We are in the middle of an Olivia-free week and I hate to say it out of pure guilt but it has been really nice. I mean really REALLY nice. All this time I thought you were the reason I was crazy bone tired at the end of the night but it appears the culprit is your sister. This week has been damn lovely and I am forever in my parents debt for taking her for a full week. We have had this amazing one on one time and it has actually allowed me to see who you really are. You’re actually a freaking adorable little Gremlin. We’ve coined the term ‘Gremlin’ for you because unlike other babies your age who make adorable little coo sounds, you blurt out this grunt/Gremlin/Velociraptor sound that gets louder as the evening progresses. Today at lunch, people actually stopped eating to turn around to see what was producing this angry dry heaving sound. It’s not like I can actually tell you to keep it down so my only option is to smile and nod and pretend the Gremlin/Velociraptor is not with me – “No no, I’m just the Nanny – his parents are acutally banshees.”
Back to the Olivia-free week, did I mention how nice it has been? I didn’t realize how easy it is with only one child. My goodness – when I want to go somewhere, I just toss you in the carseat. When it’s bedtime, I feed you, read a couple stories and bam, you’re in bed. I know one day you too will be a toddler and will make everything a fight like your sister but for now, I will relish in the fact that babies are EASY! I was a little sad about the fact that Olivia would be starting preschool in August but I have to be honest, I’m certainly going to welcome that day with open arms. Don’t get me wrong, I miss the little terror but I’m really enjoying our time together. I feel so bad that it took eight whole months to really sit down with you to see who you really are and quite frankly, I’m smitten. You are a crotchety old man in a baby’s body who just wants the simple things in life. You also have the ability to both laugh and cry at the same time – true story, weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.
You survived the week of the world’s worst case of Mastitis ever – if you’re not in the know, Mastitis is a breast infection that basically feels like taking a pile of broken glass and scrubbing the hell out of your breast while vomiting profusely with a high fever. The icing on this boob cake is I’m supposed to frequently nurse from the infected side to relieve the pressure. Yes, I cried and then I vomited and then I cried again. I came extremely close to quitting right then and there but the problem is this, 1. I don’t have enough frozen milk supply to wean you correctly and 2. I don’t want to wean you to formula and then in three months, wean you again to milk. You hardly nurse at all anymore and it’s still a hell of a lot easier to feed you in the middle of the night without having to prepare a bottle. Although, I’m flat out telling you now that if I have the smallest repeat of what I experienced, you’re getting whatever the hell I have available in the refrigerator and I don’t care if you like it or not. You will enjoy the apple juice that has been sitting in the back of the refrigerator for the last 18 months and you will not complain of its bite or weird murky orange-grey color.
You started crawling which would typically make any parent proud but I remember how annoying this time was because you are inevitably drawn to the things you can’t touch such as my shoes or sheet protectors or stairs. I find kids at this age to be extremely suicidal, instincually going for the things that are major game changers such as licking outlets, aiming head first down the stairs or trying to knock down my coffee. You’re probably thinking, why not try eliminating these things and making the house safer. It has been done and infants are there to show you where you failed as a parent because no question about it, I forgot something and you will inform me as to what that is. Your crawling is far from graceful. You drag one leg behind you as if it’s dead and you manage to bang your head in the exact same spot over and over again so to some, it looks like a devil horn is trying to surface. This certainly is starting to pique my interest. Don’t worry – we’ll jazz it up with stickers.
When you were first born, I made a declaration that I would not use the pacifier with you. You would learn to console yourself and that would be it. I hate the look of pacifiers especially on a toddler who is chewing on one out of the corner of their mouth like a piece of straw and screaming at their Mother for a Lunchable – true story, actually witnessed this. Well, I caved and we started using the pacifier when you were sleeping. Then I caved again and started using it after feedings to protect myself from projectile vomit. By the way, lesson learned, this only works when the pacifier doesn’t have holes in it. Now when you make the slightest facial gesture that you’re even considering a cry, we shove the pacifier right in. So my bold glorious Mother moment is over and once again, I’m a slave to the pacifier. This is truly a death sentence at 3am when you wake up hysterically crying because you don’t have your pacifier. I usually stagger in to your room half blind because my skin lightener lotion melted in to my eye creating a thick crust barrier. I feel around with one hand in your crib looking under each of your 18 stuffed animals and typically without luck, have to take the search to the ground. I’m on all fours searching desperately for the baby silencer as your screams escalate only to discover the damn thing was in your hand ALL ALONG! I bought a glow-in-the-dark pacifier thinking this would be the best invention ever only to discover the glow only lasts a whole whoppin’ 3 seconds. I would categorize that as total product fail.
You have developed a true hatred to having your diaper changed. This in conjunction with your abnormally freakish strength makes diaper changing awesome. When I say awesome, I mean it’s awesome like changing the diaper on a cat. No, a wet cat. You arch your back, you kick your legs, you twist, you scream. There I am, holding you up by your ankles with one hand as to not spread the crap every which way only to have you bounce all around the changing pad. I finally get through our little dance only to pick you up and make the gruesome discovery that you actually crapped up to your ears and you smeared it all around the changing pad anyway. Actually, I think it would be easier to change the diaper on a cat.
This has been an exceptionally lovely week (didn’t I mention that already?) You really are a delightful child on your own and I’ve come to realize that you can be such a pain any other day of the week because you have to compete with Olivia who is somewhat of a manic force. She was once as sweet and complacent as you and then toddler days come and then ADD medicine doesn’t sound like such a big deal. I promise to take more time for you and me as long as you promise not to judge me for A. drinking occasionally from your sippy cup when my beverage is not around, B. not always cleaning your toys when they fall on the floor and C. wiping your spit-up back on you if I get some on my hand. I think this is a fair agreement and I may even throw in an extra month of pacifier time if you promise not to yell at me through your pacifier for packaged lunchmeat in the future.