Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zero Sum Game

Today, I officially got my butt handed to me.  Not by the guy at Crossfit.  (Yes, yes.. I am currently drinking the kool-aid)  No.  That wouldn't shred my pride and my confidence in myself into teeny, tiny ribbons that a cat then comes along and poops on.  He just made my abs hurt in a way they haven't hurt in years.  But I can recover from the physical pain.  No problem.  Bring on the physical pain!  It's the mental pain that hurts the most.  And being a parent?  Most of the time it's a mental pain. 

The butt handing was done by my 19-month-old terror toddler.  Hazel, if you're reading this, the reason it's NOT a letter will become clear in 3-2-1....


So, Hazel's been pretty sick for the last week or so.  She started a cough last Wednesday... nothing too bad.  Runny nose.  The usual. And then Saturday, she woke up at 3 a.m. with a temp.  No bueno.  Same thing Sunday and Monday.  We couldn't keep her temp down.. and it hovered between 101-103 for most of the day.  And honestly?  HONESTLY?  She was a freaking angel.  Probably because she was too hot to do that much complaining.

Well, her fever finally broke Tuesday, but she still has the cough and runny nose.  Only now, she's also got the whole I'M GOING TO MAKE MOMMY'S HEAD EXPLODE disposition and really.... SHE'S NAILING IT.

Internet, you should see the house right now.  It done be tore up. And do I care?  Do I give a tiny rat's ass?


You know why?  Because right now, at this very moment, it's quiet.  It's peaceful.  I hear birds singing.  I hear rain on the roof.  And I'm not even upset that it's raining.

YOU KNOW WHY?  Because I can hear the rain. Which means that I'm NOT hearing the constant, never-ending, nails-on-a-chalkboard, head-exploding, brain-matter-splatting, face-melting, hair-curling, throw-ourselves-on-the-floor whining/crying that has assaulted my ears from the moment The Bird woke up this morning.  The same noise I heard for the entire 45 minutes it took for her to eat breakfast which consisted of applesauce a banana and toast.  45. MINUTES.  The same noise that I heard for the next 38 minutes that it took to wrangle her into her outfit and shove her into her car seat so that she could go to day care and magically transform into the little girl that everyone at day care wants to take home.

The same noise I heard the very second we crossed the threshold of the house when we got home from day care.  The same noise I heard when I gave her dinner and she promptly took her spoon and threw applesauce in her eye.  HER OWN EYE.  The same noise I heard when I attempted to get the applesauce out of her eye/hair/ear.  The same noise I heard when I took the applesauce away after she threw it at me... on the other side of the room.  The same noise I heard when she slid out of her booster seat and then proceeded to roll on the ground... refusing to stand up or take some Tylenol... prefering instead to roll under the chair, hitting her head repeatedly on the chair leg.  The same noise I heard when I wiped her nose... I theorize that the boogers are actually a manifestation of the evil that has taken over her soul and is now seeping out of her body, looking for the next unsuspecting victim.  Seriously, something is wrong with this child.  Perhaps the demon inside her woke up with a hangover and really needs some painkiller.  WHO KNOWS?  All I know is that this noise... IT. MUST. STOP.

I subscribe to an email service called the Daily Groove. Often when I read the insights into parenting that it has to offer on any given day, I just know that somehow, someway, the author has Google Earthed our family and somehow can see inside our house every morning and evening.  It speaks to me. And I feel like I'm better able to parent.


I have decided that for every positive, there is a negative.  For every time I want to pat myself on the back for not losing my cool, there's a day like today... where I have to stand on the porch and scream.  And it's not like I can just scream and go about my business like I could do if I was in an isolated area like the farm where I grew up.  Oh, no.  You scream around here and people come over to check on you.  What makes this even more egregious is that they're normally not bearing gifts like cookies.

Or tequila. 

But, I digress.

I believe that opposites can coexist.  In peace and harmony.  And can showcase ideals, as well what we in the business of being a parent like to call REALITY.  This is why I'm starting a new series on the blog:

The Daily Grave.  

As in: Hazel/Millie buried me today. I mean it, they PUT ME IN MY GRAVE. 

The inaugural Daily Grave is brought to you by two very tired, shell-shocked parents.  One of whom is hungover from the motion sickness meds he took this morning.

Today's Daily Groove: No Problems.

Today, try letting go of the idea that conditions "should" be different than they are. Simply accept
them... But don't confuse acceptance with defeat. You can be accepting and still desire change. And change happens easily when you're at peace with What Is.

Today's Daily Grave: 99 Problems... And My Toddler Is All 99 of Them.

Today, when your toddler lets loose the demons deep within her soul, try not to take it personally.  But most importantly, don't let her see you cry.  Cuz then she wins.  And raising kids?  A zero sum game. YOU HAVE TO WIN EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Crying?  There's no crying in parenthood.  At least until the kiddos go to bed. 

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