Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Parental Adjustments

8 months in and I'm still in the adjustment phase of becoming a parent. I'm quickly coming to the conclusion I may have to get used to it here.

Through a series of extensive trial and error experiments, I created what I thought was a completely attainable to-do list for this weekend. Let me map out the Herculean efforts I had in mind:

  1. Going to The Container Store to get some fabulous solution to fix my kitchen pantry 
  2. Finish assembling the guest bedroom bed - this task consisted of screwing together 12 drawers
  3. Order a photo and a frame 
  4. Organize under the kitchen and bathroom sinks so my child doesn't accidentally poison herself
4 items. F.O.U.R.

Pre-child, this list would've taken me two hours - including travel time - to get through. Post-child? 

Monday morning, I took stock of my situation:
  1. Mission complete! We had two dirty diapers, a lost container of rice puffs and 1 massive meltdown (by The Bean; The Container Store is my happy place) to show for it. All the things we bought are still in the car.  
  2. 1 drawer fully assembled. 1 drawer abandoned mid-screw. Still.
  3. I just did this 10 minutes ago because I didn't remember about needing to do this until I started writing this post. Done.
  4. Yeah...not so much.
Everything gets in the way. 

Nap times mean no travel and no hammering of nails into drawers (we now know for a fact this will wake The Bean up and she will be displeased). Bringing out the computer or iAnything means wrestling a technology addicted mongrel and his daughter from the keyboard. And doing anything in the house requires at least one free adult to watch this:

Why yes, this is my secret squirrel spy photo of Cadie pulling herself into a standing position. Something she does every free minute she has because sitting is for suckers.

We are in trouble here at the D-Zo household. The child refuses to crawl. Let's face it, it's demeaning. But she spends her days with an 11-month old who is tearing around the house like an Ethiopian marathoner. Guess what The Bean wants to do? At 8 months...

Now accepting resumes for a personal assistant to handle all my chores.

I can handle paying the bills, Mama.

Monday, February 27, 2012

First, Just Throw Away All Your Ideas

Michael and I were big fans of the "I'll never..." game. It's a fun game parents-to-be play to give you a sense of security and allow you to go through with parenthood because thank God YOU have it all figured out, unlike every other parent before you.

You have such a good time playing this game, you begin to share the better rounds with your friends; some of whom are already parents. "I'll never let my child watch TV, listen to 'kid' music or use a binky." Rest assured, this demonstrates unequivocally your naivety, absurdity and pretentiousness.

While I knew there would be some adjustments on my plans and schemes for parenthood, I didn't realize "I'll never" is completely useless. The game should be called "There's no limit to the desperate things I'll do to make it go smoothly-ish."

This seems like a good spot to send a universal apology to all the parents out there I judged silently (and not so silently) on the "choices" you made raising your children. I now know there are no choices. There are simply ways to make it through the day alive and sometimes with your sanity intact.

Parents out there are nodding their heads. 

Parents-to-be, are telling themselves how I just didn't have the discipline to set standards and now (they whisper knowingly to themselves) I'm letting the child run my life. Good luck you me in 8 months, we'll chat then.

Don't slit your wrists or send your child to live with wolves just yet. It's not entirely hopeless. You still have a say over what diapers they wear and (for now) what food they eat.

Top Moments in Parent-to-Be Delirium:
  1. You will not catch me sitting in the backseat of the car with the child. Can you not bear being out of eyesight for the 15 minutes it takes to get to the grocery store? Clingy much?
    Oh...I didn't realize the child will scream as if you tore out her fingernails with pliers if she can't see me. And she won't stop for as long as it takes; 20 minutes to the store, 17 hours to Texas, she can scream the whole way - round trip.

    Yet, she instantaneously stops summoning the Lord of Death when I sit in the backseat with her; which allows me to go to the store to get food which I haven't done in three months.

    Call me Backseat Betty...actually don't.

