Vocabulary Vixen

March 3, 2015

Ah, Parenting.

Filed under: Diapers,humor,Parenting,Reflections — VocabularyV @ 11:44 PM
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Parenting is a wonderful journey. At times it is mind-numbingly infuriating, but overall it’s pretty great. It’s a learning process, this parenthood business. While the child is learning how to live and function, the parent is also learning along with the child. What works for one week may completely backfire the next week. It is an ever-evolving process. We must be quick on our feet, for the instant we think that we have fallen into any sort of ‘routine’, the little one will be happy to throw a gigantic monkey wrench into it. My child LOVED to have her diaper changed in the beginning. She COULD NOT STAND even one drop of pee on her diaper and was incredibly vocal about it. I thought: “How wonderful! Potty training will be a breeze with this one!” She was great until about 11 months old.

One day, my daughter decided that she didn’t like getting her diaper changed anymore, and woe to the person who thought that they could change her diaper with ease. She cried, twisted, and writhed during her diaper changes. This once mundane, easy, routine task became a dreaded chore, and quickly. I would grit my teeth and get ready to hold her down with one leg while I quickly changed her diaper. Or tried to. More than once, she would escape and leave a gross little poop trail in her wake, or kick her leg into the poopy diaper before I could get it out of the danger zone. This has led to much anger and frustration on my part, as all I want to do is prevent her from sitting in her own mess and getting a gnarly diaper rash. Yes, this happened too. She has refused to mention that her diaper was poopy until it had worn into the skin and caused an awful rash.

In the aftermath of a few aforementioned horrible rashes, I had to step my game up as a parent. I had to evolve with my child. What used to work wonderfully now made her cross. What used to make her cross still made her cross. I was at a crossroads, and I, too was incredibly cross by all of this. By the end of any given day, I was tired, frustrated, and just plain wanted a drink once I got her to bed. While an occasional drink is great, feeling this way every single day is about the easiest way to begin the descent into alcoholism. This isn’t something that I wanted to do. I was exhausted, and something had to change. I considered calling her pediatrician to see if this was within the realm of normal infant behavior, or something worth exploring further (like an ear infection). A quick Google search later, I realized that this was a phase and that I would need to adjust my approach to her (and now my) vehement distaste for diaper changes.

I started with the basic suggestions to give her a toy to play with while changing her diaper (that worked for approximately one second), doing silly voices (two seconds), putting the diaper on my head first (it was a suggestion, and I was desperate. It distracted her for two and a half seconds), etc. My success was pretty spotty at best, but it was something. For over a month, I endured DiaperGate 2015. What eventually worked was a combination of things. It really depends on the day. No, not the day, the moment. Sometimes, she’s completely chill during the diaper removal, then totally spazzes out when I put the new diaper on. Others, it’s the opposite.

I came to realize a few things:

First and foremost, the most effective approach to this situation is to stay calm. At the time of the Google search, I realized that I needed to chill the heck out – my frustration only escalated her frustration.

I quickly learned that I needed to be proactive about her diaper status. Gone were the easy, lazy days of my daughter telling me that her diaper was wet or dirty. I had to step up my game in a serious way. I had to learn to stay keen and vigilant and activate my DDD (Dirty Diaper Detector – my nose).

I realized that in a way, she was still communicating with me about her diaper, just doing it differently. I noticed that she had started grabbing her diaper when it was wet, and if she had stopped what she was doing to grunt for a little bit, that usually meant that she had pooped. I started asking her if she needed her diaper changed before I checked her. This seemed to help the situation.

After checking her diaper status and finding that it did indeed need changing, I started telling her that it was time to change her diaper, then grabbed a diaper and the zinc ointment. (I used to use coconut oil for her sensitive skin, but since DiaperGate 2015, I’ve had to up my game.) Then I’d lay her down while talking to her, and start.

Overall, instead of getting frustrated with her and mourning the loss of my easy-diaper baby, I adapted and accepted the fact that parenthood is an ever-changing process. Our babies grow, and we grow along with them. Whether it’s learning patience, or learning which foods to feed, it’s constantly evolving and as infuriating as it can be at times, I love it. This week, my daughter is one year and one week old. The thing that I noticed? She’s suddenly not minding her diaper changes NEARLY as much as she was a week and a half ago.

June 22, 2014

Today is that day…

Filed under: Mental Health,Parenting,Reflections — VocabularyV @ 12:24 AM

What’s the use of a blog if I don’t post on it with some kind of frequency? Two days in a row? Too good to be true!

