November 15, 2006

Who's crying now?

Me, that's who. After the night before last of zero sleep, I am still lagging. Couple that with days o' queasy and I'm feeling pretty punchy. But Don't Cry For Me Argentina because I am sorta glad I am sick since to me that signifies a healthy pregnancy or in truth an actual pregnancy. Yeah, it's all psychological, but if I wasn't queasy, I would be peeing on Arun's inheritance's worth of pregnancy sticks every day. Besides, either way my head's totally messing with me. So being sick? Definitely cheaper.

Anyway, it appears that Arun was really suffering from a Cold that Was Not - another false alarm. It appears what is really afflicting my boy is a Father Who Will Not Let Him Cry. Here's what happens - often between the witching hours of 10:30 and 11:30pm, Arun wakes up and cries. I usually let him cry for at least 15 minutes, then he goes back to sleep. X, kind hearted soul that he is, can't stand to hear his boy wail and promptly goes to pick him up when he is in town. Hilarity ensues. Except no one is laughing. What happens is that X is actually waking Arun up, but I can't convince X of this. So, night before last, in our sleep deprived fervor, we convinced ourselves that Arun must be sick. But yesterday, Arun was happy as a clam. Unfortunately, I canceled 2 playdates because of the Cold That Was Not, so now I am not only sleep deprived, but also adult deprived. Last night, X was out of town and Arun woke up at the usual appointed time, boo-hooed for 12 minutes then proceeded to sleep like a baby ALL NIGHT LONG . I wonder if Arun has figured out that when his daddy is home, he will get picked up and that when his daddy is NOT home, Mean Ole Mama will not pick him up, so it is not worth the wailing? I wonder.

So....I wanted to post about something last week, but I was upset about it and wanted to Mull a bit, first. So, now that I've Mulled, I'm ready to discuss. First, some background. It's concerning my sister and Younger Nephew. I should mention that my sister is a hyper-responsible parent. She had been scarred long ago by a friend who frequently shows up to social gatherings, then lets her kids run wild while she has a good time. It is up to the rest of the folks gathered to rein in her friend's kids. So, in light of that, my sister is the type to not ask for help in watching her kids when she is out and about. She's probably a little overboard, in that she should ask for help. So, last week, I had organized a playdate at a local park. Apparently, other playgroups had the same bright idea so the place with packed - at least 3 other groups where there. The play area is near several soccer fields that adjoin a running trail that meanders along a creek. At one point, my sister had to change Only Niece's diaper. In those moments my sister was preoccupied, Younger Nephew disappears. Our group was gathered on the side of the playarea that did not have a view of the soccer fields. We went to that side, but couldn't see anything. By a small miracle, my friend A noticed a speck of orange that was Younger Nephew running towards the running trail and creek. My sister ran off towards him, which of course made him run faster. This is important to my Rant: It took her a minute or so to reach him. Let me repeat that: It took her a minute or so to reach him. It was that far away, folks. What upsets me is this - I find it hard to believe that not one single mother on that side of the play area noticed a little boy running across not one, but TWO soccer fields. Of COURSE, it is my sister's responsibility to look after her children, so I am not blaming the other mothers but what happened to all this "it takes a village" crapola? If I saw a little boy running across two soccer fields, for DAMNED SURE, I'd start canvassing the play area to let people know. The whole event left me shaken in so many ways - those moments when we couldn't find my nephew AND the realization that an entire group of mothers didn't give a flying fuck that a little boy was running away.

Again, I wonder.


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Oooh, I just came in here to say what modern hermit said...there are so many times I've wanted to say something or maybe pull a kid off a shelf he's climbing on...but I'm terrified of touching or going after other people's children. Even talking to kids these days can get someone up in your grill.

I would always always watch out for a friend's child but that's different. For a perfect stranger I would have to sense "high danger" before doing anything. I'm sorry it has reached this point but I'm not going to be yelled by generally upsets me for the whole day!

MLE said...

Wow, I bet that was really scary!

I am never sure what to say in situations like that; I don't have any kids and I don't want people to think I am judging them. But I also don't want to see kids get hurt. Last week I was in the grocery store and two little girls were riding on the bottom of a cart, prone, with their hair dangling. I mentioned to their exhausted-looking dad that my sister had lost a big chunk of hair one time when she was little from doing the same thing. He gave me a look, as if to say, "Who are you to tell me how to parent?" and then said, "I can't get them to stop." Then he told them to get off the cart. I think they did, eventually.

I felt really bad, but I would have felt worse had I heard shrieks and seen one or both of the girls with their hair all tangled up in the cart wheels. So I don't know. Did I do the right thing?

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

ModernDayHermit and Monkey,
I hope I didn't across as "blaming" those other mothers, it was more a sad commentary on our society at large. There's no doubt that if blame were to be placed, it would have to be with my sister because she should have asked one of our group for help since we didn't know what was going on (the whole area was pretty chaotic that day). In fact, my sister was too busy feeling guilty to even consider the fact that probably someone had seen him run off.

I used to feel shy about saying things to other people's kids, but in situations where someone can get hurt, I have changed my tune. Particularly after 6 months of watching my son get his eyes poked, his hair pulled, his head pounded against my coffee table and his fingers nearly broken on two occasions - all by much older kids who KNEW BETTER. All while I was nearby, not sure what to say. A few weeks ago, my tune changed when I was at a mall - I watched some parents dump their kids off in a play area, then eat lunch in the food court while their kids ran amuck. I had no qualms telling their kids to be careful because they were jumping precariously close to other kids and in general, being aggressive.

Yes, I will probably make someone mad in the future, but if a kid is at risk of being hurt, I'd rather the kid be safe than spare my feelings at getting yelled at by someone.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

That IS a tough situation and I probably would have been too chickenshit myself to say anything. I'm impressed you said something! Probably, the father hadn't even thought of the hair tangling danger and you may have dont him a favor.

In general, if I'm hanging out with friends and I see their kids do something unsafe that their parents may not have noticed, I may say something gentle along the lines of "oh, i don't think that is safe" or "be careful" in a singsong voice. Also, I will put it on MYSELF and say to my friend "you know what? that makes me nervous, I can't take it" particularly if they are in MY house, climbing shelves, tables or furniture or something like that.

Usually, an apologetic concern for general safety doled out in a singsong voice doesn't rear ugly heads, at least in my experience.

Anonymous said...

I AM glad he's not sick -- that would have been much more stressful for you.

I would be disappointed when something like that happens; you think people would step in and at least give an "Is that your kid over there" shout to anyone around, seeing one running off.

It's a bit like teachers. You think it's a lovey dovey "let's work together" kind of environment, but heck. no. It's every (wo)man to themselves!


Goofy Girl said...

Wow. That scenario makes me shudder. Especially since I know that Goofy Junior can disappear much quicker than Younger Nephew. Okay, I'm going to shudder again.

Damn straight I would have stopped the kid in his tracks and found his mom. Jeez.

meno said...

i still try and fend for little kids, even though my baby is almost 16. I grab them at crosswalks and tell moms in the grocery store to be careful not to put them in the back part of the cart because mine fell out that way one time.
Maybe no one noticed. I hope that's it anyway.