OK, it's one of those weeks every week.
But this week seems particularly insane, despite the regular help I'm getting from Miss Amanda, my summer sitter. (Although around here she's "Miss A-Panda." Cute, right?) We love our Miss A-Panda. Well, except for when we're hitting her. Or locking her in a room, as the case may be.
Wait, though. Don't call the cops on me yet. These abuses are all courtesy of my almost 5-year old, Ella. For reasons I still haven't figured out, she decided to beat up on sweet Miss A-Panda - and lock her in a room - while I was out running errands with my mom the other day. Miss A-Panda, being the smart girl that she is, quickly popped the lock and picked up the phone to call
Fortunately, I was almost home. Fortunately, too, I had a few minutes to vent to my mom about Ella's bad attitude, because she was able to calm me down and gently remind me that I've been through A LOT of stages with these kiddos. This is just one more stage, she told me. And she's right. Although the Hitting and Being a General Pill Stage? I'm over it. I can't wait for it to go the way of these other annoying stages that, praise God, eventually passed:
1. Worst Morning Sickness EVER Stage
I know, I know. You probably think that you had the worst morning sickness ever, and you're probably right - because morning sickness is THE MOST MISERABLE FEELING IN THE WORLD, regardless of your personal sickness level. But even my OB agrees that my level was off the charts: like a 19 out of a possible 10. During the course of my three (successful) pregnancies, I was hospitalized 14 times for excessive vomiting. During the twins' pregnancy, which very nearly killed me, I lost weight faster than my babies could gain; I looked like an orange stuck on toothpicks. Those times when I was temporarily discharged from the hospital, I had a home nurse monitoring me, a Zofran pump pumping anti-nausea medicine into my leg, and a PICC line in my arm delivering fluids and TPN. It was not my favorite stage ever.
I have plenty of gross / disgusting / kinda funny stories about my 25+ months' experience with hyperemesis (i.e. morning sickness on crack), which I'll probably write about at some point; but my point in writing about it now is simply to say: I didn't die. I thought at times I was going to, but I didn't. I survived, it's over, and I have four healthy and surprising chubby children to show for it. We made it.
2. Now My Baby Is Throwing Up Stage
The irony is that the next stage still had everything to do with digestive functions... just not my own. The Now My Baby Is Throwing Up Stage (better known within the medical community as acid reflux) was a different experience with each child. Emily and Evie had it, but I didn't really notice because I was too busy feeding, burping, bathing, changing, swaddling, and rocking them to really care about the spit-up all over my clothes. Ty had it as well, but he was what the pediatrician called a "happy spitter." In other words, I was covered in baby goo but Ty never fussed. Go figure.
Then there was Ella.
Ella was NOT a happy spitter. She was not a happy baby. In fact, members of my family can testify that Ella didn't stop crying for three months after we brought her home. My hubby's grandmother called it colic. I called it pure agony.
Even once the crying
3. Make The Screaming Stop Stage
Ella made such a quick transition from spitting to screaming that I never really had a chance to celebrate the end of the Now My Baby Is Throwing Up Stage. We jumped right in, feet first, to the Make The Screaming Stop Stage.
Now again, I'm sure you think that your kid gets pretty loud. And he or she probably does pull off a good scream now and again. But Ella could shatter glass with her scream. No kidding, we could've taken out the whole crystal section at Macy's with one blood-curdling yell. It got to the point where I couldn't leave the house because she screamed ALL THE TIME.
Eventually, I got so desperate that I called a world-renowned counseling center, held the phone up to Ella, and after a few screams begged the man on the other end to tell me what I could do to make her stop. He told me to buy ear plugs and wait for the stage to pass. Easy for him to say, but in reality I had no choice... so that's what I did. And praise God, it finally passed - just about the time we found out I was pregnant with twins.
4. Diaper Removal Stage
The twins, of course, brought with them their own unique stages. What I had learned from parenting Ella was inadequate when I tackled their new, double-your-trouble phases. Like the Diaper Removal Stage.
This stage started shortly before Ty was born, and continued for a good six months. At first I wasn't too concerned, since the girls were still in their cribs and the damage was contained. I just put onesies on over their diapers and assumed that the problem was solved. And it was until they moved into their big girl beds - at which point they teamed up to unsnap one another's onesies, rip off their diapers and leave poopy-butt imprints on every piece of furniture, bedding, and window pane in the room.
It wasn't a pretty stage. I would've been well-served to strip the carpet and bedding from their rooms, paint the walls chocolate brown, and call it a day. But I persisted in fighting the battle, even wrapping their diapers in strapping tape before bedtime. Did you know that a child's tummy shrinks during the night, and that come day the taped-up diapers can just slide right off? If you do, you're smarter than I was because strapping tape did not exactly solve our problem. Nothing did. Eventually, I think the girls just got tired of painting the windows and walls with their poo and moved on to another stage, because it too has passed.
For now, anyway - since Ty is starting to get more curious about the mechanical workings of his disposable diaper. I'll have to cross my fingers and buy some onesies. But even if he does hit the Diaper Removal Stage, I know that it too will pass. As will - God willing - the Picky Eater Stage, the Arguing With Every Word That Comes From Mommy's Mouth Stage, and the Still Going Pee-pee In My Night-time Diaper Stage. And of course the Hitting and General Pill Stage. Surely it too will pass. Right?
Lord, I hope so.