Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't push me

I'm sort of regretting that vacation. It was too relaxing. Now, back to real life, my patience is nil. Crap I barely would have noticed last week is just pissing me off, just because I'm out of practice. Tonight, I wanted to beat the child during bedtime. He was lying on the couch in his room, reciting some episode of Clifford. It was time to put on his overnight diaper and jammies.

"Ryan, stand up, please."

No reaction.

"Stand up, please."

Nothing.

"Stand up. Stand. On your feet. That's the opposite of standing. Ryan! Stand. Up. Please."

Then Stu tried, "Goodnight, Mommy." Predictably, Ryan snapped to attention, asking me to stay. But he was still rolling around on the couch.

"Stand up or I'm going to bed now," I warned. He mostly stood up - his chest was still on the couch, but at least his feet were on the floor.

I started to put the diaper on him (ever since he figured out how to stand, all diaper changes have occurred while standing). But he's in full sensory-defensive mode, and my touching him tickles him. He dissolves in giggles, falls to the floor, jumps up and down.

"Stand still, please. Stop. Just stop. Relax. Let's count to ten. Stop. Ryan! Stand up!"

Eventually I got the diaper on him. Stu held Ryan up and grabbed his hands while I tried to close the tabs without touching Ryan's skin.

This is not an unusual situation, and normally, this episode would not be cause for undue frustration. On a more patient day, I would have manhandled him into the diaper, perhaps headed off the ticklish part altogether with either preemptive wrestling or massage or (less likely) the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol. (I think it's been months since I actually went through the effort to brush him at all, and even when I was doing it regularly, I did it only once or twice a day, and poorly.) But tonight, it was all I could do not to bark at him, "What the hell is your problem? Let's get this over with so I can eat my dinner and not deal with your crap!"

This week, I've become acutely aware that my day is filled with similar moments. Normally, I'm numb to it and don't notice how much work it can be to get Ryan from the house to the car or to get him to eat dinner. I hope I'm back into that numb rhythm by next week.

My level of patience has not been helped by my paranoia about The Caterpillars. [warning: this section is not for the faint of heart.] Yesterday I discovered that tiny moths had laid eggs in my pantry, because I saw dozens of gross white caterpillars crawling all over my ceiling. We spent several hours last night throwing away infested food, cleaning shelves, caulking holes in the wall, trying not to throw up. I am happy to report that I haven't seen a caterpillar in several hours, and most of our food is now safely hidden away in airtight containers.

And I must give the buggers credit for their intelligence: they avoided all the wheat-free crap in the closet, and helped themselves to my private stash of dark chocolate-dipped Altoids.

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Keep it civil, people.