Sunday, April 18, 2010

My little diva

I don't remember giving birth to a pre-teen 18 months ago, but it seems I did, because I am now the proud owner of a thirteen-year-old toddler.

Oh, the tantrums! The DRAMA! The tears!

Potential contributing factors:

1. Teeth. The Child sprouts teeth like she's a shark. Right now she's working on her two-year molars. When her canines finally came in, just days ago, we breathed a sigh of relief. We would have our happy, well-behaved baby back! Life would be good again! No more teeth until she developed a few coping skills! Laugh yourselves silly at our naivete.

2. Toddlerness. Early terrible twos. I don't know. Whatever it is that makes them go haywire at this age.

3. Emmy. When we first came home with Ems, I think The Child was just so overjoyed to have us back that it didn't occur to her to be displeased over the attention we gave to that screaming bundle of smells. And then she got really clingy. And then she got better. And then she got tantrumy. Please tell me she'll get better again.

Monday was awful. Just awful. We spent the entire day at odds with each other, and I was completely exhausted by the end. But my diligence in disciplining her paid off (or so I thought), and she woke up Tuesday morning with sunshine pouring from her every orifice. Wednesday and Thursday were much the same. Friday was almost as good. Today? Oh, TODAY. She woke up two hours early and spent most of the morning sobbing on the floor (oh, kid, wait until it's 3am the day of your Canaanite Dialects final).

Our biggest problem is that we don't know when she's reacting to pain and when she's doing something that requires correction. I don't want to punish her for reacting to pain. But I don't want to let things slide and realize six months from now that we've produced a monster.

The arthropods in this house have it in for me (back story here). My sister laughs and tells me I'm a crazy lady, seeing conspiracy everywhere, but I will show you the email I sent her earlier tonight, and you tell me if I'm crazy:

So, I was just on the toilet. I was not finished with my business, if you catch my drift. I also had my laptop on my lap.

And then I notice that a piece of the wall next to the tub has started racing toward me. And then I realize that it is a very fuzzy piece of wall, and that it is moving REALLY REALLY FAST. Toward me. With my pants around my ankles. With my laptop on my lap.

And I leaped into the air (you would be ASTONISHED at my grace and agility here, in the face of such horror), just barely managed to catch my laptop before it went flying into the tub, and I landed on the other side of the bathroom, laptop safely in my hands, pants still around my ankles.

And now I can't find the stupid centipede. And Jeremy is not here. And I'm caught between wanting to vomit and wanting to laugh at how stupid I am until I cry.

This is the same bathroom where a bee dive-bombed me and a spider is camping out somewhere in my bathrobes and pants (and I don't know what to do about that, since I need to wear them to church tomorrow--the pants, not the bathrobes, though I suppose I could go to church as a shepherd).

You have no idea how undignified (and horrifying!) this all was, but I'm sure if you imagine it, it will make you laugh.

And then, just minutes later, I walked out of the baby's room, and there was a giant white spider waiting for me on the wall, right at eye level.

I threw a shoe at that sucker, and--this is a miracle, my friends, a miracle--actually HIT it. It is now smashed into the wall.

Then there were the two unholy abominations lurking in the raspberry patch yesterday while I was pruning (does "pruning the raspberry patch" sound like a euphemism to anyone else, or am I just a twelve-year-old?). After jumping back three feet (both times) and running another ten across the yard, I could still see them. That's how big they were. A neighbor a block away paused from sweeping his front walk to stare. I thought he was staring at me and my freakish screaming, but it's possible he could also see the spiders from there.

Spiders this large should not live in Wisconsin. They should be freezing to death before they ever get that large. I suspect the former occupants of this house were burying depleted uranium in the yard. That is the only explanation.

In other news, Emmy is now the size of a Wisconsin garden spider. She has a checkup on Monday, but I'm pretty sure she's at least thirteen pounds and over two feet long now. I don't know how a baby can grow so fast. I'd think it was the depleted uranium, but Grace didn't grow this fast. Of course, we didn't move in until I was six months pregnant, while Emmy has been exposed to the stuff from conception, so who knows?

It is time for bed now. These children become both more exhausting and more fun every day (aside from the Devil Teeth).

Emmy naps on her own quite well, but she's also awake for longer stretches of time, which means I'm constantly running interference between her and Grace. Grace loooooves her sister. She loooooves her so much she wants to kiss her all the time. And by "kiss" I mean, "smash her face teeth-first into Emmy's head so hard she leaves permanent indents."

She also takes great delight in helping me burp Emmy. This is really cute at first, but then she starts to get so excited about how helpful she's being, and the gentle pats turn into hearty thumps, and before we know it Emmy's spine is dislocated.

So, bed for me. If I can sleep with all these many-legged horrors skittering about.

1 comment:

  1. Egads, you've got more spiders and bugs than I've ever heard of. Either you just notice them more because you're so afraid of them, or there really is something going on with your house! Or Wisconsin as a whole?

    Sorry about the whole teething/tantruming toddler thing. My youngest (17 months) has started in with the tantrums, where she throws herself back if she's in your arms, or collapses on the ground and beats the ground. She's definitely more of a troublemaker than her sister does, but I basically treat it the same way... ignore, ignore. And also consider whether she's tired and needs a nap as soon as the tantrum is over (usually). But my girls didn't really have trouble with their teeth (thank goodness, after hearing your account of it!) so it's just acting out, not physically-related (other than exhaustion or hunger sometimes).

    My older one did/does the same as yours with wanting to love the little one a bit too roughly. I looked forward so much to the younger one getting bigger and being able to take it a bit more, and also give some back. Now that the younger one is 17 months and the older one 3, they're a bit more equal, although the older can still squash the younger or knock her into a wall. Just be careful with it, and don't ever leave them alone together. I don't want to scare you with details, but I have a relative who had been seriously injured from being left alone with an older sibling when she was a baby, so it can happen. Especially once the resentment gets going. I used to shut one downstairs and one upstairs while I showered, or something along those lines. At least until the younger was a little over 1 year old, I think.

    It took me a minute, but I did get the "euphemism" once you mentioned it. Although not before. So maybe you are a 12-year-old. :) I didn't know you had to prune them, I thought they just sort of, I don't know, grew wild. Or something. Maybe that's blackberries.