Friday, September 5, 2014

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Baby Coco is pretty much up every three hours squawking for what we're calling "mama-milk" around these parts.

I think Baby Keya sleeps more soundly.

Anyway, the lack of sleep isn't making me too crazy. I keep Coco an arm's reach from the bed, so it's easy to feed her at night--I don't get out of bed, I just nurse her while lying on my side. Also David and I have given up on having much (any) time to ourselves in the evenings and we go to bed at 9pm.

Yesterday I woke up at 7am and things started to fall into place for the morning. Zuzu ate a good breakfast. Coco went back to sleep. Zuzu played quietly while I actually took a quick shower (!). I was dressed and had clean hair by 9am. It was a small miracle.

So I decided to make the most of it, and I loaded up the girls and headed out for storytime at the library. The branch closest to our house doesn't have toddler storytime on Thursday, but another branch not too far away does. So we trekked up to the Central West End (one of my favorite parts of town anyway) to hear stories.

It felt like a quintessential SAHM moment. I wore Coco in my homemade Moby wrap. Zuzu was fairly timid at first since it was a new place (she wanted to walk independently and not hold my hand--sigh--but she also stuck her hand in her mouth, which is her go-to comfort when she's not yet comfortable somewhere, and ended up sharing my lap with Coco during storytime).

Storytime was cute--there were just five kids there (plus Coco): a dad with his daughter, a mom with her son, and two nannies with two little girls who knew each other (one of whom was named Caroline). Zuzu was too shy to participate in the stories, but I've noticed that she prefers to observe and learn before jumping in to give it a try. When she watches Signing Time, she'll watch the same episode a few times before she actually starts doing the signs. Anyway, she was really interested in the alligator puppet the librarian had and after the stories were finished, she was the first one up to pet the puppet.

We played in the play area a little bit and read a couple more books on our own after storytime was over. 

We skipped this one:

and when it was time to go, Zuzu negotiated with me: "Ten minutes, Mama! Two minutes! One minute!" but ultimately we got out of there without fuss and it went so well I decided to press our luck and go to the park before lunch. I was thinking I'd wear out Zuzu so she'd nap easily.

Unfortunately, the playground was not shady and I'd underestimated how hot it was. It only took a few minutes for me to decide that it was too hot for Coco. So then I felt bad--like I'd offered Zuzu this "teaser" of the playground only to say we had to leave. To compensate, I told her that she could play in the water splash part before we left--even though I didn't have her swimsuit or a change of clothes.

So she ran through the water and had a great time and then it was time to go and she tried to run away from me and then I grabbed her hand and she bit me. I couldn't just pick her up and carry her since I had Coco in the wrap, and I was feeling stressed about getting the baby out of the heat, which made me feel HOTTER. So I employed some combination of bribes (lunch!), threats (Do you want Mama and Coco to leave you here by yourself?), and guilt-trips (biting HURTS Mama) and we made to the car.

Once we got there, I was really regretting the trip to the park. And I felt like I had to strategize how to get us loaded up and out of there. I started the car, blasted the AC, sat a soaking wet Zuzu on the passenger seat up front, took Coco out of the wrap and loaded her up in the carseat, went back around to Zuzu and stripped her out of her wet clothes, put her in a dry diaper, and then loaded her up in the backseat.

Coco slept through all of this, but she was pretty sweaty from being in the wrap so then I was worried she had gotten heatstroke. And then I was worried that she'd get chilled from the AC on her sweaty little body. It's a ten minute drive home and I worried the whole time that she was going to stop breathing. (She was FINE.)

Zuzu ate a good lunch and, except for the biting incident and the fear that I'd exposed the baby to heatstroke, I still felt like things were going pretty well.

But naptime totally fell apart. Coco and Zuzu and I spent an hour and a half in Zuzu's room and no one wanted to sleep. Except me.

