Monday, October 29, 2012

Yes, well, someone should find it funny.

So Katie is the worst sleeper in the history of mankind.

No, really.  She is.  Weissbluth, Ferber, Karp, your next door neighbor's shaman- she is resistant to ALL of their sleep training methods.  She'll fool us, and sleep like a normal human for, like, a week.  I mean, a human who doesn't get very much sleep for their age, but she'll do it.  And just as we start to exhale and think, FINALLY, she has decided to join the human race- BAM! Waking every day at 4am!  Screaming all night long!  Then all day because the stubborn little turd is exhausted! 

But the bullcrap she pulled this weekend really takes the cake.  Waking from 12:30-2:30 friday and saturday, and only going back to sleep when I spent half the goddamn night sleeping on the floor next to her crib.  Which is all kinds of awesome at six months pregnant, let me tell you. Stephen tried rocking her and got her to sleep but she started screaming like a banshee in the Irish highlands the minute he dared to put her down.  So last night, when she started screaming at 12:30?  Oh, it is ON. IT.  IS.  ON.  So I reattempted Ferberizing her.

And that was as successful as one would imagine.

So Stephen took his pillow in her room and made his own attempt.  But by then she was pissed off and overtired and amped up and stayed awake, all told, from 12-4am.  At which point I took her downstairs, gave her motrin (maybe her teeth hurt? I don't know.  I just know this crap has to STOP.  Like, NOW.) and she finally passed out and fell asleep.

So naturally, it was not her older sister (who is my favorite because she's not a sociopath hell-bent on my destruction) who woke up as I was walking out the door at 6:20 to leave for work.  Oh no.  She was sleeping like a totally normal human.  The toddler who only slept maybe four hours last night?  SHE was awake.  And this is the picture I got two minutes later on my phone.

Proof: for all the dumbassese out there saying, "ohhh, she's just a BABY, she's not doing it on PURPOSE."  CLEARLY YOU ARE STUPID SUCKERS.  KNOW THE ERROR OF YOUR BELIEFS.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

24 Weeks: Stosh-style

This entry is several days late.  Why could that be, when I am so fond of baring my belly and posting it for the world to see on the internets...oh yes that is right I feel like shit on a shingle.  How could I forget?

Stosh, ever courteous, is determined to make this pregnancy the most miserable, horrible, all-around godawful nine months of my liiiiife, in order to prevent me from being sad and pining for another pregnancy when we are, in fact, DONE, upon his arrival (as I am absolutely the type to ignore the fact that pregnancies result in babies- who often don't sleep, in our case, who ultimately become children, and find myself longing for just one more chance.)  He has fully ensured THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN.  I am not glowing or blissful or any of that crap.  I am a hot mess.  My hair continues to fall out and my skin is breaking out and I have restless legs and insomnia and horrible nightmares and reflux-y heartburn and STILL, good CHRIST, with the nausea, and I can barely sit without getting winded, much less run, the ONE THING that often clears my mind and makes me feel human, and I cannot seem to stop eating in spite of the aforementioned troublesome symptoms and you know....yeah.  Whine whine whine.  I KNOW, OKAY?  I know.


Wanna see how enormous I am this time?  because I am entirely enormous.

Stosh: he is big.  please God, let him be big....

Gracie: she was reasonably big...ok...
Katie: oh my hell, look at THAT.  ...though she was admittedly petite...
Why did I carry  my first baby the lowest of all my pregnancies?  Isn't that weird?  Though it is good to see the comparison between all three, because it reminds me that Katie was very misleading as a comparison- the wee baby whose lack of growth inspired multiple extra ultrasounds.  And, for the record, the baby whose weight gain clung to me like a barnacle on the rudder of the Titanic. So that is also reassuring.

Whatever, I have to take it where I can find it.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to writhe around in bed and complain about how horrible I feel and how I can't sleep.  It's all very fascinating.  My husband is a lucky, lucky man.

Monday, October 15, 2012


So.  THAT was unpleasant, no?


I actually heard back today from the executive director for our branch of the Y.  It was exactly, precisely, perfectly what we needed to hear.  She was profusely apologizing, told me it was the first thing she started working on when she got in and read my email this morning.  She contacted the sports director, they were both horrified by what had happened, it is not the way they do things.

In short: recreational gymnastics is recreational.  It is not like swimming, where the kids are required to show certain skills before they move up to the next class, or like the higher levels of gymnastics, where they have to prove they're capable of the executing the skills before they can participate in another level.  It's not pass-fail.  They're preschoolers.  They don't work for the class, the class works for them.  Instructors are supposed to talk to every parent at the start of class to determine if there are any special needs, fears, etc.  If a child appears to be struggling, there should be ongoing discussions about what needs to be done to meet that child's needs so they can fully participate.  And never, under ANY circumstances, are adolescent coaches to be having conversations with parents like the one that happened on saturday.

