Friday, August 28, 2015

Genius Baby Part 7: Det? & a rant

So the monster has started to use "Det?" / "Dat?" with pointing and upward intonation to ask what things are.  He smiles or laughs delightedly when I answer.

I thought this was a bit soon, so I looked it up, apparently it usually starts around 21 months, so that's kinda cool. I know it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but I always feel proud about these things - proud of him, of course, but also a little proud of Mr. Wolfman and myself, for making his environment one that's conducive to learning.

My parents came for a short visit with my brother last night.  Of course a lot of the visit was them saying to my brother, "You were doing _____ at his age," and similar.  When I pointed out the monster's new question, my mom just kinda shrugged and said, "Yeah," not in an intentionally mean way, but in a all babies do that kind of way.

No mention of what I was doing at the monster's age.  No questions for Mr. Wolfman about what he was doing or what milestones he'd reached.  Before, the only things that mattered were the made up similarities between my monster and my brother, but now it seems like those aren't enough* and we're in some sort of fucked up competition.

Newsflash, guys: I don't care if my brother was more advanced at the same age. I give literally no shits. Since the ages at which he first did various things change with every retelling of the story, I kind of suspect he wasn't.  But maybe he was.  WHO THE FUCK CARES?

My monster is a baby now.  My brother is an adult with his own shit going on - and while I understand the desire to wax nostalgic, my son is not - and never will be - in competition with yours. For anything.  Likewise, I am not in competition with you over who the better parent is.  That's not a question I need answered.  Mr. Wolfman and I do the best we can, we give 100% and we have a happy, healthy, intelligent and active baby to show for it. That is what matters to us.

*perhaps because they were tenuous at best when the monster was fresh, and now that he's a monstrous bear child who basically only shares his ethnicity with my brother, they're downright laughable.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Genius Baby Part 6: Sentences

So far, the little monster has used two sentences.

The first, a few nights ago, was "Mum, no!" (Mum being in English and No in his other language) when I tried to put him back in his crib after a night feed.

The second, today, I told him we needed to change his diaper and he responded with "[his name] dai dai?"

Yeah, not going to lie, I'm a little freaked out.  Mostly delighted, but eep.  He's only 11 months.

While The Monster Sleeps

Damn.  It's already evening, and I have done nothing today.  Yesterday was supposed to be my getting stuff done day, but I barely slept and then I was all-caps ILL.  I ended up throwing up, and then when I went back to the bathroom to throw up again, had time to call out to Mr. Wolfman that I was going to pass out, before falling on the floor and doing just that.  The last thing I remember is the door hitting me in the head as he burst in to rescue me.  Had a small seizure, Mr. Wolfman said it only lasted a minute (it was the first of mine he's ever seen).  He handled it like a champ (cold water on my face, so nice.  Who knew?) though he was pretty alarmed by the colour I turned. Woke up punching the bathroom scale, causing the monster to cry.

So now Mr. Wolfman is on his 16 hour days from Hell and I'm already massively stressed and still feeling pretty assy.

I was going to go to the dollar store for supplies for a sparkly water bottle thing, and a doorstop so that I can use the building's laundry room without worrying that someone is going to open the heavy metal door into LO's head.  But I'm pretty sure they're closed.  So, yeah. Tomorrow, I guess.

Other than being a clingy fuss face, the little monster is doing so great.  He's walking most of the time now, pointing at stuff, playing jokes on us (his favourite, to stick his finger in his mouth, then try to stick it in mine and laugh evilly at my reaction) and just being generally wonderful.

I'm looking forward to my parents coming, and I'll admit that a huge part of that is to show off how great my son is. I am a little nervous about possible confrontations, because anything that comes up will likely be something I've been mulling over for a while, but to them, it's going to seem like it's coming out of left field.  IE: if my father uses the term milk wagon to refer to me, he'll get one warning and if it happens again, he'll be asked to leave.  If he accuses me of being crazy for not wanting him flashing a camera in my sleeping baby's face, same thing.  Grabby hands, and hand the kid over will be shut down. It's not likely to come up, but forced affection, discipline of any kind, feeding without asking first, sharing food, same thing.  