At 2 o'clock, I finally gave up on naptime and decided to give in to screen time in order to save my sanity. When Zuzu gets tired, she gets so ornery. And she knows when I'm helplessly nursing the baby and unable to chase her.

Of course she fell asleep at 3 o'clock next to me in the recliner, which was sweetly adorable since she's not much of a snuggler these days. 

By 5pm, she was awake and Coco started her seriously fussy time and she was crying while I was trying to make dinner for Zuzu and David didn't get home from work until after 8pm and WOW. I keep reminding myself to treasure these moments, but I have to REMIND myself, you know?

At one point (I believe when she was systematically unpacking our camera bag after I told her to put it back and then THREW the battery in my general direction), I even said something to Zuzu that I swore I would NEVER say to my kid: "Do you want a spanking?"

She said, "Yeah!" with a huge grin.

Obviously has no idea what a spanking is. Aggravating as it was, her enthusiasm made me laugh. And made me feel like my parenting is totally ineffectual.

But she does crack me up. Even when she's naughty.

I don't even have a caption for this.

 And Coco is so sweet when she's sleeping. Or looking around skeptically. 

So we have our good moments, too.

Right now our moment consists of Coco snoozing on top of me, Cooper giving me puppy-dog eyes for dinner, and Zuzu frollicking naked (long story) on the couch, singing the theme song to "Signing Time."

It feels crazy and chaotic and I mostly feel vaguely incompetent and hungry and also like I need to take a shower. And I would like someone to clean my bathroom and mop the kitchen floor and fix dinner and pour me a glass of wine while I do that. Anyone? Anyone?

Well, tomorrow is another day. So for now I'll just try to be content sitting here smelling Coco's head and watching Zuzu's antics. As long as she doesn't pee on the couch (or the carpet), we'll call this one a good day.


  1. You should decoupage that on a canvas: "Any day without pee on the carpet is a good day!" I AGREE!!

    The park trip sounds brutal, but you gotta try, right? I mean, odds are even that you would have had an awesome time that wouldn't have made nearly as good a blog post. Still, that moment when you get back to a hot car with a wet kid and a sleeping baby is SOUL SUCKING. BEEN THERE MANY TIMES.

    The sleeping baby selfie is gorgeous! What a sweet moment!

  2. One time, J was apparently frustrated and inventive in the same moment and threatened to lock G in The Dungeon* if she didn't behave. She then threw a giant fit because she wanted to go to The Dungeon and he wouldn't let her.

    *There is no actual dungeon. In case you were worried.

  3. Luke is why I didn't really try baby wearing much with Matthew. Having one of themin the stroller was a lot easier for me so I could put on the brake and have both hands to deal with Luke. I still bring the stroller places Luke doesn't like to leave easily--library and the park mainly. Sounds like a mostly successful day to me!

  4. "Vaguely Incompetent" was the line that stuck for me! It may end up on my wall in either a cross-stitch sampler or one of those scrolling phrases you see over a head board or mantle - my friend has a Cricut. :) Not to worry, I'll have a tiny line with "-by the brooke" in the corner.

  5. You reminded me of an essay I read the other day. It was by Glennon Melton -- don't know whether you ever read her work. Anyway, she was talking about the pressure to enjoy every moment of parenting and all the strangers who say how it goes too fast. She said that parenting is like climbing Mt. Everest. And do those people climbing Mt. Everest get stopped every 100 feet by strangers telling them to enjoy every moment? No they do not. Because anyone saying that would get pushed off the mountain. But those mountain climbers have a few good moments each day to keep them going, and then hopefully at the end, they can look back and relish what they accomplished. I thought it was a great comparison.

  6. Even when you're writing about your stress, you always manage to make me smile, especially with those pictures!

  7. ha! no words of wisdom. it's so chaotic at our house too. and now that LJ is on the move, it's a different kind of crazy. stay strong, momma!! :)

  8. Look how little those babies were!! I forgot how much of a baby Zuzu still was when Coco was born. Coco is now that age! Crazy