Driving Lessons

As you know, Paige started school almost exactly a month ago. Blair, on the other hand, didn’t start until more than 2 weeks later. So, little girl and I had A LOT of time together. (Not that we were lacking on together-time. The only time we aren’t together is when we sleep…and even then, she’s finds a way to be with me most of the time.)

But over the summer, it was usually the three Feldmann ladies. And, if you know my girls at all, you know that it was basically just a constant power struggle for who got to speak. (Okay, I might also be included in that struggle. But, I’m the mommy! What I have to say is the mostest importantest!!) Once Paige went to school, Blair quickly realized there was A LOT of quiets time for her to fill.

How did she decide to fill said time, you ask?

By critiquing my driving. From the backseat.

Yes, quite possibly the youngest backseat driver ever (My company excluded, obviously. What can I say? She gets it honestly.)

You’re probably wondering what that might sound like, and what advice a 3 year-old might have to offer.

Believe it or not, she’s surprisingly astute:

Mommy, you need to SLOW DOWN! You are going to go to jail!

Mommy, that light is red! Stop. STOP!! STOP!!!! NO! Now go!!! It is GREEN! GREEN MEANS GO!!!!!!

(In the turn lane, where my arrow is red): Mommy! Go! Why are you sitting here?!?!? The light is green! Go, go, go!!! We are berry, berry, late!! (That part is probably true, FYI.)

Mommy, you need to do something at that yellow light. (Crying) I do not know what yellow means! What do we do?!?!?

A few things here:

1) She is very, very aggressive with the delivery of her “advice.” Which means I’m basically constantly being yelled at from the backseat. It’s more than a little stressful, and I sort of feel like I’m driving with The. Meanest. Driver’s Ed Instructor. Ever.

2) I believe my caffeine intake has quadrupled since my “instructor” started. I feel like I need to be on my A game. In actuality, I end up just being over-caffinated. And on-edge from all the shoutiness. It’s not pretty.

3) I have begun to question my driving decisions. AM I driving too fast (maybe)? ARE we late (most likely)? CAN I turn on red here…wait. Remember when I said she’s only 3 years old? Why am I questioning myself when I’ve been driving for almost 10 years (or maybe a few more than that. Zip it.)

She’s persuasive, that’s for sure.

So, if you see me driving and I look stressed, now you know why.

I’m just trying to pass the world’s longest and most difficult (yet simple – it really only focuses on speed and stoplight color) driving test.

Wish me luck.

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That sucker may or may not have been an effort to stop the current lesson. And it may or may not have been her third of the day.

First Day of Preschool … and a Traveling Show

On Wednesday, Blair had her first day of Preschool. Yes, she’s actually been attending the school for a year now (well, two, if you count the year she went against our wishes and quit). But, this will be her first official year of preschool – aka, learning things other than how not to pick your nose and push other kids around.

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It was a little surreal. Drop off went well. The teachers said no one cried the entire day, fun was had by all, and Blair was all smiles at pickup. In other words, another child of mine is trying to prove that I am becoming obsolete. I was going to be really sad about it, but then I realized that Blair and I haven’t actually had a break from one another since May, and that during the past few months she has been making me carry her everywhere we go, and is basically trying to climb back inside the womb.

So I ran gracefully walked out of the school. Then I blinked a few times. Aaaaaand, it was time to go back and get her. What. The. Hell. I’m not sure where those 4 hours went, but the only things I accomplished were a trip to Trader Joe’s for weekly groceries, a trip home to drop off said groceries and … um… e-mails? Maybe a “workout”? A few texts/Facebook/Instagram glances?

Let’s just say I was not quite as  productive as I would have hoped. Let’s hope tomorrow fares better on the “getting things done while I’m alone and it’s blessedly quiet” front.

We came home, and Blair reminded me just how hard preschool is (either that, or “The Magic Schoolbus” is super boring”):

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Once again, she will remind you that she is NOT grouchy, she is NOT tired, and she does NOT need a nap.

Yep. Got it.

Fast forward. Enter the “Witching Hour.”

Blair asked me if I would paint her nails. This happens multiple times a week (nay, a day). I said “yes, but tomorrow.”

People – I. SAID. YES. JUST, NOT NOW.

And thus began what I like to refer to as “the traveling fit.” Actually, in my head I like to call it “The Traveling Shit Show.” But when I say that out loud, it all of a sudden sounds circus-y and happy.

And it is not that, my friends. It is NOT that.

For the next forty-nine minutes, homegirl cried (what appeared to be real tears) and screamed “I. WANT. YOU. A. PAINT. ME. NAIIIIIILLLLLS!!!!”

I moved to the living room. She moved to the living room.

I moved back to the kitchen. She moved to the kitchen.

(It bears pointing out that the “moving” here happens either on her bottom or on her tummy – ALWAYS whilst on the ground. Thank God she hasn’t figured out that getting up and walking to me would just make the torture that much worse.)

I moved to the bathroom off the kitchen (and shut the door). She moved to the bathroom door, and proceeded to kick it repeatedly.

At one point, she and I were back in the kitchen, and Paige came in to ask me a question. Paige, who is notoriously sensitive to loud noises (especially of the ‘Blair complaining’ variety) is so used to this behavior that she simply raised her voice, literally  stepped over her fit-throwing sister, and proceeded to ask me her question. That’s how often this happens, people.

Having had enough, I headed up to shower – figuring it would take her at least 10 minutes to bottom-scoot her way up the stairs and into my bathroom. Nope. She made it in 5.

After ignoring her through the end of the shower, the drying off, and the lotion portion of getting ready, I couldn’t take it anymore. I headed to the bedroom door (she was sitting just on the threshold). I calmly said “Bear, I’d love to help you, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying. If you would like to stop crying, that would be great.”

Yeah. That went about as well as you thought it would.

Finally, after about 15 more minutes of this, I couldn’t take it any more. She had already thrown/kicked the door open, and had worked her way into the hallway right outside the bathroom door.

I decided confusion might be my best option.

I popped my head out of the bathroom and sweetly said, “Oh, hi Blair! Is there something you needed? What’s up?”

Cue: utter confusion. She immediately stopped crying and looked at me. Stunned, it seemed. After a few seconds she said, “Um, I guess (pronounced “duess”) I want my Bunbun???”

Mission. Accomplished.

Until the next Traveling Fit. Also known as the Traveling Shit Show.

Either way? I’m screwed.