May 26, 2011

Make Peace With It

Making Peace with the Crazy
What feels like eons ago, M and I had a date night to see "Date Night."  It was our first night out to a movie since we had become parents.  And one of two to date.  I remember vividly my reaction to Tina Fey's proclamation that sometimes she fantasizes about being alone.  The thing that stood out the most in my mind was, "'s a surprise every night that they have to wear pajamas."  I thought it was hilarious.  And dangerously specific.

Until recently, DD has LOVED her pajamas.  She loves pointing out the things on them- monkeys, bears, shoes... whatever it is.  She loves running around in her pajamas.  She loves snuggling up for a bedtime story in her pajamas.

But nowadays?  She does not want to wear them.  "Pajamas" has become a synonym for "bed."  And when she's tired and losing steam, she does not want to go to bed.

Never mind that most nights she just giggles with her sister for half an hour after the lights go out.
Never mind that she has her favorite toy and her favorite blanket and her lullabyes playing.
Never mind that she's exhausted and she's comfortable.

No, pajamas have become a big problem.

Sometimes, irrational children make you want to tear your hair out.  Smash your head into the wall.  Sell them to the circus.

Sometimes, they make you feel completely differently.

Tonight, after I gave my utterly exhausted children cups of milk, I began our nightly routine.  "Who's ready for PAJAMAS?" I cried.  SI ran off, happily, down the hall to her room to get changed into pajamas.  DD began shaking her head violently.

"No no no no no no no no no no no no!  Mama NOOOOOO!"

"I'm going to the bedroom to get pajamas!" I shouted happily, leaving her alone in the dining room as SI and I sprinted across the house.

"NOOOOOOOO!" screamed DD, as she began shuffling, as though drawn by supernatural powers of proximity to me.  I wouldn't be surprised if she levitated.  She wailed and sobbed, "No Mama no no nooooooooo!"

SI happily collected books, relocated stuffed elephants, and opened and closed her drawers.  With DD finally in the room, I scooped her up and handed her her favorite book to read while I effected the change.  I figured once she was in the pajamas, she'd forget it had ever been an issue, and begin practicing her bunny hops.  It's her new pre-bed routine.

A few moments of peace followed- she pointed out animals and told me what noises they made.  And I thought to reward her for her switch to very good behavior, I'd put her in her FAVORITE pair of pajamas.  The ones with pandas for feet.  She's been learning, thanks to "Kung Fu Panda," that the panda says, "Awesome!"

She took one look at the panda pajamas, and completely lost it.  I've seen her suffer a complete and total meltdown before, but not exactly like this.  Not in the throes of utter exhaustion.  Not after happily informing me that the rooster says, "Doo doo doo!"

The first scream nearly knocked me off of my feet.  Even SI paused for a moment to consider what on earth was happening on the changing table.  Just for a moment, though.

Once she had spent all the air in her lungs, she took a breath.  An ominous breath.  I could hear the vacuum forming in the closet beside me as all the air was dramatically siphoned into DD's chest.  It sounded sort of like what I imagine the inside of a tornado would.

But she hadn't prepared properly for the repercussions of inhaling the entire atmosphere of the room.  The sound that came out next, while definitely in the "scream" family, was more akin to the call of some species of baboons while mating.  I heard it once on the Discovery Channel, I think.

This sound escaped her lips, leaving her rasping, gape jawed, with tears streaming down her face.

And being the wonderful, considerate, presumably perfect mother that I am, I did something that completely surprised me.

I started laughing.

After all, it was hilarious.  And not just because DD was de-evolving into a lesser ape before my eyes.  It was the absurdity of the thing.  That this was caused by her favorite pajamas.  The pajamas that, when they usually go on, she gets upset with me for not zipping them up fast enough.  The pajamas that say, "Awesome!"

I tried to stifle my laughter as I forced her arms through the sleeves, and preformed the zipping that is usually the culmination of a daily dream.  Then I set her on the floor, ostensibly to begin hopping and forgetting that she was angry at pajamas.

