When my mom was visiting and helping out right after Xander was born, and he was in his Screamy McScreamy Pants phase (OMG), she told this story to try and cheer JS and I up. It went something like: My older brother Sam had been fussy all day, teething or possessed by Satan or whatever it is that kids go through when they want nothing more than to make their parents miserable. Mom and Dad took turns for what must have felt like hours to calm him down and put him to bed (I think they were in the US, which makes him over a year, since he was about 1 when his deployment to the Philippines was done; and there’s something about a Up All Night Screaming Baby that’s NOT a newborn that seems so much more traumatic, somehow (I say now, safely past the newborn phase)). It finally worked, Sam went to sleep, and my parents were so giddy about the freedom and the quiet that they went out for pizza.
They turned around a few blocks away from the house where Sam was sleeping.
The other story goes like this: Grant, being the third born, had to work extra hard to phase my folks. They were EXPERTS at this point! So Dad decides that Grant is old enough that come hell or high water, he and Mom are going to enjoy their dinner after putting Grant to bed. No Matter What. (Sam and I aren’t mentioned in this story. I assume they locked us in a closet with 2 spoons and jar of peanut butter. (AGAIN)) Typical youngest child syndrome kicks in, and after Night Night Time, Grant starts screaming bloody murder because, HEY! THEY’RE HAVING FUN WITHOUT ME.
Dad remains resolute, though; he and Mom will eat their dinner together and then go check on the baby. Dinner’s done, Mom goes into the nursery and….Grant had thrown such a fit, complete with jumping up and down and flailing his limbs and spinning his head around in complete circles, that he broke the crib and is lying on the ground under a pile of mattress and wood pieces.
The point of these stories? In recent days, with Xander being as busy as he can possibly be? I can totally relate to both of them. Especially the first one. I’m horrible and tuning out his screams (I can’t really even hold a rational conversation if he’s screaming, I’m too on edge). But the giddiness and freedom of the baby being away? I get that. It’s not that I don’t love spending my days with Xander, because he’s a joy, he really is. I love him so much it’s pretty gross, really. But at the end of the day, I’m so exhausted from walking him around the house and listening to him cry because I wouldn’t let him play with the shards of the glass he knocked over, or separating him from the dog, or pinning his screaming and wriggling body to the floor so I can change his diaper (look, Kid, it’s not like *I* enjoy that job, either, ya know?), or having to pee while he unspools ANOTHER roll of TP or or or or…..man, just a few minutes to myself, after dinner’s cleaned up and I’m confident he’s asleep and I’ve done as much housework as I’m going to do in a day…
I’d totally go for pizza, is what I’m saying. And I don’t really even LIKE pizza that much.