My house is starting to get crowded. Ellie has her inner demon, Eloise, and Aya has her alter ego, Velma. And to cope with these added personalities, I turn into sorry Charlie. He can be found hiding in the closet crying while eating a Snickers bar.
Eliie and Eloise can be a handful, but Velma can be difficult on a whole other level.
Velma’s emotions are extreme. She’s either super happy and excited (like eyes dilated, crazy smile, jazz hands happy), cranky, or worn-out tired and crying. Or sometimes, she can be just plain scary.
The other day I woke up with Velma, er, Aya staring down at me. She didn’t say anything and she didn’t even nudge me awake. She was just staring down at me. To be honest, I was a bit frightened, but I was very relieved to see she didn’t have a pillow in her hands.
I looked up confused and asked, “Can I help you?”
She looked blankly out into the distance and replied, “I’m hungry.”
Still groggy and a bit puzzled, I offered, “Do you want me to make you breakfast?”
Without hesitation she said, “I want an English muffin with egg, sausage, and melted cheese.”
“Um, we have eggs, toast and cheese. How’s that sound?” I offered cautiously.
“Noooo, I want the round sausage,” she whined back.
But I know she didn’t mean it. Sometimes “no” doesn’t mean “no,” it means, “ask me a different question.”
So I rephrased my question. “Do you want me to go to McDonald’s to get you a breakfast sandwich?”
She replied again with, “Noooo.”
Again, no didn’t mean no. This time it meant, “I’m not going to be the crazy pregnant lady who sends her husband to McDonald’s at 6:30am for a sandwich. But it’d be nice if you insisted.”
This time, without asking a question I said, “How about I go to McDonalds. I think I want one too.”
“Okay, if you’re going anyway, then I’d like a sausage McMuffin with egg, hash brown, and a decaf iced coffee,” she said with a bit of pep.
Phew! That was close. I think it worked out best for everyone.
My biggest challenge with Velma though is that she doesn’t like to rest. She’ll push herself to the point of exhaustion until she breaks down. And even in that state of exhaustion, she’ll refuse to rest or go to bed. So between her and Ellie, I usually have two ladies in the house who protest going to bed.
For example, Aya came home from work exhausted, emotional, starving, and crying. Its times like these when I feel guilty for staying home. Aya is off at work commuting 40 miles each way, pushing herself while very pregnant, and I’m home making invisible cookies and having pool parties with Ellie. So when she comes home like that, I try to ease her discomfort as much as I can. I made sure Aya was fed and then I took Ellie upstairs for her bath and bedtime so Aya could rest and go to bed early. Because, that’s what she kept repeating, “I’m so tired, I just want to go to bed.”
But most times what she says, isn’t what she means. What she really meant was, “I’m going to stay up sitting on an uncomfortable stool in the kitchen and play with Instagram on my phone.”
So while I battled with a toddler who gave every excuse in the book not to go to sleep, I noticed there was another lady in the house doing the same thing. I watched the clock as the hours passed; 10pm, 11pm, and midnight. Why am I the only person in my house that wants to go to sleep!?
Finally, just after midnight, Ellie finally settled down and drifted off to sleep (she is trouble at bedtime, but rarely this bad).
When I came downstairs Aya was still awake, hunched over happily playing with her iPhone. It’s like they were sending telepathic messages to each other trying to torment me. “I’m still awake, are you? Don’t give in yet. I’m gonna Instagram it.”
“Why are you still awake!? I thought you were drained and tired!?” I exclaimed.
She looked up with a small smirk and said, “I feel better now.”
But when she woke up the next morning, she was cranky tired, exhausted, etc. What a surprise. (Sigh)
This is Velma hard at work. Velma is the one that pushes this cycle and I can’t fix it. I have to stand back helpless and watch.
I know it shouldn’t matter to me if Aya sleeps or not. If she doesn’t want to go to sleep, why should I care, right? Well, I’m supposed to be the coach. And I know how important it is to her to have a natural childbirth experience. Physical and mental stamina depends on it, and it’s important she practices resting too. I don’t want to be the coach that only shows up on game day. I’m in it to win it. If my player is struggling, I have to do my best to help her out and to encourage an optimum environment for training. But Velma isn’t a team player and likes to wreak havoc.
So when Eloise and Velma are both at play, that’s when Sorry Charlie comes out, reaches for a Snickers bar, and closes the door. Yes, I may have gained some sympathy weight, but it’s not in sympathy for Aya, it’s for me.