Friday, August 10, 2007

8/10/07 Baby bust

Argh, not a rewarding baby day. Lots and lots of tense, hectic moments when everyone wants something from me, including me, and baby is screeching her head off. Walk through the door carrying groceries, gym bag, baby....Gabriel wants milk, Julian wants a particular song, Katrina wants valet service, I want to unpack groceries, change clothes, get a drink, put things away in the kitchen to have room to do task #1.... Ah, so far lost are the days when you walked through the door and just collapse and gather yourself for a few minutes. I can't even blow my nose!

To make matters worse, the old trick of sitting Katrina in the high chair and keeping her happy with cereal for a few minutes no longer works. She's decided she must be served finger food, stuff she's perfectly capable of picking up herself, but for some reason, deigns not to. It is utterly futile to insist, as she will shriek her head off and there is no lesson to be learned from sticking it out and making a point with her. After all, she's only 10 months old. At least, I hope it's age and not personality.

The boys kept themselves busy this morning with a new use of their toys: piling them up into a "train."

Against my better judgement, I let the boys play with a new whiteboard, and two dry-erase markers. It overall worked OK, though I did have to set a "turns timer" later in the day.

But there's a new sheriff in town! And someone else to share with. Katrina made a baby-beeline for the attractive new items. Mmmm, toxic permanent marker, yummy.

(This picture is for Cousin Remi, who's famous for her numerous creative use of markers: chewing, dipping in toilets then chewing, drawing on walls, herself, etc.)

Still, I was very glad to put a demanding, edgy, unpredictable baby to bed tonight. I'm afraid we've had enough days in a row of this that it's no longer an "off" time -- I think this is for real. Her newborn self has re-emerged; the sweet smiley darling little thing of 7 months old has yielded to pre-toddler behavior. And the fact that she takes much more after Gabriel than Julian scares the bejeezus out of me.

Then again....Julian. Pre-dinner pee & wash hands has become SUCH a problem. Right as I'm at my peak busy serving dinner, I have to round the boys up and get them to get ready. My divide-and-conquer strategy of starting with one of them works, halfway: Gabriel is usually pretty speedy. But Julian....oh my goodness. Excuses, procrastination, whining, refusal, screaming, crying. It's supremely irritating, and I just don't have room for the endless reminders, warnings and countdowns.

Tonight, Calm Mom gave way to I'VEHADIT, and I carried him upstairs, kicking and screaming, unmoved by his claims of rehabilitation and cries that I was hurting him, tossed him into his room and demanded he stay there until I called for him. Then, my job of serving dinner was reduced to only mayhem, punctuated by the high-maintenance banshee-wailings of my dear daughter if Dad so much as looked the other way while he waited on her hand and foot. Sheesh.

At least I know that when I put Katrina down for the night, I won't see her until the morning. Thank goodness. Gabriel at her age was well into his -- and my -- all-nighters, applying his powerful determination and persistence to a wee-hours party. But, Gabriel also took two 2-hour naps a day, whereas Katrina takes one 1+ hour nap and another 1- hour nap. Sleeping through the night v. great, sleeping through the night wins.

Speaking of sleep, I was way way wired up last night. None of my usual wind-down methods worked to settle my spinning mind, not even half an Ambien. I was awake until 3am, slept lightly, and couldn't fall soundly back asleep even when woken up by a flock of noisy crows at 6am. I was very tired this morning, but still couldn't nap when I had the chance this morning during Katrina's nap.

But I recognize this energy surge now. It marks the end of a migraine. Yes folks, the storm finally broke, and when it did, the sun shone through so brightly it was blinding. Tonight, I should be back on track. Let's hope Katrina is soon too.


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