So... it's been a while.
How have you been?
Me? Well, I'm ... ya know...
That seems like such a 'mom' thing to say right? The cop-out answer to the 'how are you?' question. "Oh, ya know, tired". Maybe even a feeble laugh for good measure.
The fact is, unless your kids are quiet, well-behaved, love-to-sleep angels... like..99% of the time...which isn't actually healthy for kids to be like... then you will feel that nagging, exasperated, swelling, weighted feeling that is simplest to express as just... 'Tired'.
One would think that this should pass after toddler-hood. It did for a while. But child-hood seems to have brought forth a whole new set of obstacles.
Let's try to remain positive for a moment...
- Toby sleeps through the night. If he wakes slightly, he falls back asleep.
- He doesn't nurse. There was a time when I was sure he'd be in college before he stopped.
- He has only twice had a bathroom accident, when he was first toilet training. Never since. He wakes up early and creeps to the bathroom himself.
- He gets himself dressed. He knows what clothes he likes, picks them out, matches them, dresses himself entirely.
- He eats lots of good food. Always has.
- He's all about safety gear. Hard hat and eye glasses and ear protectors always when doing work. Even if it's pretend work with Lego.
But even so... as I said... there are some new obstacles.
Yes he sleeps through the night, but I must be the one to put him to bed. Always. Don't be late. Don't think about going away for the weekend. Cause he just won't sleep. Or he'll cry til he passes out, and not in a good way. He's smart enough now that he knows I don't actually go to bed when he goes to bed, I go downstairs. And heaven forbid if I'm not there when he has a once-in-a-blue-moon anxiety attack.
No, he doesn't nurse, but now he argues. I used to able to curb a tantrum by sitting on the couch and lifting my shirt. Now there's just screaming. He won't come sit on my lap. I'm not allowed to touch him, but I MUST pick him up THIS MINUTE. Without touching him. Or coming near him. Or talking to him. Or looking at him. BUT DON'T LEAVE THE ROOM. Sit here. Let me push your back with my feet. DON'T GET UP, WHERE ARE YOU GOING??
Yes, he's great with the toilet. But he must never ever ever wipe himself. Why? Because he might get something on his finger. And no, folding the toilet paper to cover his hand is NOT the answer. It MUST be rolled into the tightest tiniest ball possible. But since it's in a ball, his fingers might get dirty. Oh, and this ball MUST consist of EXACTLY 1/3 of a toilet paper roll. Cause, duh, any more than that would be a waste. But any less MIGHT let some wet through.
He gets dressed on his own... but that also means I may never ever have another opinion about his clothing ever again. We went to three weddings this summer. The first was a novelty, so he dressed the part. But in the car the jacket came off. After the ceremony the vest and tie came off. At the dinner the shirt had to be unbuttoned. We left in t-shirt, pants, and running shoes. The next wedding was granted a button up shirt, nothing more. The next wedding he refused to attend.
He has yet to put on winter pajamas. He has been wearing shorts and a t-shirt since May. He insists he's warm, but maybe I could turn the heat up a bit... and bring him some blankets...and tea. Oh and also, those boots and coat he said he loved? Well, something has gone HORRIBLY wrong, and they can't POSSIBLY be the same ones we bought because they feel weird. Yesterday they we're too big, now everything is too tight. But we should go outside. Like now. But sorry no, those snow boots are unacceptable. Why aren't we going outside yet?
He eats lots of good food, but has suddenly decided he's picky. He can't eat anything apple-cinnamon flavoured, even though he used to love it. But he LOVES apple crisp. He will ONLY drink soy milk on his cereal, cause that's what Grampa has, but can't tell the difference if I put almond milk on when he's not looking. Fish is forbidden, unless it's canned tuna. Chicken is okaaaaaay I guess, as long as it doesn't actually resemble chicken. Like if it's chicken thighs all chopped up with some kind of sauce, we're good. But no strips of chicken breast. He loves baking cookies, and pretends to like eating them, but never eats more than one. Then the whole batch just kind of...sits. Spinach salad used to be be a favourite, but now it's awful. Just awful. Brussels Sprouts on the other hand... load em up.
He's all about being safe, but will happily walk through a construction site barefoot. But will then complain about all the sharp things in his feet. He needs the right gear for the job but won't wear weather appropriate clothing. Rain boots? In the rain? I'm pretty sure that's why flip flops were invented. Don't really care that it's 2 degrees out. But go out in flip flops onto dewy grass on a 30 degree morning?? Well THAT my friend calls for some rubber boots! Maybe even a raincoat for good measure!
So you see... I'm tired.
Not just sleep deprived, because I do actually sleep, but tired of arguing. Tired of trying to make myself stay very very calm and rational. Tired of trying to think two steps ahead of unpredictable. Tired of making plans, but knowing that they probably won't stick. Tired of being a mediator for myself and a 6 year old.
And with that, I disappear again.
Hopefully for not as long.
Depends how tired I'm feeling.