    (FYI, this stage passed at about 5 months and now The Bean entertains herself fine in the backseat.)
  2. Clearly the bassinet is something invented by the furniture makers of the world to sucker parents into buying yet another crappy, blocky item to take up space in their house. That child will never sleep in the same room as me. There is nothing she is going to need so quickly that the 10 seconds it takes to get to her room will be too long.
    1. OK, fine...I can see the merits of sleeping in the same room for the first week or two. Everyone is tired and it's pretty easy to nurse throughout the night. But no longer than a month.
    2. The first four months seems like an appropriate amount of time for the kid to be in the crib in the parent's room. I read somewhere they become better sleepers because they hear your breathing. But no more than four months.
    3. Six months tops.
    4. Definitely no co-sleeping.
    5. Not past 18 years old.
  3. My child will not watch TV or the internet until [some age I deemed appropriate that was not 2 months old].
    Oh hi Elmo! Hey there Wiggles!!! You mean, if I put you in front of my child I will be able to take a shower for the first time this week? Come on in!
  4. A child with a binky is a clear indication of a lack of discipline and coddling.
    A child with a binky doesn't scream in my ear all night long.
  5. There is no way this child will interfere with my social life. Children are portable. There are babysitters. We won't go out as much, but we will still go out and have our own lives.
    This one is tricky because for the first 3-4 months you are lulled into a false sense of security. The kid IS portable. They sleep all the time. You can go out to dinner and stick them in the car seat under the table on a chair next to you. Life is good and all those other parents just weren't trying hard enough.


    The Schedule takes over the world.

    Someone needs to be at the house between the hours of 9AM-11AM, 1PM-3PM, 6PM-6AM. Those are The Bean's sleeping hours and LORD SAVE YOU if you make me miss a nap time. Overtired children don't just go to sleep. They scream at you for 5 hours first so you are clear about how tired they are.

    Yes. It is that dramatic.

    Mrs. D-Zo, get a babysitter and get your life back.


    Let me break this down for you:

    A) We pay TENS (as in multiple tens) of THOUSANDS of dollars a year for child care. Money exceptionally well spent as The Bean is with someone all day who is doing a better job than I would at raising my child. Do you know what is not included in this cost? Extra hours. Our cost-free social hours (see The Bean's waking hours above) are not particularly aligned with anyone else's. Going out costs an additional $15/hour; which might be reasonable except that...

    B) I haven't slept in 8 months. Not a single night all the way through. I'm so tired my hair is crying. Which leads me to...

    C) Things I have no interest in doing: Wearing something other than sweatpants, putting on makeup, going somewhere where there may be noise, having to say something intelligent, having to say anything, not sitting, and staying up past 9PM since...

    D) The Bean doesn't get memos on schedule changes and she has a tight morning of activities planned that just does not allow for wiggle room. There's waking up at 5AM and yelling until someone gets her a bottle and a new diaper. There's the hour-long discussion she has with her bottle millimeters from the monitor microphone. Then she has to fall asleep for 30 minutes - just enough time for the family to all fall back asleep - and then wake up ready to really start her day at 6:30.
  6. I'll definitely blog, workout, clean, shower, have a career, walk the dogs, pick up tennis, get my hair dyed every 4 weeks, cook dinner, repaint the bathroom, plant a garden...
    See the response for point #5.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Party Favor Ribbed for Her Pleasure

Last week was a hellish one, so we will just move along as though it didn't happen. 

We won't discuss how I gave my first client presentation in years and because of that it sounded more like I was auditioning for the role of the next auctioneer on Storage Wars and not informing people on the importance of being value-oriented.

We won't discuss how I became disillusioned and thought bringing The Bean to happy hour would be a perfectly fine, easy thing to do so I could catch up with friends I hadn't seen in WAY too long. It was neither happy nor an hour.

We won't discuss how we discovered The Bean is allergic to tomatoes.

We won't discuss any of these things because we have something way more important to discuss. 

These things:

On Sunday we went to a birthday party for a(n?) one-year old and these were the party favors. 


I tentatively pulled one out of the basket and looked across the room for Michael. I caught his eye and displayed the "magic wand" for him with my eyebrows cocked. The grin which spread across his face assured me I wasn't the only person in the room wondering if this favor wasn't better suited for a Vegas-themed bachelorette party.

But naturally, none of the other parents seemed alarmed that the hosts were handing out massive dildo-shaped items to children. And this was a fairly conservative crowd, so I had to inspect further.


Aha! A bubble wand. 

