Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Social Beings

Sunday resulted in a bit of a breakdown for me. It had been a really long week, made worse by the fact that the Magical Non Sleeping Baby reappeared, and wanted to party for four hours in the middle of the night, and by party I mean scream her fool head off for four unrelenting hours. Night terrors, you know.


I’m also a person who needs some alone time, and If I can’t have that, I at least need quiet nonsocial time, and unfortunately, when your husband’s twin sister comes in town and she lives far away, you get lots of socializing, too much time with said sister in law and mother in law and an over-stimulated toddler who won’t go to sleep or nap or anything. That being said, they are fantastic, and they wanted Lis all the time.  That meant I actually was around Lis less this weekend than I usually am, which in some bizarre way, only aggravated the situation, because the times where she was with me, she was a hellion. Basically, I ended up feeling like a terrible parent for being relieved that Monday was coming and with it, daycare, and when I had the stupidity to open my mouth and say so, Vor promptly reminded me that Lis had spent lots of time with her grandma and her auntie that weekend, so why was I feeling that way, exactly?


Tears, I tell you.  There were lots of them, served with several side dishes of hurt feelings and anger.


Anyways, Monday was supposed to be FANTASTIC. I took the day off from work, I had a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, and a hair cut all lined up, compliments of my husband and a Christmas gifts. I was so excited.


So, of course Lis gets sent home from daycare in the morning, sick. SO much for that day. Sick babies are delightful too—when they’re not snuggling your with their cute sweaty bodies, they are howling in your ears with anger and frustration. I feel awful when she’s sick, so they day was nothing I expected. 
We all know what happens when a kid is sent home sick from daycare, right? RIGHT? Yes, that means Lis is out today too, though she seems fantastic today, all babbling and chatty and taking things (5 blankets, 6 stuffed animals, a large metal mixing bowl, all of her bibs and washcloths, and a scarf) into the closet and making a nest. Surprisingly, she’s been very intent on playing by herself, with limited need for my participation and approval, which is fantastic, since I really need to get work done.


The work? Well, that would be a social media presentation, detailing the various ways and networks and apps and actions your child can get themselves into all kinds of bizarre situations and trouble.  Lest you think that the correct answer is to withdraw from the world into a location that has no kind of wireless or cell service or anything at all (especially given my above noted tendency to need alone time), the answer is actually more engagement. Lots of talking, lots of checking, signing up for all the crazy things kids are doing yourself, and so on [I actually have lots to say on this, so a later post will have to do].


While Lis was napping, I was typing up the conclusion section about being engaged, etc., and I thought about the difference between this weekend and yesterday and today. Lis was bouncing around all weekend, spending lots of time with her grandma, and other family, and her auntie, as she should, since she doesn’t get to see Vor’s sister that often. But when we’re around all that family, although we are all busy socializing with each other and Lis with them, I kind of lose track of Lis. Lis and I operate much better when we are in tune, and spending lots of time together. When other people are there and she is interacting more with them, I seem to go off frequency from her, and then I have problems of frustration, resentment, etc.As much as I love and need the (generally) once a week breaks that Mama Vor provides in the form of a quick overnight (late evening drop off, early morning pick up), extended time like this past week doesn’t work well for our family right now.


It’s partly that, and it’s partly the fact that Lis is pretty high intensity for people other than us to handle right now that resulted in this decision: We are not leaving Lis for a few days and going to NYC. Instead, Vor and I will go down to Brown County (very pretty, mountains [sort of]) by ourselves for a night and rent a cabin, and Lis will arrive the next morning with Grams, and then the three of us will spend the rest of the long weekend together, just being social, quietly, together.


CM said...

Sick kids!!! Nothing can screw up your plans like sick kids.

Um, not that I have to tell you that.

Cabin sounds nice... although I'm sorry you won't get a longer break by yourselves.

I spent a semester in law school interning with the cybercrime unit of the state AG's office, which I was horrified to find out after the fact was not about cool Internet fraud cases, but in fact was 90% child pornography and exploitation cases. Anyway, everything I learned and saw during that semester confirmed exactly what you're saying. These young teens would sign up for various online services, pretending to be much older, without their parents knowing. And they'd end up kidnapped by some pervert. It was always the ones whose parents were restrictive, especially gay teenage boys who felt they had nowhere else to turn, rather than the kids who communicated openly with their parents about their Internet use.

Attorney at Large said...

Wow, does this sound familiar (except for the part with family who is actually helpful and pleasant to be around).

We are a family of three introverts that function very well as a unit of three introverts, and when left to our own devices, we are perfectly happy all being at home in sync with each other -- usually doing our own things, but in general proximity to one another. (This is why when we lived in a 800 square foot loft with Pea from 2-4 and everyone thought we were crazy, it was actually ideal.)

It's also why it's much easier for me to teach Pea than it is for me to have her in a class of 20+. Sure, yes, I would love for her to have (healthy, not wacky) social interaction daily with someone besides me and whoever we befriend that day at the zoo/museum/park/hiking trail. But she's so much calmer/overall happier this way, at least so far.

Sex crimes. Don't miss that practice AT ALL.