Today has been THAT kind of day. THAT kind of day where you just want to lay face down in bed; the kind where you just want to curl into a teeny little ball and find the darkest corner of your closet and cry. When The Child has been screaming on and off for 5 hours straight and you can’t put her down for more than 2 seconds without her screaming, there’s a problem. There is a problem when you can’t figure out what The Child needs. You’ve changed her diaper. She’s fed. You’ve tried to (god help you) put her down for a nap. She napped for 20 minutes twice (typical), and now she NEEDS SOMETHING. What, she is unable to tell you. At this point, you are unable to figure it out. You try everything. You walk with her, rock her, shush her, play music for her, attempt to nurse her (she won’t nurse, only scream). Finally you text your significant other (who is wise and ever-wonderful) with the following: “I am losing my shit.”

Yep. That’s been my day.

Fortunately for me, I’ve got a wonderful and supportive partner that will do everything in his power to come to my aid when I need it. Tonight, I needed it. He came home from work to help soothe The Child. Of course, she settled down almost immediately and started having a good old time now that Daddy was home! I am thankful for the blessings that I have in my life, do not get me wrong. When The Child Who Has Been Screaming All Night For Some Unknown Reason suddenly chills the fuck out in her daddy’s presence, that kind of makes Mommy feel like a complete and utter loser. Yep. I feel like complete shit because I don’t know how to calm my child the way he does. I do wonder if every mom or parent feels this way at some point.

There’s this new-ish term that I’ve heard floating around: “Ugly crying.” It makes perfect sense. Why didn’t we have a term for this before recently? I don’t know. What I DO know is that some “ugly crying” has definitely taken place tonight and my face is puffy, and, well, ugly at the moment. I try very hard to keep in mind that she’s just a baby and not to take it personally. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard not to take things personally, especially after she’s been wearing you down the entire night. By the time M got home, I was sobbing uncontrollably with her inconsolably screaming in my arms. I guess that’s ugly crying. The part where you’re making hiccuping sobs and can’t see straight.

How am I ever going to raise this child? I guess I’m gonna do it one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, like I’ve done just about everything else in my life. I hope I can raise this child whilst keeping some shred of sanity¬†dignity¬†something.

June 21, 2014

It’s been Awhile!

Blog Re-Boot. Here we go.

Yes, it’s been like 4 years. A lot has happened since then. Here’s the gist: Abusive relationship, left abusive relationship, new guy, new life, new job, my dad died, and recently, a new child! All quite succinct given my previous blog posts. I will probably eventually elaborate on all of these topics, but if I were to start that tonight, I wouldn’t finish for many, many days – even typing 80 wpm or so. So for tonight, I will just lament on what’s been rolling around in my head recently.

I recently got laid off due to budget cuts. (Hence, the time to re-boot my blog!) There were certain factors at play behind the layoffs, but long story short, budget cuts. So, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands lately. Well, as much time as a now 4-month old will allow. Said 4-month old is currently sleeping very lightly on my bed. I am waiting for her to go into a deeper sleep so that I may very gently extricate her from the bed and put her in the crib. The pregnancy and birth of my daughter will also be elaborated upon at some point in the near future.

I LOVE my daughter more than life itself. There is no question about it. I came into this parenthood thing knowing that it would be difficult and trying. Or, at the very least, keeping that in mind without actually having a clue a to what the fuck I was actually in for! Fortunately, she has been “an easy baby”, and I am quite thankful. However, this child is NOT ALWAYS “an easy baby”. HATS OFF to the parents of “difficult” babies. I would have lost my shit ten times over.

With my child, there are days and times where I am TRYING to do OTHER things besides be with my child 24/7. Like the dishes, or EATING FOOD. I try to explain to my dearest little daughter that ‘Mommy needs food. Mommy needs to eat so you can eat.” To no avail. Even so, she will fuss for whatever reason. Yes, I’ll get it out of the way: “How DARE I do something ELSE besides blow raspberries at my daughter!!” For that, I’m a terrible mother. Ha.

Raising children is stressful. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been said somewhere out there. This is not new news. I’m here to say: “I get it.” I get the post-partum depression thing (which kicked my ass by the way). The thing that I am about to say might set the internet on fire, but I will be the first to admit that I get exactly why shaken baby syndrome is a thing. It’s a horrible thing. I would never, never, NEVER shake my baby. But, I see why it’s a thing. When the baby is screaming, crying her eyes out for no apparent reason; or even when you’ve got a million other things to do, you’ll be like: “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!!!” And then you’ll feel terrible for being slightly exasperated with an innocent child whose only means of communication is crying. I have had many moments like this. Each and every time, I have had to put my child down for a second and go collect myself in the other room.

