House of plague ramblings

Since Dec. 21, there hasn’t been a day when everyone in this house was healthy. Today I am down for the count with something flu-y that Lucy gave me.

My mom expressed surprise that I got it and not Jim, who usually gets felled by everything, but I told her, “Well, she lies next to me and breathes on me all night, so..”

(Digression: This is to say that I have completely given up on this whole “Teach the baby to sleep in her crib” thing. There is so much yelling in my life already, I don’t feel like there needs to be more. Hey, I was a terrible parent with the last one because she had a binkie until she was nearly three. This one never used one, so I had to figure out some other way to screw her up. /sarcasm)

I did some work from home but frankly my brain is not operating at 100 percent capacity, if the length of time it took me to drop some text into a pre-formatted document earlier is any indication. This is really not an all-morning sort of task for me usually, and yet I spent 2 hours laboriously adding italics in html coding.

To rest, I watched a movie, Charlie Bartlett, for the sole reason that it had Robert Downey Jr. in it. It was one of those coming-of-age stories, sort of a Pump Up The Volume without radios, and I realized again that I am an middle-aged-yoga-pantsed-lady because I totally sympathized with the parents. It’s possible that was the screenwriters’ intent, or it’s possible that RDJ is just that good. I’d put my money on the latter. It was jarring to see Tony Stark in a Sipowicz, though, which made me appreciate the costume designer. Apparently, I’ve become the person who enjoys thinking about the ropes and pulleys behind the scenes. Find me the Wizard of Oz!

At the recommendation of a co-worker I watched North and South on Netflix. Not the one about the Civil War, the other one, with the bossypants awkward hot British upperclass dude inadvertently insulting the meddling smartmouth somewhat lower-than-his-class cute semi-impoverished girl before realizing that she is one true love and so much awkward and angst ensues. If you like Pride and Prejudice and/or Jane Eyre (the Fassbender version) this should be firmly in your wheelhouse.


I have conflict with Eliza lately. I struggle with the balance of what to share here — on the one hand, happy-clappy-everything’s-perfect is obnoxious, but it’s not really fair to share what I see as her shortcomings without giving her equal time. Let’s leave it at recognizing in her some traits I don’t like in myself — and fretting over what I can do to modulate or neutralize these aspects of her character without quashing other, complementary traits.

The point is, it feels like a whole different kind of parenting. When they’re little but sentient, you just sort of have to keep the feral monkey-ness under control, but suddenly you have to impart morals, and ethics, and all that stuff, and get them to do it because it’s RIGHT, no candy bribes allowed? Gaaaaah.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t think she’s on some sort of path of hell — she’s having totally normal growing pains as far as I can tell. I’m just not used to dealing with them from this side.


The little one, on the other hand, is very much in semi-sentient-monkey stage. This morning we had a loud argument because she did not buy my assertions that you can only wear one pair of pants at a time. She was bound and determined to wear her polka-dot pajama pants AND her cupcake leggings. At the same time. Also, she looks like she was gravely wounded. She has bandaids everywhere, but that is because I bought the Spongebob kind and she loves BOBOB! as she calls him.

Also, she drinks from ACUP! wherein ACUP! can mean a drinking glass, water bottle, sippy cup or pretty much any other water-drinking conveyance. What I do not have and she is very disappointed with me about, is the ability to tell, when she demands ACUP!, which of these options she means.

I’m sure you can understand that I was happy to deliver her to daycare this morning while I stayed home, because if formatting a press release took me two hours, I’m pretty sure that getting my kid a drink this morning would’ve straight-up overloaded my system.

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8 Responses to House of plague ramblings

  1. lee says:

    Kids are our best (or worst) mirrors, aren’t they?

    And in sisterhood with kids sleeping where ever they will, in fact, fall asleep, I will cop to Alice falling asleep next to me until she was ten. It wasn’t every day until she was ten, but stress or tired or sick or just weirded out by too much hydrogen in the universe and she’d need me, as well as the blanket and a friend. Early on we agreed she could fall asleep while I read, so I had this lovely peaceful time when no one expected me to accomplish anything because I was “putting Alice to bed”. She aged out of it about the same time I (apparently) started snoring (I wouldn’t know, I can sleep right through it). I kind of miss it.

  2. Meredith says:

    LOVED North and South – it is how I discovered my new TV boyfriend Richard Armitage. My co-worker printed out pictures of him and put them up in my cube. I think I may have only gone to see the new Hobbit movie because of him.

    I am one with you on the kids and the traits you don’t like in yourself thing. Parenting the 8 year olds is in some

  3. Meredith says:

    Well not sure how that happened. Something is going on with this computer. Sorry! I meant to say that the older kids are some ways easier but in others so much harder because they question everything we do/say and we have to turn our attention inward to see why we are acting/reacting a certain way because all of the sudden we have to explain to a sentient being why and how. Plus, patience is tried and I am so sick of the back talk and sass and they aren’t even teens yet!

  4. elizasmom says:

    Meredith — have you seen him and his mullet in Robin Hood, the terrible mid-2000s TV show? It is a spectacular mullet. (But he is still the best thing on screen. His smirk is *lethal*.
    You speak the truth on dealing with the added challenges of parenting an older kid. Serenity now!

    And Lee, yeah, aside from the occasional dead arm from that heavy little head lying just so, I can’t really be too devastated about the current sleeping arrangements…

  5. Marie says:

    Just Googled Richard Armitage and he is a sweet cup of tea.

    You have my sympathies on the House of Plague. That was us from approximately Nov. 15 – Dec. 31st, 2012, which will forever be remembered in our house as the Year Of The Plague. I am not only knocking on wood right now but knees are knocking in my boots, I’m so afraid that I have just tempted the germ world to re-invade my house. Lawdy, that was awful. I hope you feel better soon and that the entire family is plague-free for the rest of the year!!!!!

    I’m another one who’s still sleeping with a little person. I made one attempt at forcing the baby to sleep the entire night in her crib, and then DH and I talked the next day and said, “Eh, f— it.” I love cuddling that little warm, snuffly baby. I think the only thing better is waking to her little face smiling at me, and the arm-flapping that ensues when she sees I’m awake, too.
    As for parenting the older child….. I shudder in anticipation. I have actually shuddered in anticipation since I found out I was having a daughter, and it is ENTIRELY because I’m afraid she’ll be like me. On the other hand, I guess that would theoretically work to one’s advantage, because you’d know how to react to yourself? Right? (OHGODPLEASEJUSTLETHERBEALITTLEHOMEBODYWITHNOINTERESTINSEXDRUGSROCKNROLLARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH)

  6. Marie says:

    (My parenthetical was not meant to imply that those are the issues you must be dealing with now. Comment limited solely to mine own issues. Thx.)

  7. elizasmom says:

    Marie: I cling desperately to the hope that you are correct when you say this: “On the other hand, I guess that would theoretically work to one’s advantage, because you’d know how to react to yourself? Right?” because beyond that I pretty much got nothing.

  8. Meredith says:

    I did try to watch Robin Hood – I ended up fast forwarding most of it just to watch scenes of Armitage – he can rock a mullet! Also, there is a 2 episode arc of a British TV show called The Vicor of Dibley where he plays the love interest – I had never watched the show itself but just these 2 episodes because of him. Sad, I know, but oh my he is my hunky tv boyfriend!

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