I'm not gonna lie, you guys: I'm in hell a little bit right now. We are still recovering from the move, but recovering completely is going to take forever and the garage is still FULL of things that haven't been unpacked. The house doesn't really feel like home yet, and my commute home from work somehow managed to get worse (because sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour wasn't bad enough, so now it's more like 1:20 to 1:30 every day just to get home). My evenings are about one hour long, during which time I have to get myself showered, eat dinner, get kids fed, get Trevor's bottles organized for Jesse to hopefully wash before bed (or else I have to wash them in the morning), get pump parts sanitized and milk put away that was pumped that day, give Trevor a bath, and then get myself and Trevor off to bed before it gets too late and we won't get enough sleep by 5AM reveille.
It's a very anxiety-producing schedule and even though I know it will get better (IT WILL GET BETTER!), it sucks right now. So what do I do when everything sucks? Hunt the good stuff.
Jesse taught me this technique, and it makes such a difference. When you focus your attention on all the things that are good rather than all the things that are bad, it can turn your whole outlook around.
So here I go!
Yesterday, Audrey was having a Level 10 Meltdown. She was overtired and needed a nap, but wouldn't go to sleep so I thought "I guess I will give her a much-needed bath while Trevor is napping and Jesse is out getting a haircut." So I stripped her down and put her in the tub, and for whatever reason, she just started crying inconsolably.
She's got new tub toys that she loves to play with, so she really had no reason at all to be upset. But that's how toddlers work -- they get upset over nothing and you can't fix it. You just have to wait it out.
So I washed her as fast as I could, then I turned off the tub and let out the water and pulled her out to dry her off. And the meltdown intensified, as she started SCREAMING and trying to climb back into the tub. Apparently being miserable and crying in the tub was better than being out of the tub? I don't know.
We battled for a good long while. I don't even want to relive it because it was that bad. All I know is that she was running around naked and screaming, and I wanted to put a diaper on her so that at least her naked tantrum-throwing wouldn't lead to turds on the floor. But she was not interested in cooperating and allowing me to put a diaper on her. I had to literally wrestle her like an alligator, pinning various parts of her body with my superior strength, trying to get her legs through the holes in a pull-up.
She fought and fought. The diaper stayed off. Nothing I tried was working.
I had one more idea to test out: vocal sternness. In other words, shouting at her to knock it off and hoping that she would be so surprised and cowed by this -- I NEVER raise my voice -- that she would be still just long enough for me to get the diaper on her.
So I shouted in my best angry Mom voice: "AUDREY, STOP IT."
And what did Audrey do?
She stopped screaming, looked me in the face and scolded, "Mommy, don't shout at me."
I couldn't believe it. Here she is, assaulting my eardrums with every decibel her little larynx is capable of producing, but I shout ONE THING at her, and I'm the one in trouble? As soon as she was done scolding me, she went right back to screaming as loud as she could and waving her arms around, hitting me in the face.
It was so funny I just started laughing, which made her even angrier. I eventually got the diaper on her, and then the meltdown ended when I gave her a blue M&M. She went to sleep shortly thereafter.
Mommy, don't shout at me. It's rude to shout.
Audrey thinks that every accessory related to my breastfeeding Trevor is called "Mommy's boobies."
So she will snap herself into the My Brest Friend pillow and announce "Look, I'm wearing Mommy's boobies!"
She will pull a nursing pad out from under the couch (where she stashed it, of course) and call out "I found Mommy's boobies!"
This morning, she got upset and came running up to me, crying about how "I broke Mommy's boobies" and handing me a part of my breast pump that she had accidentally split in two.
Also, while we were in line for Santa, she reached her whole hand down my shirt and shouted "I'M GRABBING MOMMY'S BOOBIES" which was absolutely hilarious to everyone who isn't me.
She's just started getting into more imaginative play, which is really fun to see. We were downstairs playing in her toy zone and she brought me little triangle that she had put a block inside, telling me it was my coffee. She had her own coffee as well, and we both had to drink them. No tea parties up in our house; we're all about the hot coffee. She even insisted I blow on mine because it was "too hot."
Later, she asked me if I wanted some of her "pizza", which it turned out was her iPhone (yes, she has her own iPhone; it's my old one and all it does is go on wifi so she can play games and watch Netflix) wrapped up in a burp rag.
She seems to understand the difference between being good and being naughty, but doesn't seem to grasp why being good is better. She kept jumping on the couch, which is naughty, so I sent her to her room and told her to come out when she was ready to be good. So she went off to her room and closed the door, and then returned a couple minutes later, announcing that she was ready to be good.
This lasted maybe ten minutes before she was jumping on the couch again and was returned to her room. I pointed out to her that Mommy was just sitting on the couch being good, while Audrey was jumping on the couch and being naughty, and maybe she should try being good like Mommy.
So for the rest of the day, whenever she did something bad (which was like all the time), she would cheerfully explain that "Mommy is being good and Audrey is being naughty!"
I didn't have the energy to do anything but agree with her.
Here are some other good things that have happened lately:
-- I cooked a bunch of food this weekend, so we are in good shape to have enough food cooked to get us through the entire work week. This is huge, because I have roughly zero minutes per week to spend cooking, so we need good, healthy food that is ready to go -- just pop it in the microwave and you're in business. And we have it.
-- I took the kids to see Santa this weekend, which was a huge ordeal that I'm definitely keen to not have to do again for another year. It's always a good feeling when a really unpleasant task is crossed off the list!
-- I just pumped 4 ounces of milk, which is a lot for me to pump in one sitting. I'm pleased about that.
-- I got the clean laundry up out of the basement laundry room this morning. It doesn't sound like much, but it's so nice knowing the laundry is one step closer to being folded and put away. Little things.
If anyone else is finding themselves in hell right now, join me in hunting the good things! Even the smallest thing is worth celebrating. What good things have happened to you today and over the weekend? Writing them out will make you feel better, I promise.
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