Daily Archives: April 1, 2008

It’s Not Fair!

What follows is a guest post from my wife, who has had a bit of a difficult week so far.

I have come upstairs to … get AWAY from our 2 and 3 year-olds. They’re eating lunch. Or that’s what they’re supposed to be doing.  They’ve been sick for days now. It seems like a very long time. I’ve been up with one or both every night for 4 nights now. And I’m tired. And I must say my patience … um, well, I have none, today. We’ve been to the doctor and to the pharmacy. And I’ve refereed more than my share of fights and arguments.

And just now I was sitting up here trying not to hear what’s going on downstairs in the kitchen. I’m confident that they can’t hurt each other ’cause they’re each in a highchair. But what they can do is argue .  And they’ve been doing it well. “Sprite” (to continue on with Jeff’s given pseudonym) starts by saying, “It’s not fair!” (a phrase she’s picked up from a favorite video), and “Little Mommy” gets offended and says: “Yes, it is!”  And then it just escalates into yelling: “IT’S NOT FAIR!” and “YES, IT IS!”

Sprite doesn’t really have anything in mind to protest. It’s just a phrase that probably reflects her feelings of wanting to fight. And Little Mommy doesn’t care what isn’t fair, she just needs to defend … whoever it is that needs defending. And so it goes. On and on. Until I call down and tell them that I’ll be down soon (though “soon” is being optimistic).

There are absolutely times that I feel like IT’S NOT FAIR! I love being a Mom. And most days I actually enjoy it. But when I haven’t gotten much sleep in 4 nights and have been tending to sick little people for at least as many days, I seriously want to have some time off.

And I have to say, right now as I’m typing this, Jeff has gone downstairs to forestall any mutinies, in order to allow me time to vent. So, here it is. Hopefully now I’ll be able to return to active duty and not completely lose my cool. I really do want to baby my sick babies and be a caring Mom.

Well … here goes.

Little Mommy moments

Just a couple of examples of life with Little Mommy…

Sometimes I don’t give my kids enough credit

Recently Little Mommy and I were putting together a puzzle on the living room floor as bedtime approached. Mom was out of the house. Little Mommy is pretty good at puzzles for a 3-year old, but she’s not what I would consider a fast worker. I was beginning to wonder if we’d get finished by the time the bedtime rolled around. A few minutes before bedtime, however, we were leisurely, if not stresslessly, finishing up when the 2-year old came in and wanted to do a puzzle as well (to avoid perpetuating her nickname from the last post, let’s call her “Sprite”). I was not ready to start another marathon puzzle session with 2 minutes left before bedtime, so after a small moment of panic on both our parts we agreed to just have her show me how to put back the three pieces that fell out when she came over with the puzzle.

It was Sprite’s turn to shine. She could now show off how well she could do a puzzle. Coming on the heels of her sister’s success, this was a big-girl moment.

Sprite busily got to turning the puzzle piece this way and that, and back again (not because she was trying to fit the piece, but because that’s what you do with puzzle pieces). I gave her a few hints and she started to place a piece… but couldn’t quite get the pieces to lock. She was trying to slide them in, rather than place them down from the top. I gave her a little time to try to figure that out for herself, but Little Mommy couldn’t take the suspense.

Now, I should say here that historically speaking, this should be where Little Mommy grabs the piece out of Sprite’s hand and pushes everyone out of the way saying something to the effect of “I’ll show you how to do it!” She did in fact lean in and start to go for the piece. I was all poised to jump in and defend Sprite’s right to the piece when, in the calmest, most adult-sounding supportive voice I’ve ever heard escape her lips, Little Mommy said “You know, sometimes it helps me if I lift the piece up” while gently guiding Sprite’s hand in doing so.

Sprite’s reaction: no defensive jerking away and screaming… just “Oh! Thanks.” And the piece was successfully placed.

As I sat back in pleasant shock, I heard Little Mommy say “Good job!” and break into applause.

If I was a little faster in reacting on my assumptions at the crucial moment, I would have lost this little moment of happiness. Sometimes it pays to hang back.

English lessons

Sprite, Mom, and I were at the dinner table tonight trying to get Sprite to enunciate her words more — or at least stop using nonsense syllables when she’s trying to communicate. She does have a huge vocabulary, so it’s frustrating when she decides just to start mumbling nonsense while asking us to do something. So with a hint of exasperation we say “Sprite, speak English!”

From the hallway bathroom comes Little Mommy’s voice: “I speak English!”

Mom: “Let me hear you. What can you say?”

“Okay! Uno, dos, tres, quattro…”

It’s a good thing I had finished my Iced Tea.