Monday, February 6, 2012

Asshole Time 2.0

Back when Caitlyn was an infant, before I started this blog even, she had something Rodolfo and I referred to as Asshole Time.

Generally, we were very lucky. She was an easygoing, happy baby. But every night between 6-9pm, Caitlyn would be an asshole. She would cry despite not being hungry or wet or uncomfortable. Rocking her didn't help. Nothing helped. She would just spend at least an hour or two every night screaming inconsolably and we could never figure out why.

Asshole Time was fleeting. I'd say it lasted from the time she was a few weeks old until she hit 3 months or so. If you figure she hardly ever cried besides that, I probably dealt with a lot less crying than most new moms.

At the time though, it was very frustrating. I couldn't figure out what it was that was upsetting her. I couldn't make her happy. On days when Rodolfo was at work during Asshole Time and I was alone with Caitlyn, I would find myself at the very end of my patience. I would say things that you shouldn't really say to your infant. Things like "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" and "THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, STOP SCREAMING!" and "I WANT TO THROW YOU OUT THE FUCKING WINDOW" and then maybe I would also cry. Not because I felt like THAT big a failure, but mostly out of the frustration that builds when someone is screaming in your face for hours at a time and you can't just say "fuck you" and leave.

Looking back, it really wasn't so bad. Because right now, we are experiencing Asshole Time 2.0. Also known as the Terrible Twos. Also known as "Stop smacking your head into the ground when you don't get your way then crying because you hurt yourself" and "Mommy isn't laughing because you are being a dick" (side note: I accidentally taught Caitlyn the word dick this weekend) and "Don't hit me, asshole" and "Don't climb out of your crib. You are in time-out. Asshole" and "Keep your fucking diaper on" and "Snatching my phone and then throwing as hard as you can when I try to take it back is NOT cool" and, most of all "Stop fucking WHINING about everything". And it's so much worse. I'd take a hundred Asshole Times in exchange for Asshole Time 2.0.

My kid is funny and charming and adorable. So it's hard for me to deal with asshole Caitlyn. It's like she's possessed. By an asshole. Right now I'd say the split is about 60/40 in favor of her being an asshole. That other 40% is downright magical though. Her personality is so defined now. She does these unexpected, ridiculously charming things. Like last night, we were at a Super Bowl party and while the Super Bowl was on in one room, the Puppy Bowl was on in the other. She loved her some Puppy Bowl, let me tell you. Somehow, she understood that there was a connection between the two and would often walk out of the Puppy Bowl room, hands in the air and shout "TOUCHDOWN!". Shit like that makes it really hard to leave her in the woods to be raised by wolves until she gets her attitude in check.

Right now, hitting is the battle I'm fighting the hardest. Caitlyn seems to think that any slight, real or perceived, shall be dealt with by the merciless strike of her hand. She also seems to think that when I get pissed about it and put her in time-out, that kissing the spot she smacked me in should get her out of a punishment. Sorry, kid. It doesn't work that way.

The mood swings are really difficult too. She transforms from the smiley, cheerful girl I know into a screeching, whining, angry beast in a matter of seconds. She feels the need to exercise her will at any cost. And her will is to be diaperless and armed with an ice pop and my phone at all times. It's exhausting.

This is definitely a phase right? I often wonder about my parenting choices. I feel like I'm doing a good job, but everyone has an opinion about everything I do. My mom, my husband, my sisters, random dicks in the grocery store. And so I find myself questioning the kind of parent I am. Am I too easy on her? Do I give in too quickly? Am I mistaking Terrible Twos for my parenting style just turning her into a full-time asshole? I don't know. Tell it's just a phase, you guys.


Nadine said...

My opinion is you're too easy on her, in case you were wondering.

She doesn't seem to take your No's seriously at all because you're just so darn amused at how charming and funny she is.

Say no and mean it, like a mom. If you need lessons, ask Mike. He tells me no like a mom all the damn time. You can practice with him on a trip with me to the grocery store when I want delicious things and he says No.

Miss G and the Funky Space Sauce said...

Aloha Jaclyn,

I am brand new to your blog and found it today through your comment to Jen e sais quoi - which I LOVED by the way and agree with completely.

I just wanted to relate a story to you about my sweet, loving daughter - when she was an asshole four year old. Yes, I love her dearly - she is almost twenty now and a wonderful, kind and loving person. But when she was four - she was a serious asshole!
I took her to a montessori preschool three days a week - her "teacher" was all of 19 years old - skinny, beautiful, sugary sweet. My adorable, smart, loving daughter got mad at me one day for making her go to bed (past her bedtime!) and vowed revenge. Every single day that we took her to the daycare, she would tell her father how great her teacher was. Once when her father went to pick her up, she got them together, tried to make them hold hands and then told them, "Good. Now you can be my new Mommy - my old one is mean!"
Once I picked up all the little shards of my heart, I couldn't help but laugh. Recently, I told her this story - her reply: "See, that's why I don't like little kids. They're assholes!"
Moral of the story: even seriously assholish little ones can grow up to be wonderful people. Having a great Mom with a well-used sense of humor helps!

Misty said...

Oh my god, Jaclyn. You are a HORRIBLE parent!! :)

You know I'm kidding, right? I would think we were down like that.

I've never seen you parent, so I have no idea whether there is something you could adjust to alter your kid's behavior. But, having said that . . . sometimes kids are just assholes. Especially around the time in their life when they start getting very distinct personalities, know what they want, but are unable to either communicate it or get it. Assholes. Sometimes they are tired. Sometimes just ornery. Sometimes they just . . . are. I've had this discussion with a colleague who also has young kids and we have come to the conslusion that sometimes kids are just assholes. The end.

Good luck with your terrible 2s. With mine, the 3s were terrible, but I have boys, so maybe it's different. Anyway, I suggest heavy drinking. It makes it much better!! :)

Gia said...

Sure, it's a phase...until she goes through puberty and hits asshole time 3.0 :P

AKD said...

I am behind you on this, as Alice is younger, but I understand that some children just have the terrible twos, and some don't - not much you can do.

Front Desk Ninja said...

What Gia said.

My niece has the asshole 2s, and 3s and it's rounding on 4s...

I say listen to Nadine, and practice saying no on her. It sounds like it could be fun.

Jaclyn said...

@Nadine- so Mike is a better mom than me?

@Miss G- I'm glad to have you! And your story made me laugh so hard. That is just COLD!

@Misty- We are definitely cool like that. Except now I'm totally gonna call you a cunt behind your back. Seriously, thanks for your thoughts on the matter. It made me feel a little better to know I'm not the only one with a sometimes-asshole.

@Gia- Oh Jesus fuck, I don't even want to think about that.

@Angie- You won't have to worry about the terrible 2s, obviously, because you are a way better mother than me.

@FDN- Have you seen her face? It isn't so easy to say no to.

AbsoluteMommy said...

OMG we are cut from the same cloth. I'd like to say it gets better friend, but I lost my voice before 7:30 this morning over shoes. Not because she wouldn't put them on, but because she wouldn't pick a pair and refused to wear what I picked. So yeah, asshole.