Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Parenting: Tag Team Wrestling Style

Parenting sometimes feels like tag team wrestling. Even the objective can be the same - put your opponent to sleep. Last night's match was the longest and most exhaustive I've ever experienced. While I am not sure it rivaled The Undertaker vs Mankind in it's theatrics, it did in the way it challenged my mental fortitude.

Em has her fourth ear infection in a row. We're about to reach the danger zone. I'd heard of tubes before but I thought it was simple in-office procedure. Stick a straw-like tube in the ear, drain it and be on our way. But turns out it's surgery (!) and the tubes stay in for years (!). I am determined she will not have tubes.

The plan was to have her sleep upright in her car seat to help with the draining. Car seat sleeping has worked in the past. But the combo of it's hot as hell and she's got a fever didn't go too well. Not that the car seat had a lot to do with it, but we all ended up being up every hour and a half.

I consider myself very lucky that I don't have a colicky baby. I've gotten the occasional glimpse of what that might be like and it scares the hell out of me. There is nothing more heart-breaking than when your baby cries out in pain and there is nothing you can do to comfort her.

It also doesn't help when it's three in the morning and your husband is simultaneously wondering aloud what's wrong. Is it her ear? Does she have a temperature? What could it be? Is she hungry? Maybe you should feed her? Hold her? Bounce her? Walk around? Look in the fridge? Turn the air on? Is it her ear? You are on the same team so you don't want to lash out. But it's taking the last of your willpower not to scream - "Shut the f up! You aren't helping!"

But thankfully you are on the same team. This is when it's time for tag team action. Your opponent is tough. She packs a lot of punch behind her 18 1/2 pounds and you are about to go down for the count, but you manage to get to the ropes and tag your partner in. He takes over and you crawl over to the nearest soft surface and collapse.

These are the moments when you are in awe of the amazing strength single parents possess. Because when it's three of you on the couch at 2am staring at some trippy ass shit on BabyTV - like random pictures of peacocks, followed by swirly colors and someone drawing fruit in the sand it's already surreal and you feel like you're living in a David Lynch film. But if you had to do that alone...how do  you climb back out of the rabbit hole?

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