March 30, 2012

One of Those Days.

The very day after I posted about how Tessa takes my breath away, I feel compelled to write about how she also infuriates and exhausts me. Yesterday she threw roughly 10 tantrums, each epic in its own way, most of them in public places. I have no control over how supernaturally loud her cry is, but by the dirty looks people gave me yesterday maybe I should try harder.

There was one bizarrely serene break in our day when we visited unintentionally with the Easter Bunny, who Tessa loved so much more than Santa. Have a look at this cheese, whydontcha?

As we were driving home from the errands, she fell asleep in the car for five minutes. That's all it took to totally spoil the three-hour nap she usually gives me as a reprieve in the middle of the day. I have no idea why but sometimes a car cat nap gives her the energy to go on, albeit grumpily, for the rest of the day. She made the mistake of falling asleep in the car again today, and as soon as I spied those eyelids droop in the rearview, I shouted, "No! Wake up! Almost home!" Poor kid.

Today I got up before six to work and by the time Tessa woke up at 7:15 I felt totally ready to take on the day with her. I missed her; I had visions of taking her to the zoo and knocking out tons of writing during her nap. But she woke up on the wrong side of the crib again, and I felt dread/panic rising, plus a little resentment that Nekos got to go off to an office, where he could, like, concentrate. How was I going to face another day like yesterday? And how was I ever going to get my work done? Sure, I can park her in front of the TV for a bit, but after two episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba or Curious George, my chest is

So not long after Nekos left for work, the idea popped into my head: Drop-in daycare! Does that tell you how spent I was? I did some Google homework, drove across town to one of Nashville's nicer neighborhoods and signed my little diva into this daycare, which looked pretty neat-o to me, like an indoor playground. I cozied up to a table at the Starbucks down the road and ordered an obscenely large Earl Grey latte. I got work done.

But when I drove back to collect her, optimistic that she'd be doing ring-around-the-rosie or learning to count backwards from 100 or something like that, I found her slack-jawed in front of a TV with the rest of the kids, WATCHING A CARTOON WITH RUSSELL BRAND IN IT. What the what? If I wanted to put her front of the TV, I could have done that myself! Is this a thing at daycares? This TV-watching? My only experience has been with Mother's Day Out programs, where that's a no-go. Cue heaps more mommy guilt.

Still, the short break was just what I needed. I finished an assignment and caught my breath long enough to return to motherhood without dread or anxiety. Now, I hear her fidgeting around in her crib upstairs, reading a book to her stuffed frog and her enormous Elmo. Let's hope she falls asleep, OK?

While I'm on the subject of her, here are a couple of Tessa tidbits that I really have to remember:

Ask her her full name and she'll tell you it's "Tessa Bean." Evidence that we've used her nickname too long/too much? Ask her my full name and she says, "Mama Barnes" and Nekos is "Daddy Barnes."

Also? When she's upset with me she wags her finger at me and says, "Bad dog!" And I can't stop laughing about it.