Parenthood teaches patience. And keeping your cool when you are frustrated. (NOT just keeping cool to avoid getting the shit beat out of you, but that’s another story for another day). I’m slowly figuring out how to be patient with my screaming child. I look at how I was raised, and though I love my mother dearly, there are some things that were kind of in this “gray area” of “not quite perfect”. (Again, another post for another day). There are certain behaviors that I would like to discontinue in raising my daughter. Boy, that is going to be far easier said than done. Mom, I totally get it. Hopefully, she will have the right mix of not being a total pansy like me and recognize early on that it’s not personal. Hopefully I can keep my goddamned cool. I have not had a great track record of keeping my cool thus far. (M might beg to differ – or not. It’s up to him.) I feel like awareness of my attitudes and behaviors is key – so long as I am conscientious (did I actually spell that one right??) of my feelings and actions.

Writing helps me sort it all out. I’ve written in diaries since I was 12. I still keep a diary to help sort this shit out. I find that when I write, my head is clearer, and I can get all of my thoughts out somewhere so that they are not just bouncing around in my brain, creating this “mental clutter”. (I hate clutter in any form! Another post, though…) Writing is like my pensieve. And I will continue to use it as such.

July 7, 2009

Tick tick tick tick tick…

Filed under: Mental Health,Parenting,Pregnancy — VocabularyV @ 8:39 PM

…That is the sound of my biological clock drumming in my ears that deafening drum that only happens when biological countdown begins. I never thought that I would see the day. I was honestly just fine in the world without having to think about such things as procreating and feeling this urge to procreate. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT?!

…The *really* funny thing is that this thing hit all of the sudden. I was doing just fine in my dark little child-hating universe (okay, I didn’t actually hate kids, I just didn’t relish the thought of a screaming poop machine taking up my valuable time working at a coffee shop, tending an internet addiction, and playing video games, that’s all. Talk about a cramp in my style!) and last October over the course of about two days, I found myself full-force pedal-to-the-metal READY to have a baby. RIGHT NOW. As it turns out, that was a likely birth control failure (DON’T FORGET TO TAKE YOUR PILLS!!!!!!), and then subsequent miscarriage in November. Since then, I’ve realized something that a lot of parents out there realize, and despite the nasty looks from us young ‘uns that don’t know any better about life in general, that children are generally okay! In fact, they are a wonderful blessing, and can be the light of life!

So I had that miscarriage. One of the most painful losses ever, even if it was so early on. And I had to spend the next six or seven months trying to piece together and put into perspective my life as a whole and what it means to me. That’s extensive even for me to go into great detail about, but the basic thing is that I’m just interested in a peaceful, happy existence. If that takes medication to do it (it does), then so be it. I’ve got some fucked up brain chemistry, nothing more. I never learned the skills to properly cope with life. And it just plain is what it is.

On the other hand, I’m only 26 and I’ve had a decade-long running start on getting to this point in my life. Why? Because my parents care for me deeply. There have been some bumps along the way, including a family history if mental illness and disease, but generally, my parents are two kind, caring, loving individuals that I would literally give my life for. My parents love me so much that when they finally heard my cries for help they took me straight to the hospital. My dad left his job in Florida THAT DAY to drive home and help me. He went on family leave and they later axed him, but the important thing was that my dad came home. Just for me. They have always been there for me, and it counts. It is because of them I am where I am today, and I have reached the turning point in my battle.

It took me a long time to see that. It took me a long time to drain the poison from my soul so I could see beyond the shroud of despair. When one is in the thick of the storm, it’s hard to see around it. And I’ve spent a lot of time in the thick of it, or running from it. Trying to avoid it by keeping myself so busy that I didn’t have to think about it. Throwing myself at too many activities at any one given time so I didn’t have to slow down and think about all of the pain that has been wrought in my life.

I have learned a lot getting to this point, but I feel that there is much more to learn. As I seriously think about how to wrap my head around this idea about being responsible for another human being, I am just thankful that I am being treated for my illness, and I am working through my issues. I am also thankful to be surrounded by people who love me, even if they’ve got interesting ways of showing it.

ALL of this has cleared the way in my brain to listen to the pleasant and rhythmic ticking of my biological clock. It’s not a bad thing. It just is, and that’s okay. How I’ll actually handle the nine months of hell and then the rest of my life being responsible for another human being is beyond me. My hope is that since I’ve been given this head start of taking care of myself and my issues, it will be easier to be a parent, and much easier to lead by example than it would have been had I bore children earlier in life.

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