Sunday, May 16, 2010

Really, REALLY ... Trying

So ... this morning when the baby suddenly started crying right in the middle of my peaceful sleep, I woke up. Imagine that. I woke up and went to her, smiled at her, gave her her pacifier and waited hopefully while her little eyes rolled around and she nearly fell back asleep. Then, peacefully, beautifully, her big blue eyes floated closed. Ever so softly, I tucked her cozy blanket around her and smiled when her little fingers curled into the soft fleece. I was so full of love I could burst as she rolled onto her side and curled into a little ball under the covers. I tiptoed from the room, silently closing the door behind me, and I crept across the hall to my own room, closing that door too. I double-checked the baby monitor to make sure it was still on, and prepared to sit down, when ...

"Uhn ... mamamama, uhn, waaah ..."

So I turned off the baby monitor, making sure it was plugged in to charge. I turned back and headed for my door. I opened it, sighed. Walked across the hallway, not caring if the floor creaked because there was no way she was going back to sleep at this point. In her room I picked her up and enjoyed her sleepy morning hugs, then I took her into the living room, hoping that if we lay on the couch together she might go back to sleep. We lay on the couch, her little body curled up in my arms as I held her close the way she likes when she's sleepy. We had a blanket thrown over us, and I was dozing while she lay quietly beside me, when ...

"Good morning!"

The not-even-remotely-sleepy voice of Teenybop sounded off from behind my back, and I felt Piglet instantly come awake. She figures, if my big sister is up, then hey, it must be time to get this show on the road, right? So up we get, and we head to the kitchen to get breakfast going. I'm exhausted, I'm dreading church for the first time since I found my church (but that's another post), and I'm SO NOT IN THE MOOD.

But Teenybop is. She's in the mood, the ODD mood, the ADHD mood, the ODD/ADHD mood. If you have the right kind of kid, you know the mood I'm talking about ... and if you don't, then just go ahead and get down on your knees to give praise for your immense blessings. Go ahead, I'll wait.

You finished? Did you remember to cry a little in your extreme thankfulness? No? You better go ahead, lest you have a day like mine. Go on ...

All done? Okay, so after the disaster breakfast during which Teenybop tried every "mommy-button" that this particular mommy was manufactured with  and Piglet cried pretty much the whole time because no matter how fast the food was coming, it just wasn't fast enough ...

I decided that we were going to church. I can just watch the lesson online tomorrow or any day during the week, and I can teach my daughter her Bible on my own ... if she'll listen. But still, I felt like the biggest most ridiculous jerk EVER. Who keeps their kid home from a fresh new opportunity to love Christ? I do, because I'm the jerk mom who's having a breakdown today.

But I digress ... After the "LOVELY" breakfast we shared as a happy and wonderful family ... We had the only few peaceful moments of the day because Teenybop knows that it's serious if Mommy can't get motivated for church. She played for a while in her room, and I hung out with Piglet, vehemently wishing she would stop fussing and play with her toys ... but by this point it was hopeless because she had gotten up so often during the night and so early in the morning that she was already tired and ready for a nap. I got her tucked in, instructed Teenybop to stay in her room and keep playing nicely because Mommy desperately needed a shower. I went in and closed the door so gently and quietly that it made no sound and I'm pretty sure it didn't even stir the air around it, so afraid was I that Piglet would awaken. I cranked up the baby monitor, I turned the water on, and I sighed as the bathroom filled with steam. I stripped down, luxuriating in the anticipation of the shower ... water is my therapy. Once showered and feeling fresh and clean again, I stepped out, and had enough peaceful time to dry and dress before Piglet actually did wake back up, which by then was fine because it was nearing lunch time.

