Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Now I know my ABCs

You know that scene from The Exorcist where the girl's head spins around and she makes those ungodly noises? I think that just happened in my living room.

Heaven help me, I have a threenager.  This miniature human to whom I gave life back in 2011 just said no to orange juice because it wouldn't go with her coffee. I sometimes look at her and think, "Who ARE you??"  She has curly cues and the gentlest blue eyes but she bit a playmate in the face when she tried to take her makeup bag.  She sleeps less than a giraffe, demands filet mignon at least once a week, and uses a proper British accent when she thinks she's in trouble.

I knew motherhood would be draining some days, but I never knew it would suck the life right out of me.  I've pulled college all-nighters that were less exhausting.  At my wits' end, I called my husband to complain, and he dished out some really encouraging parenting advice from the beaches of Ibiza, Spain (a much needed break from fast-paced Switzerland). "Tell her to go to sleep," said Oh Wise One.

I then Facetime my husband later on to confirm that Amelia is going to be an only child, but I'm too distracted for vasectomy chatter.  He's on a lawn chair on the beach, and all I can see are big, bronzed, naked boobies.  Of course Ibiza beaches are topless; why wouldn't they be?  So as I'm eating Oreos straight out of the bag in my stained XL sweat pants with a toddler rolling around the floor like she's having a seizure, my dear hubby is sipping a Pina Colada in Titsville while studying his ABCs (and Ds and DDs). How cute!

How do you women do this? You moms of three or four of these tiny people? Incredible.  I want to shake your hands.

After a particularly awful day yesterday when I wouldn't let Amelia open the straw to my smoothie, she shouted, "I'm going to slap yo face and put you in jail!"  Really? Could it be in solitary confinement? With a bed and three prepared meals a day?  Just tell me what law I have to break.

Maybe I would be more open to future reproduction if I got more than four hours of sleep a night, or if my child didn't cling to me like a stage-five koala bear.

Oh, fellow mothers, what incredible, terrible, sleepless, wondrous beings we've created.  But I need help.  No pride here. I need babysitters and grandmas and wine nights to get me through this.  I need the wisdom of mothers and the pages of self-help books to get Amelia from threenager to four. 

Most days I'm happy if I manage to brush my hair and put on a bra.

Come to think of it, I need a day in Ibiza. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Two's Company

ISO: a cocktail sipping slamming, shoe-shopping, binge-eating, female companion. If found, please deliver to my Swiss doorstep. Pronto.

My three-year-old wants a pet.  I've tried the whole battery-operated dog that walks (shuffles) and barks, and I once painted  a rather believable rabbit face on a decent-sized rock, but my toddler is smarter than your average preschooler.  She wants the real thing. 

This whole pet idea was weighing heavily on my mind.  I don't know how to put this gently, but I dislike animals. Strongly. And the whole notion of having one under my roof was causing me to lose sleep at night.  I made a pie chart (along with an actual pie), of the statistical life expectancy of numerous pets.  If one was shown to live longer than four months, then I removed it from my list.

The only logical choice was a goldfish.  Perfect.  Easy peasy, thought I.

Turns out, I can't buy a solo goldfish in the country of Switzerland.  Or a rabbit.  Or even a filthy, snaggletooth guinea pig.  The only way for me to be a proud owner of one of these varmints is to be a proud owner of TWO of these varmints.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Swiss Companionship Laws.

Apparently it's considered cruel to own a "companion" animal without providing it with a, you guessed it: companion.  There is scientific evidence showing irreparable damage to the psyche of a goldfish if you force him to swim laps alone in his bowl. A rabbit may slip into a deep state of depression if he has no one with whom to share his carrot. 

Here's my problem, guys. Doesn't the animal get any say in this? What if the hamster doesn't want a companion? Or prefers to chew his cardboard toilet paper roll all by his lonesome? What if the koi fish is, indeed, coy?

And to top it all off, what about ME?  I would've given my last bottle of Ranch dressing for a companion when I first moved to Switzerland---all those lonely evenings sipping French wine and watching trashy television without the support of a gossipy girlfriend.  Why is my psychological well-being inferior to that of a hamster?

I will tell you what happened when we gave my childhood hamster a companion.  He ate him.  Yes, Hammy the hamster dined on his associate, Whitey, and left only a bloody head to show for him.  I wouldn't do that to my companion.  I would refill her margarita. I would share my secrets and braid her hair.

I have yet to break the news to Amelia that she will not be getting a pet while we reside in Switzerland.  One goldfish I could possibly handle, but two would certainly send me over the edge. And it's the principle of it all.  Until you show me concrete evidence that Peter Cottontail resorted to Prozac after hopping down his desolate bunny trail, then I am reluctant to believe any mythical studies stating it's so.

ISO: a cocktail-slamming, shoe-shopping, binge-eating, female companion with a pet.  If found, please invite us over for a play date. Pronto.