clusterfuck sunday

– Today was a clusterfuck. We experienced no less than four full-blown tantrums and while my head didn’t exactly hurt and I wasn’t exactly tired, my head felt like a balloon, ready to float away. It was rather strange. One tantrum was about her sandals being too far away for her to reach and while I don’t remember the specific causes of the others (or perhaps, I choose not to?), they mostly involved her wanting me to do something for her that she’s perfectly capable of doing. She generally didn’t seem too interested in doing very much today, except reading. She half-heartedly drew and played with Lego. I think she needs new toys, but I’m not really sure what toys a four-year-old plays with, beyond the ones she already has.

– I managed to convince Raspberry to put her hair up this morning. This, like having her hair all neat and combed, is a rarity. It lasted probably a half hour before she pulled the elastic out.

– Lucas went downstairs to see what was in our storage locker (the answer: boxes). He wore the clothes he used to wear when he was working construction — an ill-fitting pair of paint-splattered faded dad jeans and a plaid shirt that seemed too small. I couldn’t unsee it. Meanwhile, Raspberry was very disturbed by the way he was dressed too and refused to look at him, insisting that she’d prefer to look at him naked instead. We did a load of laundry, tossing in those clothes, because we’ve heard stories of bedbugs in this building and didn’t want to risk bringing anything nasty into our apartment. While the clothes hung in the bathroom to dry, Raspberry refused to be in the same vicinity as the jeans. It was bizarre and funny.

– My dSLR has been acting up for several days, with an “err 99” warning. I’ve gotten this error once before about two years ago, but it resolved itself without intervention. This time, it’s persisted and upon Googling, I’ve done what websites have suggested to help resolve the issue but it’s kept cropping up. Switching lenses seems to have helped, which leads me to believe that after four years and about 16,400 exposures, my 18-55mm kit lens is wobbling on its last leg. I’m not too concerned though, since I was going to get a new used lens to replace my old 28-80mm one. Moreover, I’ve always had an ambivalent relationship with my dSLR so I’m more annoyed than anything (mostly because it’s currently my primary camera). I’ve been browsing eBay for the lens, which I can easily get at Henry’s, but can probably find for cheaper on eBay. Plus, I don’t have to pay tax.

– Lucas took Raspberry out to the back of the building to stomp in snow (and also so I could regain my sanity). I was originally going to take Raspberry to the post-office but she kept waffling and finally decided she’d rather stomp in snow. They were gone for a half-hour but it felt like a lot less. Doesn’t it always?

– The tantrums more or less abated by four o’clock and she was pretty pleasant. It’s always like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with her. We made a gigantic new batch of granola, some of which ended up on the floor when Raspberry wanted a turn at mixing it and I had to do a quick vacuum. As usual, Lucas cut up the vegetables for our Sunday night nachos and made Raspberry two quesidillas, instead of the usual one-and-a-half. While I put together the nachos, they read One Hen, a fantastic book about microloans in Africa as told through a boy’s foray into chicken farming in Ghana. We’d read it a few days ago and I was surprised Raspberry liked it (even though she picked it out herself — she was drawn to the hen). After her daily multi-dose of Clarice Bean, she went to bed at seven, because she clearly needed the extra sleep, and Lucas and I watched another episode of The Inbetweeners (so much second-hand embarrassment) as well the first episode of Portlandia (thank you, New Yorker article for convincing me to finally get around to watching it and also, thank you for making me believe that I should really live in Portland… ha!).

– I am so glad this day is practically over. Tomorrow is a brand new day.


4 responses

  1. it sounds like she is such a brat sometimes. is there any way in which you can force her to be more independent? take her to a class or something involving other children where you can leave for an hour or so? she would probably hate it the first few times but it might be worth it.

    i don’t know how you handle her tantrums. i am scared to have children because i am worried that i would get really angry whenever my kids had temper tantrums, which i assume they will have lots of because i was a horrible kid.

    February 13, 2012 at 4:47 am

  2. She is such a handful sometimes. I’ve learnt very quickly that I do not have the patience to deal with young children. I’m delusional in thinking that if she had a sibling, she’d be forced to be independent quickly, but knowing her and how stubborn and resistant to change she is, it’ll probably backfire… haha.