The two directors actually went back and reviewed the footage from the gym on saturday (!!!*), watched Gracie, saw nothing that would exclude her from participating by ANY stretch, and also determined who it was that approached me.  She is no longer teaching the preschool class.  They will be doing some individual coaching with her and she will be pulled to do something else (well, that was implied.  Or maybe she's fired?  I have no idea and I didn't ask.  But OMFG SRSLY: what sixteen year old takes THAT into her own hands????  BRASS BALLS.  WOW.  I'd like to meet her mother...) 

I was asked to please, please bring Gracie back for the last two classes of the session, and also told that, if I was willing to try again, we could take the next session for free.  We would have new coaches, and if I saw someone in particular form a strong bond with Gracie, I should let them know so they can permanently assign them to her group. 

We're finishing the class out and signing up for the next session.  I told her a free class isn't necessary- I really, really don't want her to think we were looking for something free, I don't want to take away from the message here, that things should NEVER be handled this way.  She kept offering and we came to an agreement- I'm going to register and pay the same way I always do.  If things are not going well, we'll withdraw, and I'll go directly to her for a refund.  The other fact of the matter is that we can pay for our classes, and not everyone who goes to the Y can do that.  It just feels really...wrong.  And greedy.  So we'll do it this way.

I should have known.  I really, really should have known.  Gracie's safe place to be a regular kid was, is, and always will be her safe place to be a regular kid.  I should have known!  But oh my god, can you even IMAGINE acting that way when you were a teenager?  I seriously still can't fathom the balls on that girl, having that conversation all on her own.  SERIOUSLY, people.

Last night, Gracie was stomping around the house in her new pink cowboy boots, and asked me if she could wear them to gymnastics next time.  I panicked, froze, and didn't know what to say, so I told her gymnastics was over.  She scrunched up her face and said, "Mama, NOOO!!  Next time, pweeeease?!??!!"  And I'm not going to get into the ugly thoughts I had about certain former coaches of hers.  Because it actually feels so much better to know that I'm going home tonight and telling her, silly mama! I was wrong!  Gymnastics isn't over yet!  And YES, you can wear your pink cowboy boots.  (even though you can barely walk in them because seriously, you are your mama's daughter and the future of gymnastics is not in your bones.)

*OMG, the Y has VIDEO FOOTAGE of gymnastics class!!!!  WHY is my first thought, "holy crap, they video tape that?  Please God tell me I didn't pick any wedgies in front of the camera...."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

When Parenthood Hurts

A few months after we seemed to have Gracie's seizures under control, I signed her up for ballet class with her BFF.  It...did not go well.  She was still too hyper from the meds, the timing was terrible (right after her nap, and since we were still in the old house, she had to wake up early from her nap, get dressed in a leo and tights- NO THANK YOU- and get in the car to go.)  We went twice and stopped.  She had fun once she was there, but she wasn't participating super well, and it wasn't fair to the other kids in the class.  If she noticed, she never did say.

Now that we've moved and things are even better, BFF's friend suggested gymnastics.  Saturday mornings! Perfect! Gracie was all-in.  Awesome.

The first class was, well, a disaster.  I was sitting off to the side with Katie and the other parents, and unsure how long I should let things go before intervening (it's hard to tell in those settings!  especially because she tends to do better for strangers than for me, which I think is pretty typical.)  The teacher is extremely young, we're talking about 15 or 16, and was clearly frustrated and irritated by her, and did not find her remotely charming.  It kind of sucked to see, but I could hardly blame the girl.  I left the class figuring we'd give it one more shot, but if it kept going like that?  We'd be gymnastics drop-outs. 

But then! It got better!  She started listening and staying with the group.  She had to be reminded to wait her turn in line, but, you know, they're three, all the kids need that.  (There are four kids in the class, two of them are her friends from playgroup, which I think helped.)  (I hope you're noting all of these details.  They're rather important to the plot here.)  She was terrified of the high bar and going all the way over the vault, but we had lots of pep talks about not crying, just sitting to the side, telling the teacher no thank you, etc.  She wasn't disrupting the other kids, let's just say I wasn't looking into the 2024 Olympics.  And the stuff she liked?  Oh my god, she LOVED it.  From day one, she could somersault down the wedge without any help.  She LOVED running in the little foam hamster wheel.  She was so proud doing jumping jacks with the rest of the class, and bear-crawling across the parallel bars was one of her favorite things ever.  As long as she wasnt' scared, she was HAPPY.  She's had four classes now, and she has two left.  I was kind of on the fence about the next session- the stuff that scares her, really scares her, and it was just hard to be sure that the good outweighed the bad.  And, well, I don't like her teacher.  Who isn't mean to her, per se, but doesn't really like her, either. To me, it's obvious, but G is entirely oblivious, so I also wondered how much that should matter.

And then.

