Saturday, July 9, 2011

Motherhood Malaise

It turns out that loving your daughter and being completely annoyed by her are not mutually exclusive emotions. I don't need to say it, but I will - I love Edie. She is smart, funny, adorable and compassionate. I would jump in front of one thousand buses without hesitation if it meant saving her life. I also know that everything passes - the good as well as the bad times. But sometimes I get sick of reading sticky sweet Mommy Blogs that only talk about the good times. It gives such a false impression of parenthood to not share the ugly along with the beauty. Because no matter what anyone says, there ARE both.

It just needs to be said right now that the intense Motherhood Malaise that I've been feeling for the last 48 hours is INTENSE. The way I feel towards Edie today is bumming me out. I'm so tired of her not eating a single bite of dinner when we are at a friend's house or party. She's developed this CHARMING habit of taking bites of things and then dramatically spitting them back out. In fact, spitting in general has become really entertaining to her. And my attempts to curb this habit are the FUNNIEST. To her. Not to me. Because it's not funny at all to me actually.

The last two days have been a cycle of her pooping like 500 times per day, then throwing a total fit when I tell her we need to change her diaper, going limp while I try to carry her upstairs OR if she agrees to walk upstairs herself, stopping on every single step to try and distract me out of changing her diaper. I try so hard to be patient and stand behind her, inhaling the fumes of her dirty diaper while she tries to tell me about the tiny chip of paint flaking off of the third stair for the 10th time that day. I think she honestly believes that this stimulating bit of trivia is going to make me forget the fact that she REEKS. Not to mention the fact that she spends the entire time on her changing table (once we finally get there) kicking me in the chest while I flail around trying not to get covered in shit.

Oh, and she tipped over one of my pots on the front patio this afternoon in blatant disregard of my instructions, shattering my pot. And? She gave me a dirty look while eating lunch for no reason and started chucking her food like I've never seen her do before. I felt like screaming!

Is it possible, Edie is just more annoying these last two days? We took her to an outdoor party tonight for a friend's birthday. Our friends just had their 3rd kid and we knew they'd be there with all three kids so we figured it would be safe to bring Edie too. Their daughter is a few months older than E, so she'd have someone to play with. I also secretly hoped that they would be a hot mess and it would reassure me that having one child was infinitely more manageable by comparison. Rude, but true. Instead, their children sat at the picnic table quietly eating their dinner. They didn't spit all their food out, intentionally squirt their juice box all over the floor, pop 2 balloons, and start running for the door saying, "Edie want to go home!!!" loud enough for everyone nearby to hear. I'm not saying I want to trade Edie for a different model - I don't. But JESUS. She didn't even want the cupcake I finally offered her.

I know I'm not, but I'm feeling like a parenting failure at the moment. I feel I've spent the last 48 hours "telling, not asking" when it comes to necessary actions (ie; "We are putting your pajamas on after dinner" vs "Do you want to put your pjs on?"), offering choices where appropriate to make my child feel in control, explaining everything in detail so that expectations are clear and set early and NONE of it is working. I'm reading Tina Fey's Bossypants right now and I loved the chapter about her dad, Don Fey. I'm starting to think that she's right about a healthy amount of fear for your parents being maybe a good thing. All these modern parenting techniques intended to empower your child are great - but have I perhaps empowered my child a bit too much? Like maybe have I empowered her to feel entitled to spit on my dining room table and kick me in the face while I wipe her butt?

The only real answer that I'm able to come up with at the moment is this: A GLASS OF WINE. Excuse me while I go pour myself one.


Susan said...

Oh, there are days that we are so right there with you! Andrew fights the changing table, and I mean FIGHTS with kicking feet, twisting body and flailing arms, screaming like we're torturing him...same goes for tooth brushing and nail clipping. He's a joy to be around most days, but we do have our share of "no's", "mine's", head butting, kicking, food throwing, cup emptying, won't fall sleep, still wakes in the night on occasion frustrations! As you said, this too shall pass! Hang in there.

Laura said...

And I thought Edie was perfect !
This is refreshing reading, Jill. Hang in there....perhaps these are the "terrible 2's"?? xoxo

cranky rae said...

I love you for keeping it real, always. Hope you enjoyed a few glasses of wine.

Tib said...

and the thing is this will continue on through adolescence... sometimes I am so in awe that is the beauty of my daughter and her compassionate self, and next thing I know she's calling me and her dad "offensive" and slamming the door in my face. AAARRRRGGGHHHHHHH!

lindsey said...

First, forget Tina Fey. You should write a book because you are consistently beyond hilarious. I was laughing so hard through this post. Second, don't think my laughter means that I don't completely empathize with you. I remember e-mailing you a couple of months ago to tell you I was feeling like an awful mom lately and Marina was acting up the same way. Hang in there - she'll snap out of it. And take comfort in knowing that I'm right there with you, dealing with my little faffer and her often irritating antics as well.