Hell is Other People(‘s Children)

Preface: You guys, I haven’t slept in three and a half months.  I’ve maybe caught a wink or two here and there.  But there has been nothing in that timeframe that I would call “a night’s sleep.” 

Lola was a bad sleeper.  I thought I had it bad with Lola because she woke up 3-5 times a night on average to eat.  Really, it was rough to do that for close to 9 months. And sometimes it was more times than that. But here’s the thing, Lola woke up to eat for 10 minutes or so and then she fell back to sleep.  Corbin’s not that generous.

I get 4-6 hours of sleep a night.  Sometimes (too many times) it’s less, it’s almost never any more, and it’s very interrupted.  3 hours is the most I’ve ever gotten in one chunk.  There is NEVER more than one 3 hour chunk in a 24 hour period.  I sleep for 2-3 hours in the beginning of the night.  After that, it’s little bursts that range from an hour or maayyybe two (we have to whisper that last number so as not to jinx it and make it go away forever) on the lucky end down to, oh geez, 10 minutes?  Maybe less.  He’s a fussy little guy at night.  And I have to be up before 6 to get ready for work.  And on my days off, I have to be up before 7 because Lola is.

I’m so exhausted that I find myself getting irrationally pissed off when someone says “yeah, I’m not sleeping much either; my baby still wakes up to eat twice a night, sometimes THREE times.”  I want to tell those people how spoiled they are.  But I’m too tired to form coherent sentences.  And they really don’t deserve it anyway.  Waking up 2-3 times a night can seem difficult when you don’t have Corbin to compare it to.  It’s not their fault that I feel like crying whenever I think about how much I miss sleeping.

This ridiculous preface was my way of explaining that the quality of my posts is likely to be diminishing.  Until they read something like: “People annoy me.  Lola said a funny thing.  Corbin = cute.  The end.”  And then one day they’ll just be “ihhsrhgdkkjfgggggggggggggggggggg” as my head drops onto my keyboard and can no longer be picked up.  Thanks for reading.

In the meantime, with what mental energy I can muster, today’s topic is: Other People’s Children.  Why are Other People’s Children so irritatingly well behaved?  Jerks. 

It seems to me that when I was childless, Other People’s Children were always having tantrums in Target or annoying their impatient mothers into constant refrains of whatever harsh words she didn’t have the energy to remember not to say in public.  Now I’m a mother, and as I struggle to keep my very spirited 3 year old in line while juggling a fairly fussy infant, I am bombarded by the distressing posse of politeness that is Other People’s Children.

Today’s post was prompted by a little scene I witnessed in the cafeteria today.  A mother sat down at a table in my line of sight and had to lightly reprimand her son who looked to be close to 3 years old and was climbing on the furniture.  And then I saw the infant carseat that she was also carrying, and I thought, “ooh, I’ll watch her and learn some DOs and Don’ts for bringing my similarly aged children out with me.”  And I waited to see how she handled that little furniture-climbing mischief-maker while also handling her baby.  But that was just it, he sat sweetly and just ate his lunch the rest of the time.  And her baby didn’t so much as whine.  Dammit.

And I feel like this is what I encounter everywhere I go.  At the grocery store, a mom totes three kids along who stay nearby, talk quietly, and don’t grab a single flippin piece of Impulse Candy from the checkout lane.  Seriously?  Kids who are not tempted by CANDY!?  I’m rarely willing to even bring Lola to the grocery store, even if it’s just the two of us.

I think about the moms I know with more than one kid, and I feel like they all manage this so much better than me.  Corbin HATES his carseat, and he gets pretty fussy in a pack or sling after a pretty short amount of time.  Meanwhile, Lola is completely unwilling to stay close by, follow directions, or stop grabbing stuff!  I swear, folks, I really work hard at this.  How the EFF do you all make it look so effortless?

And of course, there’s nothing a difficult kid loves more than an AUDIENCE.  What better than someone to STARE at you and your poor mother while you decide that a simple request to put that down REALLY means that you should crouch down in the fetal position in the middle of a clothes rack while clutching said object for dear life and alternating between shrieking maniacally and giggling at your exhausted, exasperated mother’s fervent pleas and bribes because you know she can’t effectively haul you out of there while wearing your brother on her chest.  What fun! 

Is this my fault?  Is this my punishment for working full time during my children’s formative years?  As if HAVING to work full time during my children’s formative years isn’t punishment enough.  Are my children more difficult than Other People’s Children?  Or do they just have a mother less adept at keeping them content and cooperative?  I don’t know if I’ll ever know a true answer to that question.  In the meantime, keep your well behaved kids at home where they belong, please.  Stop rubbing it in!

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