Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I can do this by my (EXPLETIVE) self!

Oh the toddler years. Although I can't speak from the personal experience of raising a toddler, I can definitely say that as an observer, the toddler years often appear to be a very challenging time for both parent and child. Toddlers can be defiant. They can be impulsive. They can constantly challenge their boundaries and assert their independence - which can be difficult for parents when they want to foster their toddler's growth, yet keep their child safe from harm.

Cue Kirstie: weeks 6-8 of recovery. As I have gained more independence and strength, I have also morphed into a defiant, impatient, angry little toddler. This is slightly ironic as, apparently (so I've heard), I was a terrible 2 year old who banged my head against the floor until it bruised if I did not get my way (Hello people, just give me my way! duh).

For 6 weeks after surgery, I depended heavily on family and friends to feed me, water me, bathe me (a job I allocated to Evan ONLY - good times, hey Ev? wink wink. Haha), and basically tend to my beck and call. When you feel sore, sick, and listless, this is much needed and appreciated. But something happened….I began to feel better.

Evan's mom, Peggy, came and stayed with us for a month. I don't think either of us planned on her staying for a whole month, but it just flew by, and we both enjoyed each other's company so much. I really love Peggy, and not just because she's my mother-in-law and the best cook ever. Peggy is also my good friend. She's honest and funny. She makes me laugh. She's easy to talk to. We are both going through a tough time in our lives, and it felt good to go through it together. Also, we both share a hatred of the "inspirational" saying:  "Time to pull up your big girl panties." People need to stop saying that! It does NOT inspire one who is struggling. Plus, I've never seen a table at Victoria's Secret that displays "big girl panties." It's dumb. Rant over. In addition to being a super friend and confidante, Peg also cleaned and re-organized my entire house! Hello? Awesomeness! I am so grateful for that. Side note: before Peggy arrived, Evan insisted on using only paper plates, as he decided to "strike" against washing dishes. Thank goodness for the arrival of my Peggy!

Anyway, every day my mom, who we all know is incredibly awesome as well, would come over and I would get a visit with the "moms." (someday I'll look back on those hours as some of the best, I'm sure!) The visit would always start with a run-down of what I had eaten. I still need to gain about 15 pounds to be healthy again, and I know Peggy and my mom were just concerned that I wasn't eating enough. You know moms. One particular day, I was lying on the couch and mom walked in my house.

Peggy said, "Hi Lynne, SHE ate her whole bowl of porridge today!"

"Wow! I also brought HER yogurt. Maybe SHE'LL eat that!"

"SHE'LL probably like that!"

That's when it happened. That's when I suddenly morphed into….ANGRY TODDLER KIRSTIE.

"I am right here!" I shouted, "I am NOT a SHE or a HER. I am RIGHT HERE!"

Oops. Shame on the moms for trying to keep me alive and healthy! Thankfully, the moms shrugged off my little tantrum and we moved on. My mom did admit that as soon as I left the room she said to Peggy, "Well SHE is NOT having a good day." Haha. I did notice that I was never a pronoun again (FYI: SHE did eat the yogurt. It was good).

It happened again a few days later. The stairs in our cabin that lead to our master bedroom are basically death stairs. They are long. They are slippery. They are steep. And I mean steep, people! For some reason they are bright yellow so when you're falling to your death, you're also blinded by an offensive yellow hue. Not wanting to give up my comfy master bed, Evan has been carrying me up the steep stairs every night. Sounds romantic, right? Not when you have absolutely no say over your bedtime. It turned into a bit of an issue. One evening Evan informed me that he had an early start the next day and would like to go to bed at 9:30. 9:30??? What, am I like 8 years old? What the heck am I going to do in bed at 9:30? It's still light outside - I can hear children tubing behind a boat at 9:30! People are watering their lawns at 9:30!  Even Peggy was completely insulted with my bedtime, "Evan, Kirstie and I were supposed to watch CSI at 9!" She would joke about it as we watched TV at night, "Uh oh Kirstie, he's coming to get you and take you to bed!" Evan had a solution for me, "Why don't you just sleep downstairs" (in the not so comfy smaller bed). Cue Angry toddler Kirstie. "NO, that's fine. I will find a way to get up those damn stairs by myself."

And I did.

Backwards on my bum (not much cushioning there these days!), crutches in hand, I tricep pushed my way up those stairs at 11pm - the time that I CHOSE to go to bed. Unfortunately, halfway up the death trap, one crutch slipped out of my grasp and tumbled to the floor. Shit. So at this point I was stuck halfway up the bright yellow staircase, 1 crutch down. Hearing Evan snoring softly, refusing to ask for help, I continued up the stairs on my ass and dragged myself to my bed with the help of my amazing triceps (thank god those still work). It took me at least 20 minutes. There. The next day when I awoke, the other crutch, the casualty crutch, stood quietly beside my bed. Ev and I never discussed what may or may not have occurred during my independent stair climbing episode. I am proud to say that I now have a solid strategy that gets me up that horrid staircase independently every evening - when I DECIDE to go to bed.

