So… someone should have warned me, I think.
I mean, I heard other parents talk about their babies going through a “stranger phase” wherein they don’t particularly care for people other than parents. I was prepared for that- hell, most people annoy the crappola out of me.
What I was NOT prepared for was my formerly-charming daughter to suddenly react as though everyone except me (and sometimes Daddy) is MADE OF BOILING HOT ACID FROM THE INNERMOST CIRCLE OF HELL!!
Vivi has recently issued a set of rules which (as near as we can tell) read something like this:
- I want Mama. And only Mama, dumbass. (We forgot this one momentarily. Won’t do that again.)
- If you hand me to almost anyone but Mama, I will scream. Daddy is acceptable, but only if Mama isn’t in my line of vision. If you hand me to Daddy, I will look around for Mama; if I see her, I will scream.
- If the pediatrician tries to touch me, even for purposes of my own health and well-being, I will scream.
- If my loving and doting grandparents who so graciously provide my parents with sanity-saving free babysitting try to touch me, I will scream*.
*Unless I’m on Mommy’s lap, in which case they will be permitted to touch me in order to play with me until I tire of them.
- If I wake up and Mama is not peering over me poised to swoop me up for immediate snuggles, I will scream as though I have been abandoned to be raised by wolves.
Did I mention she screams? A lot? To the point that her father and I have considered returning to Catholicism, if only for the exorcisms? (Seriously- a young priest and an old priest are tough to come by in the deep South. I think you have to be an insider.) I’m sure part of her new disposition can be attributed to teething and we’re doing our best to ease those pains, but girlfriend is going to have to pick up some coping skills ASAP. Mama and Daddy can only drink so much…
As you might imagine, this parasitic relationship with my child has put a SERIOUS kink in my beauty regimen. For instance, I am perilously close to finding out what my real hair color is. And people, so far it ain’t pretty. Think dishwater. From a truck stop. There is a box of #83 Sunflower Blonde sitting on my bathroom counter, but it requires 25 minutes to “develop” which is an insanely luxurious amount of time, the likes of which I have not had to myself since…oh, say… December 6th.
And if I had 25 minutes to let my hair color develop, I could also get rid of what my sister affectionately calls “Jiffy* feet”. (*Jiffy is a FL convenience store… like a 7-Eleven, but less klassy.) My heels are dry and cracked. The bottoms of my feet never quite lose that sexy dirty look, even after a shower. (This is due in large part for my propensity to go barefoot and the fact that mopping requires TWO HANDS. TWO.) My toenail polish looks great- in the spots where it hasn’t chipped off and there are more spots where it has than hasn’t. It got so bad last week that I actually threw a coat of polish OVER the three or four existing half-there layers… but ONLY ON THE FOUR TOES THAT WOULD SHOW IN MY PEEP-TOE WORK SHOES. And I had to drive to work barefoot to let that dry to a tacky consistency. That, my friends, is an “express pedicure".
My only consolation in all this is that I am still able to keep up with shaving. Don’t get any big ideas- it’s not because my showers last longer than 5-7 minutes. It’s just that I’m a fair-skinned used-to-be-blonde with very thin hair. I can let it ride for at least a week, usually two before Husband gets rugburn from a quickie. And speaking of Husband, I should tell you that he has been incredibly wonderful as usual. He’s doing much more than his fair share of the household chores and it breaks his heart when Vivi doesn’t settle down for him. So despite his very best efforts all the way around, poor Husband is left with a fairly dirty house (he’s only one man!), a screaming baby, and a wife looking like a Wal-Mart Queen. It’s a wonder those quickies even happen.
Desperation is a funny thing…