Saturday, September 8, 2012

I have made a concerted effort to focus on positive things when it comes to this blog. Constantly bitching is unbecoming and frankly I don't want to look back on my life and wonder if I was really that miserable. But today I've had it.

My husband is out of town for three days for a bachelor party. I don't begrudge him of this time. He works hard to provide for our family and he deserves time off that doesn't involve me, the kids or his job. However, taking care of the twins alone for three days is a tall order. Slightly taller when you are 35 weeks pregnant.

My daughter is one meal away from being sent to live at an orphanage for a week (maybe a month?) so that perhaps she will have some perspective on how good she has it here. This wonderful place where the walls are filled with toys, an endless supply of books are at her fingertips, she is read to several times a day and she has three thoughtfully prepared meals placed before her. A place where she is doted on and loved tremendously. Yes, perhaps a month away would be better than a week.

We are in toddler eating hell. And I do mean hell. This phase is making me regret having children. Making me fearful of the child I am about to deliver because surely, at some point in the future, she will stomp on my last nerve. The only nerve that her siblings haven't already destroyed and I will end up in the nut hut.

My children went from eating wonderfully and trying new things readily to locking their lips, gritting their teeth, throwing full on tantrums at the table (at times) merely over the food that has been put on their plate. Forget what happens if we try to put the food in their mouths. There are times that we're able to get our fingers past the fortress that is their lips, teeth and tongue to get the food inside and voila! they realize that it actually tastes good. Or it is something they actually ENJOY eating. By this point, my nerves are frayed, my own meal is destroyed and I am generally on the verge of tears. I. cannot. continue. to. do. this.

My darling son, lest Reese take all the heat, recently choked for the first time. The kid was really hungry, not chewing properly, choked on a chunk of his meal, got scared and took a deep breath and the food actually got stuck in his windpipe. Thankfully Joe realized immediately what had happened, swept the back of his throat with his finger and removed the food from his airway. We held him and hugged him, terrified at the thought of what might have happened. Last night, he scared the shit out of me pretending to gag on his dinner. He did this three separate times. He did this to delineate the point that he did not enjoy the meal I so carefully prepared for him.

Today I heated up homemade calzones for the kids. They've eaten (devoured) these multiple times in the past. While I was preparing lunch Reese handed me some peas that she found in the pantry, she even said "peas". So I decided to make that part of their lunch as well. Why not? As long as they eat happily.

I put them into their highchairs and filled their plates. Each of them kicked off the table sending the table flying in one direction and their chairs flying in another. I pulled Ryan back to the table and he began to eat. Good. Moving on, I thought. I pulled Reese back up and she kicked off the table again sending Ryan's plate flying, food is now all over my floor. I cut him up fresh pieces of calzone since his were now covered in dog hair. By the way, having a large, furry, shedding dog that you also have to take care of and exercise when you have kids is a terrible idea. Anyway, I pulled her up to the table a third time. This is when she started to hyperventilate. Some combination of tears, snot bubbles, screeching and dramatic hand movements.

Frantic over a child that had barely eaten breakfast and now was clearly not eating lunch, I started to wrack my brain about what to give her. She loves juice. I limit her to one cup per day in the morning. But the kid loves it. So I came up with a brilliant idea. I'll make her a fruit smoothie and hide some spinach in it. It tasted like strawberry ice cream when I was done. She calmed down. We wiped her tears and snot and drool. She snatched the cup out of my hand took one sip and shoved it back into my hands, letting the contents of her mouth dribble down her chin and onto her chest. I let her sit there and cry some more while I attempted to clean up the collateral damage and compose myself.

I gave up. I decided that I just needed to feed her whatever she would eat, so I could put her down for a nap, so I could clean up my now leveled kitchen, so I could sit for perhaps a half hour and eat a meal myself before we started on the adventure that will be our evening together.

I hugged her. I sat in front of her and wiped her snot and tears. I implored her to tell me what she wanted to eat. I told her "just tell me and I'll give it to you" she understands this. I know she does. And she can say several foods that she eats regularly. So I sat there consoling my crying baby while pleading: Apple? Peach? Banana? Yogurt? Water? Juice? Cracker?

And after several minutes of this pleading, she finally pointed to something. Thank god. The kid pointed to something. I took a long breath, lifted her out of her high chair and carried her to the kitchen island toward where she was pointing. I crouched down so she could reach the counter and she leaned over...and proceeded to pick up a pair of sunglasses. I almost threw her.

Meanwhile, by this point Ryan had thrown calzone on my floor and mashed peas into my table. The floor that I already got down on my hands and knees to clean last night and again this morning. The table which was spotless prior to their meal. Food everywhere. My sink piled with dishes. My nerves shot. I cleaned them and put them down for their naps. And set about at least loading the dishwasher before I sat down to compose this post.

I haven't showered today. I haven't eaten. And now I must stop writing because my son is losing his goddamned mind in his crib because he fell asleep for fourteen minutes on our walk this morning and now he will not nap. So I will have to entertain him, while trying to clean up the rest of this dreadful mess.

Perhaps sometime today my house will be clean. My nerves will be calm. And I will stop crying.

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