Monday, May 18, 2009
My dad's birthday was this past week, so I drove to my parents' in upstate New York for the weekend, just the girls and I, to surprise him. This is a three hour drive under the best of circumstances (i.e. no traffic, no stopping). It's an eternity when you have a fussy baby. Corinne was OK. It was Miss Lily, who took a nice nap for the first half and then screamed intermittently for the second half. Both there and back. Two hours. It wouldn't be so bad if she just cried continuously. It's the starting and stopping that makes it like the Chinese water torture. Here's a break down of the return trip:
12:15-- Both kids crying as we leave Mimmie and Poppa's. Lily is overtired. Corinne is devastated because I wouldn't let her help me pack the car, and I snapped at her. Already I am tense and tired (did I mention that Lily was up every hour the night before? Yeah.)
12:30-1:30-- Sleeping baby, happily reading preschooler. Ahhhh. This is kind of nice.
1:45-- Corinne has to pee. Really? Can you hold it? Please? Lily is sleeping...
2:00--Stop at a rest stop to pee. Why did we want her potty trained?
2:20-- Lily is not happy to be returning to her car seat. She begins to fuss in half-assed manner.
2:30-- Whimpers becoming more urgent and angry.
2:35-- Crying stops. Maybe she's asleep?
2:40-- Crying resumes with more intensity. She's not asleep. I put on new age music to soothe us all. Can barely hear it over crying and it just annoys me anyway. Change it to "Tool"- loud and angry music. Perfect.
2:45-- All out screaming, she's royally pissed off. Please God, let there be no traffic, just this once.
2:50-- Stop again at next available rest stop. Attempt to feed Lily the bottle in parking lot. She's not interested.
2:55-- Plop pacifier in and hit the highway again.
2:56-- Spits pacifier out. I do the reach-behind again, crawling all over her body with my fingers searching for missing pacifier. I can feel every square inch of her body and the car seat. No sign of pacifier. It has somehow disappeared off the face of the earth.
3:10-- Crying tapers off. Maybe she's worn herself out?
3:12-- Crying resumes. Corinne begins speculating as to what Lily might want: I think she's hungry. I think she's tired. I think she doesn't like her car seat. I think she doesn't like her coat. I think she doesn't like pink. I think she's tired... I acknowledge the first few times, then try to ignore her. She proceeds to repeat each thing over and over until I acknowledge. I finally snap "I don't know what her problem is, Corinne! She's just miserable, OK? Let's not talk about it anymore. Let's never speak of it again!"
3:15-- Screaming bloody murder resumes. I fantasize about driving off the road. Pete would never really know what happened, but would probably be suspicious with the lack of skid marks.
3:30-- Do the reach around again, this time to hold the bottle in desperate attempt to get her to feed. Shoulder practically dislocated. Very difficult to coordinate angle of bottle using rearview mirror in conjunction with baby-view mirror. She still doesn't want it.
3:40-- Start muttering about how Dadda is SO taking the two of you off my hands when we get home. And about how I'm never driving more than 15 minutes in the car with either of them again.
3:50-- Screaming tapers to crying, then to whimpering, then silence.
4:00-- Both kids asleep.
4:15-- Arrive home. Dump kids on Dadda and take a nap.
Friday, May 1, 2009
I mention it only because it was a pretty significant thing during my pregnancy that I only told a few people about because, as per my logic here, the more people you tell the more of a big deal it becomes and the more you worry. In hindsight I do wish I had shared our concerns, because it turns out it's pretty common and not that big of a deal. Maybe we would have spent less time worrying that it was the result of something much more sinister going on in her little body, or that she would die hours after being born, or that it was because I ate uncooked lunch meat.
The Big Sister
Last but not least, it's worth mentioning how wonderful Corinne has been about being a big sister. She really seems to like Lily, even when she's fussy and when I have to put Corinne temporarily on the back burner to deal with Lily's more pressing (or at least harder to ignore) needs. We've put a lot of focus on the things Corinne can do that Lily can't do and the differences between being a big girl and being a baby, so I think that makes her feel important. I also think she sees Lily as more like a pet or a new toy than as another kid. Surprisingly we have not (yet!) seen any jealousy or resentment at having to share our attention and affection. Once again when we expect the worst with Corinne she surprises us. She's also been very helpful, handing me things that I can't reach when I'm feeding Lily or pumping, and giving Lily her Boobah or holding the bottle for her. She likes to be my "Great Big Helper Girl". Last night during book time she even suddenly looked at Lily, who was practicing standing next to her in the bed, and said with such feeling "Oh, she's so cute. I love her". It was unbelievably sweet.
So that's been our lives the past 10 weeks or so. We're all adjusting and settling into a routine and enjoying being a family of four. It's all good!