Monday, October 19, 2015

And So Far to Go Before We Sleep

In today's post, I'm going to get real with you. Being the parent of an infant/toddler has not been a fun experience for me. Some people love babies and, given the choice, would always be raising one. Good for them. That's not me.

Latest child care related
People keep telling me that I should treasure these moments when she is a baby because I will miss them. They are wrong. I look forward to the day when I can talk to the Koalid, when I can walk with the Koalid, when I can play with the Koalid. That time is not now.

What do you mean? you ask. You can play with a baby.

Kind of. Currently she is interested in banging things against other things and climbing around and going where she is not supposed to go. This means a lot of crawling after her and a lot of moving her back where she is supposed to be. That often makes her cry and scream. It also often causes me pain and discomfort because the process of taking care of her has so far caused sciatica which limits my leg strength and flexibility, and, more recently, a hyper-extended left thumb meaning I cannot lift anything with that hand for a month or two.

We usually have to bring the Koalid to most places that we go
which means that one or both of us don't get to really be a part
the event because the Koalid is really needy.
People tell me that as she learns to talk, she'll learn to say "no". Well, that sounds like an improvement over now when she does not know the word "no", and the only way to stop her from playing with a power outlet or crawling off a staircase or putting a rock in her mouth is to physically rush over and stop her. Sure, she'll start telling me "no", but at least she'll understand it when I say it
to her.

So for now, while there are some enjoyable moments, this phase is mostly an exhausting marathon of late night crying, interrupted sleep, increasing fatigue, frustration, exhaustion, and occasional injury.

Part of the problem is that we are far from our support systems. Neither my family nor Amy's family is close enough to help us. We have very few friends in the area who can watch the Koalid for us. This means that we don't get breaks. We don't get time together. We don't get to recover.

It's a fake, rubber knife, before you worry.
OK, sometimes a tiny baby is fun.
Some parents will admit to being tired and drained from raising an infant/toddler, but most will qualify it with some profession of love for their little bundle of joy. No parent wants to be thought of as not being a loving, ever-patient parent. Well, I do love the Koalid, and I look forward to leading her through all the stages that will bring her to a confident, happy, successful adulthood, but I'll tell you right now that this part of it, at least for me, is not a joyous romp of parental happiness with occasional pit stops of challenge. It is an exhausting and miserable marathon stretching many months into the future with occasional oases of joyful moments which I am mostly too tired to appreciate.

It's okay, it's only another year or so, then perhaps I can get some sleep.

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