I love my kids so much. Like when Addie and I are in bed at night reading books, and she snuggles in my lap, and we sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or "Over the Rainbow" and we tell stories about crazy-colored elephants and Dora the Explorer and "Ben the Boy" (based loosely on a little boy in her preschool class whom Addie loves).
Or when Nolie wakes up in the morning, stretchy and farty, making a little moonpie face before breaking into gigantic smiles of glee at the sight of me, as if she were hurrying through sleep all night just to wake up to my face.
But, man, there are so many ways for these kids to be annoying. For instance, Nolie has been super-addicted to the boob lately, probably because she's been sick and is going through the three-month growth spurt. She has developed a finely-tuned boob radar that sets off an alarm if my breasts are more than 2.5 inches from her face at all times. It goes like this: I'll feed her until she sleeps, waiting until her breath sounds have deepened and she's stopped murmuring and twitching and you could drop her off the balcony, bounce her off the awning and into a pricker bush and she wouldn't wake up. Then, ever so slowly, I'll try to pull my bra up and my shirt down to avoid the phenomenon I call "boob freeze": to put it bluntly, your nipple is wet from the kid eating and then she's blowing cold nose air on it while she sleeps. This may sound sexy (rowr) but it is totally uncomfortable, kind of like an ice cream headache in your areola.
So, I get the boob covered, and immediately she wakes and wants to eat some more. I know, I know, I should be grateful she’s a good eater and is growing and all that glass-is-half-full stuff. But mostly it’s totally annoying. And cold.
Even given Nolie’s superior nipple chilling skills, though, Addie is by far the more annoying child at the moment. (I feel compelled here to reiterate how much I love my children—how beautiful and smart and sweet they are. But they are annoying, too. They just are). Addie is at that in-between age where holidays like Halloween and Christmas are subjects of interest but not yet obsession. In other words, Addie is interested in the idea of costumes and trick-or-treating, but we could have easily got away without doing either yesterday without any major meltdowns.
Still, when I saw the fleece Piglet costume at Target a few weeks back, I had to get it. Addie loves Winnie the Pooh and friends, and it was a cheap, warm, practical costume, so I got it. And, as predicted, Addie loved it. For several days, in fact, we couldn’t get her out of it. She would stand in front of the full-length mirror, preening, admiring her Piglet ears and long tail. “Can you see my tail, Mommy?” she would ask, stroking it. “Yes, honey. I see your tail,” I would nod. Five minutes later: "Can you see my tail, Mommy?" "Yep, honey. Still there."
Finally, I was able to pry the thing off her long enough to wash it and then stash it in my closet so that it wouldn’t be totally worn out for Halloween proper. I got it out a few days ago to prime the pump for the big day, and Addie has been pretty excited, randomly screaming “It’s almost Halloween!” throughout the day.
Addie’s preschool had planned Halloween festivities for yesterday, including a little parade where all the kids could put on their costumes and troll for treats in the different classrooms. I was pretty excited about this, figuring Addie would get a kick out of being Piglet in front of the other kids and seeing their costumes.
I got her out of bed yesterday morning, and prepared to get her dressed in said costume.
Nothing doing. Here’s where things went wrong:
M: Addie! Happy Halloween, honey! Are you ready to be Piglet?
M: What do you mean, no? You love your Piglet costume! You love to wear it! It’s comfy and cozy!
M: You’re not serious. All the other kids are going to be wearing their costumes. Don’t you want to wear yours, like the other kids?
A (a little more interested now): What will Rhea be wearing? And Benjamin? And Brooke?
M (stuttering a little): Uh, I don’t know. There will probably be pirates and witches and ghosts and [big mistake coming] maybe even Winnie the Pooh!
A (brightening): Winnie the Pooh? I want to be Winnie the Pooh!
M: What? I mean…what? You can’t be Winne the Pooh. You’re Piglet! You love Piglet!
A: I’m NOT Piglet, I’m Addie! And I want to be Winnie the Pooh! I WANT TO BE WINNIE THE POOH!
[Exit scene, with Addie crying all the way to the car and hiccupping, “I want to be Pooh!,” dressed in her regular clothes, me lugging the Piglet costume along with the 10,000 other things we need to get out of the house in the morning].
Like I said. Annoying.