Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I win

Our neighbors have been very quiet for several days.

One night during a particularly fun bout of insomnia (and this is the night after my ER visit), I had JUST dropped off to sleep (after already waking up once) when STOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMP. I got good and angry and was about to go up there when it stopped. I should have gone up anyway, but that would mean getting out of bed and getting dressed, and I opted to just stew in the dark for a couple of hours. So much easier!

The next night, same thing. First, I got mad at Jeremy. He was lying there, all asleep, and I wanted to punch him in the head. But then I realized that I'm nearly 30 years old, and while it's fun to make funny status updates about my annoying neighbors, it really wasn't worth the trade-off in sleep, and Jeremy has to work in the morning, so just sack up, already.

Luckily, I was already dressed. And I had showered that evening, so instead of looking like a gross, dumpy housewife, my hair was all over the place in a scary but good way. I was trying to figure out what to say on my way up the stairs, but too tired to think of something appropriately scathing, but not quite so awful that it would make a friendly neighbor relationship impossible. I was still standing there glaring when he opened the door. And, honestly, I didn't mean to do it, but it just occurred to me when I saw his face in the door.

I stared.

I didn't say a word.

He turned beet red and fumbled through about ten apologies. When he wound down, I said, "Thank you," and walked back down the stairs.

It was quiet the next day, and I joked about me scaring him (because, if you have ever met me, I am the LEAST scary person ever in the world, except for maybe the little girl in Signs), but they were probably just hungover from the party last night.

And then they stayed quiet. We heard normal living noises and very faint music, some normal thumping like kids playing. But nothing at all unreasonable.

And it's stayed that way! For over a week!

Every time he's seen me since, he has apologized. I've been very careful to be nice (because I do want to be friends; I'm such a sickening people-pleaser that I can't stand the idea of someone somewhere in the world sitting there and not liking me), but not to tell him it's okay. In fact, the last time I saw him I told him I was pissed at the time, but it's been quiet ever since, which is all I want.

This is a big thing for me, folks. I am not good at holding my ground unless I'm angry. I back down immediately once the apologies start.


The last couple of days have alternated between pure delight and wishing I could mute and pause my children for a day or two. Perhaps even unplug them and put them in a nice, comfy box out of sight.

I'm just going to come out and say this: Grace's anxieties drive me CRAZY. Hey, I know it's not cool to complain about your Little Blessing's personality quirks, but there you have it. I can both love the snot out of my child AND find her crazymaking AT THE SAME TIME. It's amazing. Who knew that a human being could feel two conflicting emotions?

So far, I've been reassured at every appointment that it's well within the range of normal for a child her age, but this just doesn't seem right to me. When I take Emmy in next, I'm going to get pushy with our pediatrician.

The difference between Grace at Home and Grace out among People is like the difference between Barack Obama and Edward Scissorhands. It bothers me for selfish reasons, and it bothers me because she is missing out on so many of life's delights. It's not just shyness. She has a new phobia just about every day, it seems. She overcomes almost all of them with a little work, so I suppose they're not really phobias. But her last one (bugs--like, the minuscule bugs that come in from outdoors and just sit on the wall all day) had her screaming off and on all day for a week. And sometimes at night.

And then there are days when she is completely anxiety-free. A bug flies in her face, and she barely winces. She smiles and waves to everyone she sees. She makes jokes and does normal toddler things like climbing onto precariously high pieces of furniture. Sometimes she even eats vegetables. So I know there's a kid under there somewhere who can cope with life. I just wish I knew what it was that makes her hide all the time. And it's even more frustrating and heartbreaking because she was like that all the time in the two weeks before we moved.

At home, both kids have been great most of the time. But we've been developing a bit of a social life recently, and it's exhausting to constantly tend to her freak-outs when we're just trying to make friends.

Emmy is a trial of her own, but in a much more normal kid kind of way. She is SO willful. Happy, easygoing, delightful, physically capable, engaging. But tell her 'no,' or take something away, and be prepared for the most ear-splitting shrieks you've ever heard. It's awesome. In both the more modern sense of the word and the classic hymn sense of the word. And the ironic sense of the word. Like, by "awesome," I mean, "the sort of thing that makes you want to stab your ear out with a bendy straw full of acid."

She may actually not be that willful, but my only point of comparison is Grace, The Most Compliant Child Who Ever Lived.

So, there's been that. Also, the antibiotics I've been on have put me at risk of tendon rupture. Super! So no weightlifting the last two weeks. And I'm still at risk for months to come, but my rapidly-dough-ifying midsection won out over being smart, and I started again tonight. I'm not as horribly out of shape as I thought I'd be (probably thanks to dragging two kids all over The Promised Land of Utah, or swimming almost every night, or going for countless walks), but it was still disheartening. Ah well.

I inexplicably LOST three pounds in the last couple of weeks. I'm sure part of that is loss of muscle, but since my waist has only expanded a tiny bit, I doubt it was much.

Anyway, I need to shower and perhaps spend some time with my husband. Tomorrow, I'm going to water aerobics, and that's really hilarious to me because we used to make fun of the old ladies at the Y who had their class right before swim practice. And now I'm going to go myself, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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