Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It was fifteen minutes this time

Edited to add the last two paragraphs that I inadvertently cut out last night. This is what happens when you don't have time to proofread, people.

I have been doing this two-kid thing for five weeks now, and I have NO IDEA how all you people with multiple babies find time to write thoughtful blog posts. If I have the time to write, I use it to a) sleep or b) read what other people are writing or c) clean the kitchen and or do other necessary household chores or d) watch TV. As such, I have decided to follow Arwen’s lead and write for fifteen minutes (or maybe only ten) at a whack. Note that I am not promising to write for fifteen minutes A DAY, like Arwen did, but instead am totally copping out. WHEN I write, in other words, I’ll write for fifteen minutes (or maybe only ten). How often that will be, I cannot say.

But I wanted to write today because today sort of… sucked royally. We’re having a mild of a heat wave up here in the northeast, and that makes holding a baby all the time somewhat of a hardship. I know I wrote that when Nora won’t go to sleep I just “pop her in the sling,” but that’s asking a lot when the dew point is 70. It’s sort of like strapping a humid furnace to your body.

The worst part is that all this heat and humidity is stripping me of all of my patience and turning me into a horrible mother – or at least that is how I feel. Poor Jack is bearing the brunt of my crankiness, particularly when I am trying to get us into the car. See, until very recently, Nora screamed pretty much the entire time she was in the car seat, and while my recent posts may have made it seem that I’ve been pretty blasé about this, it has in fact been draining the life force from me. I was routinely showing up at my mom’s pale and shaking, dreading the thirty-minute drive home. It’s very difficult to listen to your baby scream and scream and not be able to do a damn thing about it.

As a result, as soon as I got Nora strapped into her car seat, I would start to panic about the inevitable screaming and I’d say, “Jack, get in the car. Get in the car. GET IN THE CAR GET IN THE CAR GETINTHECARGETINTHECARGETINTHECAR!” when the poor kid was just being a normal two-year-old and trying to talk about the rock he found on the ground or whatever. I’ve tried to temper this by calmly talking to him ahead of time about how we had to GO GO GO once I got Nora into her car seat, and that has helped, but still.

Fortunately, I have recently discovered the secret to keeping Nora from screaming nonstop in the car seat: Swaddling. If I swaddle her in the seat, she only cries sometimes, and spends more time happy than screaming. But I’m still a little gun-shy, and still have a tendency to yell at Jack if he’s dawdling around and not getting in the car.

But now that I used up all my writing time writing about the car seat, I will have to wait until tomorrow to tell you about today and how it sucked. (Note: It was mostly due to my own craziness; for example, after praying that Jack would let Andrew put him to bed, I felt wounded to the quick when Jack said, “Daddy, I want you to put me to bed tonight. Not Mommy.”)


Becca said...

Two year old dawdling is INFURIATING when you have a screaming kid in the car. I am right there with you.

And I've had my jacket on for two days. It must be a lot warmer just a few hours south!

Kristin said...

I'm with you on the screaming baby in the car. The first time Scott was with me and James in the car for a ride, when he started screaming pretty much when we pulled out of the drive way...Scott made it to the first bend in the road before turning to me, all white around the eyes and lips, and said, "Does he do this the WHOLE TIME?"

And I only had one, so you have my profound sympathy.

As for gumpiness/kid dawdling...yep, I hear you there too. I never got the hang of things like lying down to nurse, or that supposed skin-to-skin thing that babies are supposed to love so much. I always ended up a sweatball, with a little 8 pound roaster lying on me. And this was DECEMBER.

And Scott says he gets yelled at a lot more when the temperature and humidity go up. I asked him , respectfully, to consider whether there might be any causes for that other than my neuroses. He hasn't responded yet.

James and I went through a period of bad mornings -- more yelling and crying than I care to recount. We seemed to get past it (I got some things moving earlier, which took a lot of pressure off) -- but OY. It's soul-eating, guilt-growing, hair-tearing no fun.

Can we do anything to help? I'd invite y'all for a visit, but that would require, you know, putting the baby in the car for about an hour. ;)

Swistle said...

The summer William was born, we had no air conditioning and it was a SCORCHING summer. It got into the high 90s in the house every day, and I had a nursing baby, and I thought I would lose! my! mind!