutes north to my parents’ home.  It’s not easy for me to ask for help, but DH was still on the mend, the baby needed my constant attention, and the television is incapable of providing my preschooler with any babysitting care other than distraction.  They were, as they always are, amazingly helpful and I started to think we were out of the woods.

Two days ago, No1 woke up at 5am and was sick every 30 minutes for six hours.  After the first hour, she began fighting the illness, insisting she was fine and wrestling with anyone who tried to help her.  She seemed to bounce back the quickest and yet this evening brought a relapse, complete with fever and nausea.

Yesterday, we left my parents sitting on the couch with saltine crackers.

And today, my preschooler threw up in the parking lot of my psychiatrist’s office on my $300 Clarks riding boots.  The fear in her eyes brought me to my knees beside the car and I held her through all three fits of coughing.

But when my psychiatrist asked me how I’ve been the last three months, I was honestly able to answer, “normal.”  I’ve been overwhelmed.  Stressed.  Short-tempered.  Exhausted.  And in desperate need of some intensive self-care.  But I think my reactions in every situation were typical.  And though not ideal, typical is a pretty great place to be if you struggle with mental illness.

I’d like to think it can only get better from here.  Knock on some wood with me, will ya?

My Toy Shit List

9 Jul

Pardon me for a moment while I break from my usual introspective, touching, deep posts, but this must be said.

I accept that having small kids means toys.  A coffee table that once held an arrangement of candles is now marked by crayon and carpeted in matchbox cars.  I don’t walk in the kitchen anymore without first scouting out what is sure to be a mine field of plastic food and rattles.  My bedroom – my sanctuary – has two toy bins, which are usually empty because the toys are all over the floor. I’m okay with all of it.  It’s like the pile of laundry on the stairs.  After a while, you don’t even notice it anymore.  You just step right on over it, ignorant of its existence.

I’ve even grown fond of toys I never though I could.  When my neighbor brought over a toy drum set with miscellaneous noise polluters percussive toys inside, she left it on my front step and waved from across the street, clearly glad to be passing it on to another family.  Turns out, there is nothing cuter than a toddler playing the snare drum, marching around the house and asking you to join the parade.  I consider myself pretty toy-tolerant.  I mean, come on.  I would have loved a toy drum set as a kid.  And the pop-up tent?  Instant castle.  Or space ship.  Or Cave.  Worth the hassle.

But there are a few toys that I hate with a passion.

1. Disney Princess TIny Dolls.  What the fuck is it about tiny toys that makes them so appealing to kids? Remember Micromachines?  My brother and I were NUTS for Micromachines.  “Look!  I got a new tiny car!  It’s exactly the same as my Hot Wheels except it’s smaller and the wheels don’t turn!”  These small aristocrats even come with tiny plastic dresses (and sometimes shoes!) that come off.  The best part?  Apparently the clothes don’t go back on without the help of a parent.  It’s inconvenient AND chokable.

credit: squinkies.com

2. Squinkies.  Even tinier but with less point.  At least the princesses are dolls.  They can act out stories after their wardrobe changes.  But will somebody please explain to me what these are supposed to be and why my daughter wants them “SOOOO bad, mommy!”  They are not allowed in our house.

3. Books with sound effects.  You know what the great thing about books is?  They’re quiet.  It’s the one quiet thing in the house that my preschooler loves to do.  They’re supposed to be about using your imagination to fill in the imagery and get lost in the story.  Those “match up the picture with the sound button” books take away from the story.  They wake up sleeping babies.  And anyway, I do a pretty wicked impression of a bumblebee opening a squeaky door.  I don’t really need it built into the book.

4. Bath Whistles.  Or any musical bath toy of any kind.  The inventor of these toys couldn’t possibly have had kids.  “Let’s see…small children love loud noises…they can’t do anything in moderation…and bathrooms are usually small spaces with great acoustics…I know!  A bath whistle!  They’ll love that!”  FAIL.

It’s the Duke of Swirl.
I wish I was kidding.
Credit: Popnology.com

5. Candyland.  I truly ADORE playing games with my preschooler.  It’s astounding how much she understands about strategy and turn-taking, and it’s a great opportunity to work on social skills.  I will play Go Fish with her any day.  Or Memory.  We even have some Disney Princess dominos that are great fun.  But Candyland makes me want to bang my head against a wall.  Sometimes I stack the deck to make sure nobody goes backward to those “special character spaces,” lest the game last for 35 minutes.  And have you seen the art on the updated game?  Creepy.

So that’s my toy shit list.  The five biggest offenders.  Oh, I’ll probably end up putting up with them anyway because I love my kids, but that won’t keep me from complaining about it.

I gotta know.  Which of your kids’ toys do you secretly want to throw out?

Humble Pie

20 Apr

When I gathered all of DB’s clothes and tossed them in the hamper, I prided myself on getting chores done so early in the morning.  When I added her sopping wet overnight diaper to the hamper to make carrying everything downstairs easier, I thought to myself, “Way to multitask!  Better remember to take this out and throw it in the trash.”  As I loaded the toddler clothes and the kitchen laundry into the washer, I felt oh-so-productive.

And now?  Now that the washer AND dryer AND all her clothes are covered in that super-absorbent gel from the inside of the diaper that never went into the trash?  Now I feel like an idiot.

And as all that laundry goes back into the washer for a second time, I’m wondering if I’ll have to rinse every single piece of it by hand.  That shit sticks to everything.

p.s. Does this count as my HAWMC free write?  =)


8 Mar

After 6 months of not napping…we’re back to napping.  Maybe.  The thing is, I really have no clue what tomorrow holds.  My set-your-clocks-by-her-sleeping-habits child has been all over the place this last month.  Is it the sun coming up earlier?  The endless cycle of colds we seem to pass back and forth?  These damned two-year-old molars (which I heard aren’t a big deal.  Um…big. fat. lie.)?  The dark side of new cognitive and developmental milestones?  In any case, moments like this one today remind me that just as soon as you figure something out as a parent, it changes.

I hate change.  I fight it tooth and nail and end up losing every time.  You think I would have learned by now to go with the flow, but that’s just not who I am.  I like to know what to expect, because then I am sure to know how to cope.  I make myself miserable fighting for control.  It takes me days, weeks, and sometimes months to lean into a new change and adapt.

I knew before DB was born that this would be my biggest challenge as a parent – letting go of the control and being open to change.  I still struggle with it daily, but it’s a challenge I’m glad to have.  She makes me a better person by shaking my life up a little each day.

You know what never changes?  How peaceful sleeping children look.  She takes my breath away.

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