Friday, January 1, 2010

Parenting, the ultimate frustration

Over the course of our relationship, Mary and I have always tried to stuff a lot of socialization into a very small amount of time. When we have traveled to visit family or for recreation we always try to see as many people, places or things as we can possibly fit into a short period of time.

Christmas was similar attempt at visiting all of our family and having many events to go to throughout the time off. On the 26th, Mary's cousin Tracy got married. The wedding was at 2:00 and the reception was at 6:00. In order to get to the ceremony location on time, we had to leave Mary's parents house at 12:30.

During the ceremony I had to duck out the back of the church a couple times during the ceremony as Mia got a little fussy. That certainly wasn't a big deal, we had taken up a position on the end of the pew so that I could get her out quick if she started making noise.

There was a 3 hour delay between the wedding ceremony and the reception. Since we had time, the family all went to have a late lunch at a restaurant near the church. The food was good and Mia was pretty well behaved. The food came out at different times, so right as Mary and I started eating, Stephanie finished eating, so she was able to hold Mia while we ate.

During this time, I was noticing that Mia was a little more fussy thatn normal, but I figured it was just all the movement. I figured that once we got to the reception site, we would be able to sit down, have Mia in her car seat and we would be able to let her sleep during the reception.

When we got to the reception, Mia started out doing ok. I was carrying her around, she was meeting people, and eventually we decided to move to our table as the numerous people she was meeting had good intentions, however the constant poking, pinching and attempts to hold her were starting to make her a little upset.

We posted up at our table and put Mia in her seat. Mia decided that the seat was not sufficient and started to scream. I had her in my arms and was attempting to sooth her to no avail. Mary had gone somewhere and came back and grabbed her to try to calm her down before she degraded into total meltdown mode. We looked at the clock and noticed that she hadn't ate in a while. We tried to feed her and she continued to scream until she spit up all over her dress.

Mary and I at that point started looking at each other and we both had the look on our faces that this isn't working. At some point during all of this, the fire alarm went off in the reception. The high pitched squeal of the fire alarm drove Mia crazy and she started screaming even more. Tommy jumped up and told us to go grab some food and eat real quick so if we decide we need to go, at least we are not hungry.

We ate real fast and Mia was quiet as long as Tommy was swining her in her chair non stop. We stopped swinging her as soon as Mary and I finished eating. Mia went nuts, and Mary and I decided it was time to go.

We quickly said our goodbyes to the peope we are close to there (all of whom pretty much are staying at Mary's parents place anyways and knew what was going on, so we were out quick)

We got out to our 4-runner as quick as possible to find that some jackass in a Honda Accord had decided that blocking us in was more imporatant than parking 40 feet down the road. The part that really irritated us was that there was free valet for the event. We had decided to park away from the valet purely because we knew we may need to leave quickly and if so, we didn't want to get caught in the valet line. Parking a little ways down should have provided the flexability we needed to get out quick.

Mary ran into the reception hall, found Terrry (the bride's mother) and told her what was going on. The DJ announced twice that the owner of the car needed to come up, which never happend. After about 10 minutes, Terry saw Mary and Terry ran over to the DJ and said "stop the music" Terry then announced to the quiet hall for the owner of the car to come up. The owner still never came up. We decided that the owner of the car was eiter drunk, or didn't speak english (totally possible). Terry traded keys with us, told us to take her truck (luckily our car seat has the flexibility to change cars on the fly and she took our truck home.

We got home as quick as possible, and Mary handed Mia to me in the shower. Taking a hot shower calms Mia down better than anything else in the world. I gave her a longer than normal shower, then we swadled her up, Mary fed her, and we all went to bed.

Before we went down to Bastrop and Clear Lake for the holidays, I thought that not knowing why my child is screaming is the most frustrating thing in the world. I was wrong. Having a screaming child, knowing what is causing it and not being able to fix it, and knowing that decisions I made put us into that scenario is far more frustrating. Maybe the project manager side of me was coming out, but while we were driving home I was beating myself up the whole 36.3 miles as I was thinking that I should have known that she couldn't handle that many hours without a real name. Also, I should have known better than parking in a spot in which somebody could block us in. While personally I would never block somebody in, I spend 40+ hours a week managing projects and a major part of managing corporate projects is risk avoidance and mitigation. I should have thought about the parking piece and parked smarter.

Ugh, the lessons of first time parents. Even though the end of the wedding was a bit chaotic for us, we did get some really good pictures.

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