Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Money Made You Mean

It’s rainy and gray here and all the pretty snow that fell last night is a slushy mess on the street. The girls are sleeping in their cribs (Stop the presses: At the same time!) so I’m cooking up a double batch of broccoli rabe for dinner. I make it the same exact way Nicole does but hers always tastes 100 times better. I think all food tastes better when someone else makes it for you.

I had a bad Mommy moment last night. Ugh. Nothing like filling up with unnecessary anger to make you feel like the worst mother in the world. It was past bedtime and Avery was having a hard time getting to sleep. This is the second night in a row that she has decided to scream through being put down in her crib. Her crying woke Maddie a couple times so I was dealing with both for a while (since Nicole was at a promotion celebration at work, I was on my own). The situation was exacerbated by the fact that Avery stands up in her crib and can’t get down, so even if we wanted to let her cry it out we can’t because we need to help her get down.

I feel like I have no right to complain because we have been putting both girls down at night with zero issues for the longest time. They are so good about just rolling on their little sides and going to sleep. Two-nights-in-a-row hardly an issue makes.

But last night, no luck. I was tired and hungry and had about ten things to do before I could just sit down and relax. I needed Avery to sleep, even if she didn’t feel like it at the moment.

So I walked with her and sat with her and rocked with her and did everything I could think of to get her to relax. She wasn’t happy in any position and kept crawling out of my arms and then back into them, in this “I want you/I don’t want you” manic cycle. I got to the point where I was asking her questions and half expecting her to answer: “What do you want?! What do you need?! Why can’t you sleep?!” The low point was when I put her on the floor in the dark living room and just walked out. She cried more and started crawling in the dark to where I went. I came to my senses in about five seconds, and, feeling like a monster, picked her back up and walked around with her shooshing until she feel asleep in my arms, an hour and a half after Madeline.

Nothing like things like that to make you feel like a shitty, ungrateful parent. But today is another day, and all I can do is try again. No one (and no book, no movie, no blog) prepares you for what that feels like, that pressure to be a good parent, to stop the cycle of issues imparted onto me, to give more than what I was given, to do everything in my power to make their lives (and Nicole’s) a good one. I see and hear myself do and say things sometimes and recognize the dysfunction in my words and actions. I literally have to stop and try to rewind the situation. I’m trying to teach them, by my example and my reactions and my affection, but really they are the ones teaching me.

On a completely different note, does anyone have any experience with hair color in a box? If I want to make my brownish hair lighter-ish, which means stripping it of some color, can I use a box for that? I don’t have the time or patience really to have my base done and highlights added every six weeks. And every time I have my hair colored it comes out with a reddish tint.

I see all those happy little boxes of instant new-and-improved self-esteem on the shelves of my Duane Reade and think, could it work for me? My hair stylist says that it is crazy to try but why would he want me to think I can do it myself for $7.99 when he can do it for me for $250 plus tip? The time and effort and money to upkeep lighter hair just seems so… time-consuming and laborious and expensive. So any hair color-in-a-box suggestions are most appreciated.

Pictured above, Avery found her sister’s pacifier and finally figured out what to do with it! I look at her little face, made extra cute with that pacifier, and think “how could I be such a monster?!” Also pictured, my hair color as it is now. Well, as it was back in August, but it is the same color, just with more gray.

And the blog title is in reference to the Indigo Girl song playing when I went to hit publish. I’m too uninspired today to come up with a title and that seemed just fine.


judy said...

Yes they are teaching us. If our babies weren't in need of mothering, we may never get the chance to undo the dysfunction of our upbringing.
That said, what you did last night was to utilize a very good coping mechanism ( a time out for mom of sorts) for both of you. It was a much needed tiny break for you to catch your breath and for Avery to realize that what she needed after all was Mommy to hold her.
I say "Well done."
I have no idea about your hair...sorry

Shelli said...

Go to any of the Ricky's stores - they have GREAT hair color - just get a bottle of activator and a bottle of dye, mix, sit, and voila!

Jenni said...

You said that really well - nothing prepares you for the pressure of trying to be a good parent. You did good.

Jeannine said...

