Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ally O'Malley

"I love to beee diaper freee."

Not stoned. Just dazed and confused.

...and happy.

We call her The Lizard...loves to pop that tongue out.

My first non-jammy outfit!

Raising a Heathen, Revisited

It being a "disorganized and running late" sort of day earlier this week, I was a little lax in my cuss-word-restraint. Ari brought this to my attention in two instances:

At I pushed the cart into the store, Ari bumped his head against the side when we wheeled over the bump at the threshold. "Oh shit, shit, shit. Oh shit. Shit." He proclaimed to whomever would listen. In my attempts to ignore, and not laugh at, his outburst, I probably did not provide enough attention to the much celebrated ouchie. Which is possibly why he tacked on that last "shit".

At the grocery store...again, a cart incident. Trying to maneuver the gigantic grocery-cart-with-kiddie-car-on-front (if you don't have small children you probably have no idea what I'm talking about) through the freezer aisle, I got hung up on a freezer door (don't ask). "Son of a bitch," I mutter as I struggle to free the cart. Ari, all the way in the kiddie car on the front of the cart, cheerfully calls out, "Son of a bitch!" Sharp ears on that one.

And a couple more anecdotes from a precocious two-year-old...

Two Mondays ago, I was having a rough mothering day. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I caught Ally's skin in a buckle. Ari kicked her swing as I was pulling her out and she bumped her head. He flew a wooden toy airplane into her head, on purpose. Ari and I were butting heads on almost everything. By lunchtime I was pulling my hair out and decided to throw caution to the wind, build a blanket fort on the patio and have some dinosaur sandwiches inside it...thinking that "fun mommy" would save the day. Um, no. It began with Ally starting to fuss because it was getting pretty hot in the fort (she hates to be hot). Then Ari refused to sit still and eat more than a bit of his dino sandwich. After some supreme frustration, I held it for him so he could take a bite. Whoops, bad precedent. He wanted me to hold it for the next bite, then the next. I refused and said, "I can't do that, Ari, you can use your hands." He threw my parent psychobabble back in my face with, "You can do it, Mommy!" with as much enthusiasm and encouragement as he could muster. I sat there as stoically as I could before cracking a smile (one can only hold back so much) and picking up the sandwich. He took a bite, grinned at me and blessed me with, "You did it, Mommy!"

Two minutes later, Ally was in a full-fledged tantrum because of the heat so I took her inside, followed by Ari, and tucked her into her infant seat then went back to the patio to clean up. I hear the sliding glass door slide shut behind me. And then..."click". Damnit. I knew it was a bad thing when Ari learned how to work the door locks. You see, our patio is enclosed by a six-foot wall and picky shrubs. Slowly, I stood up, turned around and walked to the door. "Ari, you will unlock this door now." He smirks at me. The little shite smirked at me. And walked away. What the f...when I get my hands on him... What to do? Baby inside with insidious toddler. Am stuck on patio. Please, God, help.

Ah, inspiration! I decided to work on my tan. I laid down in the middle of the patio and pulled my shirt up over my head. And waited. Sure enough, through the glass I hear, "Mommy, what you doing? Mommy? Mommy?" And then, a click and a whoosh as the door opens. Slowly I get up, walk to the door and sit down in front of him to give him the 411 on why we don't lock Mommy out of the house. As I begin my speech, he interrupts with, "But Mommy, I was being patient!" As in "I was being patient while I waited for you to be able to come back into the house." Since we've been working on "being patient" lately, I wasn't sure if he was genuinely learning a lesson here or if he was snowballing me. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Sometimes it's very funny in our house and sometimes it's very tiring. Usually it's both at the same time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Girl

Please, only Grandparents watch this...because I sound like an idiot. (or turn off the volume)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We've Made it 6 Weeks

Well, now that our out-of-town guests have slowed to a trickle and Ally has graduated to 6 weeks old, we've decided to transform the guest room/office into the baby's room...mostly so we can stop climbing all over baby furniture and sneaking around at night in our own bedroom.

Ari helped...gotta love power tools.

It was a big job but, whoop, there it is.

Ari looks like quite the enthusiastic helper here, doesn't he? In reality, his enthusiasm is more the product of having a "project" and playing with his toy power tools. The quantity of his enthusiasm for his baby sister can be summed up in two examples:

"Mommy, the beebee's crying." ..."Ari, can you rock her a little, please?" ..."No. You do it."

...and one rare instance that almost landed me on the floor:

(as Sascha carried Ally away to change her diaper) "I like dat beebee." (We're still not sure if he really meant that.)

Ally is the doll of a daughter that I had always hoped for. Her patience, grins and baby chuckles are what get me through the times when Ari declares that he does not love me or turns his back and pushes me away. Sometimes I think what have we done? only because my firstborn seems to be unravelling, not because of the adjustment to sleep deprivation and a crying newborn. Whatever. We're still here and we'll live to fight another day.

Six-week-old Ally. Hello Old Soul. If only babies could share their wisdom.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sigh #1

And what does one do? At a time that should be happy, yet chaotic, and full, yet sleep-deprived and overwhelming, I'm sitting at the kitchen table reading a paragraph and dissolving into tears because the author is talking about her two very small boys and the friendship and mutual admiration they've developed.

Here is a scene from this morning:

I wake at 7am to Ally stirring next to me, knowing full well that Ari will be walking in our door (in a questionable mood) in approximately 5 minutes. I sit down to perhaps nurse Ally quickly before he arrives and then hear a loud thump from Ari's room and his door opening. Shit. Quickly, I set Ally down as Ari comes barreling into our room, his face crumpling and his arms outstretched to me. We sit down in the chair together and rock. He won't look at me. Won't talk to me. Ally starts to cry. Sascha picks her up. Not good enough. Ari is still catatonic on my lap. Ally increases the volume. So I figure, "Well, there's room for two, right?", and ask Ari if perhaps Ally needs to eat in order to stop crying. No answer. With nothing left to lose (presumably, I've already lost him), I plunk a pillow on my lap and nurse Ally in a football hold while holding Ari with the other arm. He arches away from the baby, frowning. "Ari, as soon as she's done, I'm only going to hold you," I placate. No go. After two minutes he twists away from me, slides off my lap and runs to his room. Ally finishes. I hand her to Sascha and make my next move to Ari's room to see if I can fix the wrong-doing of which I am guilty (mothering two children). As soon as I walk in he starts crying, whining and writhing. The prefix to a tantrum. Again. I sit down with him and try to resume "our time". No go. So I ask if he really wants me to leave. Yes. Really? Yes. Okay, I'll be downstairs when you need me. Okay. Would you like me to cover you? Yes. I tuck him in and he allows me a kiss (amazing). Which brings me to the kitchen, a cup of coffee, Guideposts, and tears of frustration. And that's one of the less dramatic starts to our day.

Needless to say, there is no friendship or mutual admiration present here. And though it may only last a few months, I am sad.

To be continued...