Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Always in a pickle

You know I think I finally pinpointed what is possibly the most frustrating thing about parenting for me. This came to me as I had just finished a 2 hour bout of repeatedly putting Deeter back in his pack n play after he climbed out time and time again...times how ever many times you can do that in two hours. Because that's what I saw Super Nanny or Nanny 911 do once on a show that I probably caught a bit of some 5 years ago. And that's what I had to go on. No other tools in the shed you know. And after this incident, that is when I put my finger on the overwhelming frustration of parenting....and that is that you never really know that you're doing what's right. Or what's best. Or that you're for surely going to get the outcome you're seeking. I'm probably not alone in that I push ahead with my fingers crossed....but I really don't know. As I "parent", I'm simultaneously doing the nervous foot twitch because I simply am going off my best guess. And who wants to be putting all this time, effort, energy, and emotion into something that is nothing more than a "best guess"? It's quite a pickle. I'm coming to learn that when you decide to become a parent, you decide- most likely unconciously- to put yourself in many a pickles. Because so often we find ourselves stuck in the middle with no sure way to run.

A couple of months ago, I had a short interval with the two little kids before I had to run off with the two big kids and I wanted to make the best of it. With Kaia in arms, I asked Deeter if he wanted to go for a walk. By "walk", I meant to the end of the street and back. We reached the end of the street and Deeter was ready to turn the corner. I, on the other hand, was not ready to turn the corner. I tried the lawyer solution by explaining my definition of walk, but that little not-even-2-year-old wasn't buying it. And we were turning the corner. And the next corner. And the next one. Now surely the question in your head right now is...."Did you keep turning right?" Because by this point we would have been right back where we started if that were the case. Unfortunately the answer is NO. We were getting further and further away from home. Deeter did not have shoes on. I did not have a stroller for either baby. And Deeter does weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 pounds. And with each step we took, I KNEW I was getting myself in a pickle. But I kept praying I'd be able to outrun the defense. But Deeter's a hard-baller and finally three blocks away, I knew I was stuck. We/I made the turn around and not a chance I was looking back. Because eye contact ruins everything. I was just praying that he was following. "Come on, Deeter, just this one time and I promise I'll never ask another thing of you." You know those desperate pleas you throw out from time to time that make absolutely no sense and have no chance of ever being adhered to. Well, that's the kind of dialogue I had running through my head. The one last plea. And it worked. For about 6 steps. And then there was no option, I was hauling his large self in one arm and that tiny little Kaia girl in the other. And we rounded a corner and before my arm fell off and he went down with it, I surrendered. He was going to have to walk. I kept up my pace and stopped to look back at the next corner and there he was face down on the tummy, arms a flailing, demonstrating your stereotypical tantrum. And I was out of pleas. I had spent my last one. And to think it only bought me 6 steps. And you know things are bad when some guy is on the street with his car door open, standing there changing clothes for all the world to see and looking at you like, "You should be pretty embarrassed right now." But I just stood and watched. Not the clothes-changing session, the tantrum. Because that's all I could do. It was another one of those parenting moments where you have absolutely no idea if you're doing the right thing, the best thing, or the thing that is going to work but you've picked it and are sticking with it. And I waited until that little Deeter popped up a couple minutes later with some casual comment like, "Oh....Hi, Mom." And if he was going to keep it casual, then I was going to keep it casual. So I kept walking, and miraculously so did he until he couldn't, and then I carried him until I couldn't and then I put him down and.......repeat previous tantrum minus the naked-starer. And eventually we made it home. Lesson learned. Better yet- reiterated. Because I knew better in the first place. But all in all, pickle was over. Until the next one came around. Because like I said, there is no escaping pickles as a parent. Get used to being in a pickle.

Biggest yet best pickle of all....you love your kids way too much to run away for good!


  1. cant you just put them in a zorb ball?

  2. these dang 2 year olds. i am tellin you, good thing they are so cute. and i am pretty sure kaia has doubled in size since i last saw her.

  3. I love your blog. This story sounds a lot like one I had a in Sherman Oaks. I remember having to carry Madison under one arm away from Jill Gann's house, kicking and screaming, with Camryn under my other arm. Madison was probably 3 and was having way too much fun to leave. All the coercion in the world was not going to change her mind. I was so embarrassed because my kid was the only one doing that.

    Rest assured you are doing a great job! Even when the going gets tough you are a pro at handling it with grace.

  4. oh! gay, you are one of my favorite people ever! i think you are a fantastic mom and you are doing a great job with your kids. i can't believe i haven't met two of them! you guys travel a lot. aren't you coming to houston sometime soon?!

  5. I love everything about this post.

    As a mom, you never really know what to do! But you stress because you think, if you don't do anything they are going to turn out to be complete delinquents and it will all be your fault. :)

    I say to hell with what everyone says. You are there mama and therefore you know best. Above all, kids need love. And you my friend, are the sweetest most selfless most loving mom I have ever known. They are lucky to have you.


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