Monday, March 24, 2014

Proof That I Have a Two-year-old

I can't believe I actually cried tonight when I first saw the completed transformation from the crib to the toddler bed. I am a crybaby. Not the superhero kind.

Sadie hated the choir that was visiting our church a few weeks ago. She kept yelling, "Stop it! I don't wike it! I don't wike that song! Don't sing it!" She especially hated it when they started singing loudly. Bill had to take her out of the chapel several times. On her way out, she yelled, "I don't want you, Daddy!" Then, when he brought her back in, thinking she would be calm enough to not distract from the meeting, she said, "No! I don't want to sit by Mommy!" Everyone is going to be fighting to sit next to us next week.

Sadie wanted to call her cousin for several days. "Mommy, I NEED to caw Ruby!" She told me this several times. I asked her what she wanted to say that was so important. "I need to tehw Ruby that she weft one of her diapers here!" 

Sadie had been telling me that her tummy hurt all morning. She started doing the weird cry that indicates vomit is coming. All kids do the same weird cry. I got up to try to get her a bowl, but I wasn't fast enough. Grape juice all over my white sheets, etc. She was freaking out because she didn't know what happened. "Mommy, I burped. I burped a wot. It's aw messy." 

I feel sick anytime someone else in my family has any kind of stomach problems. I am very open to suggestion. Apparently, even writing about it has the same effect. It really was sad and disgusting. 

Sadie had just been introduced to the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Later that day, as I rocked her, trying to help her calm down enough for a nap, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, what pretty big eyewashes you have."

Sadie: I'm the guy who tehws you about Bath. Once upon a time, there was a wittow girro named Bath. And she bath bath bath. Do you wike that story? Do you? Do you wike it? 

Sadie: You wike this sippy cup? You do? Because this is a kitty. Because that sippy cup has a princess on it. It's okay, kitty. I can pet you.

Sadie: Are you wooking for the monster, Mommy? It's right here, under the bwankee. See? It's my toes! See? My toes is a monster.

I don't have any idea what set the tantrum off. I only know I made it way worse. She was just screaming and sobbing for no apparent reason, and something about her pathetic self struck me as funny. I giggled. Then, "Stop waffing, Mommy! Don't waff!" I laughed a little harder. "Stop, Mommy! Don't wook at me! I don't want you, Mommy!" The more she told me to stop, the more I laughed. I knew it was really upsetting her, but I could not stop laughing. I finally hobbled into another room and started practicing a song, trying to stop laughing. She followed me, sobbing, "Don't pway that song, Mommy! I don't wike your music!" She hit my hands a few times. "Don't pway! I want you." Then she just let me hold her like she had never been mad at me. Two is my favorite and my least favorite age at the same time.

She asked me to sing to her the other night. "Sing 'I Am a Child of God'." I complied. She sighed, "I wuv Heaveny Father. He ahways hodes me." Awww. "He ahways eats dinner at our house." I told her that he didn't eat dinner at our house. "Oh. He eats dinner at his house? He does? He does eat dinner at his house?" I told her that he lives in Heaven. "Oh. His house is at Heaven? It is? It is at Heaven? He ahways hodes me. Heaveny Father wuvs me. And Jesus wuvs me. And my friends wuv me. Do they? Do my friends wuv me? I wike Sawyer. Does Beckett wuv me? He has a grammy. I pwayed at their house. And I wuv Annie and Ewi. And Wizzy and Tywer. And I wuv Baby Ivy."

I just barely got why it's called the pinewood derby. Pine. Wood. I'm kind of a genius to figure that out at such a young age.

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Kid Beating Me Up

I had a couple of extra kids at my house yesterday. My favorite comment of the day, one that I desperately wished I knew the context of, was made by the five year old boy. "Sadie, you're my last girlfriend because all the other ones...DIED!" Sadie responded, "Okay."

I also enjoyed the three year old girl wearing a princess dress and an Albert Einstein wig for over an hour. I wish I had taken a picture.

I'm glad my face doesn't bruise easily like my legs do. Hopefully, I won't get two black eyes and a giant bruise across my nose. Sadie just hit me harder than I have ever been hit before in my life. I can't believe I didn't get knocked out. And I can't believe such a little person can cause so much pain. I screamed when it happened, and it freaked her out. She ran out, crying, "I don't want you, Mommy!" She NEVER plays by herself, but she has been for the last ten minutes because she is so upset with me for getting upset when she whacked me.

Last night, I said something about how I had always thought that cartoons showing people with tears shooting out of their eyes horizontally were fake until I saw Preston cry. If he is crying hard, you can see tears flying out of his eyes, even from the back. It's so weird. Carter said, "Maybe we should make a comic book about a super hero who shoots tears at the bad guys. He could be called Cry Baby. Do you think anyone would like that idea? I mean, would a company pay me for that idea?"

I have finally come to terms with not finishing school. It no longer bothers me. I realized that I have taken more than enough credits to graduate with a Bachelor's degree. Finishing the last three required classes will not make me more educated. They are not at all useful for my life. Not in any way. They might give me the official paper, but that doesn't really do me any good anymore. I can't ever really work a regular job because of my health issues, so the only real good that would come out of graduating would be for my own sense of accomplishment. 

And I finally don't feel like I need to do it. I have been stressed about it for the last eleven years. It didn't help that several people pressured me so much that I felt like a failure for not graduating. Nevermind that I have been doing more important work, raising incredibly difficult and busy children, trying to teach them to be good people who contribute to society, hoping that someday they will actually like each other. I have always known that it was a more important work, but I still felt that stress of not completing what I was expected to do. I felt unequal to my educated husband, and I was many times pressured because of his incredible genius and education. Luckily, he was never the one pressuring me or making me feel unequal. He always seemed to be happy with who I was and who I am now. I appreciate that acceptance. 

