Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Through a Glass, Darkly

These past 6 days have been hellacious.  I officially hate Labor Day.

Because of Labor Day, Judah's preschool shut down on Friday and Monday.  That means I wrangled with both kids ALL DAY on Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon and Tue (today).  The vast majority of those days, all by myself.

By the time Monday rolled around I was pretty much ready to swallow a bucket of pain pills.  And wash it down with some good gin.  Just kidding.  Not really.  Just kidding.  Only sort of.

It's hard to explain to people who haven't had the "pleasure" of dealing with babies and toddlers why it is so particularly painful to care for them for long periods of time.  And to be fair, Noah is really not the main pain.  His only contribution is his gargantuan heft (21 lbs!) that must be hoisted around the house, up and down the stairs, in and out of contraptions, etc.  He's so heavy that I literally brace myself for the upcoming physical pain as I prepare to pick him up.  Ever watch olympic weightlifting--how they scrunch up their face before lifting the barbell?  Yeah, like that.

But the real assault on my sanity comes from Judah.  Clingy, whiny, prone-to-trantrumming, disobedient, limit-testing, super-active Judah.  Plus he's gross.  I totally know what Tina Fey means when she says she's like a human napkin to her kids.  Boogers, pee, poo, snot, drool--it all gets wiped on me.  I am constantly being violated and I shudder to consider what's on his grubby little fingers.

Probably the hardest thing about Judah is his extreme need for attention.  I would probably be really down on my parenting ability because of this, except for the fact that (a) he's been like this since he was a baby and (b) Noah is nothing like this.

Noah can play by himself, as early as 3 months, longer than Judah can at 3 years of age.  Crazy right?  So crazy it made me google--kids who need too much attention--to try to figure out what the heck is wrong with Judah.  And that just reminded me why I find parenting advice so infuriating.

Nothing is clear, everything is vague.  It all "depends..."  Every article said some variation of the following--There's a fine line between giving your kid the love and attention he needs and giving him too much  and thereby spoiling him.  And where is that fine line exactly?  It never says, of course.  It depends...on temperament, personality, each individual child, etc.  Um, thanks articles, for NOTHING.

Anyway, just so I don't end on a sour dark note, here are some bright spots in our days:

First tandem brother bath time!  I hope this journey doesn't end with games of "slippery fish" in their future.

Please ignore Judah's naked butt and just focus on the fact that they're both engrossed in independent reading.

Sweet moments like these are all too brief.  Seriously, like only 0.15 seconds long.

Oh how I love (and put up with) my precious two and a half men.

As these pics prove, we do have our brief (make that very very very brief) shining moments. But still, all I can say is--Thank GOD Judah is going to preschool tomorrow.


CP said...

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!! These boys are so cute! They may be double trouble but... look at how adorable they are! (small consolation prize!) It is so, so hard when you have two young kids. I honestly can't imagine having Ryan when Jacob was still a toddler. My hat is off to you!

CM said...

That is really difficult. K has always been a clingy kid too but not to an extreme like that. Maybe it's worth seeking out advice for ways that you could at least occupy him so he's not constantly seeking your attention? Have you noticed it getting better at all as he gets older?

I think it's especially hard when you're not the type of mom who thrives on being needed, and you need a little alone time for your sanity. I feel like some people handle clinginess a lot better than I do. Sounds like you're coping, but it's really tough.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Thanks CP! Yes it's hard to feel glum when they take such darn cute pics!

CM--Yes, the whole clingy thing is super annoying. I remember you wrote once that the more clingy K is the less you like him. I completely relate to that. Judah is getting more independent over time but it is sloooooooow going. I would love to read a good book about clingy kids (whose clinginess is due to inborn temperament and not abusive life situations). Let me know if you ever come across anything like that.