Wednesday, October 20, 2010


As you may know, I have two children, one six months old and the other one nearly five years old. One kid cries at all hours of the night, gets separation anxiety if I so much as step out of sight, is totally dependent on mom and dad, and spends hours every day fussing and whining -- I'm thinking colic might be a culprit.

The baby, on the other hand, is chill.

Gratuitous cute baby shot
I don't understand how a kid who is almost ready for kindergarten can require so much more in the form of parenting resources than an infant. There is NO WAY I was this hard to manage when I was almost five years old. (Mom, please note: If you leave a sarcastic comment, I will delete it.)

The other day I saw an article in the paper about a mother in the Ukraine who tried to sell her kid to human-organ traffickers, and Stella has been so challenging recently that I admit I lingered over the article before turning the page. Stella must have seen me googling "call Kiev country code" because her mood has improved recently. Still, she doesn't really need both kidneys, does she?

David is heading out of town on a work trip, which means I will be solo parenting for the next few days. I have one main tool that I use to help deal with the stress of running the household without David: bad carbs. For me, not for the kids. It's amazing how a package of graham crackers can buoy my mood and give me additional mental resources to deal with unreasonable demands. I've prepared a handy if/then chart so I know the best carb-related method of dealing with various unpleasant scenarios. Some examples:

IF: Meltdown occurs, precipitated by Stella's re-discovery of five-day old microscopic scratch that needs a band-aid RIGHT NOW, probably exacerbated by my slightly sarcastic suggestion that she get her own band-aid so I could be free to mop up all the blood.
THEN: Consume one tootsie roll Stella caught at the Memorial Day parade, microwaved for 30 seconds to see if it will soften up. You can break a tooth on those things.

IF: "Look Mama! Baby W is a dog and I am tying this leash around him and dragging him around by his neck for a walk!"
THEN: Well, looky here. SOMEBODY -- somebody who is off on a work trip -- was trying to hide an unfinished bag of peanut M&Ms in the pantry behind the clam chowder.

At the orchard
It's true that Stella's been quite challenging recently, but we have managed to have some fun together too. A couple days ago we picked apples at a self-pick orchard. Then we made and canned applesauce together, which was a first for me. I am not known for my mastery of traditional female skills like canning, so I was pretty proud of myself. I think there's a decent chance the applesauce tastes pretty good, but we'll never find out because I'm so proud of my handiwork that I'd prefer to just have the jars sit on the shelf where I could show them off to unsuspecting political campaign workers who are foolish enough to ring my doorbell. Sort of like when Stella was learning to use the toilet, and the first time she pooped on the pot I happened to be out of the house on a run. David saved it to show me -- he saved it for me -- and when I jokingly suggested we have the turd bronzed, he got kind of a thoughtful look on his face. We could bronze these applesauce jars. And as long as we're at it, I'm also going to suggest we bronze the tootsie rolls. I think it would improve their taste. 


  1. dude.. julian too has microscopic cuts that need bandaids. and at preschool he does put them on himself... but of course the bandaids at home are 'different' and 'harder to put on'-- just like the zipper at preschool is different, the snowpants are different, the straps on the sandals are different. i swear each season involves weeks and weeks of 'teaching/strategizing' on how to get these things on, followed by waiting in the kitchen ... for what feels like 45 minutes... for him to get the gosh darn fill-in-the-blank on.