Well, she did have her first MMR vaccine last week, and I know that one can have a whole slew of side effects. She had the stomach flu this past weekend so maybe she's still not feeling regular. Oh, and our neighbor kid has Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (maybe she's getting that?). And my mom has the flu (maybe she's getting that?). She's cutting her first molars in all four corners of her mouth which is undoubtedly bothering her a whole lot. I have been working in the office at the computer a TON, maybe she's irritated that I'm not spending every waking moment with her? Our house is the only house on the street that doesn't have any Christmas decorations up yet, I bet she feels inferior to the other neighbor kids, especially the ones with the three giant blow-up snowmen adorning their entire front lawn.
As parents it's so easy for us to try to find pathology to explain every little thing our kids do.
My Penny has been more-than-ornery off and on for a few days. Doesn't want to eat, everything is "hot" which means she doesn't want it. Doesn't want to be put down, doesn't want to be held. Wants Mama, then wants Daddy, then wants Mama again. Wants a bath, no - a shower, no - a bath. She is even getting frustrated with Apollo, her best bud, when he comes near her looking for baby affection. Doesn't sleep through the night, wakes up whimpering in agony, the kind where momma knows she's not faking anything. Today when she awoke from her nap, she cried uncontrollably for a good forty-five minutes. She's never done that before. (Of course when Dan got home she acted fine which made me look like a lunatic.)
Something is going on.
Last night, I just cuddled her to her little heart's chagrin until she fell asleep, twice; just like I did in the morning as we watched Elmo's Christmas Special on Sesame Street together on the couch; just like I did this afternoon after our shower and before her nap.
In short seasons like this, parenthood is extra hard. The challenges of teething or illness can sometimes outweigh the obvious joyful moments. My head aches as I consider my to do list of a million things, and everyone who is counting in me for something. People want their photos. And their rulers. And their Christmas gifts.
I don't have time for teething. But taking care of my family comes first. I will sing You Are My Sunshine and watch Curious George until I'm blue in the face, we just might not be putting up a Christmas tree (again) this year.
(Written on my phone, on my couch, with a toddler in my lap. And no I haven't even put on pants today.)