Sunday, October 07, 2007

giving up, giving in, giving, giving, giving

I'm sorry I missed a post. I truly am. I started this really brilliant meditation on language, images, misinterpretation, and the semiotics of Myspace. I even saved it as a draft.

But I just couldn't finish and post it. Bob was away for this weekend playing out-of-town gigs, and had an in-town gig today, and had had recording sessions Wednesday and Thursday, so basically I was on my own with the kids for a few days. It's exhausting. It's often very demoralizing, too, since even though I've been in a much brighter frame of mind and have kept Major Funk from ruling my every move, I have my limits. (Believe me, the Major is one tough commanding officer. And he's no cartoon character.)

Yesterday I was trying to get us all downstairs, with the stroller and accoutrements, so I could work out before the child care closed at the gym. We're on the second floor of our building, so there is usually a bit of a lag before Miss Stella decides she is going to walk down the stairs. In the meantime, I carried the stroller down, set my heavy backpack in it, got the mail out of the box. Just as I was wondering what was taking our little miss so long, Bobby realized that she had gone up instead of down, and he ran up the two more flights to find that she had gone on to the roof.

Yes. You read that correctly. The roof. There is a door to the roof, and we and our neighbors will occasionally go up there to watch fireworks on 4th of July and other such things. There's a great view of the Triboro Bridge and the eastern Manhattan skyline, plus Hell's Gate Bridge and all the surrounding neighborhood.

The roof is fun, but it's not exactly high security. There's a ridge a couple feet high going around the perimeter, but that's certainly not enough to keep an active child from...well, I won't even write it.

So now we realize that Stella is not only interested in the roof, but is capable of opening the heavy door and going out there. This is the second time in about a week she's done it. The other time was when Bob and I were talking to Art McFarland after the Channel 7 interview/filming. (We thought she and Bobby were both in the apartment. Imagine our surprise when we went upstairs and found our son playing his DS, and our daughter nowhere to be seen.)

Yes, there is a "lock" on the door. It's basically a huge hook and eye, and it's really hard to secure (mainly because the door has been painted over so many times that it doesn't close tightly), so it is rarely secured. I even called the landlord last week and told him about this concern. Obviously, nothing was done about it.

So this time, Bobby (Stella's hero) ran up the stairs and grabbed her to keep her from going anywhere before I could get up there. She was sitting in the middle, nowhere near the edges, playing with her Emily Elizabeth doll. She was very upset when I grabbed her, carried her down the stairs, and strapped her into the stroller. "No roof! No roof!" I said, as she wailed.

Later, as we wheeled down the street I said to Bobby, "Remember what I was telling you about adrenaline the other day? That kind of frizzy feeling that's going through your body right now? That's from the adrenaline that was released while we were rescuing Stella. Try to breathe and relax and you'll feel better in a little while."

No, I'm not blaming the landlord, or anyone else. Yes, we are responsible for our child, but it is incredible what she can accomplish in just a few minutes out of our sight. "Constant supervision" does not even begin to describe it. Time with Stella is a joy, a series of discoveries, it's snuggly, it's lively. It's also draining after a certain period of time without a break.

I'm grateful that she has been going to sleep at a normal hour the past few nights. Let's hope her nap today will not keep that from happening again tonight. [wishful thinking]

To be clear: I love these little dudes tremendously. They enrich the world in general, and my world in particular, by their very presence. I love being their mom. But I'm not always sure I'm very good at it. I guess one is never sure of that.

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