Like this? No, she never said they would be like this. As in, this exhausting, this confusing and this panic-inducing. Nope, not a word. Ya see, I know super-even-keeled women who are ready to lose it after a day or two alone in a small house with a toddler. Mind you, I am not a super-even-keeled woman. And I am eight months pregnant and 5’4, which does actually matter. When your torso isn’t that long to begin with, you become, in essence, a turtle walking on its hindlegs. If that sounds uncomfortable for the turtle, I think you get the picture here.
So there I am in the living room, we have recently finished lunch, which only ate up 15 minutes of my extraordinarily long day, and The Boy decides that now he wants to sit in my lap and watch Curious George. Except…I have no lap left. There is a sliver of thigh (length, certainly plenty of width here folks…) for him to sit on. And man, is he pissed about it. So he does that thing where you arch your back and bounce up and down at the same time. In true RIE-parenting fashion, I let him know “I’m not going to let you bounce like that because it hurts me”, until he surprises me with one of these backwards lunges and I end up with a toddler skull pushing my lip into my teeth. There is a little blood, there is some screaming, mainly because I had to put him down and he was pissed. Again. It was at this point that I went into the kitchen for some ice.
Ice. Mmmm. Freezer…what is IN here? Oh. That bottle of gin. Yeah…
I know people who love to brag about how “I’m not a drinker” blah blah blah. Look, my ancestors are French, Irish and Scottish. DRINKERS. Also? I live in RI, and in case you are unfamiliar with our cultural landscape, we love our hooch. What the Hell? I pour myself a cocktail. Also, if you have something to say about a cocktail when pregnant, take a chill pill. It is cleared through my doc and while I am totally on board with whatever folks want to do for their own families, I think a drink is a healthy thing to have in moderation when pregnant. Just remember: turtles can’t do keg-stands. In any event, I bring my little rocks glass into the living room, put it up out of Mr. Screech’s reach, and commence the soothing, the kissing, the tickling. All day, we go back and forth with him being bored to tears and me being too exhausted to get dressed and take him somewhere so we just end up reading and playing inside. Tough cookies, it is all I have right now. Plus, the weather is so horribly cold, it eliminates all manner of fun outdoor activities, leaving only a few options, all of which require me to physically carry him around when I am having a hell of a time just getting myself around. Thing is, he is 15 months old. His favorite thing to do is run in the opposite direction of me, turn to look at me and cackle maniacally. In fact, this happened two days ago at the Children’s Museum and it was a clusterfuck. I spent the night panting through Braxton Hicks, heartburn that could kill John Goodman and popping Tylenol for that asshole round ligament thing. Yeah, not happening again. Sorry. If it was nice enough for the playground, fine. It is fenced in and dog-free. Run like the wind, kiddo, I’m right behind you. But now, we are stuck inside. I have offered provocations in shaving cream art, magnets, in water-play and ice play. All I have succeeded in doing is trashing my living room, listening to The Boy bang pots and pans on the floor (as his little brother jumps and kicks in my belly, scared to death) subsequently chasing him with said pots and pans to remove them from his little paws, then deal with tantrum fallout, and scrub shaving cream off the couch cushions. Oh yeah, and mop up all the water. Remember that turtle? Picture it mopping. EXACTLY. Turtles can’t mop.
So now we are sticking to the classics; blocks, puzzles, baby-doll, tricycle, books, bouncy ball and a few handmade toys. And a gin and tonic. Oye.