And that acceptance was not like, "She is less than I wanted her to be, but I guess I'll accept her anyway." His acceptance of me has been, "I love her, and she is intelligent and actually knows how to spell things even if she is not an awesome rocket scientist like me. I don't want her to be like me. I want her to be her own person, one who makes up stories and songs about closets and green buttons and a little girl named Daddy just because the two-year-old asks for them. I want her to be happy. She is not less than I am because she is different. She makes me greater because she is different."

He hasn't actually said those things...because those are way too many words to come out of his mouth in one sitting. He does show me that he loves me the way I am, and I appreciate it. He hasn't complained about all the extra things that he has to do when I am unable to take care of the children and the house as well as I would like. He does seem exhausted, and I can't imagine what it would do to him to have even more to do if I were to take classes. He would be happy for me to finish school if it was something that I wanted to do, and he would watch the kids and do more of the cooking than he already does and all the other housework that would need to be done while I was busy studying. He wouldn't complain about it. He is awesome like that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not a Fan of Frontier Airlines

I got to spend a few days with my parents and all my siblings. It was such a wonderful time with them. It was the first time we had all been together without any kids or spouses in over thirteen years. I was hoping to come home on that high, but Frontier had other plans. (This is the most detailed accurate account that I can remember, although I know that the conversation was about twice as long, and some other ladies spoke up a few times to try to get me some help. They were traveling with young children, or they would have switched seats with me right at the beginning.)

I stepped onto the airplane and made my way back to my seat. I threw my bag up into the overhead bin, and as I was about to sit in my seat, I noticed that the man in the seat next to mine was eating peanuts. My sister noticed it at the exact moment that I did. "Quick, Mel! Get away! There are peanuts!" 

I made my way back against the flow of traffic to the middle of the airplane. A flight attendant was standing in a row, talking to some other customers. I told her my problem. "I have a severe peanut dust allergy, and the man in the seat next to my assigned seat is eating peanuts. Is there anywhere else I can go?" 

The flight attendant answered, "Ma'am, you need to go back to your seat so that the other passengers can get to their seats."

"I would be happy to sit there, but the man is eating peanuts, and I have a severe allergy. If I even inhale a small particle of the dust in the air, I could have a severe reaction." I thought maybe if I explained it better, she would help me find another seat.

She quickly showed that I thought wrong. "If you could just go back to your seat for now, we can try to figure something out after all the passengers have boarded the plane. You cannot take another passenger's seat."

"I understand that, but I can't go back where the peanuts were." I sat in the seat next to her to try to talk to her so we could figure out a solution and so the other passengers could get past me. I apologized to them, and every single one of them was kind and understanding.

"Just go stand at the back of the airplane until we can figure it out," she said, with a raised voice.

"I'm sorry, but I can't walk past him. He has peanuts out. I need to be fairly far away from him so that I can't even smell the peanuts." At this point, I was already beyond embarrassed and a little bit panicked  that I may have already been exposed to the peanuts. A lady stood up and asked which seat was mine, and she went to sit there. She told me I could have her seat. I said that I appreciated it, but it was only one row away on the opposite side of the aisle, so it was still pretty close to the peanuts.

"Ma'am, you need to go sit in the seat that the other passenger was sitting in. Right now!" The flight attendant was not happy with me.

"Don't you have any other seats available? Can we ask somebody if they would be willing to switch seats again?" Some ladies next to the flight attendant agreed and tried to convince her that such a thing would not be difficult and were even willing to do so.

"I can't make anybody move out of their assigned seat, and I can't force anybody to stop eating peanuts. If you wanted to sit closer to the front, you would need to pay more money for the extended space seating." She was yelling at me by this point.

I answered, "I would be happy to pay more money to have a greater chance that I don't die." I'm pretty sure I was on the verge of tears at this point.

"Don't you have an epipen?"

"Yes, of course I do."

"Then you need to go back to your seat, right now! Unless you want to get off the plane!"

"I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to do that and risk having a severe reaction even if I have my epipen with me." The lady boarded who was supposed to sit where I was then sitting. She offered to let me stay there after a ten-second explanation of why I was in her spot, and she went back to the other seat. 

The flight attendant went and talked to someone and came back to me. "I'm sorry," she said in the least sorry voice I have ever heard, "but you are going to have to move to this empty row right in front of where you are sitting." She made me wait while a customer service lady boarded the plane to talk to me.

The lady came and asked me if I was okay. I answered through my embarrassed leaking eyes that I was fine. 

After being completely humiliated, she then proceeded, several times, to loudly talk at the back of the plane with the other flight attendants about how horrible I was because I wouldn't just sit in my seat. She spent several minutes in this manner. Other passengers near the back were kind enough to ask her to stop her loud complaining.

It was a terrible experience with the Frontier workers, especially because none of the other flight attendants made any effort to help while they just looked on during one of the worst experiences of my life, even though they could clearly hear what was going on. Nobody made any effort to apologize. Or to even acknowledge my presence later in the flight. 

I kept finding tears making their way down my face. One thing that helped was the fact that nearly half of the people who passed by me getting off the airplane said things like, "I can't believe she treated you like that!" Or "I'm so sorry you had to go through that! That was just terrible!" Or "I hope you're doing okay. You didn't do anything that you should be embarrassed about." Or "Don't worry about it at all. You shouldn't feel bad for having an allergy. I can't believe she humiliated you like that!" Or "You should definitely complain to Frontier about that terrible treatment! She should be fired, or at least severely reprimanded!" Or "Can I just give you a hug? Nobody should have to go through such an awful experience. That is the worst customer service I have ever seen." I couldn't believe how kind and understanding all the other passengers were. Their kind words and smiles provided me with a lot of comfort and hope that there are still lots of good people in the world.