Keep Telling Me It Gets Better

Weekends are tough. I vaguely recall when weekends were times of relaxation and fun — of movies to see, beers to consume, Steelers games to watch uninterrupted while noshing on nachos, sleeping in. Weekends used to be mine to do with what I wanted.

And I know, I pretty much signed up for this, yadda yadda yadda, but still, weekends have caught me completely off guard. Lately it feels like weekends are spent fighting.

I fight for enough time to do everything I have to do: shopping, cooking, decorating, laundry.

I fight the craving for a cigarette.

DearDR and I fight to have time with each other. Or, conversely, DearDR and I fight for time to ourselves, usually to get something accomplished — paperwork in his case, laundry or cleaning in mine — and it’s like a giant tug of war with the mud pit in the middle labeled POD: “Parent on Duty”.

I fight for sleep. Saturday morning Bun woke up at 3 a.m. I simply brought her in bed with us hoping and praying that she would just sleep until her usual 7:30 wake up. Instead, she woke up at 5 a.m., and simply would NOT go back to sleep. She squirmed, she asked for her sister, she kicked my kidneys, she cried. The coup de grace was when she rolled over my head in a bid for freedom. I honestly thought about getting up and going to work. Because after a wake up call like that, it wasn’t going to get any better.

I fight with Monkey. And sometimes I lose.

Monkey has moved into an… oh, let’s call it an interesting phase of development. It is marked by pouting, foot stomping, crying when things do not go her way, and exclamations like, “It’s not fair” and “You’re mean”. Accompanied by the lower lip pooch and arm crossing. And did I mention foot stomping?

Sunday, she was “helping” me decorate. And she was actually doing pretty okay unpacking things and exclaiming over them, and watching me decorate. But there was a lot of, “Monkey, don’t play with that; it’s very delicate”, “Monkey, stop throwing the peanuts” — packing peanuts — “Monkey, easy with that; it’s delicate”, “Monkey, please stop tearing the peanuts into little pieces”, and after about an hour, we were both pretty fed up.

I tried to distract her with hot chocolate. This was a tactical error in that we had no whipped cream for the hot chocolate. I tried to convince her that she could have hot chocolate without whipped cream, but you can all imagine how that went.

“Just go over to Bella’s and get whipped cream,” she told me.

“Monkey, I don’t want to go to Bella’s. I was just there for something else. We’re in the middle of decorating. I’ll call Bella, and you can go get it and bring it right back.”

“You have to come with me.”

“Okay, forget hot chocolate. Let’s have a different snack.”

“I’ll have an apple.”

Hmmmm. This would be a problem, since I didn’t actually have any apples at the moment.

“Uh, we don’t have any apples. Let’s try –”

“Well, let’s go buy some.” After all, we needed whipped cream too!

“We can’t go out right now, Monkey. Bun is still sleeping.”

“It’s time for Bun to wake up.”

“No, honey, Bun’s going to sleep for another hour at least. She needs her nap, still.”

“It’s not fair!” Stomps off.

Another tactical error on my part: I went back to what I was doing. I figured she was sulking in the next room or figuring out which arts & crafts she wanted to do. Wrong on both counts.

Over the baby monitor, whispering: “Buuunnn. Bun, don’t you want to wake up?”

I flew up the stairs, and dragged Monkey out of Bun’s room, where she was whispering between the slats on Bun’s crib. After putting Monkey in her room and closing the door (screaming ensued, of course), I went back in to settle Bun back down. At first I thought she wasn’t going to go, but she fell asleep so quickly as I rocked and sang to her, I wonder if she actually woke up all the way in the first place.

Monkey seemed to de-escalate after that. DearDR wanted us to go over to Bella’s for dinner (he, however, was at the office — it would have been just the girls and I); I decided instead to make chili over pierogies. Monkey staged another mini-revolt, deciding she wanted to eat dinner at Bella’s. I just gave in. After checking with Bella (and picking up a can of kidney beans — you know I haven’t been shopping for a long time if I need to borrow a can of beans), I left her next door for dinner.

I had to fight with Bun a little bit, too, of course. But since I had figured out that she is cutting her molars (hence the early wake up call Saturday), I tried to take it easy on her. For example, she wanted to watch something on the computer, and I wanted to watch the Steelers’ game. I won that one by reading books to her on the couch with the game on the TV.

Check back soon for more exciting posts like, “Weekend Highlights”; there were a few. And, “The Day My FIL Drove His Car into My House”. The fun never stops at Casa di RPM.

I’m hoping the fighting will taper off a bit, though.