    Most of our battles are about independence these days — ie. we want her to learn to do things on her own, but she’s very clingy. It drives me insane. I don’t handle her tantrums very well; these days, I usually let her be and wait for her to calm down before I go to her, since she doesn’t listen to any reason when she’s tantrumming. Sometimes (more often these past few weeks) I get angry and then I regret it after. Lucas is usually the calm one who can talk her down when I’m too pissed to deal with her. I’d never thought I’d react that way as a parent.

    I’d never have guessed you were a horrible kid ;) Perhaps the word is “spirited?” That’s apparently the nice word people use for their kids who get to be too much. Ha! I don’t think being prone to tantrums is genetic. A lot of what I read talks about controlling the circumstances that lead to a tantrum, like hunger or fatigue. If you believe that, I guess these days, we’re just not very good at doing that (I think she needs some novelty in her life right now).

    She actually does take a half-hour gymnastics class once a week. Lucas takes her, partly so it can be their thing but also because I know if I were the one to take her, she’d want me to be with her in the class all the time. She’s actually been doing it since October and she’s great being in the class on her own. She’s actually more independent when she’s with Lucas than when she’s with me, so much so that Lucas and I joked that I should take a trip to Montreal or something for a few days so she’ll get used to being less dependent on me.

    Actually, I think I remember you mentioning in a post quite a while ago, where you suggested putting Rb in a camp or class or something and I believe that’s where we got the idea to put Rb in gymnastics. For that, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2012 at 5:03 am

  3. It might work, being the older sibling, but it’s hard to tell. It would probably work best if she was relatively young still.

    I’m pretty sure that I would react that way as a parent because when I had my very “spirited” cousin living with us, he drove me insane and I got really worked up about him not listening to me or to anyone else and would yell at my mom and would have to leave the room and I wasn’t even around him that much. (He has a younger brother and he has mellowed out a lot since he was younger.) Taking care of my brother was the opposite because he almost never threw temper tantrums. He did once and I didn’t know what to do so I just took pictures of him until he calmed down. (It was when he stopped taking naps in the afternoon, so maybe that explains it!) But I think that it’s great that Lucas can be patient with him. I think that that’s something that Leandro would be good at, also, but I’m not sure because he has very little tolerance for those kinds of things. He will even tell me sometimes that I’m acting like a child when I’m being too needy or stubborn. :) We’ve talked about discipline and how I’m very much against it and how he is not because it worked for him. It did the opposite of work for me, I was too smart to let my parents win by doing the easy thing. hahaha! I bet, though, that I would be a lot more patient with kids if they were my own. I guess I’ll have to wait to find out.

    You should totally take a trip somewhere on your own. It would probably be good for you, too, to be away from your every day life for a little while. (I need to take trips every once in a while, otherwise I end up in a rut.) I’m thinking of going to Montreal at the beginning of March sometime. It would be fun to meet! :)

    February 13, 2012 at 5:26 am

  4. Rb isn’t a fan of babies and has mentioned a few times in the past that she doesn’t want a sibling, so yeah, I have no idea how it’d play out. Sometimes I do wish we had a second child sooner, but honestly, I don’t think we could have managed it. Even now, I barely think we could.

    I take pictures of Raspberry when she’s upset too :) But she often hides from the camera when I’m doing so and sometimes it makes her more upset.

    I used to take care of my sister when she was a baby and I really don’t remember her throwing a tantrum. Then again, I don’t really remember my other siblings doing so either, but that could be because I was so much younger.

    It’s totally cliche but people change as they get older. Lucas used to say he didn’t really know what to do with a kid, because he’s an only child, but obviously it’s worked out and I didn’t expect that he could be so patient with a toddler/preschooler. I think he used to believe in hard discipline several years ago, pre-Raspberry, probably like Leandro does perhaps. It’s what he grew up with and what he thought worked. But then we read more and more about attachment parenting and the use of gentle discipline and somewhere along the line, he changed his mind. Maybe that’ll be the case with Leandro too.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:19 am

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