Going through the same thing here. My twins are 7 months old. My daughter has been sleeping through the night for months. My son, God love him, has only done it five times (yes, I've counted!)although both go down easy at bed time, and he is hit or miss on going down easy at nap time. Last night, after getting up more times than I could count, I kept thinking that at least he'd nap well today. Both times I tried to put him down today, he screamed, and even holding him trying to soothe him didn't help as he was super squirmy. I finally put him down crying and took a shower. When I got out, he was sleeping. I was both relieved that he was asleep and horrified at myself for letting him cry. We all try to be good parents and do the best for our kids. Sometimes, that means taking a break for ourselves. As foor the hair color - be careful. Going lighter with a box can be risky, especially if you say your hair gets red. When you strip color from hair, it will always go red before blond, so do the strand test the box recommends to see how long to leave on the color. And, you'll have to get permanent color because the semi perm colors don't lighten. Lastly, I'd go with somehting in the neutral family - avoid anything that has the words "golden or warm" in the name. As a brunette who's been blond, red, black and everything inbetween, I know of which I speak.

nailgirl said...

Hey I use a box all of the time. I cover the gray.I always go with screaming red colors just becuse mine is red already but i want something more vibrant. Good luck and I agree with the above commenter. Besides it will always wash out.

K J and the kids said...

I have guilty moments like this all of the time. When I talk about them people always say....don't beat yourself are making a difference in their lives. That you recognize the problem is the first step.
These words were the first things that came to my mind to say to you :)

Anonymous said...

Ditto above comment - Ricky's - I guess that's like Sally Beauty Supply or Loefler Beauty Supply? Anyway, if you luck out and get an informed salesperson, they can point you to the right stuff. You don't have to be a hairdresser to buy stuff there. You do get a discount if you are, but regular people can buy a discount card at Sally's for $5.00. All the stuff you need will be inexpensive, and there's so much you won't use it all in one sitting. TRUE!! :)

UtRus said...

no hair advice from me - I have 6 inch roots, which i guess i wouldn't even call roots now. it's seriously bad. i look like... like... like an insane, unkempt mother of 8 month old twins.

I agree with Judy above - putting the Aviator down and walking out when that angry frustration arose is EXACTLY what you should have done. I have done the same thing, and felt shitty about it, too. But what I really felt crappy about was not that I put my child down in order to re-group, it's that I allow myself to get so annoyed and pissed in the first place. But when we're so so so tired and so frustrated and so hungry and it's been nothing but double baby all day and someone is screaming in your ear and won't stop... give yourself a break. I'm trying to. I'm also working on meditating and learning to take a breath in those moments.

you're a great mom. don't be so hard on yourself. i think one of the most important lessons we can teach our girls is self-love and self-understanding by example. so let's work on that for ourselves AND for them!


Anonymous said...

I reckon you did the right thing, giving yourself a little break, and it did the trick didn't it?

Meredith said...

We both have had to put our son down when we've gotten upset. Right now we all have colds, and our son has it the worst. He has been sleeping terribly, and the other night (well, it was 3am), I was honestly worried about my wife's sanity. She was so tired, sick, and frustrated that I decided to get up with her when she fed the boy. The next day, I mentioned to her why I stayed up and she said that was probably a good idea. So really, you can never do anything bad by putting a baby down. We live in an apartment and I feel bad if our neighbors hear him screaming, but not bad enough to keep him in my arms when I am to my limit with frustration.
On to a lighter topic, I dye my hair with a box (no specific brand rec, though), but I highly suggest getting some help with the process. You can try to do it alone, but it's too hard for me (I have thick, wavy hair). Also, have a towel on hand that you don't care about. It's good for draping over your shoulders during the dyeing process, and for after you wash and rinse. We have a towel that looks like hell from all the dye jobs it's handled, but it works for us.

Anonymous said...

I've said much worse than that to my twins, and I'm not proud of it. But it happens, and you move on. You're human. And you're a good mom.

suzanne said...

One piece of advice on the hair thing I read somewhere (and learned the hard way) - pick the color you think you want then choose one shade lighter.

On another note, your creme brulee french toast recipe got me craving baked french toast which I've never made. I tried this recipe and it was pretty darn good.

I made it with brioche and used a cinnamon/brown sugar mix to top it before baking and also added vanilla to the egg/milk mixture and was very happy for my first foray into baked french toast. I'm going to try making it with challah next time.