I am exhausted and I have a very strong suspicion it is your constant crying that makes me feel like I never get a good nights rest. My exhaustion from listening to you cry for the past seventeen months has made me a little crabby as well – I snapped at a poor woman at Starbucks for trying to take my coffee only to learn that it was in fact her coffee. There are times I wish I could just hang a sign around my neck that states ‘mother of a difficult toddler – forgive me for my clueless nature – have not slept for quite some time.’ Seriously though, what is your deal? I get it that Olivia is always in your face and sometimes she’s a little rough when she goes in for a hug but we’ve gotten to the point where all she has to do is look at you and you run away crying. I am starting to catch on to the fact that perhaps I’m being played. Maybe I have over reacted a bit in the past but it’s kind of a necessity for your well being when Olivia tries to pelt you with golf balls. Fortunately for you, she has crappy aim. I know you have the fight in you to strike back – you proved this quite well when you decided to take down Olivia at the park last week:
You’re trying to find your voice which is nearly impossible when you’re with Olivia. I too struggle to find my voice when I’m with her but you have to reach down deep and grab hold of something. Language isn’t your strong suit but maybe you can growl or something like Merrik does. It’s true, Merrik has resorted to growling at other children when he’s angry. I guess it’s better than hitting.
I’m fairly certain our neighbors think I’m a horrible parent because every time I open the front door, he’s within an earshot of you screaming and flailing your body across the front porch while Olivia is having a crisis in the driveway asking for ‘just one more, PLEASE!’ over and over again. This is happening while I’m also screaming Fabrizio’s name as I try to corral him back in the door. Yes, this does happen every day. I’m actually quite surprised he hasn’t staged an intervention or called social services on us.
The other week, we decided to take away the almighty pacifier. It wasn’t something we planned nor did we have any inclination as to how you would handle the absence of your dear friend. I had put you down for your nap and I found myself without your pacifier. It was gone and you have a knack for hiding things really really well. I spent two hours looking high and low without success. You didn’t cry or fuss but it did take you a little longer to fall asleep. Finally I found it in my kitchen utensil drawer which has proven to be a guaranteed location for lost items, big and small. By the time we found it, you were fast asleep so we didn’t bother you with it. Given how well you did without it, we decided to put it away for bedtime and again, you didn’t fuss or whine. Sounds great with the exception of two things: 1. it takes you a really long time to fall asleep now. I’m talking a good hour to hour and a half which is fine except you keep Olivia awake which makes for brutal mornings. And 2. you’re extremely loud without it. You’re a loud kid in general but you are bullhorn loud without something to smother the sound. Your sleep schedule is totally out of whack because of the pacifier take-away. I’m now startled out of sleep at 5:45am to the sound of you screaming every thirty seconds from your crib because you can’t settle yourself back down. I will happily give you back the damn pacifier if you will let me sleep until 7:30. I will downright let you swim in a sea of pacifiers if you will stop crying for an afternoon.
I have discussed your rapid transition from good mood to bad mood in the past and it has become blatantly obvious as you get older. You will be whining and crying and Olivia will belt out in song and it’s as if rhythm has a hand and grabs you because you starting bouncing, gyrating, shimmying all around the room. Gloria Estefan was talking specifically about you when she claimed the rhythm is going to get you. You have become Olivia’s backup dancer which provides endless entertainment at all hours of the day. Your preference is house music but you’re unbiased – clearly when you attempt to find a rhythm in Olivia’s songs.
I am worried for you that given your lack of vocabulary and your constant fussing that perhaps something greater is wrong and I’m just too clueless to pick up on it. You know, I don’t get an informational pamphlet when you’re born explaining what to do in certain situations. I’ll be honest that your Dad and I have been a little out of sorts lately with our dear Maddy-girl passing which by the way breaks my heart that you won’t have any memories of her but thankfully for you, I live life through the camera lens so you’ll have photos to look at. It’s clear that when it comes to parenting you, I’m winging everything with the hope that I get lucky and you make it out alive. There isn’t a second that goes by that I fear I’m really messing up with you and you may be a complete basket case as an adult. I seriously have no idea what to do with you except hold my breath and make lots of penny wishes in fountains because we’re banking on pure luck, kid. I am sorry if you grow up to resent me which I’m sure you will. I want you to know that I will continue to wait patiently with each and every scowl, kick, scream, whine and pout because occasionally you do smile and laugh and those moments are perfectly lovely. I am still terrified of raising a boy because you’re proving my theory right that boys are loud and dirty but in the end you’re still my loveable baby boy. Well, to be precise, my loveable sensitive Kajagoogoo baby boy.