I picked up SI and began getting her changed, as she happily sang to her toy crab.  Yes, that's also a regular show around here.  But DD didn't calm down.  I resolved to focus my attention on SI and let DD scream herself out a bit.  After all, I can only do so much at once.

DD didn't scream herself out.  She maintained a death grip on my skirt, wailing and bonobo-mating-calling with tears pouring down her bright red cheeks.  I chanced a glimpse at her as I was offering SI's sleeve holes to her, and saw something that simply made my mirth more unbearable.

DD had sunk to her knees, staring straight up at me, arms outstretched.  How long she had been posed that way, I don't know.  But she looked at me as though I could somehow free her from the fact of bedtime.  From those awful, panda pajamas.  From the lateness of the hour.  From all of the horrors of her life.

Horrors that she was simultaneously blaming me for.

I utterly lost it.  Snorting and laughing, I set SI on the ground, and began trying to console DD.  However, as I intimately remember from my own childhood, a parent who is laughing at you isn't much of a comfort.  As she threw herself on the ground on her hands and knees, like Moses before the burning bush, I simply gave up.

No- I made peace with the scenario.  I accepted that the roles had been changed.  I was the mother and not the child, I was the adult finding an improbable situation hilarious, and the exhausted child making things absurd was not me.  She was my child.

"Time for a story!" I called.  SI squealed joyfully and clambered into the rocking chair.  DD, with a no doubt Herculean effort, pulled herself up to weep onto the ottoman.

I grabbed a book, "Would you like to read 'Pirates?'" I called.  SI nodded and grinned, and DD pounded her fists on the upholstery.

I decided maybe that was the wrong book.

"Do you want to read 'The Sneetches?'" I suggested.  SI was nearly jumping for joy.  DD pounded her tiny fists against the soft, cushioned surface.

Wrong book again.

"I know!  Do you want to read the potty book?"

She bolted upright, and nodding vigorously she staggered to her feet and beamed at me.

It was like the sun shining.  Like angels singing.  It was a look incandescent joy.

And thus, bedtime was effected without further incident.  The story was read, Prudence's butt sniffed, frogs cuddled, and lights turned off.

So children are insane.  They are nonsense machines.  And the sooner you make peace with it, the sooner you can stop taking the Xanax and start enjoying your stone cold cups of tea.

...make  a note of it: Becoming SuperMommy's General Rule of Parenting #4: Make Peace With It.


  1. Hey there, Supermommy! I just stumbled upon your blog and I gotta say you are too darn hilarious! I love the way you write.. you just simply cracked me up:) hi hi I am now following you thanks to Hop Along Friday, and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog;)
    Also today we have the coolest blog hop there is... no rules just fun and would love you to join in with us at Boost My Blog Friday, where you can meet lots of friends and have a great time:) See you there!
    Happy Friday

  2. No, not fresh strawberry ice cream!
    Complaints warrant looking at the situation, but laughter is often the correct response.

  3. LOL! This sounds like my world!
    The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom

  4. This was really funny (and a bit scary to a non-parent). "Was more akin to the call of some species of baboons while mating." Hee!

  5. Haha! You write really well. I loved this post. It makes me want to become a mom, yet run away screaming. lol:D

  6. This is a terrific blog. I really, really like you! I've been looking around for way too long and I love each post a little more than the last (although the lube post may be the winner.)

    Great work. I'll be following along to see more great stuff!

  7. Oh, I know this life.
    Yes, making peace with it and laughter are some of the best coping mechanisms available.

  8. Hi there. Stopping by from the Wednesday Hop! Great blog. I am a new follower. Please stop by my blog Diaper Style Memoirs and follow back :) Enter the amazing Honeycup Giveaway while you're there.

    Have a great day!
    Diaper Style Memoirs

  9. Love seeing what new moms are up to and how they do it. God bless you with 2!!! Found you on Welcome Wed. blog hop!

  10. Stopping by from Multiples & More...I keep trying to remind myself that a child's business is play, it's how they learn. So when Baby A has to tear off a piece of toilet paper every.single.time she's in the bathroom, it's just part of the deal. Deep breaths, in and out...and trying to enjoy the ride! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!