Friday, December 02, 2005

Gradual Matricide

The slow, agonizing kind. The Kid has been overcome by snottiness--both in nose and in attitude. Three solid days now. It's not an infection, or a virus, or anything like that. It's just Arkansas. For those of you who do not live in the #1 allergy-ridden spot in the country, this may be hard to believe, but we are at the tail-end of a huge allergy season. The sinus drainage is something to be feared, like those horrible, horrible commercials with that mucus-beast moving into your lungs.

Bella is not an "easy" sick kid anymore. She is a grouch-fest on wheels. The whining is constant, the crying is frequent, and the screeching is severe. Now--there is medicine that helps her. Prescription Zymine. Unfortunately, it also turns her into something like a loud, manic lemur. One who knows parts of very many songs, and combines them at top volume to make one big, loud, very long song. I especially like the part that goes, "Jingle bells, jingle bells, You love me, all the little children, we're a happy family, with a Jesus love me kiss from me to you, won't you love me this I know!"

So anyway, she doesn't mean to, but she's killing me. I'm only half kidding. I've stayed home with her by myself for three days, and by the time Alex gets home, I'm ready to bail. But Daddy's arrival kicks everything into high gear--the highs are higher, the lows are lower, the shrieks are shriekier, and my stress level is explosively multiplied by Alex's need for peace and quiet. Because peace and quiet? Well, IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. And there's nothing I can do about it but have my teeth set on edge by the fussing and whining and griping and crying and yelling (Which one of them, you ask? You ask the wrong question)...and simultaneously stressing out about how much this is upsetting Alex, because the child, well, her behavior is a direct reflection on my performance as a wife and mother, isn't it? That's certainly how it feels. I'm sure he would deny it, but the vibe I get is that Alex is upset with me when Bella (or a dog, puppy, or horse, for that matter) misbehaves.

I do NOT write this to complain about my husband, because he's not the bad guy here. Fact is, he's a pretty good guy. And I'm not quite ready to trade Bella in for, say, an easier-to-manage pet wolverine with a meth habit...It's just a laugh-to-keep-from-crying thing, you know? are the top three things I would give Alex's left--um, a great deal of money--not to hear anymore for a while:

1. (sobbing inconsolably) "MommmMMEEEEEEE! I jus' can't DOOOOO it!" This applies to even the simplest of tasks, which suddenly and inexplicably, she can no longer master--see #2.

2. One word--spoken in question-fashion, and with the intonation of teenager-style attitude, accompanied by a scornful facial expression which suggests that you may very well be the densest matter on the planet--at the end of SO many sentences: "Ohh-KAAAAY?" As in this exchange today, on the occasion of Bella's 82nd wardrobe change:

Bella: "Mommmmeeeeee! Put my pants on meeee!"

Me: "Bella, you are perfectly capable of putting your own pants on. Put them on--you're a big girl."

Bella: (With the Glare of Contempt) "YOU are a BIGGER girl, ohh-KAAAAAY?"

Yeah. That one hurt.

3. Finally, this: She enters whatever space you're currently occupying, assesses whatever it is that you're doing for 3-5 seconds, then loudly and dramatically proclaims, BOOOOORRRRRRRING!" Then you must do something else. Immediately. Or else.

OH! And lest I forget this gem, last night, during approximately 2-7 unsupervised minutes (we're still not sure how that happened--she's tricksy, she is), our dear Isabella managed to completely empty a giant box of coarse Kosher salt ONTO OUR BED. It was quite an even distribution of salt--you might even say she "blanketed" our bed in salt! (Ha-ha! Wouldn't it be funny, if you said that? Wouldn't it? Huh? Huh? Ha-ha!! Boy, do I need some quiet time! Ha-ha!)
The worst of it was, she was an unrepentant bed-salter. No remorse. None. Even when we went fishing for it, asking, "Where will we all sleep now?" the most we got from her was a fairy-godmotherly gesture pointing upwards, and the response, "On the moon, up in the sky, ohh-kaaaay?" complete with sugary smile.

If you need me, I will be sleeping on the moon, thinking of how foolish I was to have thought that these days were behind us. Perhaps it's time to get the bottling supplies back out...

(And to my mother, I totally apologize for those 2-3 years before my long-term memory kicked in, just in case the experience was anything remotely like this.)


  1. Bawhahwha. You got yourself quite a kid these days. Gee, reminds me of another girl I know...let's see... she's standing beside me right now complaining about how you only add ONE egg to the brownie mix. "That's retarded" says she.

    IOW, it don't get any better, hon! OoohKAAAAAAY?

  2. Oh, you have a dysfunctional miniature teenager too! We get

    "That's borrriing."
    "My leeegs don't worrrrk."
    "I can't do it! I can't do it! Can you heeeeeeelp meeee?"
    (bedtime) *dramatic forced hacking cough* "I'm siiiiiick. I need some medicine."

  3. I forgot to bed-salt. How could I have left that out? Oh, well. I'm going to visit mom next weekend.

  4. The only thing to whichI can compare the "bed-salting" incident is when you were a very artistic 3 year old who loved "Harold and the Purple Crayon" (I read to you everything in the library). Your little bed was positioned against the wall on one side for safety. Once when I had to move the bed out to change the sheets, I discovered the most amazing purple cityscape mural (just as good as Harold's)on the wall formerly hidden by the bed.

    I was stern with you for defacing your room, and you never did it again, but secretly, deep inside, I was so impressed by the quality of the artwork and your love for the written story that I couldn't have been too hard on you.

    Yes, I wished that you would have "one just like you" someday. But remember, Bella has two parents! Alex has to take some of the blame for the antics! I'll bet he was more of a handful. You were complicated, but wonderful! Hard headed, but soft hearted!


  5. LOL @ your mom! Tell us more! ;-)

    Hey, look at it this way: Salt scrubs are great for the skin.

    Love the wolverine on meth comment, I'll have to use that one...

    Hang in there, girlfriend.

  6. I totally spit tea everywhere reading this, laughing so hard I was crying, too fricking funny.
    Nice to know it's not just us.

  7. M--She's right, though (well, except for the "retarded" part); 2 eggs in the mix is what makes the brownies "fudgy" rather than "cakey." I just didn't count on a teenager at age 3.

    Lara--you have one too? I am somehow comforted, since they were born so close together. Maybe it will pass, instead of getting worse? Bella also asks for medicine when she wants to appear pitiful...or when she has the hiccups. I would love to see Luke and Bella playing. DARN that upper/lower hemisphere business!!

    Doug--If you salt your mother's bed, I definitely want a report afterward.

    Mom--if that had happened during the blogging era, you would have totally taken pictures of the defacement and posted them on the internet. I'm kinda surprised you didn't catch it with your little Polaroid! And yes, let us blame Alex's genes for the rabid badger traits. (For the rest of you, I have the most awesome mom in the universe--and she's my boss, too. My life really couldn't be better, so I don't know what I'm kvetching about.)

    Laurie, I make salt and sugar scrubs, but with lovely oils and herbs--not dry, in my bed!


    Jen-She is awesome, but I can tell she's gonna be bustin' out all my embarrassing stories.

  8. Ah, for the good old days, when "medicine" was a shot of whiskey or some such.

    Knock 'em right out. Hee.

  9. My daughter, Kiernan who's 3, say's she has to go the doctor whenever ANYTHING happens to her. And when bed time rolls around she say's she hungry.