The peak of separation anxiety has hit Pringles (9 months). At least, I hope this is the peak. She has begun to simultaneously crawl and cruise, so she’s constantly on the move. I cannot escape her. I bought a second 8-piece gate to create a Thunderdome in which to contain her. Despite my limited success with this idea when Viva was a baby, I believed it would solve all of my problems. Not surprisingly, little Pringles doesn’t want to be on the inside of any situation I’m on the outside of. There is so much whining in this house.
I’m struggling to get through this post while Pringles whines and frets and crawls around my feet.
Most of what I live with day to day is a delight and a privilege. She has learned to hold her arms straight up when asked “How big is Pringles?” to indicate SO BIG. Hand clapping started last week. Viva gets right in her face and shrieks, “PRINGLES! LITTLE, LITTLE PRINGLES! LITTLE LITTLE PRINGLES!” and sounds quite deranged. But the baby loves it. She loves everything her big sister does, except when Viva squishes her.
Pringles is amazing at making me feel special. Her face lights up when she sees me. She reaches for me and says “Mama.” Her smiles were made just for me.
Because she can say “Mama,” she calls for me all day and sometimes all night.
I started writing this morning, and now it is dark outside. Viva is asleep in the family bed with Odie. Little Pringles learned how to make a clucking noise with her tongue and the roof of her mouth and is therefore staying awake to practice it.
My back aches from carrying her around most of the day. My joints still pain me from my pregnancy. I have a condition where my joints stay loose and flexible (and painful) as long as I am breastfeeding. I have trouble getting comfortable to sleep and it takes me close to ten minutes to drag my creaking body out of bed in the morning. Four Motrin with my morning coffee are sometimes the only thing that gets me moving.
Today, Viva’s preschool teacher looked grave when I picked her up. She asked Viva if she wanted to tell me what happened.
“Barbara scratched me! Like this!” she demonstrated a raking motion across her face. Miss Ginny pursed her lips and asked Viva, “Is that the truth, honey?” Viva nodded emphatically that it was. The little liar. It turns out, her BFF had a toy Viva wanted, so she took it. When BFF protested, she got a scratch across the face. Viva even drew a little blood. I felt my stomach drop to my knees and my cheeks flush. I’d only ever been on the other side of this parent-teacher conversation, shaking my head with disgust at the antics of Monsieur Le Petite. It seems I have a Mademoiselle La Petite on my hands. I did that thing we parents do, where I responded to the teacher in the “family we.”
“We’ve been having trouble sharing lately. Sharing toys, sharing Mommy, sharing time,” I explain. I’m sure she’s just acting out. And, oh yeah. She’s THREE (in three weeks). Three year-olds are uncivilized. Even though my darling Viva talks like a five year-old, her emotional capacity is still quite on par with her age. I hope her BFF’s parents were cool about it and still want to have playdates. Odie is practically turning himself inside out with anxiety, as he’s wont to do. Poor guy only got 4 hours sleep last night after grading 180 midterms. That is absolutely the worst part of the job. Tedious, time-consuming, and thankless.
I just wanted to check in with you all and let you know what’s going on. We enjoyed Odie’s spring break immensely, taking our second day at Disneyland on Tuesday. We chose to spend our Easter with good friends instead of family this year because they were having lots of little kids and an Easter egg hunt. We dyed eggs the Saturday before and I made sure not to include for hiding the egg on which I’d written naughty love notes to Odie in crayon before dipping them in dye. I’m an Existential Theist and Odie is a contrarian (he doesn’t know what he believes, but what do you believe? Yeah, he thinks that’s wrong), so Easter Sunday isn’t a big deal to us. We’re charging forward trying to make our own family traditions, which is one of the best parts of being a parent so far.
I started this blog two years ago when Viva was the age Pringles is now. It isn’t amazing how time flies. It’s always done that. It is amazing how much I love them. And how hard it is to get any writing done with them around.
Remember, if you want to hear from me more often, I’m on Twitter @MrsOdie2. Twitter is less of a commitment, so I manage to “tweet” something most days. I’m having trouble concentrating with Pringles crawling around, refusing to sleep, babbling and trying to eat everything she finds on the floor. Stay tuned for some articles I’m working on about my incredibly funny and wise observations on some current parenting topics and some bitchy criticism of some other bloggers.