All that, I know is reasonable.  But I am going to have to keep myself in check, because after their last visit, I'm pretty sure that them even looking at my monster wrong is going to set me off.  So I'll probably have to replay things in my head and possibly be liberal in dispensing benefit of the doubt. The nice thing, though, is that he doesn't need to be held, so they can't act like they're doing me a favour by taking him. He can play in his play area (aka the entire living room) and they can sit and watch or play with him, but they don't need to (and he probably won't let them) hold him all the time.

Also, since Mr. Wolfman decided to take on the extra hours, and then, despite my telling him I 100% NEEDED to be driving before my parents' visit, did not get the license necessary to teach me to drive our standard car (which we've now had for a year and a half), so I have no transportation for my parents' visit, which means either relying on them (not thrilled as they're not good drivers and never have a reliable car) or not going anywhere outside of walking distance. So, yeah, there's that.

Ugh, wasn't intending to turn this into a whiny post.  I've had enough of those lately, and will likely have more in the nearish future (got some terrible news recently that I need to work through) and my aim for this one was not that.

Ok, enough for now.


I finally set up an appointment to see my therapist.  It's not until the 26th (thankfully, that's the day before my parents arrive, so I won't need to have that conversation.  I'm realizing, slowly, that it would be a conversation, since "I have an appointment" would, at the very least, be met by expectant stares).

I really, really need that appointment, especially with Mr. Wolfman going back into the insane work schedule for another 5 weeks, as of today.

And now I need to cut this short. I'm getting irrationally mad at my toddler (he toddles, officially a toddler) for pushing boundaries, specifically, pulling on the power cord and opening the DVD drive repeatedly.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I Guess I'm Just a Bad Mom.

I haaate when people say this.  It's right up there with we can't all be perfect.

Seriously, people who say this sound like whiny teenagers with bruised egos.

It doesn't help that it often follows the admission of doing something stupid/dangerous/ill-advised with their babies.  Like, I let my 10 month old watch Frozen ten times back to back. I guess I'm just a bad mom.  Uh, yeah. Barring extreme circumstances, you kinda are. But even if whatever it is you're "admitting" to is something totally normal, that in no way makes you a bad parent, the sullen-stompy footing discredits you hugely.

Anyway, that's my little rant for the day.  The monster is teething and fussy, but otherwise wonderful, and I'm calling 1st thing Monday to set up a therapy appointment.  More to follow on the cuteness of a singing 10.5 month old.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Bit of a Whine

I'm having a shit day.

Not even an impressively shit day.  Just a general shit day.

I won't get into all of it.  It's nothing earth-shattering.  Just nothing seems to be going my way and I've already had two anxiety attacks.

So, at the end of this shit day, I Skype with my parents. I was a bit excited because my Dad would be there and we usually don't talk much, due to distance and him being technologically inept to a spectacular degree.

I had a handyman type question to ask him (which he couldn't really help with) and we chatted a little bit.  I asked if he had seen a project I've been working my ass off on (I'd sent it to my mum to get her opinion). Just curious, really; I'm pretty proud of it.

He said yes - and then, as he's done with any artwork I've done since I was a little kid, started to suggest improvements. Actually, no. He more just told me what he didn't like about it.

Fuck.  DUDE. I DID NOT WANT YOUR SUGGESTIONS.  I didn't even really want your opinion.  I wanted you, for once in my life, just to say, "Yeah, it's nice." or maybe, if you really hate it and couldn't bare to suggest otherwise, to ask me how I achieved a certain effect (You know, the one that if I told you about, your eyes would glaze over, because, layers).  I suppose, to be fair, he did concede that the layout of the text was "fine."   Glad it meets your fucking standards.  So nice that you have standards for something you know nothing about, that you couldn't even do, if you wanted to.  You haven't picked up a paintbrush in years, but please, tell me how I'm doing it wrong.

The weird thing is, I didn't even see it coming.  I asked if he'd seen it, fully expecting him smile and say yes.

