Monday, May 21, 2012

Raising a Heidi (Or: Why I'm always so tired)

It's been a while since I posted, but I figured it was time I got down to some business.  If you've ever wondered why I bring Cheetos as snacks because we didn't get groceries, post on Facebook that I'm losing my mind, or sometimes seem to be completely ignoring my screaming child.. maybe this will help.  Or maybe it will make you judge my parenting.  Bring it on.

Thank the heavens above, this kid actually sleeps.  She wakes up at an unknown hour, and plays quietly in her bed for an unknown amount of time.  Eventually she starts to make noises you can hear without pressing your ear to the door, and is removed from bed.  Her diaper is always poopy, but if you take her immediately to the diaper table, she freaks out.  No, she must play for a minute or two first.

Breakfast is hit or miss.  There are only a few foods she will even consider eating, and we often try all of them - and often most of them end up smashed into the tile floor (thank the heavens again that it's not carpet).  The dogs love her.  Regardless of whether or not she chooses to consume food (and she always does it standing up, don't even try to make her sit down to eat), there must always be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing.

Eventually she wanders away to find something to destroy.  And destroy she does.  Whether it's a full roll of toilet paper shredded into teeny tiny pieces, a bottle of water dumped onto the floor, or entire drawers unpacked and strewn about the room, SOMETHING will take one for the team.  To try and stop this destruction is to have a multiple hour long melt down.  Mommy cleans up the mess (usually.. mostly.. sometimes I just throw a towel over the puddle of water and promise to pick it up later or sweep the pile of toilet paper into a corner).  Hurricane Heidi proceeds on her path of destruction through the house, hitting each room one by one.  Occasionally she takes a break to catch some snippet of Mickey.

It's now roughly 10:00, and this is when we usually have a playdate or park trip of some sort.  Time to put on clothes!  The diaper change is generally not a big deal, but only certain clothes will do. Nothing elastic anywhere, nothing too tight or too loose.  If we're going to someone's house, I don't even bother with shoes.  But today we're going to the park. *cringe* I still won't bother with shoes until we get there.

Everyone loads into the car.  Heidi is placed into her car seat where she throws a mini tantrum, flinging herself about in a rage.  Mommy buckles up the other two kids, loads the assorted kid paraphernalia into the car, and comes back for Heidi who has usually settled down.  First the right strap (don't do the left strap first unless you want to give up the trip all together), then the left.  Then she must have her stuffed Mickey Mouse.

If we need to get gas on the way to the park, things can get ugly.  The whole "we're going to park the car and not get out" concept is not well-received.  Pull out of the gas station with a screaming child. Whatever.  Now we've arrived at the park, and it's time for the dreaded shoe battle.  I only put them on her to make it look like I care (but I really don't).  First the right shoe (OMG DON'T PUT ON THE LEFT SHOE FIRST) then the left.  Then it's out of the car.  She must be carried to the playground, because to let her walk means she tries to play in traffic (and doesn't listen when you call her name).  While being carried, she doesn't make any attempt to cling, hold on, and support herself.  Just 30 pounds of dead weight.  She also hates being carried, so her dead weight self is flailing about and screaming.

She plays for about three minutes, and then sits down and starts screaming bloody murder, clawing at her feet and ankles.  Mosquitos? Fire ants? Nope.  Shoes.  the shoes must come off, or her skin will.  So now she's barefoot, walking on wood chips.  She sits down and digs her naked (now filthy) feet into the dirt under the wood chips.  Gloriousness.  Giggles.  She flaps her arms excitedly and kicks dirt everywhere.  She's now dirty to the knee.  Eventually she gets up, and demands I push her on the swing until it's time to leave.  She asks for the swing by toddling over to it, making everyone else stop their own swings in panic and horror that they may hit her while I run screaming across the playground for her to stop, watch out, don't move, and whatever else comes to mind.  My other children are upset at having been abandoned for Heidi yet again.  Time to leave the park.  The car seat part above is repeated.  I don't put her shoes on.  She is very dirty.  If I'm feeling energetic, I take a baby wipe to her legs.  She kicks me, and fights me off.  Usually I don't bother.

Grocery shopping on the way home from the park? SURE WHY NOT!  But we can only go to Publix, where they have steering wheels on the carts, and free cookies.  If we arrive at Publix and there are no race car carts, I typically turn around and go home (with the screams and cries of my older children echoing the whole way).  Today there is a green cart - score! We HAVE to get the cookies first.  If we try and go a different direction, hour long melt down ensues.  If we go anywhere besides Publix, anywhere without cookies, where the lines are longer, where the carts are too boring to distract from the fluorescent lights, where the sound of a billion conversations echos off all the walls... it's just not pretty. And sometimes (usually) if we spend too long at Publix, the world explodes.  Older child insists she has to go potty.  Crap for craps.  Heidi is dragged into the public restroom (shoeless, mind you), where she lays on the floor on her back and screams.  I drag her away from the doorway so she doesn't die, and rush my other kid through the potty process.  Sometimes I tell her she doesn't have to wash her hands, because two employees have already come in to make sure I'm not murdering children in there.  When the public restroom happens, the rest of the trip is ugly. Lots of screaming, flailing, and head banging. And always lots of staring and dirty looks.  I am mortified.

Check out and done.  Car seats happen.  We get home, and eat lunch.  Just like breakfast, sometimes it happens and sometimes it ends up smashed into the floor, but there is always Mickey Mouse.  She is put to bed immediately after lunch (why yes, she IS still dirty from the park!). Oh blessed nap time, how I love thee.  Sometimes she sleeps for four hours, sometimes two, and sometimes she drinks her bottle of milk and is immediately ready to torture the family again.  Let's assume she sleeps for three hours, and it's now roughly 4:00.

The next 2.5 hours until dinner are filled with: Mickey Mouse, her bottle, stacking and unstacking, Hurricane Heidi.  Typically there are least two screaming fits about seemingly nothing (for instance she can't put her shoes on herself - why does this upset her, when as soon as I put them on her she immediately starts trying to claw them off again? - or she wants a specific snack and I just can't figure out what it is).

Dad is home at 5:30.  Man, do we love Daddy.  The house is destroyed (remember how breakfast and lunch are smashed into the floor, that towel over the puddle is still there, and the roll of toilet paper has been laid to rest in pieces in the bathroom floor?), and he doesn't even care.  Instead he makes dinner while Mommy takes a break from the screaming.

Screaming, I mean dinner, goes as well as breakfast and lunch. There is usually a major melt down immediately after dinner (she's tired, after all).  I start the bath tub, and drag her into the bathroom.  I strip her down and set her in the tub.  She promptly starts wailing, and throws herself against the porcelain before I can catch her slippery, naked, dirty little body.  The thud is disturbing, but she's actually fine.  She repeatedly hits her head against the tub, while I try and cradle her head while quickly sponging off the filth from the park.  Wash her hair? use soap? WTF is wrong with you? The 30 second bath-time pandemonium now over, she's wrapped  in a towel, diapered, and put to bed.  The day is over.

(An alternative to the bath time events in this post are far less seemingly harmful and a lot messier.  She plays in the water, kicking, splashing, dumping it onto the bathroom floor while we secretly try to get soap onto the especially dirty spots and maybe brave a drop of shampoo onto her head. And then she poops in the tub.  It's far less traumatic for all involved, but the cleanup, while worth it, is lengthy.  Either way, bath time pretty much sucks.)

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea. It gave me some perspective today when lP was throwing her tantrums.