The Unholy Terror of Screaming Proportions

Just when you think you’ve got a good rhythm going, when the routines are working okay, and there’s an occasional night when she sleeps in her crib until five or six in the morning. Just when you can do some dishes without her affixed to your shins like a Mighty Leech, and you can run outside to water the plants while she watches contentedly from the window. Just when you let your guard down…

The Unholy Terror of Screaming Proportions attacks.

With a vengeance.

It’s teething. Right? I mean, it’s the perfect excuse. Now we’re onto the molars, and yeah, extra painful probably. They’re the perfect scapegoat, as no one is brave enough to stick a finger back there and actually check (the UTSP bites). Teething mysteriously comes and goes, and it gives you a chance to pity the UTSP instead of resenting her (sometimes. Maybe not at 2:55 in the morning).

We’ve always done “the co-sleeping thing.” Not because it’s trendy or cool, or so down-to-earth. But because we’re lazy. L-A-Z-Y. Why rouse ourselves in the middle of the night, spend fifteen to thirty minutes soothing a child to sleep, and then try to get back to sleep? Why not just zombie-walk to the kid’s room, pluck her out of her bed, and snuggle up next to her in our own?

I’ll tell you why not. The two reasons come with five toes apiece. The UTSP has been armed with a Mighty Kick and instructed to fire at will. By employing strategies of random, rapid fire movements she has almost shattered my cheekbone and nearly ensured, via a lucky strike to a certain sensitive area on Husband, that she will be an only child.

So now: not only am I rethinking every single aspect of the beginning of my novel, but I’m currently reevaluating Child Number 2. As well as making decisions on cellular blinds, granite countertops, and paint colors. Because, of course, we couldn’t be content with only 30 pounds of upheaval in our lives. We had to go ahead and add some remodeling to the mix just to see how much we can take.

On the very bright side, our new soon-to-be-installed kitchen faucet comes with a built-in soap dispenser. I am Over The Moon about this soap dispenser. It will solve All Life’s Problems and Bring Me Happiness. As my mother-in-law said, “It’s the little things.”

And Z, our UTSP, is a little thing. She is charming, intelligent, and has a great sense of humor. And when she isn’t demonstrating her finer qualities?

Well, I can just run into the kitchen, squirt some soap from our built-in soap dispenser, and life will seem fine just fine.

If You’re Happy and You Know It

First, two cute toddler things:

1) Z has been dancing and trying out hand motions to songs for awhile now, and I believe this is a result of a couple of different factors: the Music Together program, and the fact that I often sing to Z and recite nursery rhymes and poems instead of suffering through enjoying her scintillating conversations about whether the dogs next door are awake, asleep, eating, wearing diapers, singing, or barking.

Of course I’d like to believe a huge part of her love of music and dancing is due to a) her inherent genius-ness and b) an inheritance of my own unrealized talent for singing and dancing (I can hear family and friends laughing aloud at this. Shut up. I’m totally talented as a singer/dancer. Chicago NEEDS me, and everyone would love Cats if I were cast as Grizabella and warbled out “Memory”).

Whatever the reason for the dancing and accompanying hand movements, it’s pretty cute.

2) Another cute thing is her Entourage. This is the name I’ve given her stuffed animal friends. Not all of them are animals, though. We have Mr. Penguin, Talula (a cat), Noop (a doll), Doggie, Giraffe, Giraffe (again), Bird, and…Necrotizing Fasciitis. Necrotizing Fasciitis is a giant stuffed microbe holding a fork and knife, a joke gift from when Husband did lab work in school.

Z carries her Entourage around the house. Usually she only has three A-listers, since that’s all she can manage to carry, and she switches it up a bit (perhaps Z, too, notices that conversation can get dull when hanging out with the same person day after day after day).

The cute things are totally necessary right now, because life has not been serene or happy in my house lately. I have to steal these cute moments when they come, because at naptimes and most of the night she has been an Unholy Terror of Screaming Proportions (UTSP). The UTSP is not happy, and everyone knows it. Including the neighbors, their dogs, and the people one county over. There has been so little hand-clapping, foot-stomping, shouting-hooray fun here that I even -gasp!- considered getting a job and sending the UTSP to daycare just so I don’t have to deal with her anymore. Last night I was about to give Husband my formal resignation.

But then, she was falling asleep in her enchilada at 6:30, so we (er, Husband, that is, since I was still busy sulking) whisked her off to bed, and she didn’t wake up until 6:30 this morning. Which for Z, and by default, me, is sleeping in.

I don’t know if the sunny disposition will last, for either of us, which is why I’m going to clap my hands, stomp my feet, shout hooray, and let my face show the tiny, stolen happinesses I find.