Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In Which I Bitch

Even when you have the most adorable and amazing daughter in the world, parenting isn't always easy.

While I wrote that sentence, my daughter broke a plastic lamp shade by putting it on the floor upside down and standing inside of it after I had told her not to do that, then insisted "It was an accident, dad!"

She's smart, adorable, and a genuinely good child. I will never deny that she is probably one of the easiest children to raise ever born upon this world.

But that doesn't mean she can't be frustrating, that I don't sometimes get frustrated.

According to an article in the Washington Post recently, parenthood is one of the worst things that can happen to you as far as  your overall happiness goes, over the short term anyway. Sleepless nights, frustration with this small human who can't explain what they want and won't listen to your very logical reasoning why they can't do the things they want, like drawing on the wall or opening up the oven to "watch things cook."

So I'm going to bed your pardon while I talk about the things that are bothering me right now.

Lois isn't potty trained yet. Not even a little bit. She'll ask to use the potty at night time before (or right after) bed but she uses it as a stalling technique on going to bed. She's praised super highly for going potty and is even bribed with her favorite candy. It doesn't matter: She refuses to use the potty. Time after time after time after time.

Today she asked to wear underwear. She would use the potty, she said, if she could wear big girl underwear for the first time. So we did it. She put on her underwear and danced around like a silly little widget. We had her little potty right here in the middle of the room, ready to go. I asked her every 15 minutes if she had to go and she insisted she did not.

About 2 hours later I realized the mistake I made as we cleaned up the entire kitchen floor together. And the hallway. (I want to stress that I did not get angry. I did not shame her. But she DID help clean up her mess.)

I'm getting really tired of hearing "Accidents happen, daddy" and sometimes really wish we'd never bought her Elmo's Potty Time, which features a song called, you guessed it, "Accidents Happen."

"Honey, you peed all over the floor instead of using the potty."

"I know, daddy, but accidents happen sometimes."

Yes, but if you could actually try, that would be great, thank you. Please?

She's in a pull-up now.

Lois has learned to open the refrigerator door. I never knew that my 3 year old daughter would have so much in common with teenage stoners. She opens the door and stares for minutes at what's inside. She pokes at things to move them aside so she can see behind them and she stares some more. After a few unproductive minutes, she walks away, door wide open. If I'm there I close it immediately, of course (or have her do it) but sometimes I don't realize that she's done this and I end up closing it who-knows-how-much-later.

I'm close to putting up gates on the kitchen doorways but I'm tired of the gates. So tired of them.

Earlier I finally decided that I would start work on a project that's been on my mind for a while. I want to relearn how to draw, a skill I've lost since the surgery, and I had a very specific project I wanted to do to go along with this. I spent some time sketching things out and then started drawing it out. I was about 1/3 of the way through with this step when the grocery delivery guy showed up.

Lois helped me get the groceries in and helped me put them away. She played on the porch for a bit and was generally very helpful overall.

I have no idea when she got to the art and did her own drawing but I have to restart the project. I genuinely don't know when she could have done it but she did. I knew better than to leave it within her grasp and to let her out of my view: She loves drawing. I give her her own paper and her own art supplies but "helping daddy draw" is one of her favorite things to do when it comes to drawing.

I'll be starting over. It's not a lot of time lost and it's not like my drawing is a "work of art." It's not a big deal but it's frustrating.

And it's only noon.

Now that I've gotten this out of my system we're going to go play. We're going to clean up the mess that she's made with her toys and we're going to play some games. We're going to laugh and smile and have a good time.

I love being her dad. I love her. I love having her as a daughter.

But sometimes even the most amazing child can be a stinker.

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