Thursday, June 5, 2008

We have to agree or parent separately

This is a quote from my wife tonight. The last week, she's gone off the deep end -- irritable, argumentative, generally unpleasant to be around. But I've been letting it roll off of me. Been feeling imperturbable lately. The issue tonight, and the last two nights, is that our youngest one wails in the crib at bedtime and doesn't want to go down. Put her on her back and she gets up on her knees, pulls herself to a stand and just hysterically cries. She's sick, too, and has been receiving a strong antibiotic for the last week so I consider her more vulnerable and worthy of TLC than normal. So for the last two nights when she cries I pick her up, bring her in K.'s room, and let her sleep on my lap. Then when the snore stabilizes I plop her in the crib and end of story.
Now this drives the wife insane cause everything has to be just "so" -- there can not be any exceptions to the ideal routine since this would create a monstrous habit and rift the fabric. Her solution is to lock herself in the room with the baby, sit next to the crib and let her cry. Tonight this was going on for 35 minutes or so. From my perspective, she's just creating another sort of habit, one where every night someone needs to sit next to the crib while the kid complains and finally goes to sleep. If you're gonna ferberize a baby, just leave the room, pillow your ears, let her cry it out, and pray it stops soon. What the hell is she thinking.
I'm like, Honey, please unlock the door.
You're not taking her out of here.
Because I've got it under control.
Honey, please unlock the door.

She unlocks the door, my older daughter and I walk in and there is the baby, standing, hands gripping the crib slats like a prisoner, completely red-faced and screaming. I pick the baby up and walk out of the room. Wifey is yelling at me -- about how I'm screwing everything up. Don't really know what I'm screwing up but consider her strangely. What a weird, irrational person. Then she actually leaves the house and goes somewhere. So now my older daughter, who is just a toddler is like, where'd mommy go, why is she upset? Then she said, and I thought this was pretty precocious for a girl ready to turn 3: If mommy is mad at you why does she have to take it out on me, too? Now I don't have mommy with me at bedtime. That's not fair.

No it's not. Too bad.

Anyway, the baby falls asleep on my lap within minutes and shortly after I stand up and deposit her in the crib. End of story.

Afterward, right when I sat down to go to this site and write about the night, Wife comes in and says: I'm just going to say one thing -- we better start agreeing as parents in front of the kids or we're going to parent separately.


BTW, watching some show on NBC HD right now called "Fear Itself". Never saw it before. Somewhat entertaining as background noise but unbelievably stupid and drawn out. Some inmates on the lam are stuck in some derelict compound inhabited by hot goth chicks and other assorted weirdos and ugly vampires that torture and maim stray folks in the spirit of all the inbred horror movies like: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hills have Eyes, 10000 Corpses, etc., ad infinitum. But it's annoying and formulaic. For example, some dirty, sweaty guy comes to from a fog and looks ahead in lip quivering terror at something. Camera pans to a pair of pale bare feet. Back to the terrified guy, his eyes scan upward, close-up of horrified guy, cut to next scene. So he gets to see the entire monster and we only see the monster's feet. Oh, the mystery and suspense!!! Like in the Dukes of Hazard when it always cut to a commercial right when the General Lee went airborne. After the break, it'd begin where it left off, you'd watch the car complete the jump, the front end of the Charger practically atomizing on impact, and emerge in the next frame polished and immaculate. The Immaculate Conception.
Vampire in this episode looks like a cross between the Crypt Keeper and the hideous inhabitants Salem's Lot. Oh, the vampire was just burned. Man and indigenous woman hold hands while the entire house burns down. Gravely cello soundtrack. Looks like the compound is an old fort of sorts -- the one, perhaps, from Tom Sawyers Island in Disney -- you know, where the have the air rifles and the caverns underneath. Interesting, the indigenous woman who we were led to believe was a ally, gave an ominous sideways glance with loaded music. This is incredible.

(2) daredevil jack-offs that climbed the New York Times building in Manhattan today. The second guy had "Malaria Awareness" sloppily magic-markered on a white t-shirt. This is certain to have a profound impact for sufferers of the disease.

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