Up for bid: one toddler. Bright. Energetic. On the small side, but chances are she'll grow. Considering all reasonable offers. Good luck trimming her toenails, brushing her teeth, or GETTING HER TO STINKING FALL ASLEEP.
Which brings me to a point.
Last week, Zoralee had three nights where she slept for a 6 hour stretch. The nights weren't all in a row; they were separated by nights of multiple wake-ups. However, those three blessed nights had me thinking we were turning a corner. But over the past few days, it's like we're in newborn stage again, and every two or three hours she's awake.
That makes the next day rrrreally rough - somewhat on her, but mostly on me. Add up several of those days, and for everyone's safety, it's best if Zoralee and I spend time apart. I'm not usually much of a temper loser, but - I've said this before, I know - having a baby made me understand why sleep deprivation is used as a torture device. You eventually just stop caring about stuff - how much tv your kid watches, what germs they're picking up by drinking hot, stale water from the outside toys, who's asking about the national security secrets you've been protecting with your life for 30 years. Eh, whatever.
A person just can't face small challenges reasonably in this state. For example, usually if Zoralee says, "Mama, I'm drinkin' juice. I'm drinkin' juice. I'm drinkin' juice. I'm drinkin' juice. I'm drinkin' juice. I'm drinkin' juice," I can turn off the verbal faucet with, "Ooooh, you're drinkin' juice!" Simple. I just repeat her words back to her, and she knows I get it. Easy. But when you're sleep deprived, you don't think that way. Instead, you start to feel hot all over and you say, "Zoralee Rena, if you tell Mommy one more time that you're drinkin' juice, I'm going to find every ounce of juice we have in this house and pour it outside on the grass, and you will never have juice, ever, ever, ever again until you're fourteen years old. I will also call every juice maker in the world and tell them to quit making juice altogether, so that it's not even an option when we're at the store. Capice?!"
It's days like this I can totally see why some people choose not to bear children. In fact, even on happy days, I understand. You won't find me trying to talk couples into having children. I'm excited if they are excited to procreate, but if they're dead set against it, I say, peace be with you. Because being a parent means things like freedom, sleep, and energy just evaporate out of your life, and this is not without effect. Of course, the payoffs are out of this world, and no doubt I have yet to see the best ones, but it's a long, hard road. There's no getting around it.
I sure hope we can get pregnant again soon.
Ai-ai-yai. And I do. I'm serious. Which is further proof that humans exist in varying states of skitzophrenia, not as a psychological malady, but as a part of their general makeup.
But seriously, more than ever, I am convinced by this experience that people need close community like children eating Popsicles in the Texas heat need washrags. Parents need breaks! Children need breaks! Modernity and technology allow/force two or three people living in a house together to be locked into the you-me zone for far too long without interruption. I can see where having a larger family would help to alleviate this strain. Right now, we live in a sterile bubble, devoid of family and close friends. Oh sure, we're meeting a few people, but it's not anywhere close to the same.
[insert mental image of a baby laughing or a puppy chasing a ball, or whatever brings you back to that cozy place]
* * *
Okay, it would be disingenuous to leave on a sour note, when I do have a Pickle whom I so love. Not that every day comes out even, but there were some happenings to counter-balance the other stuff.
- Zoralee is on a little kick of shaking my hand and saying, "Nice to meet you!" I have no earthly idea where she picked it up. She certainly hasn't witnessed much of that transaction in Texas. Hello. WAIT. POSITIVE THOUGHTS.
- As I opened the shower door to step out, I was greeted by Zoralee, who said, "Mama, good job takin' bath-shower!" She also sometimes says, "Pretty legs," or "Pretty bum." or "Pat the bum! Pat the bum!" Today she told Jason he had pretty ears. This is a win-win conversation, always. You can't go wrong with compliments as random and sincere as hers.
- She asks me to sit on the step outside, and she brings me her toy dishes, one at a time, similar to how I serve her food.
- She ate a lot for dinner - chicken stir fry with broccoli and carrots and quinoa. Thank you, child! I hope, hope, hope your little belly is full enough to keep you contentedly asleep for ten hours. hahahahahahahaha. hahaha. ha. ha. Okay, six.