I spent a long time the other day putting together a post with a bunch of updates and a lot of feelings, hit publish, and went upstairs to sigh myself to sleep (my compromise in not crying myself to sleep). It took me a few days to realize there was a glitch and it hadn't published. Being superstitious, I decided there was a reason. I have abandoned the draft. Maybe I'll go back in a month and look at it and see if it's worth doing anything with. In the meantime, I maintain there must have been a reason it didn't get put out there into the universe.
This post is going to have feelings too, but I'm not all weepy at the moment, so that will probably make all the difference.
Here are my feelings. I've realized that there are more ... streaks? (I think that's the best way I can describe it) in parenting than I realized there would be. There were those few weeks when Josephine was SO. BLOODY. TIRED. and likely going through a growth spurt and hitting a developmental milestone all at once, and by the time bathtime rolled around, she was the biggest mess ever.
There was so much screaming, so much crying, tantrums more wild than I had ever witnessed. Bedtime was traumatic for almost a month. Because she used up so much energy at bedtime, she didn't sleep well and then the crabbiness spilled over into the next day, making the next bedtime even worse and perpetuating the cycle. Jeremy and I were feeling shell-shocked. We feared we were handling it all wrong and she would remain possessed for all of her days.
It's during this time that I really have a hard time remembering the two things I personally have found most difficult, parenting-wise (I hope you can guess by me admitting this I am hoping some of you all struggle with the same things). Once the days are filled with more tears and craziness than I can handle, I tend to forget 1) just because my kids are freaking out, it doesn't mean that I have to and 2) my default word doesn't have to be "no."
I know those sound like they should be easy things to remember, and I agree, they should be, but I'm not using this space to defend myself and my parenting. Instead, I'm admitting that when I get really frazzled, I have a hard time keeping a calm voice and not having attitude of my own, and once I start saying "no" so many times, I start having it on autoplay until I snap out of it and realize I just told Josephine "no" to something that was totally acceptable. Since these are things I already have to work on in the "normal" bad days, once we get into a bad streak, it gets so dang hard. I wake up so determined and then the day can be shot within five minutes when Josephine wakes up and has a tantrum with her first breath and follows that up with three more in five minutes. There are only so many times I can calmly and happily ask her to do things before I use a less-than-nice voice.
But then, oh, but then, there are the other streaks. The weeks and weeks of time where I ... this might be even more difficult to admit ... I think things like What are other people complaining about? MY two-year-old is a ANGEL.
I know. Feel free to stop by and punch me in the face whenever it fits into your schedule.
Anyway, long story short (too late), we are having a bad streak lately, and I know it is because she is so freaking tired even though she is sleeping even more than usual, so I know she is struggling with something else (virus? growth spurt? both? something I don't even know about yet?), and I know it's not her fault, but dang if I have a hard time remembering it when she is shouting at me to leave her alone and darting into traffic because she doesn't want to hold my hand. I love her, but DANG.
And now (here's where the title finally comes into play! And you only had to get through a few thousand words first!) there's an extra dash of drama to contend with. Josephine has developed a fondness for Disney movies.
Do you even remember how SAD those are? She asked to watch Dumbo the other day and I ended up crying in bed later that night thinking about Dumbo's mom rocking him through the prison bars -- you know, when she couldn't even reach him or see him?? -- and singing "Baby Mine" while I blubbered. She asked to watch Finding Nemo and I found myself thinking about Marlon periodically throughout the week -- the man lost his wife, like a hundred kids, and then the ONE LIVING KID GETS KIDNAPPED. Cut the guy a break already!
I've done my best to avoid sad movies for years, specifically because I am what you Normals call "overly-sensitive." I cried for a week after watching The Family Stone. I know my limits. I don't even watch commercials on the off-chance something about kids growing up or animals getting abused comes on, so sad movies are OUT.
But apparently, as demanded by Josie, they're back in. Will the crying ever cease?!?! So, in closing, THANKS A LOT, DISNEY. I DIDN'T NEED THIS. I'M IN A STREAK, AFTER ALL!
P.S. Two posts up over at Sean Purcell Photography you might be interested in. Neither involve references to crying! This week I talked about Mother's Day gift ideas for the photo-obsessed and last week I talked about Instagram Photo--Day Challenges. Enjoy!