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Code green, code red.

Good news! I survived a trip to New Mexico with all my babies and my husband. I fucking hate travel, so it’s not surprising I’ve been a wimp about taking my children places, but we were having a family reunion, so it had to be done. It was grueling, I’m not going to lie. There were some hellish moments, like the one where our neighbors in the hotel woke Bun Bun up at one am with their raucousness and proceeded to smoke enough weed on their balcony that they pretty much hotboxed our room. I’d been worried we’d wake people up with OUR loudness or disturb people with all OUR copious weed smoking! So that was annoying, but then we had our revenge when we got up at 6:30 am and were loud, so hey. But it was also great, and a Valuable Learning Experience, and I got to see my six year old nephew holding his enormous cousin in his lap, and I got to eat a sopaipilla and feed Bun Bun a sopaipilla and my children were very brave and resilient and admired by all.

I also got to have some good parenting conversations with my sister in law (she of Baby Blues is a bunch of bullshit. You will be FUCKING DEPRESSED fame), and she told me loads of funny stories, like the time she was on a road trip and the baby had ***finally*** fallen asleep and she desperately had to piss so she grabbed a diaper and tucked it under herself, but of course a baby diaper ain’t meant to hold the contents of an adult’s full bladder, so she pissed all over herself and the car and everything in the world. So that made me feel a bit better about my own capacity for holding it together.

I know I’m not ACTUALLY a parent of two children, I just play one on TV Monday. So those of you who really do this all day every day, I know I don’t really understand etc. etc. Nonetheless, I’m settling into it. To the extent that I have devised a graphic representation.

So here’s an average day with both babies. To interpret it you need only know that green = no babies unhappy, yellow = one baby unhappy, and red = both babies unhappy.

As you can see, there’s a lot of glorious green. But codes red are hard. Last night we had quite a code red. Bun Bun had declined her nap (highly unusual) in favor of a cold and MOLARS, and Bunlet was just being his usual 5-6 pm self. Nothing but being carried around with arms (as opposed to a carrier) would do for either of them, so I got to carry one while the other screamed, then trade, all the while murmuring helpful sibling-relationship-building things like see how Bunlet is waiting while I carry you? Soon it will be your turn to wait while I carry Bunlet!

In the beginning, any codes red at all would break my heart, and I wasn’t too happy with yellows. But I couldn’t prevent them, and feeling like a failure got boring. So I’m slowly learning to revel in green moments, bother myself a great deal less about yellows, and instantly pop on the Ma Phones when I see a red approaching.

I still have days when I’m appalled at my inability to be patient (OMG, I need to do a whole post on that topic, with a pie chart), but not as many days. Who knows, there may yet come a day with no reds at all.

Maybe even a day that’s green from dawn to dusk. It’s got a kind of poetry to it, doesn’t it?

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow that is a serious lot of green! I am impressed.

    Also, I have seriously considered doing the diaper thing myself on a number of occasions, but always figured it would end badly. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who’s thought of that… And now I’m also glad I’ve never actually tried it!!

    November 30, 2012
  2. Ok, that SIL story just made ME pee.

    Also, you make me feel so normal, less like a raving lunatic for having a short fuse, though I only have one child at this juncture so there’s still a good chance I might be insane.

    November 30, 2012
  3. nicole #

    Your sister in law is awesome!

    November 30, 2012
  4. Wow, non-napping toddler plus screaming newborn sounds miserable all the way around. But both kids will survive the occasional red period, as will you (especially with the Ma phones!). I’m impressed at all of the green, especially in the middle of the night, and your plan to focus on that sounds like a good one. And you’re very brave to take two young kids on a cross-country trip. But getting to see your sister-in-law (who sounds fabulous) and eat sopapillas sounds like a pretty big draw. Hope there’s lots more green days ahead.

    November 30, 2012
  5. So that was annoying, but then we had our revenge when we got up at 6:30 am and were loud, so hey

    Well done, BunBun and Bunlet!

    And well done to you for being brave enough to head out of your comfort zone and travel with them.

    November 30, 2012
  6. Oh, Bunny, your SIL sounds like a hoot.

