126/365: Please, Sir

IMG_0123This is the I-Would-Like pose—arm stretched full length toward object, eyes intent, up-flicked, questing shriek. I probably hear this 3 dozen times every day, usually in reference to food possibilities, but also in search of Maxine, her dirty diapers (she is obsessed with her dirty diapers for some reason), my phone, the laptop (always the laptop), the remote, and her wooden frog.

Right now she wanted to direct my full attention to the fact that she had finished her small helping of whipped cream and would very much appreciate a second.

… Have had even fewer than usual interesting thoughts this week. It’s been a lazy, drifting time. We play and clean (a little) and take naps. Iris is in the process of popping out her two top teeth, and I’m not feeling hugely motivated to do anything beyond the necessities. Although I did go to Target last night to start laying in provisions for our mini-vacay later in the month: a lightweight stroller; a warm jacket for Iris; baby snacks that travel well and are not crackers.

Today we may clean the bathroom. We’ll see.

We went to the library a few days ago, and I stocked up on Pulitzer Prize-winning novels in my effort to be better read in contemporary fiction. Ha ha. I started reading Paul Harding’s Tinkers… and there I remain. It IS beautifully written. But somehow so hard to get into. I dunno. I keep reading travel essays about Savannah and the Everglades and then going online to look at pictures of gardens.

You know how it goes.

Last night, Iris woke up at 11:30pm utterly convinced it was morning and that she should really be playing. The idea of being rocked or snuggled back to sleep was apparently pure torture—she cried for an hour before either of us could get her to settle down enough to sleep, and that was after a full belly and a fresh diaper. “You’re still on my bad side,” Carl told her when I brought her into our room after she popped up at seven (after popping up at 4 and 6 too). Which, if true, basically just confirms that Carl’s bad side is a fairly hypothetical place since he was holding her up so she could dance to Yo Gabba Gabba about three minutes later.

We are slowly wearing out. The theoretical goals and parental aspirations are gradually being replaced by an elastic pragmatism that exists mostly in the moment and has a high debt ceiling when it comes to kisses on credit. That policy, however, is a shared one. We have each, at different times, left the room declaring ourselves DONE, with various unprintables under our breath. Which is ok. I’m pretty sure that’s why many people still choose to parent in twos. Being able to declare oneself done and storming off to bed is one of those dramatic luxuries that come with the territory of co-parenting. I can’t actually imagine a version of real parenting that doesn’t include that kind of overwhelmed response at one time or another, so it seems to me that the best a person can do is to maintain a sense of humor. To pick up the slack, not take it too seriously, and start the next morning with a dance party anyway.

Also lots of whipped cream, though the benefits of that have been less rigorously examined.

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2 thoughts on “126/365: Please, Sir

  1. I think parenting is a constant interplay between theoretical goals and elastic pragmatism. You start each stage with lots of theory, wind up with lots of pragmatism, and then launch into your next stage with theory again.

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