Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheerleading is the answer

Edie hasn't slept since last Thursday.

On Friday night she woke every hour or so, all night long, and it's continued every night since then in the same pattern. It's confusing and exhausting. She also has a cold and it dawned on me last night that perhaps all the waking was the result of an ear infection. Every cold she's ever had has eventually turned into an ear infection, so it made sense. 

But I was wrong. It wasn't an ear infection. 

I could go on to mention all the tantrums, screaming, and angry outbursts she's also been having this last week, but Jeff says I have an unpleasant knack for describing my suffering in such detail that everyone can feel my pain a little too literally. Suffice it to say it's been a hard week. In the face of such trials, my reaction is to simultaneously take everything personally AND be super angry at everyone around me. Hence, everyone is ruining my life and I'm a terrible parent.

I've spent the entire week being late for everything, stuck in traffic, being screamed at by someone half my size, and fretting over the giant zit blossoming right between my eyes and whether it will be gone before my high-powered business trip on Monday. I get tired like this and my life starts to feel like one endless stream of unpleasant tasks - pumping gas, refilling prescriptions, scheduling doctor's appointments, etc. Anyways. I guess I'm just having a hard week. Edie screamed at us from 12am until 1am last night because I said I wouldn't read her a story at midnight. I tried to handle it for a while but it eventually became clear that it wasn't working. Jeff tried his hand at it and while I listened to him try to reason with a wild animal, I cried in my bed. And the thing is - I almost never feel the physical urge to cry. But it feels so bad to listen to your kid lose their shit like that and not be able to fix it. I'm torn between hating HER and hating MYSELF in those moments. And all of these feelings are sharpened to a fine point by our sleep deprivation. 

Because I'm not so lost that I can't see what's really happening. I KNOW that she's 3 and that 3 is the "real terrible twos" and that parenting is difficult and that we'll get through this and blah blah. But I've got to say - it doesn't feel good at all when you're in the middle of it, regardless of the knowledge that you'll come out the other side eventually. In fact, the cliche'd platitudes mostly just make me feel like punching someone.

BUT. But! I decided that despite feeling like I could totally lay down and sleep in the middle of the sidewalk, I should go to my weekly dance class tonight. I skipped last week because of scheduling conflicts but tonight I met Heidi at the 5th Avenue Theatre and we learned a dance routine from the new Broadway version of Bring it On (yes, the cheerleading movie has been made into a broadway show).
For an entire hour I focused on nothing but high-kicks and getting my walk to look more "fierce". And what a difference an hour can make in a shitty week! I still came home to a filthy house and a kid that will likely wake up eleventy billion times tonight but I'm feeling just slightly better equipped to laugh it off than I was this afternoon.


Betsey said...

I feel your pain. While 3 has had some fabulous and sweet moments, many days it feels like we are traversing through a small hell. One morning this week Emmi decided she would rather scream at us from the moment she woke up until the minute she walked out the door than eat breakfast and have a calm morning. Good stuff. I was never so stressed entering my work day. Emmi's had some on and off sickness - definitely feel like that plays in to the crazy 3's even more. Hope you all have a restful weekend!

lindsey. said...

Misery loves company. We've had some rough days and difficult moments this past month too. And I know that feeling. I hate the way parenting sometimes makes me feel: hopeless, inadequate, overwhelmed, outsmarted, etc. It will pass and it's not personal and it doesn't mean you're not extraordinary as a mom and as a woman. But it's crappy and it sucks and I'm sorry. Anytime you want me and Marina to entertain Edie and give you a break, you just say the word. We'll even come to you if that helps. Hang in there. You are raising an exceptional little girl who is every bit as witty and smart and lovely as her mother. That's going to take a lot out of you but it will all be worth it (and by that I mean in 15 years when she moves out) :) LOVE!