Friday, January 05, 2007

The Blanket Battles

Sorry, people, I know I've been lousy about posting this week. I think I got out of the habit while we were gone for so long. Or maybe I'm just busy with getting our household back into a normal routine after our trip.

The main things that are going on here this week are that the snow is rapidly melting (almost all gone already; it looks like spring outside); Genevieve is continuing to drool like a rabid dog, spit up like she's in some sort of disgusting contest to see who can eject the most liquid from her gullet on a daily basis; and amidst it all, get even cuter and more irresistible with every passing moment (seriously: I cannot keep myself from kissing and squeezing and tickling her practically nonstop all day long); and then there's Julia and Her Bedding. Oy vey, people. The extremes of particular-ness and compulsive Needing of the Blankets to Be Just So are UNBELIEVABLE.

OK, so this is the baby who cried, at nine months old, for three straight nights until I realized that she was being tormented by the feeling of a yarn-knitted baby afghan on her bare legs. This is the child who once, for months and months, refused to wear any socks other than the Old Navy toddler crew socks, because no other socks felt quite the same on her feet (whatever that feeling was). This is the girl who routinely says things like, "Noooo, this hat huuuurts my eeeeears!" and "MAMA FIX THIS TAAAAAGGGGG!" She has whole outfits, given to her as gifts, that have never been, nor ever will be, worn, because she has deemed them intolerable in one way or another: the fabric not soft or stretchy enough, the cuffs too scratchy. (I have to say, though, that she does have good taste: she is especially averse to cheap synthetic blends, scratchy zippers, collars that chafe or gap.) So maybe I should not be so surprised. But the bedding issue is surely going to drive me insane.

I can't even properly write about it, because there is no way to explain it. You just have to experience it. The fretting, the wailing, the pulling the blanket this way and that upon climbing into bed for her nap or at night. The moving the pillow one millimeter in one direction, then in another. The placing of the stuffed animal in just the right position, then the frantic whining when her shifting in bed accidentally moves the animal an inch away from its original spot. The admonishing: "Nooooo, I need my pillow to be thiiiiiiis way!" and "Help! My feet are out!" and "Mama, my blanket is on funny!" Oh, the hand-wringing, the teeth-gnashing. It goes on and on and on. And here's the rub: there is no way for you, the adult to whom Julia is appealing for assistance in her desperate state, to actually FIX the problem. Because you cannot read her addled little mind, and because she is not making any sense. However, she is dead serious about all of it. It's not an act to delay bedtime or a way to manipulate us into an extra naptime cuddle. You would think, to Julia, that the fact that the border on her pink blanket is not perfectly lined up under her chin and Big Bird's beak at the same time is a matter of life and death. Yet try to line it up and you'll surely be shrieked at for getting it wrong.

You get the picture. It is an unwinnable war, people, so I end up saying, "Honey, I'm leaving now and I'm not coming back in to fix anything. Sleep tight." and then letting her tantrum herself to sleep. It ends up fine. But it's so, so annoying in the moment--one of those times when you can practically hear your nerves jangling, when all you can think is, Let's get on with this so I can go check my e-mail and finish my lunch before I shrivel up and die of tedium.

So. That's what's going on here. What about with you?

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