Now any parent knows (and if you don't, you're welcome for the tip you're about to receive) that bubbles immediately make you a magician in your child's eyes. Blowing bubbles is usually good for at least 10 minutes of stunned silence, followed by 5 minutes of intense joy, quickly stopped by a bubble popping in your child's eye, followed by 2 minutes of screaming.

But those 15 minutes of quiet joy are totally worth it.

We got home from the party and Michael had to head into the office. So I broke out the bubble wand and got to work.

You guys.

This things blows about 300 bubbles at once. It's intense. If you don't have one, go buy one. Google "Bubble Wands" and be on your way to child sensory overload.

And that's how on Sunday evening the following sentence flew through space from my phone to my husband's: 

"I just leveled up. The bubble dildo upgraded me from magician to sorcerer."

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Day in the Night

Being married is remarkably like spending time at sleep-away camp. Or so I imagine. I never actually went to sleep-away camp because that would require you to do *whisper* number 2 in a toilet outside of your own house. And once you go there, you are one step removed from running around naked killing baby bunnies. 

The first night I was bundled in my blanket burrito and Michael burrowed in and jutted his ice cold feet against my cozy warm legs, I had to restrain the urge to pull his eyeballs out through his bellybutton. Because I married him and I think that was in our vows somewhere.

He cackled like a little girl. And yet, he still lives.

Like many married couples, we're a study of contrasts - particularly when it comes to sleeping habits. I wrap myself in the blankets like it's my job and Michael is busy kicking his blankets off the bed. Michael likes to get his cuddle on and I prefer a 10-foot radius of "personal space" around my person at night.

This leads to bedroom war games that eventually end in actual truces. When is the last time you had to draw a physical truce with someone so you could get some sleep without fear of being tickled?

But it's not all kid games. Like many adults (I imagine), we have intense conversations which keep us up far past our bedtime. 

This last weekend, Michael opened up a most intriguing topic which I will now share with you.

Michael: So, we used to play this game where you take a movie title and replace one word with the word 'sphincter.' OK, go.

Mrs. D-Zo: ...uh...(I hadn't yet put on my 15-year old boy hat, so I had no idea what he was talking about.)

Michael: A Sphincter Runs Through It; The Good, The Bad, The Sphincter

Mrs. D-Zo: My Big, Fat, Greek Sphincter

An hour zips by as we play the game. I am in competitive overdrive. I simply must win the best substitution of sphincter ever. My life, and more importantly, measure of intelligence depends on this.

Michael: The Sphincter Josey Wales

Mrs. D-Zo: The Great Sphincter Caper

Another hour gone to the sphincter brainstorming session.

Mrs. D-Zo: The Sphincter Strikes Back

Michael: White Sphincters Can't Jump

Mrs. D-Zo: Hah! Good one. OK, we have to stop. We will be up all night doing this. You know I won't be able to stop.

Michael: Yeah. You're right. OK, goodnight.

Mrs. D-Zo: Honey, I Shrunk the Sphincters

Michael: Raiders of the Lost Sphincter

Mrs. D-Zo: Cat on a Hot Tin Sphincter

Michael: The Quiet Sphincter

Mrs. D-Zo: Oh my God, we have to stop. I already won't sleep because I'm going to have to beat The Quiet Sphincter now. I'll fall asleep, but will probably jolt awake at 4 AM yelling, "But babe...what about Sense and Sphincterability????"

And there really is no point to this post, except I hope you're up all night playing the sphincter-movie game in your head.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Sad Text Conversation (For Me. For You, It's Funny.)

Mrs Dzo: Things that are embarrassing: Having a 9-month pregnant woman be in better shape than you.

Michael: Hah.

Mrs Dzo: I could barely keep up with her.

Michael: To be fair, she is in better shape than anyone. But it puts things in perspective. It's like when my brother and Deets (his doberman) got beat by a girl and her dachshund in that half marathon.

Mrs Dzo: At least she gives me something to aspire to...? I mean, gosh, if only I could be as fit as a pregnant woman.

Michael: You should probably be thinking in fractions. Try aiming for half as fit as her.

