Peaks and valleys, faithful readers.
Last week was such a gem, and after what was about a month of... not so gemmy... I was hoping for awesome time.
Seriously, though, we brought it on ourselves. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's backtrack...
Last Thursday we had a fun night at Oblivion, followed by Daphne's second valentine's day. She took personalized (with her face on it, I'm that mom) valentines for all the kids at school and Blue Bird Bake Shop whoopie pies for all the teachers. D was a pile of fun and my mom came over that evening to watch D and let Ian and I have a fun night out (I SAW A MOVIE, IN A THEATER!).
Saturday Ian and I had to work and D stayed with my mom. My mom loves to spoil D (translated to: jumping through hoops to make her happy, warming up all her milk even though we'd weaned her off that, letting her watch Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street all day). I can't really blame her, the kid is exhausting to entertain around the house, and it's not like she has to deal with the fall out... Ahem...
Which brings me to a first I had hoped never to have, but is inevitable for most Florida residents: Daphne stood on her first ant pile. She was out front blowing bubbles with my mom when D started leaning over, pointing at her legs and saying "Ouchie!" No screaming, no crying, just urgent "Ouchie!" My mom called me out for back up while we stripped D from the waist down, finding DOZENS of fire ants from her knees to her toes and a number of swelling welts. Still no tears from my peanut, just lots of pointing and "Ouchie!" I dragged her inside and whipped up some Adolf's Meat Tenderizer paste while she started whimpering and added "ITCHY!" to her chant. She was fascinated with the paste, but it seemed to do the same magic for her that it always did for me as a kid: instant itch relief. Covered her legs up with some new pants and she barely mentioned it again (later in the day she'd point and give me an "Itchy!" and we'd re-paste her, no further complaints). I am beyond impressed, lord knows my first time with an ant pile was far more dramatic.
Sunday morning Ian and I decided to take advantage of my mother's presence by running off to MGM together to try to hit up the rides that we can't take D on (rock n roller coaster, toy story midway, tower of terror, the first two we've never been on EVER). So much for that: fast passes were sold out for midway and booked through 5 pm for the coaster. Oh well. We did get to hit up Tower of Terror, though, which was even better than I remember. Probably in my top ten theme park rides of all time. When Ian and I stopped for lunch we debated what we'd do with the rest of the day. We'd end up home right when D was due to be waking up from her nap. Ian tossed out the idea of taking D back down to Epcot, since we'd already paid for a day of parking. We've been wanting to take D back to Epcot ever since she watched Finding Nemo (because now every time Disney airs a promo with Nemo in it she yells "NEMO! NEMO! at the TV, elevating Nemo to Gabba/ Elmo status) so she could go on the Seas and see Nemo in action. So it was decided. We headed home, ready to take our cheerful, well-rested peanut for an afternoon of Epcot fun.
[Da dum..... Da dum... start the Jaws theme]
We get home. "D didn't nap too long, I put her down but she was up after about 45 minutes and didn't want to go back to sleep!" I side-eyed my mom pretty hard. D has been a solid 2-2.5 hour napper the past several months. My mom also knew her time with D was almost over, and I would not put it past her for her to snatch D out of a nap to get some extra time with her. Did not call her on it, though (she'll read this, though, and probably exclaim with indignation). D seemed in good spirits, and Ian and I decided to grab some snacks and continue with our Epcot plans.
[Da dum... Da Dum... DA dum...]
The ride to Epcot was pleasant (with Gabba to watch on her kindle). We loaded up into the stroller and went straight to the Seas. The line was a quick 15 minute walk-through which D thoroughly enjoyed "Fishy! Fishy!" pointing at the walls. We hopped into our clamshell, and it was everything we could have hoped for, "Nemo! Nemo! Whoa! Oooooh! Turtle! Turtle!" Then we went to disembark the clamshell... D (in classic D fashion) was not pleased to end the ride, No ma'am. We distracted her with promises of walking around the aquarium and seeing more fishies. As D trotted along the viewing windows, Ian and I had a conversation that we both KNOW DAMN WELL WE NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAD. It started with me saying how I was looking forward to when D was at the age when... I don't even know what... she could dress up as a fish for Halloween? Something cute and silly, Ian and I have many times had conversations about the times in the future that we're looking forward to. But the comments that followed... oh god... we really should have known better...
