Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I know an old lady who...

After a dreadful night of Alexander intermittently screaming for milk, kicking my back, chirping, "Mom? Mom? Mommy?" (and other general non-sleeping behaviours), I woke up on Sunday morning feeling tired and sore. So sore.

So sore I could hardly move.

So sore I thought, perhaps, I was going to vomit from the pain.

I had fallen asleep in the most awkward side-lying position so that I could nurse Alexander (but not cuddle him too much because sometimes he gets in these strange moods where he wants me to hold him and feed him but also not touch him too much, and that's, like, really difficult to do due to the nature of nursing) and it had apparently not been a good position to fall asleep in. Not that I'd even remained asleep in that position for very long (but however long I slept like that was long enough to do me in).

I took some ibuprofen and a hot shower and felt better, but still spent the whole day rotating my whole body instead of turning my head. Andrew rubbed my shoulders several times throughout the day and let me take a long nap to "reset," Rachel and Miriam rubbed my back (and feet) in the evening. Before bed I used some IcyHot and took some more medicine and I woke up on Monday morning finally feeling like I could move again.

And move I did—I moved couches from upstairs to the garage, couches from the basement to upstairs, helped load Uncle Jacob's truck, and packed several boxes. I think all that worked helped my muscles limber up...but I still couldn't help feel like I was hobbling around like an old lady!

I'm still a bit sore today, but hopefully I'll be back to normal soon, though I may have gained a permanent reputation as the grumpy old lady in our neighbourhood.

Last night I spent about 2.5 hours trying to get Alexander to go to bed. He nursed while I was reading By the Shores of Silver Lake to Benjamin and Zoë, and fell fast asleep. But when I tried to put him down he woke up howling and put up such a fight about going back to bed.

He screamed, he cried, he kicked and squirmed.

But it's been a particularly rough several nights in a row (rougher than the usual, which isn't great to begin with) and I wasn't going to give in because I knew that it could take 2–3 hours to get him to sleep now or it could take 2–3 hours to get him to sleep later. It's not like if I let him stay up late he'd gently retreat to his bed later. No, no. He'd still put up the fight and then I'd be doing bedtime until 11:00 or midnight (only to then wake up at 1 and/or 2 and/or 3 in the morning). So I fought him.

And at 9:47 he finally surrendered and I tiptoed out of his room.

At 9:52 a bunch of giggling hooligans slapped their hands all over our front door, rang the doorbell, and ran away.

And I was livid.


I was mad not only because they threatened a very tenuous sleeping situation but because I knew exactly who they were and they had used up so many of my good graces that they deserved to be chased down the street, in the dark, by a grumpy old woman.

And so I chased them down the street, in the dark.

They ran away, squealing. I stomped after them, calmly, knowing they had no where to run.

They rounded the corner. I followed, but since I was walking and they were running they had quite a bit of a head start and by the time I came around the corner they had turned around and started walking back toward me.

"We'll just say we didn't do it!" one of the boys piped out.

"Good idea!" said another.

They're not the brightest group (because they're ten years old) and I suppose they didn't realize how close they were to me as they were discussing their plan because I was definitely within earshot.

"Good evening, gentlemen," I said.

"G...g...good evening," the trio stammered back.

"Do you know what I spent the last two-and-a-half hours doing?"

"N...n...n...no."

"I spent the last two-and-a-half hours rocking my baby to sleep while he screamed in my face."*

Blank stares.

"Two and a half hours of a baby screaming in my face. And he finally—just barely—fell asleep. And then...do you know what happened?"

"He woke up?" one of them guessed, shrugging his shoulders.

"That's right," I said. "He. Woke. Up. And why? Why do you think he woke up?"

"We're so sorry! We'll never do it again! We promise!"

"Okay, so that's interesting because you've done it before, haven't you?"

"Yesssss..."

"I think we're a pretty easy target for you because we...live next door."

"She knows where you live???!?!" one of the boys (who I did not know) whispered to our—yes—next door neighbour.