Behold: The yellow staircase…of death
In addition to my defiance, I have also apparently lost my ability to share with others. As I mentioned earlier, Peg is the ultimate cook. Her baking is to die for. Peggy's signature creation is the skor bite. Graham wafer crust topped with skor bar pieces, chocolate, and condensed milk - this dessert will bring you to your knees. Unfortunately my angry stomach is just not havin' it these days. In Peg's wisdom, she baked all my favourites, including the skor bites, and froze them for me - to be consumed once I was feeling better. My evil friends (you know the ones who have been helping keep me alive and happy for the last 6 weeks) found the frozen baking, and to my horror, began snacking on a few items. As I watched them devour my treats with pleasure, crumbs falling off their chins, Toddler Kirstie began to rage full force.

"You jerks! Those are mine!" I half-joked, (but not really), "Peg made those for ME. They are MINE!"

My friends' sticky little guilty faces looked up at me in disbelief.

"Kirstie. You have to learn how to share. Since you've had your surgery you've turned into a food hoarder. Come on now."

Um. OK. Fine. Sharing is caring or whatever. I'll take a time out in the corner and think about what I've done.

The final straw that broke the toddler's back occurred just a few days ago. Every evening, I've been soaking in my hot tub for a half hour or so. It's wonderful. My joints feel so much better, it's quiet, I can watch the loons on the lake, It smells divine (Evan added a tropical scent to the water) - it really is a blissful event that I anticipate daily. Each night, I let Evan know when I'd like to get in the hot tub, and bless Evan's heart, he picks me up and puts me in the hot tub. He really is a very patient person. One night, however, I caught a slight eye roll when I made my hot tub request. Perhaps there was something in his eye? It's difficult to ascertain. But I detected an eye roll. An exasperated eye roll.

"You know what? I'm going to get in and out of the hot tub myself today!" I stated defiantly. Evan watched from the window as, again, I tricep pushed my bony little bum up the hot tub steps. Crutches leaning against hot tub, sitting happily in my bubbly water, I exclaimed proudly, "I'm fine!"

10 minutes later, Evan and Dundee came out to see how I was doing, "I'm just going to take the dog for a walk. Are you sure you're ok?" asked Ev.

"Oh ya. My crutches are right here. I can get out by myself. I'm good. You go ahead," I responded proudly insolently.

Not more than 2 minutes after he left for his hour long walk with the dog, my crutches slipped and fell off the edge of the hot tub, bounced off the deck with a THUD (I kid you not), and landed in the middle of my freakin yard.

Initially in a bit of shock, i stared dumbly at those A-hole crutches - gleaming in the sun, mocking me from the grass.

And then I had a temper tantrum. A full blown toddler temper tantrum. I turned the jets on high in an attempt to dampen my infuriated words.

"YOU (EXPLETIVE) crutches. I (EXPLETIVE)  hate you! This isn't  (EXPLETIVE) fair. I (EXPLETIVE) just want to (EXPLETIVE) do this my (EXPLETIVE) self."
 (at least at age 36 I possess an expansive vocabulary to communicate my displeasure)

I smacked the water with my hands. I sobbed into my coconut-scented bubbles. If there would have been a floor I'm sure I would have banged my head against it.

Once the tantrum was over. I sat helpless in that hot tub and realized that my trusty little triceps were not getting me out of this one. I would simply have to admit defeat and wait in that tub until Evan returned from his walk. I would have to ask him for help.

Although a hot tub overlooking a lake is really not a terrible place to be stranded, over an hour later, I was subdued and slightly demoralized. Sweat dripping down my face I noticed that my fingers and toes were pruned, my skin was raw from excessive chlorine exposure, and I was floating on the surface like a hard boiled egg. Evan returned and saw my crutches on the grass.

"Please help me," I said meekly.

He nodded, picked up the crutches and calmly placed them against the hot tub.

Minding my manners I smiled gratefully, "Thank you," I said.

You tell those crutches, Evan!
No tantrum here. Just chillin' in my tub, happy as a clam (Are clams really happy?)

Remember that time when the crutches were used for good, and not for evil?

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree, Kristie! Anticipating a good soak in the tub after a hard day’s work is a treat in itself. Maybe you should put a designated place for your crutches while you soak? I think somewhere easily accessible, but not bothersome. All the best!

    Erica Spencer @ Culligan Hot Tubs