Friday, February 12, 2010

Shine on me

Yesterday, when I was outside pumping gas in this lovely five degree weather we've been having (I love Minnesota!), a striking young woman a few pumps down called over to me, “Congratulations on your pregnancy! That baby’s gonna be a real blessing!”
I smiled at her, said thank you, then joked, “I can hardly button my winter coat!” (Why couldn’t I just leave it at thank you?)
“Some women get a pregnancy glow, but girl, you absolutely SHINE," she told me.
“Thank you,” I answered, blushing.
As soon as I hung up the pump and drove away, I called Aaron to relay the compliment. I felt as giddy as a schoolgirl. Guess what, honey? Your wife doesn’t glow; she shines!
When you’re pregnant and cycling through a limited maternity wardrobe and your belly is big and round and your boobs have their own zip code and your skin is itchy and stretching and you can’t go up a flight of stairs without feeling winded and you aren’t sleeping well and you aren’t feeling exactly, um, sexy … a compliment goes a long way. The kindness of that one stranger made my whole MONTH.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Joys of Parenting

I finally, finally, FINALLY have time to breathe after nearly a month of insanity over here at the magazine. If I could have a few cocktails after work, I definitely would! January consisted of a belated out-of-town Christmas party, a work party, our 20-week ultrasound (thankfully everything looked alright), a trip to a cabin in Webster, Wis. with Aaron’s brother Josh and girlfriend Anita, three days of wedding-related activities for my friends Julie & JT’s stunning Jan. 22 wedding (I was her personal attendant), another wedding the following weekend for my close friend Megan’s little sister Casey, and a 35th birthday celebration at the Wabasha Street Caves/McGovern’s Restaurant. Whew!

Not only has work been ridiculously busy, but I haven’t been sleeping well—getting up anywhere from six to eight times a night—and Adam has decided that now is the perfect time to test out that whole “terrible two’s” theory. He pushes and pushes and pushes his boundaries with us, and I honestly don’t think time-outs have any affect on him. Yesterday he had a full-blown, ear-deafening tantrum because I wouldn’t let him throw the balls out of the ball crawl at Once Upon A Child. I think I shocked him when—after he threw the fourth ball, and after two warnings not to do that—I yanked him from his bed of rubber balls and headed straight for the exit. “I wanna play!” he screamed. “I’m not done!”
Well, Kid, I’m done.
Game over. I was already annoyed that I had received a negative progress report from Adam’s daycare provider, I was tired, I was hungry, I was feeling abnormally big and awkward, and I’m sure my raging pregnancy hormones did nothing to help the situation. Adam screamed like a crazed lunatic all the way home (I tried to tune him out with the radio), then—to top it off—he insisted on walking up our sidewalk to the house, where he slipped and fell on his hands and knees, setting off another round of banshee-like wailing. His behavior improved (slightly) until dinnertime, when we got into another Meal Time Battle and he proceeded to smear his canned squash, finger-painting style, all over the table and acted like his broccoli salad and pork chop bites were the Worst Foods on Earth.
“Try a bite,” I coaxed.
“NO!” he yelled. “NO-NO-NO-NO-NOOOOOOOO!”
Our pediatrician told us that we’d “never win a food battle with a toddler” but Aaron is determined to try.
“Fine, sit there then,” Aaron told him. “You can’t play Legos or Play-Doh until you eat.” Apparently Adam is a very stubborn child, because he could’ve sat there all night. He didn’t care about not playing with his toys; he definitely wasn’t going to eat what was on his plate.
After we released him from Dinner-Time Jail, I attempted to do the dishes and I think he was craving my attention because he walked over to his play kitchen and threw the plastic food and cups and pots and pans all over the floor, then stormed out of the room like some pop diva having a hissy fit.
“Come back here and pick this stuff up!” I yelled.
“Do it now or I’m throwing it all in the garbage!” I threatened.
“NO! I won’t!” he responded, coming back into the kitchen to see if I was serious. I took out a new garbage bag and started ‘throwing away’ his kitchen supplies, and when that didn’t seem to do the intended trick, I asked him again to pick up the mess.
“NO!” he yelled.
That was that. I put him in his 100th time-out of the day and after what felt like an eternity (a minute, maybe two) he tearfully apologized, gave me a hug, and picked up his toys.
I gave him a nice, long bath, got him ready for bed, and watched Modern Family (the only time of the day I had any real “me” time to relax) while Aaron fed Adam a hearty dinner of ham and cheese. (We knew if he went to bed on an empty stomach we would all pay the price at around 2 a.m.)
I guess no one ever said this parenting gig was gonna be easy, and hey! Guess what? It’s going to get a whole lot more interesting when baby #2 arrives this spring.