It was also nearing "Private Ryan's Mom's House" time. We used to go over there every Friday for dinner, but after the Great Potato Debate of 2010 (found here and here), we switched to Sunday afternoon for two reasons. One, we no longer have to stress over food battles waged merely because of the location of the food. And two, because it saves gas since it's on the way home from our church. Anyway, it was getting close to time for us to be headed over to Private Ryan's Mom's house, and I was totally not in the mood to make anything for lunch, so off the Mickey D's we go. Lunch went well, though I was annoyed with myself for spending the money, annoyed with myself for being such an emotional loser today, annoyed with myself for "rewarding" Teenybop's horrendous behavior. Annoyed with myself for being annoyed with myself. What am I? Perfect? I'm allowed to freak out sometimes too, right? Because I am not superwoman. I am just a normal person going through a rough spot, and how dare I expect me to just skate through it unfazed? Impossible.

We headed to Private Ryan's Mom's after lunch, and it was a decent visit, though she seemed annoyed too ... maybe it's something in the water, who knows. So when the rain started and the thunder rolled, I took the hint from the skies and headed home. There were a few peaceful moments when we got home ... but just a few.

Piglet was feeling her allergies after spending time at Private Ryan's Mom's house with today. She loves the dogs and is fascinated by the cat ... but they do not do nice things for her allergies. I can't decide if the dog we plan to have will make her happy because she loves them, or miserable because of allergies. Maybe she will get used to it? Not having a nap was certainly not helping matters. Anyway, she was a fussy, eye-rubbing, dog-hairy, snot-running, slobbery mess, and at that very moment, my wonderful and loving Private Ryan called.

It made me feel worse because I was at that second on the way into the kitchen, my mind working over what I had in the kitchen, trying to decide what I wanted to do for dinner. Trying to corral the crying baby in my arms, and dreading her cries when I put her down in her seat at the table. Feeling the combined effects of the sucky day.

So I did what every self-respecting, strong superwoman would do. Until he asked if the afternoon was better than the morning. Anyone who knows me knows that when I'm having a bad day, the worst thing you can do is ask me if I'm okay. It's the fastest way to make me cry like a baby. So when he asked me if I was okay, I started bawling. I told him about the day I'd been having and how horrible it was. He told me that it would be okay, and that I shouldn't be worrying about dinner, that I should take time to myself and relax, that I should call Pizza Hut.

So I did what every self-respecting housewife would do when told to order sub-par food and have it delivered right to the door already cooked and ready to eat ... I uttered the token protest ... then I asked him to call me right back in ten minutes.

He wasn't able to call back in ten minutes because the Army had other plans for his evening, but he did end up getting to call, and in the meantime ...

Picture this. Dinner is done and I am finally starting to relax because Piglet is no longer fussing and Teenybop is back to being sweet and cute. Dinner was yummy, and bedtime is close on the horizon. That means "me time" is coming, and my mood is lifting with each moment that passes. I get Teenybop kissed and off to bed, and I head into Piglet's room to rock her to sleep. I get her to sleep, and just as I'm laying her down, I hear a tap on the front door.

I  check the peephole, and there's no one there. I go back down the hall to Teenybop's room, and ask her why she is tapping the wall. She promises that she isn't, and at that moment there is the tapping again. It's the freaking door! So I go down the hall determined that I'm about to bust somebody for messing with my door when I'm putting my babies to bed. I yank open the door ... and find two little girls who live downstairs. They have come to inform me that my headlights are on, from three hours ago when we left Private Ryan's Mom's house in the rain. Crap.

I grab the baby monitor, and head downstairs. I unlock my car, hoping that when I turn off the headlights and attempt to start the car, something good will happen. Nope. Nothing. Nada. The car doesn't even try to turn over. So I end up having to call roadside assistance to my house like a moron and have them jump my car so that I can get Teenybop to school in the morning.

And again I read my affirmations. I call my cousin and talk to her. I feel a little better, and I also feel a little better after my mother calls. I watch a little tv, I give the kitchen sink the finger, and then ...

Private Ryan calls. Suddenly the breath I've been holding all day goes out of me like stale air from a cave that's been closed up too long. I feel okay again. And then he starts lecturing me because apparently I don't whine to him enough ... but I've been trying so hard NOT to whine to him. I don't want him worrying about me. He says that I should whine because he worries anyway. And now? I feel better, because he made me laugh. Because from hundreds of miles away, somehow he can still make it better like kissing a boo-boo for a toddler. And that's why he's my Neosporin.