"But I think you need to be a little more courteous because there is, in fact, a baby who sleeps at my house. So I really hope it doesn't happen again because if it does happen again then I'll have to talk to your parents about it and I'm not sure they'd like that very much, would they?"

"No."

"And, in fact, I think instead of just talking to your parents right away, I'd just wait until the middle of the night until you were all fast asleep in your beds and then I'd ring your doorbell over and over again until your parents got up to answer the door. Do you think they'd like that?"

"No."

"Okay, well, then have a good night. I'm going to go back home and put my cranky baby back to bed (and hopefully that won't take another two-and-a-half hours) and I'm sure you gentlemen can find something fun and thrilling to do that doesn't jeopardize the sleep of cranky babies."

"Yes. Yes. Okay. We will. We promise. It will never happen again. We're so sorry."

I certainly hope not. Because this little boy—in addition to regularly doorbell ditching us (which, like, would be fine if it involved cookies but it never does)—has been in Miriam's school class all year and has been...somewhat of a little punk.

He's been bullying her all school year, something I've met several times with her teacher about (and which her teacher has met with him (and often his mother) about. He's not, like, overtly awful to her. He just made up lies about her all the time and blamed her for everything, trying always to get her in trouble (which was ridiculous because she's a goody two-shoes), but it meant that she had to have several "resolution" talks with him and her teacher (as her teacher tried to piece together what was happening).

He would tattle on her all the time—once he accused her of insulting his older sister (who died in infancy and who we didn't even know existed because...from all appearances it's a houseful of boys over there), which Miriam was simply confused about. Once he accused her of stealing pencils from his desk. Once he told the teacher that Miriam had said a bunch of mean things to him that he'd actually said to her. And on and on. The entire school year.

Nothing big. But added all together? Torment.

And he'd get other kids on it, too.

Miriam's teacher was very nice about things. She rearranged the seating chart several times to move Miriam away from her aggressors, eventually having Miriam sit at the back of the room by herself because there was, at the time, no safe ally for Miriam. She tried several other things as well (calling this boy's mother in on more than one occasion).

Toward the end of the school year when this boy realized he was never going to get Miriam in trouble for doing things quite uncharacteristic for her by telling lies to his teacher about her, he approached the principal at recess and told some of his tales. And then the principal pulled Miriam aside to scold her and she was mortified.

"Who am I supposed to believe?" the principal asked. "You are saying you didn't, but I have five kids saying that you did!"

Sure. Five jeering, tongue-sticking-out-at-her-behind-your-back kids who have been picking on her the entire school year if you'd pay any attention at all! Come on, man!

She came home from school in tears—again.

And I was just so angry.

I was ready to storm the principal's office and give him a piece of my mind (because I hate when authority figures jump to conclusions and punish the victim instead of the aggressor, for personal reasons). But instead I emailed her teacher and she called me back and we ended up having a good chat.** She'd already caught wind of what went down at recess and had called this boy's mother in...yet again...and had tried to fix things with Miriam (but being pulled aside by the principal isn't an easy slight to fix when you are a devout rule-follower).

It was this whole thing and made the end of the school year very uncomfortable for Miriam.

So, like I said, this neighbour boy deserved to be chased down the block by a grumpy old lady.

*It wasn't all rocking, and in fact when he did finally fall asleep he was in his crib and I was on his floor. But still. 

** She assured me that Miriam is sweet and kind at school but that she simply doesn't fit in with her peers, so she hopes this move will be good for her because Spanish Fork isn't exactly "the place for intellectuals." She hoped that a more diverse, more progressive school would serve Miriam better (as much as she hated to see Miriam go because she adores Miriam).

3 comments:

  1. I am so sorry. I had no idea that you were feeling so unwell on Sunday. Because you a ball of energy on Monday. And so sorry for the torment that Miriam has gone through. Not at all sorry for those boys. I am glad you could give them a talking to.

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  2. Oh man...good for you going after those kids. And I hate Miriam has been tormented and lied about this school year! Was it this bad her first year out there?

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    1. Her first year was fine (not great). This year has been pretty much awful.

      But she had her organ friends all year, which helped immensely. :)

      Onwards and upwards!

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