I mean, I'm all for honest feedback, if I'd asked.  But I didn't.  All I asked was if he'd seen it.  I need to learn to stop showing him things, or telling him about what I'm doing.  It always ends the same way.

There was a painting I'd done for my brother's 18th birthday (this would have been, *gulp* 14 years ago), which I had worked really hard on, and gotten just about how I wanted it.  I showed it to my Dad, and the only thing he said was that the eyes on the figure's face were too far apart. I tried to 'fix' it (even though I'd painted it like that on purpose, because she wasn't human and I wanted her to have an inhuman beauty), and ended up messing it up, time and time again, until the face was a thick blob of paint.

My brother got a gift certificate to a music store.  My painting stayed on a shelf above the dog food until it started to mold, then I threw it out because I got tired of looking at it decaying there.

The conclusion to all this is, I will never make my monster feel like I feel now. Not saying I'll tell him everything he does is wonderful and perfect and the best thing ever.  But I sure as shit am not going to be telling him how to improve something or criticizing something that's personal and subjective, unless he specifically asks me to.

I'm 28 and I feel like a little kid whose puppy has been kicked.  Like, just fucking pull my dreams out and stomp on them, why don't you?

It makes me question why the hell I feel like I need his approval.  And why I didn't say something in the moment - instead of telling him it was probably the screen he was viewing it on, or even weakly suggesting that I wanted my artwork the way it is.... why didn't I just outright say, "Um, I didn't ask for your opinion, I asked if you'd seen it."

I just choked up, and I feel like utter shit.  Especially because my Dad is usually a very nice guy, he taught me how to bake and draw and read to me and made up stories for me when I was a kid. I really don't think he's intentionally being hurtful, but damn.

Yeah, actually tearing up, still.  Can it be bedtime, please?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Waaah, Life is Hard

I'm sick.  The monster is sick.  Mr. Wolfman is sick.

I don't know what we've got, exactly, but it's an achy-jointed, sore-throated, fevery, sleepy, sweaty mucous-fest up in here.  Those sayings, death warmed over, feel like I got hit by a truck - they apply.

My sister and her family have the same.  Who caught it from whom is unknown and unknowable and unimportant.  We're all miserable.

Through it all, the monster is in good spirits. Mostly happy to play by himself or look at his books.  He did spend about three hours refusing to be put down yesterday.  Not easy for me, since he's 25ish pounds, but what can you do?

I ran into an acquaintance yesterday, on my grocery run for ginger ale and Halls (I forgot the Halls, goddamnit). She has a little one a couple of months older than the monster and we looked like we were going to be mummy friends, but I had to take a step back, because despite the fact that I was able to keep my mouth shut about her questionable parenting choices, she was not able to offer me the same courtesy.

So, she's chatty, and we're friendly.  She was out with her baby and I told her I don't want to get too close, because the monster and I are both hella sick.  Her response, "Oh, she had her vaccines."

WHAT?  Like, lady, I don't have rubella.  I really doubt your baby has been vaccinated against what I have.  WTAF?

So anyway, I move a few feet away to chat with her, because even if she doesn't care, I don't want her tiny little daughter to get sick.

So then we get talking about what I have, and I explain we have had fevers etc, and she recommends a home remedy against coughing and sore throat which sounds like it could work.  Honey and black pepper and stuff.  And then she tells me that I can give it to the monster, which I just kinda blink at because, no.

But it's fine, she tells me.  People say not to give honey to babies, but she's been giving her daughter honey since 5 months and she's ok.  OF COURSE SHE FUCKING IS. SHE WOULD BE DEAD IF THE HONEY HAD BEEN CONTAMINATED.  Babies don't have the ability to fight off botulism, or whatever kind of botulism bacteria that may be present in honey. It isn't always there. It isn't even usually there. If it is there, they will die. Fucking read a book, woman.

And yes, her kid is now at the one year mark they recommend waiting until - she's the size of a 5 month old, but she's technically old enough.  Now.

So yeah. That's my fever rant.  I wish I could say that I'm going to bed, but alas.