    Glad your days have much green but yes a whole one would be AMAZING. had not thought to code my days.

    November 30, 2012
  7. As someone who plans to parent in the future*, I appreciate the raw and realistice account of what a code red looks like, that one’s relationship to codes yellow can shift and that code green poetry exists. I also took note that Ma phones continue to be the pinnacle of all solutions, especially in code red times.
    I’m glad that you all survived the trip relatively unscathed, if not a bit baked, and that there was some lovely moments of connection with your awesome SIL.
    It’s always such a pleasure to read your posts. Thank you for putting them out into the world for us to enjoy.

    *deities willing

    November 30, 2012
    • I’d send you a pair after Gummy is born*, but I can’t imagine someone like you ever needing them.

      *Deities willing.

      November 30, 2012
  8. Yah, your sister in law sounds pretty much awesome. And I was going to say, this post is lacking a pie chart, but all was made well when I read that your post on (im?)patience will include one. Oh please, write that post and then allow me to plagiarize the entire thing. BTW, YAY for all this green! You are swimming in a sea of green most of the time, well done! I’m glad you made it through your travels safely. We have made only one big trip so far, but eventually I know we’ll have to board a plane with these two and I fear that day, oh how I FEAR IT.

    November 30, 2012
  9. Love yer stuff. WIsh I had time to tell you more often, in better detail and with slight hilarity just to pay you back for your efforts.

    TIme to get the baby out of the garbage,

    December 1, 2012
  10. I so thought I had commented on this…
    I find the evening red code the hardest. Baby wants to and toddler needs his teeth cleaned and apparently he can only do so if I do it at the same time (plus I am a controlling freak who makes sure his teeth ARE clean). Baby doesn’t care about my routine with pjs, gum gel, sleep sack, he just wants boob and darkness. Toddler screams BABY SLEEPS just in time to prevent any sleeping by anyone within a 10 km radius. And I am ready to have everyone in bed and quiet, I don’t even care if they sleep, as long as they shut up and let my brain unwhirr.
    The nice thing is that in a couple of months, the evening red code is the main red code, the morning and lunch red codes become rarities. Isn’t that a heart-warming thought? Here, enjoy this prospect. Glad to pass on good news. 🙂

    December 2, 2012
    • It is, very. Very encouraging. In fact, the morning one is fading out as Bunlet learns to put himself to sleep in his crib while I feed Bun Bun breakfast. JOY.

      December 6, 2012
  11. I think you’ve got a whole lot of green time that I’d be willing to purchase from you for any cost. Green only. You can keep that yellow and red shit. Swaddled Sam agrees.

    Fantastic news on the success of your family of four trip away from home, as well as your brave and resilient children (and your sopaipilla eating child). I might try that leaving home thing out in a few weeks if we all have all of our pieces. Hopefully my future hotel neighbors will provide a contact high and be deaf.

    I admire you guys for doing that. The thought is horribly scary to me.

    December 3, 2012
  12. I love the graphs! And the awesome story. I wanna crawl into your head like in Being John Malkovich. Until the Codes Red; then you’re on your own.

    I hear you on impatience. I can’t even feel it coming on. I sing umpteen verses of Wheels on the Bus in the middle of the night feeling all motherly and beatific, and then out of nowhere I growl, “Dammit, Moose, it’s sleepytime!”

    December 3, 2012
  13. Conceptionally Challenged #

    “and feeling like a failure got boring” — this is awesome. You are awesome, Bunny!

    December 6, 2012
  14. and here i thought the green/red code would be for the chile, what with being back in NM and all! alas, i wish. that would make my reds a hell of a lot easier to deal with, i can tell you that. we still have them. i still want to kill myself when we do.

    December 9, 2012
  15. clever as always Bunny…. And informative too!
    Yay for bonding time with SIL. And heres to many many more green times ahead for you and your babes…

    December 9, 2012
  16. I think you should have your sister-in-law immortalised in bronze. She is at least as good as a bacon sandwich.
    Hope it’s been a world of green these last couple of weeks. (Not in a hotboxy way.)

    December 12, 2012

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