Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kate: Month Thirty-Nine


We made it through month thirty-nine. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be a month older. I have had a difficult time starting this monthly letter because I can’t reflect on this past month without wanting to sob uncontrollably and blurt out more obscenities than appropriate. A solid quarter of the month consisted of THE SICKNESS that wreaked havoc on our household. An additional quarter of the month included negligible sickness, developments leading up to the sickness, and recovering from the sickness. On top of dealing with all of that, unrelated obligations kept eating away at the only free time I had to spend with you. As if all of that weren’t enough, it was also the month that you decide to declare THE MONTH OF THE FREAKING-NEVERENDING-IRRATIONAL-TANTRUM.

One morning last week, I was trying to get ready for work. It was an important day at work and I was making every attempt to have it together, or at least appear to have it together, which is often as close as I can get. Of course, it was the morning my hair looked like crap. I was functioning on five-hours of sporadic sleep. I had forgotten to make my lunch the night before and I had no time to throw something together. I managed to get my suit on and get you out the door, but not without playing I AM DYING OF STARVATION AND YOU MUST FEED ME, BUT I WANT ANYTHING BUT THAT AND THAT AND THAT AND THAT, which is your new favorite game in the morning. About half way into the drive, I looked down and realized that I had a stain on my suit jacket, which appeared to have declared residency as the hasty attempts to clean it off were failing miserably. You were usually quiet in the backseat, so I inquired about the status of the Apple Cinnamon Clif Bar that you might have died without bringing for the seven-mile drive. Apparently the mere question brought out the devil in you, as you decided to bellow at me in return. I tuned out part of the rebuke, but I think it contained something like, “STOP TALKING TO ME.” It was at that moment, the culmination of not only that particular morning, but the entire month … I didn’t know what to do. The only feasible options seemed to include breaking down in tears, or dropping you off at daycare and going home and climbing back into bed. That pretty much sums up life in our house lately.

I’ve realized that dealing with tantrums really is not my strong suit. I wonder if Super Nanny offers phone consultations on this particular topic. Your fits are so illogical, so absurd, and so outrageously maddening that I just don’t know how to handle them. Of course, I KNOW the reasons behind this developmental stage and your quest for control and power in your own little world. I keep trying to remind myself of those things when we are in the throes of chaos. However, I must say that knowing why they are happening and dealing with them require two entirely different skill sets. Your new tantrum is an interesting combination of an idle threat and totally irrational logic, which I find fascinating. Take, for instance, me telling you not to touch something in the store. Your new response is to look at me and scream, “Fine, then I won’t touch ANYTHING!” Um, okay, that would be lovely. The other day it was, “I am not going to KICK anything then.” Alrighty then. Another day, on our way home, “Fine, I am not going home then!” I had to resist the urge to try to make you good on your word there. It’s ridiculous, it’s absolutely irritating, but it is where we are right now. This shit is only supposed to happen to other people’s kids.

The other night, you were convinced that you were going to have a frozen yogurt pop before dinner. You were relentless, despite knowing it wasn’t something you were going to get. If I didn’t know better, I would think you were looking for a battle. Upon realizing that I wasn’t going to cave, you decided to up the ante. I watched incredulously as you threw yourself down on the floor, shrieking, screaming, with all appendages flailing. Upon making impact with the ceramic tile the first time, you changed your approach and kept wildly flapping your arms in legs cautiously in the air. I continued watching you, resisting the urge to laugh … which was the only reaction that seemed appropriate.

I swear this monthly letter will leave people questioning my parental credentials. Despite that, I have committed to make every attempt to be as honest as possible in these letters to you. I think it is important to be realistic about life and to know that there are going to be days, weeks, and months that really just suck. However, in the end, a new day, week, or month is just around the corner. It is also a true testament to parenthood that even in times like this, I love you even more today than I did yesterday … and yesterday I would have claimed that not possible.

So Miss Kate, here is to a better month. Life is slowing down, the weather is warming up, and I am focusing on the positives.

With all the love in the world,


P.S. We also celebrated Easter, you met your cousin Ethan, and got a mortgage-payment sized playset this month ... fan-freaking-tastic that the fits took up more of my memories of this month, huh?


C. Beth said...

So far three has been tougher than two for us.... At least we're not alone. :)

Special K said...

We've been down a similar path this month. Not too many tantrums, but the ones we've had have been all-out horrendous. And I agree, the moms who go through those types of sicknesses deserve a spa week to clean the grime away.

I can also totally relate to trying to pull myself together for work when the kids are at their all-time worst!

Lets hope for a great next month!

Michel said...

Man, if she weren't so freakin adorable, I would recommend you see if you could return her and get a refund.

39 months...when do you stop the months and go to years?? I'm being forced to do math here!

Call Me Cate said...

Sounds like one to definitely cross off the books and be thankful it's over. Here's to month 40!

MarjnHomer said...

I think I am right there with you but my daughter is more with her grandma than me.

AngieS said...

I love the fact that you don't always sugarcoat these letters. They are wonderful in that they show your frustrations as a mother, but the love you feel for your daughter shines through.

Suzy said...

Isn't it hard to stay mad at such a gorgeous child? Obviously, I have no children but kate is a certfied beauty. The Bad Seed lives?