Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The sound of Madness

Babies and toddlers...they are everywhere I look. Most of the other parents I interact with are parents to babies and toddlers. I hear a lot about diapers, baby beds, bottles, learning to walk, learning to talk...everything. Moms, don't think I don't feel what you are going through...its just been a couple years..and the memory of that time is slowly slipping away. I remember the big milestones...Layla walked at 13 months...Liv at 11 (well in her case ran). Layla was potty trained well after her third birthday. Liv used a "binky" until 18 months. One day we said "binky all gone" and with tears welling in her eyes she agreed.  Layla's first swear word was the f-bomb and Liv was a big fan of sh#@. At three months Layla slept peacefully through the night and Liv was about a year when this happened.

The thing I try to forget was the general exhaustion and stress I felt. At twenty months apart, I basically had two babies for what seemed like forever. Liv never slept and Layla was always talking. Liv had a gag reflex until well after 2 yrs. So please know one thing...it is ok to really not like them some days. (you always love them...but liking them is a different story). Olivia hated the crib, and at ten months was trying to escape. (She hates any sort of confinement). Getting her to bed was always a project. Some nights I would lay with her for hours..hoping she wouldn't notice the creek in the door as I would try to sneak out. Other days I hoped I could get to her crying in the middle of the night before she would throw up. One time I missed, and puke seeped out from under the door and her mini puke handprints were all over the wall.  I expected this from her...but I didn't always have the patience for it. There is the "Liv hole" in our living room wall. She was almost down for a much needed nap. I was rocking her in the chair in the living room. I was about to lay her down in her crib so I could find my way to the living room floor . Slowly, I crept out of the chair. I cradled her in my arms...adjusted the elbow that had long fell asleep. Then.."waaaaa!!!" she woke up. I really wanted this nap...I needed this nap. Tears stung my eyes and my heart tightened up. I needed to do something...throw something...scream. Before I knew it my foot was in the wall. (stupid cheap plaster). I looked at her soft blue eyes...now wide from what happened, and in a fit of madness started to laugh. I moved the book shelf in front of that hole and didn't tell Josh about it for two years.


One day, I was doing laundry. Liv's second birthday was nearing and I wanted to make my house look like it hadn't been taken over by Dora the Explorer and Care Bears. I needed to clear a path from the back room to the door..so laundry needed to be done. I spent the day washing, drying, folding, sorting, chasing Liv, feeding Layla. I sorted the clothes in Layla's room. Socks, underwear, pants, dresses hung up. The next basket went to Liv's room. The girls were playing nicely in Layla's room with big blocks. There was no fighting, no screaming..this was my chance. I rushed through Liv's clothes...even got her stuff hung up in record time. The whole process took five minutes. Still, with a two and three year old, there is always a feeling if you don't have your eye on them..and you can hear them..something is really wrong. I went back into Layla's room and I went blind with rage..Liv had taken all the clothes out of her drawers. Pants were strewn over blocks and shirts were in a wide pile around her feet. She smiled at me..like she was "helping". Layla was playing with blocks and wasn't even looking at her. I bent down, started to pick up socks and shirts and pants and shorts. My hand was shaking with rage..my heart racing. I threw the empty basket I was holding...it hit the closet door. So then I kicked it. Then I punched the closet door. My hand now throbbing and my foot cut from the basket I looked at the girls. "Whats wrong Mommy?" Layla asked..like nothing had happened. "Layla, sometimes you guys just make me so fucking mad!!"

A couple days later was Liv's birthday party. Her second birthday...and the whole family was in town. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins..etc. With a mid July birthday, I can always count on it to be really hot. This year was no exception. I put out a slip and slide and all the kids..and my brother in law (the biggest kid) slid up and down that thing all day. Layla is especially attached to Josh's brother. They have always been buddies...I think he was one of the original allies in the pre-little sister days. They were playing a splashing game in the little pool at the end of the slip and slide. Layla's head went into the pool and she didn't like it. She got up suddenly and fast..glaring at her uncle. "Are you ok" he asked. She put her hands on her hips. "Teddy, sometimes you make me so fucking mad!"

These are my fondest memories of my babies. The days they drove me to the brink...the days were I wanted to drive them to my mom's house and escape..just be alone. Do I miss those days? Their sweet baby faces, so innocent with their giant blue eyes? Not a chance

2 comments:

  1. Been there; done that. I loved reading this. It brought to mind several incidents when I thought I would go effen-mad myself. Just when you get so mad and want to run away they look at you and say something that makes it all worthwhile.

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  2. Oh! The part about Olivia running...I don't think she has ever walked anywhere. She runs up the stairs, down the stairs, all through the house at a dead run. Wish I had her energy.

    Have to share this little story about Olivia. I took the girls up to my old office today so my "boss" could meet them. I was bragging about Layla's artistic talents. Olivia piped in that she had a talent, too. Bob asked her what her talent was. Olivia's response, "I talk a lot." Bob got a big kick out of that because, as we all know, I talk a lot, too. Bob told her she got that talent from me.

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