Ian: But, you know, I'm not in such a hurry for that any more.
Me: Yeah, I know! Like those first months I was so ready to just fast forward, but now...
Ian: Yeah, I'm really starting to enjoy the right now! I don't want it to go faster at all!
Hear that thumping sound? That's me, punching my temple. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
[Da dum da dum da dum]
We left the Seas and started walking toward the World Showcase to get our beloved Habibi Daquiri from Morocco. D would NOT get into her stroller. "Ok, kid, then let's strap on your giraffe." NOOOOOOOO! Ok, well at least hold mommy's hand since it's so crowded and... NOOOOOOOOO. Well what the heck would you like to do, kid, I'm out of options. This was the only acceptable way for her to travel:
This didn't seem like the best option, she'd surely be worn out before we even hit Canada. I figured whiny=hungry, so I tried to get her to eat a snack. NOTHING I offered her was acceptable (I had several options). We were walking by a pastry stand near England so I grabbed her a cinnamon muffin. Surely, this would please Her Highness the Carb Queen.
[Dadum dadum dadum dadum]
Nope. What DID manage to distract her? The band Off Kilter playing loudly on the stage. I got these two adorable moments with my kid, who was quickly de-evolving into Bipolar Baby of yore...
By the time we got our precious Habibis, D was pretty much unmanageable. She'd let me hold her for a couple minutes, then start struggling and screaming at me. My daughter, the man-eating great white toddler shark. We desperately searched for protein in hopes of getting her fed/ happy. Found a hot dog stand near Africa. 10 minute wait. For hot dogs. I can make that in 60 seconds at my house. We got D to keep herself happy for a couple seconds at the drums, but Ian and I accepted we were trying to swim upstream through white water rapids and threw in the towel.
The trip out of the park was full-on turd mode. All the way to the car. Ian thought we should not reward this behavior by giving her Gabba to watch on the ride home and I agreed, so we strapped that screaming toddler beast into her car seat and started the drive home, ready to wait out her fit.
At first, we chuckled at the degree to which she railed on us. Ten minutes in, Ian mentioned we hadn't seen a car fit like this since the reflux days. By the time we were almost to downtown, and D still hadn't relented (that's about a 30 minute drive, people), I turned down the radio and started actively talking her down. My brilliant tactic? I asked her why she was upset. She stopped crying long enough to realize she didn't know, so I could engage her in distraction conversation. This conversation usually involves animal noises. By the time we got D home, bathed, and into bed, I was having PTSD flashbacks of the newborn/dark ages. *Shudder*
We had hoped Sunday was a fluke born of too-short naps. Nope. Monday night was another exercise in extreme parental patience while my child refused to eat her dinner and screamed her frustration at the world. And coughed. And Snotted. My kid has been fighting the same cold as us for a while, but that cough had been pretty consistent for too long to let my paranoid mommy brain feel comfortable, so Tuesday morning I played Pediatrician Roulette and took D up for the walk-in hours at the office.
We struck gold: We were the first ones in and we got to be seen by Dr. Smith. He gave us a prescription with refills for toddler cough medicine (THIS IS A THING!? WHY DIDN'T I KNOW THIS IS A THING?!), and some back up prescriptions and dosage for kids' benedryl to help her through cold season as needed. No antibiotics, halleloo.
Tuesday, no chance to go grocery shopping, we're out of stuff to cook. Do we dare take D out to a restaurant? Ian is reluctant. I shrug. "We'll pack a hot dog and some snacks, if she's a jerk, we'll get it to go and leave." So we did that. We took D to El Buzo, a peruvian sea food place near our house that I've been frequenting for lunch. D was... comparatively anyway, almost angelic. She ate her hot dog, loved the beans we had with dinner (even feeding herself with a spoon!). She was a bit of a busybody but that's normal, the only time she screamed was when Ian took her plastic baggies of crackers from her for a moment so he could seal the bag (she was running around the restaurant waving it like a flag over her head). Overall, a pretty successful trip.
Then she was a complete jerk the whole car ride home.
Peaks. And. Valleys.