The past week has been a doozy. Two molars are coming in at once, and that has pretty much turned our lives upside down. I know it's really cute and sweet that every parent I meet seems to says teething doesn't bother their child, but that is not our story. I'm not one to talk, because my current bout of sciatica isn't exactly bringing out the best in me either. Tuesday morning, Gracie rolled around on the kitchen floor kicking and screaming because we didn't have tomatoes for breakfast. She cried when I asked her if she wanted to wear her sweater outside. She was personally offended that I didn't want her to get cold. When I put it away she cried because she wanted to wear it. I wasn't even surprised yesterday morning when she ran around the house screaming and crying for her blue coat.
She doesn't have a blue coat.
I have to laugh that we got a noise complaint last week. Gracie is apparently daring our neighbors to file another.
We have both cried many tears this week, and James is of course working late nights almost all week. On top of the crying, we've been subjected to hours of jackhammers working on the pool. Once they finally stopped, I put Gracie down for a nap just in time for the gardeners to rev up their leaf blowers. Things hit a very low point on Tuesday morning, so I decided we should go on a walk to the park. Just getting out the door was enough of a battle to trigger WWIII, but we finally made it. A few minutes after we got there, another mom and toddler girl showed up. The other mom made it her mission to put our girls on a playdate and kept asking Gracie to swing or slide with them. Gracie just wanted to do her own thing, which was an improvement from the previous evening when she screamed at any kid who walked near her saying "Baby NO! These my crackers!" Though I obviously don't condone her behavior, I completely understand her panicked desire to protect her snacks. It's the same reason I eat mine in the laundry room.
I was annoyed that park mom was forcing social contact on me, but we quickly started talking, and before I knew it an hour had gone by. Teething destroys their world too, she can't cook dinner either when her husband isn't home to wrangle the baby screaming for attention, and her daughter is also a perfect angel when her husband watches her. Her daughter was wearing snow boots because it wasn't worth the fight, and I chimed in that Gracie was wearing a warm sweater on an almost 80 degree day for the same reason. We even have the same stroller. I felt like I had found my soulmate. She invited us to her house to play that afternoon but we couldn't make it. I realized as we got home that I never even got her name. It's my main mission in life to track her down again, because she is the kind of mom I need in my life. Thank you, park lady, for not leaving me alone even though that's all I wanted. I get by with a little help from my friends who force themselves upon me.
Because we are extremely social people, Gracie and I went to the zoo with a friend and her son yesterday morning. Gracie loves this little boy and his wagon that she gets to ride in. I love that I get some fresh air, exercise, and I get to chat with a mom I get along with really well. I don't leave my house for just anyone.
The thing I never realized about the zoo until I went on a weekday last fall is that it's the SAHM's paradise. There are more strollers in the zoo than in all the Babies R Us' in the world combined. It's the one place where I always feel like I reach peak mom mode. I'm wearing Nikes with my denim shorts which is something I never do, my hair is in a crazy bun, I'm rotating sippy cups, pointing at animals, digging applesauce pouches and snack cups out from under the stroller, smothering sunscreen, looking for shade, and answering the same question over and over. "Yes, we're going to see the kangaroos. Yes, we're almost to the kangaroos. Yes, it's a kangaroo. Yes, you can see the kangaroos. Yes, we'll be there in a minute---here, eat some crackers." The zoo is educational, screen-free, outdoors, and it is guaranteed to exhaust your kids, therefore ensuring an excellent afternoon nap. The catch is, according to my Fitbit, you have to push a stroller approximately 4 miles in the hot sun. And that is exactly why I'm eating Trader Joe's sea salt brownie bites while writing this post.
Speaking of an educational zoo experience, I was harshly corrected by an elderly woman volunteering in the gorilla exhibit. I very much know the difference between a gorilla and a monkey, but my 2 year old does not, nor does she care. They're all monkeys to her, and since we were all tired and getting hungry, I didn't think she needed to be corrected.
"Yes Gracie, it's a very big monkey!"
"Ma'am, that is a GORILLA. That is not a monkey! Do not call it a monkey!"
"Sorry, I know it's a gorilla, but my daughter doesn't understand the difference."
She then launched into a lecture on the difference between the two. She was so firm, I was waiting for her to yell at Gracie for not taking notes. I made sure to loudly refer to the gorilla as a gorilla thereafter and was sternly warned again not to ever call it a monkey. As defensive as she was, you would've thought Gracie was trying to protect her crackers from the unwanted advances of her fellow playground patrons.
Later that afternoon, I let Gracie watch a little Finding Dory since she was still talking about fish she saw at the zoo. She pointed to the seal in the movie and called it a polar bear, so I think we have bigger fish to fry (no pun intended) before we set our sights on learning to differ between primates.