After the last class (which included some tears and a bathroom break, so not a gold-star kinda day, to be sure), the teacher came over and asked if I was Gracie's mom (as if she didn't know.)  I slowly said, yessss, as I wrangled Katie off the equipment (another reason I hesitated to sign up for the next session, the girl wants nothing to do with sitting on the sidelines).  She said, "So. Are you, like, signing her up for the next session?"  And knowing this conversation was going nowhere good, yet stunned she would choose this venue for the conversation, with every other parent and child in her class surrounding us, plus every family for the next class as well, with both girls running around, and with the ADULT coach standing twenty yards away, taking no part in this conversation, I said, "Well, um, I don't know, maybe nooooot...."  and she said, "OK, because there are two classes left, and if you want to sign her up again, you'll need to put her in parent-tot.  Because of her...abilities."  And you know, I have absolutely no idea what I said to the little...thing.  I honestly don't.  I know it was nothing bad, and I probably said ok, or something along those lines, but I truly do not remember, as the heat and anger and sadness and embarassment swirled around my head and I swallowed the pure, mama bear rage that bubbled up in my throat.  BFF's mom just stared at me, stunned, and said, "...what just happened?" And when I told her, the mom of G's other friend from playgroup said, "Wait, WHAT????"  And I repeated myself, packed us up, and got ready to leave the gym.  Absolutely nothing good could come from going over this topic.  BFF's mom was turning purple with anger at that point, and already planning not to re-enroll BFF (which is just crazy, because BFF is a really awesome gymnast and the little punk-ass teacher actually really loves her and seriously).

And I went downstairs to work out, and decided we wouldn't finish out the session.  I'd ask for a class credit for the last two classes, we would find something else to do, we would never, ever, EVER enroll in gymnastics again.  And as the adrenaline rose (working out when angry can be a good thing OR a bad thing...) I felt the angry, frustrated, sad tears bubble over and jumped off the elliptical and went in the hall to collect myself.  Wher eI promptly dissolved into hitching, ugly sobs.  Because it makes me so MAD and so SAD.  She's not disrupting the class.  She's not going to be a gymnast, but they're THREE, for fucks' sake.  Why do they give a shit if she's in this class or the baby class? And why didnt' they ASK me, so we could have a conversation about how much better she behaves when I'm NOT involved, and how much she loves being in the class with her friend?  And why is the very first conversation they're ever having with me the one where they're telling me we're not welcome back?  And why is a fucking fifteen year old having this bullshit conversation with me?  And why can't my baby catch a fucking BREAK already?

And eventually I pulled my shit together (hormones are a cruel mistress), got the girls, and came home and emailed the member director at the Y.  The place that was her rock, OUR rock, when everything was so shitty and awful.  Telling her I think this was handled in a spectacularly horrible fashion.  That we won't ever be signing up for another gymnastics class there EVER, and that I honestly don't know if we should show up for the last two classes or request a credit- because I don't want that...thing, anywhere near G, with her shitty attitude and lack of adult input.  But I also don't want to punish G, who LOVES going to class. Who is SO PROUD every time she does something new.  I still haven't decided.  Part of me is hoping that she'll tell me the teacher said we shouldn't come back and they're giving us our money back, pro-rated.  Part of me knows that will just fill me with sadness and rage all over again.  And if she says it's up to us, I really don't know what we'll choose.

I know that she wasn't bothering anyone- I had no problem taking her out of ballet when I felt like she was.  I know that she's had a really shitty, difficult year, and I just want something to be easy for her, and if it can't be easy, then I want her to have fun. 

That's all.  And I let a little punkass sixteen year old ruin the weekend for me.  Which is pretty pathetic when you think about it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just Another Day in the LIfe

I keep getting irritated with myself for not updating my blog more frequently.  I think, you are going to regret this one day.  You will wish you recorded more.  You will miss the details.

But really?  There's just nothing to say.  We get up.  Some days I go to work, some days I get to stay home.  Gracie goes to school.  She loves school and seems to be thriving.  We eat lunch.  We play outside.  We nap (my childrens' sleep needs remain woefully small in comparison to my own, don't ask me what THAT crap is about).  We are having beautifully quiet, uncomplicated days and because I am not a writer, I just don't have that many interesting things to say about it.

Stosh (the official nickname for baby3.0, although I am beginning to worry it's going to stick after he's born, since G has taken to telling everyone who will listen that her baby brother Stosh is living in mommy's tummy) continues to make me nauseous, exhausted-but-sleepless, gives me dreams both vivid and grotesque, is moving and shaking more and more every day, and is generally working hard to be sure that the end of my reproductive career is met with relief instead of tears.  (which, seriously?  who are we kidding?  it's ME.  I could puke every day, ten times a day, for nine months, and there would still be great weeping and gnashing of teeth when the bakery is officially and definitely closed.  THAT'S HOW I OPERATE.)

Things are quiet.  I am not complaining.  It makes for a boring blog, but it's better than the alternative.  FO SHO.

Sorry.  Lame update.  Here.  Watch Katie dance.