Sometimes, This Shit is Hard

Today was a day. I hate those “No Bad Days” stickers because some days are bad, and we can all own that. I’ve had them before, there was one day when he was younger when L was just crying off and on for an entire day and a half. It wasn’t colic per se, but it took a lot more than usual to keep him content. We got in the car and drove with him and ended up going to get ice cream for ourselves. Win-Win. There was no winning today.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I am on Day-20 of a cough that is waking me up every-single-night. I’m even sleeping sitting up (an art I perfected while pregnant) in an effort to cough less. I’m starting my period tomorrow and, because I have rheumatoid arthritis and I’m not sleeping, I’m archy and fatigue. So, I am sleep-deprived, to the point where I drank a triple iced mocha at 5pm and was STILL barely awake at 7pm, PMSing, and in pain.

Today, I worked from home because of some office issues and I thought, eh, it’s Friday, I’ll just cancel the sitter and let L be free-range while I work. Initially, it was just the regular toddler things: spilling dry cereal everywhere, wanting to eat and then eating none of it, throwing his sippy cup around like a ball, standing on chairs, etc. But, I was determined. When B was leaving that morning, I told her that I might try to take L to the park if I had the energy. He has been trying to slide down ramp in the lobby of our building, so I felt obligated to take him to a real slide.

So, after my workday, I rallied to take him to the park. There are two playgrounds at this park and the one I normally take him to has sand. Eager to avoid sand and see what the other one was like, we went to one we hadn’t been to before. Turns out, my kid recognizes playgrounds now. As soon as he saw it, he pointed and did his I-want-that sound and whined the entire walk to it. If only he understood “That’s where we’re going.” He was having a great time initially, but it was surrounded by birds and I was trying really hard to keep my shit together because I’m terrified of birds. And people were straight up feeding them. I was already regretting going to that playground.

Then, this lady had a BUNCH of toys and snacks for sale right on the edge of the playground. I respect her hustle, I really do, but I had zero cash and a toddler who could literally pick all of them up in his tiny little hands. He cried. I asked him to say the word the “slide.” It worked, he stopped crying and went down the slide. He noticed the toys again. He cried. I asked him to take a deep breathe. He did. Stopped crying. Found someone’s ball. (Side note: How about we all agree to not let our kids take their toys to places, particularly if they aren’t good at sharing). Cried. He tried to PET! A! DUCK! I had to yell, and almost had a panic attack (remember, fear of birds here), to get him to stop walking toward it. He didn’t cry from that (I was embarrassed), but he did cry when I tried to give up on the playground all together and just walk around the park itself. Well, it was more of a tantrum. I’ve got experience there, so I just waited with my hand stretched out until he got himself together and grabbed a hold of my hand to walk away.

Once he saw the water feature (lake) he was excited, so we walked to the edge of it, where he thought he could get in. He asked over and over, nicely I must say, and stretched his arms out in a dive fashion, but it wasn’t going to happen. So, and you know where I’m going, he cried. He cried when I told him he couldn’t pet the “dog” (giant goose) and he cried again when I simply said “let’s walk this way,” so he wouldn’t bother two people doing some sort of ground acrobatics in the grass.

It didn’t end at the park. All of this, of course was because he was hungry, so he said “Yes,” his way of asking for food, over and over the entire ride home despite my reassurance that we were almost home and I didn’t have access to food. Out of the car, he somehow only had one shoe on. As I walked through the parking garage, diaper bag on my back, holding the hand of my toddler, who was walking with a limp due to only having on one shoe, I was only comforted by the fact that we were in the home-stretch, just up the elevator. While we waited for it, I threw away a cup. L decided that he too wanted to throw something away: it was my keys.

This shit is hard y’all. Hang in there.

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