I haven't been crying into my pillow every night for the last 2 weeks. In fact, I've actually been having a pretty lovely time. As parenting goes, children really do only give you the exact amount that you can handle - turning into (mostly) charming monkeys right after spending a week straight pooping into their hands and throwing it in your face. So after Edie finished poo-flinging in mid-November and I broke down and bought a parenting book (have I mentioned how much I hate parenting books?), she mostly shaped up. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I'm freshly home from 4 consecutive child-free nights, 3 of which were spent in a king sized hotel bed ALL BY MYSELF. Which - side bar - is never as awesome as I think it's going to be. Embarrassingly, I miss Jeff in my bed when traveling for work. Too many years spent sharing a bed with a gangly man-companion and my body is conditioned to sleep poorly in wide open spaces. Thankfully, Nyquil has recently come out and admitted to what it really is - a sleeping pill. And thus, an addiction to "Z-Quil" is born. Is it wrong how much I love the weird, druggy sleep that Nyquil gives me? If it is - I don't want to be right.
ANYWAYS. Since this post has officially reached epic ramble proportions, I'll just take you down another tangent... or maybe a few!
I bought the book "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and it's changing my life. For the better. Which is only the second time in my life I've felt positively influenced by a parenting book (the first being Ferber's sleep book). Mostly, parenting books just make me feel crazed and panicked. They say things like, "Ignore your child's tantrum and it will quickly fizzle." Or, "If you see your child ramping up for a tantrum, nip it in the bud." (these are both direct quotes from popular parenting books). But if the authors of these books lived in my house for 24 hours they would see that most times, there IS NO ramp up for a tantrum, and ignoring a tantrum results in an hour of epic screaming and then another hour of hiccuping and hurt feelings. It's always been baffling (and defeating) to think that these techniques aren't working for me because I'm doing them wrong. Or because my child is more poorly behaved than others. But. BUT! This book validates so many of the thoughts I've had about parenting Edie from the very beginning. Embarrassingly, this book was actually recommended to me when Edie was like zero minutes old because her passion, persistence and dramatic flare have apparently been evident to total strangers from the beginning. Without boring you to tears, the book essentially helps you to identify whether your child could be described as "spirited" and while Edie is borderline on the low end, closer to "spunky" than spirited, it nonetheless assures me that the same exact parenting techniques that work for children with an ordinary quantity of "spirit" do not work for the truly spirited child. I actually almost wept in Barnes and Noble while reading the first chapter (with relief). I'm still plowing through, but it's done wonders already in making me feel less crazy.
Whether or not my newfound parent-zen is causing a similar improvement in Edie's outlook on life is unknown, but I'm certainly grateful.
The other reasons I haven't been posting:
1. I've become completely addicted to watching old episodes of Felicity on Hulu. The nostalgia is overwhelming. The 90's were so amazing! I wore so many khakis. And there were phones with cords that were attached to the wall. And no one had a cell phone yet. Noelcrane.com! I was really hoping that some cult fan had bought that url and made a Noel fan page. No dice. Smooth-aise! Oh Sean. Mostly, I just keep having my mind blown because I am now closer in age to Felicity's parents than Felicity. In season 1 her mom says she's 38! She apparently had Felicity when she was only 20. This makes me hang my head in old-ness.
2. I traveled for work last week and was too busy driving all over town for appointments and stuffing southern food in my face to blog. I've been dreaming about shrimp and grits since coming home.
Or thinking the earring IN MY EAR is a shiny new toy.
I'm looking at you Mort.
Or rescuing them from the (full) bathtub.
Again, looking at you Mort.
4. We have begun the tedious process of looking for a preschool for Edie next year. I've been doing all the research and scheduling tours, but then dragging Jeff with me on the actual tour. My favorite was when we showed up at 9am for one tour (without Edie - tours are for parents only) and were told to sign in and then move into the common room for "song circle" which came before the information session. You should have seen Jeff's face. Singing with 60 kids under five at 9am is maybe one of his worst nightmares.
LASTLY. I was organizing old folders on my laptop last week and found a file called "book". I had totally forgotten that I tried to write a book like 8 years ago and quit early on! It's pretty terrible, but I thought it might be fun to post excerpts here for your enjoyment. Interested?