Mrs Dzo: Depressing. But I survived the WHOPPING 2 miles. Though I was holding The Bean for half of it. She decided to have a hissy fit and wanted nothing to do with being in the stroller. Probably because she was ashamed of me.

Michael: I'm sure that was awesome.

Mrs Dzo: Well, it was sort of like being in boot camp and carrying a sack with you while you work out. Except my sack was hollering at me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Much Like Being God, But I Need a Video Camera and a Memory

When Michael and I bought our house, we knew we wanted to replace the soaking tub in the master bath with a jetted tub. Because hot water being forcefully sprayed all over your body while the room noisily shakes is relaxing.

The day the install was finished I found out I was pregnant and was petrified I would cook my baby by sitting in a tub. So I immediately didn't use the tub for 10 months. And now that I'm a mother, all my free time is spent...hahahaha...I can't even come up with anything plausible. Free time. God, that's funny.

But tonight I was determined to take a hot bath. Mainly because I also decided tonight I would start working out again and I was hoping the bath would help alleviate the inevitable pain from finally using my muscles for something other than lifting cheese to my mouth.

I was all set up. Bubbles, glass of ice water, crossword puzzle, iPhone and the baby monitor.

I slipped into the bath and, naturally, the noise sensor on the monitor immediately flew into the red zone. I hit the button to turn on the video so I could ensure The Bean wasn't base jumping out of her crib or being eaten by a herd of disgruntled turtles.

It was far worse.

The binky had fallen out of her mouth - and she couldn't find it.

The Bean has been really good about putting the binky back in her mouth. It was part of sleep training. If she wanted the binky, she needed to learn how to use it herself because I wasn't about to be her binky-putting-in-the-mouth bitch.

But tonight the binky was eluding her.

It was like watching a horror movie and rooting on the main character, "Oh my God, the gun is right there. It's right under the table. If you just bend down, you'll see it and can kill the psychotic maniac who wants to eat your earlobes...OH NO! ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS BEND DOWN."

But much like the earlobe-less heroine, The Bean could not hear my urging and she was getting desperate.

I reluctantly got out of my bath, donned some slippers and a robe and, like the hand of God, retrieved the binky from its hiding place and placed it in her mouth.

She immediately fell asleep.

I headed back to the bath, but remembered I needed to get the trash cans off the curb lest my neighbors start talking because you know how much people care about that sort of thing. So out I went to get those puppies before photos of my house and trashcans showed up on the internet.

Then I remembered I needed to get The Bean's diapers in the washing machine, then there were the bottles that needed cleaning and then...

I forgot I had been taking a bath until about a hour later and wondered why exactly I was in a robe and not my pajamas.

Free time fail.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stepford, This is Not

It occurred to me this evening that I am not, in fact, a superhuman. That was disappointing, but I moved on.

For the past week I've been a royal bitch. Like a "they forgot I don't eat brown M&M's, and it says it right in my rider" diva kind of bitch. For example, Michael came home from work one night and apparently was looking for me to be civil to him. Instead when I started telling a story and he walked into the other room to take his coat off, I decided I wouldn't talk to him for the rest of the night.

Because...well, I actually didn't have a reason other than HE.SO.DESERVED.THAT. after the way he treated me.

On Tuesday he had to work late which set me off because I thought I might cook dinner even though I haven't in about 7 months and 15 days and even though there was nothing in the house to actually cook, he managed to ruin dinner. A dinner that didn't exist.

And yesterday he was breathing. Obnoxious.

I think it's safe to say, adjusting back to my pre-pregnancy hormone levels has been a little more difficult than I would have liked and I'm really glad I'm back to plain ol' super strength birth control pills come Sunday. We need some hormone control up in this house.

However, when Michael came home tonight I was in a stellar mood. No, an actual good mood. I "cooked" us dinner (read: made sandwiches), we watched some TV and I didn't think a murderous thought the whole time.

Because by 6:15 this evening, The Bean, who is on her fifth straight night of sleeping in her crib for the WHOLE NIGHT THANK YOU BABY JESUS, had taken her bottle out of her mouth, placed the binky in her mouth and

And with the remaining 15 minutes of daylight, I went outside to clean up 2 months worth of dog turds from my backyard.

And apparently, these are the things that make me happy now.