Just Sayin’

Dec 2012 253

This is now my reality. The little one used to be a dream. Would sleep all night without a peep. Never fussed or cried. Would be so quiet that I’d literally forget about her in the next room. Then she hit four months and turned into a nightmare.

I struggled for weeks trying to figure out what was the cause of her constant screaming. Could it be reflux? Colic? A sleep regression? A mental leap? Teething? That she hated me and wanted to extinguish my will to live? Yes, that had to be it! Because at her multiple awakenings in the middle of the night where she screamed bloody murder with no end in sight, it sure felt like that was her intention. But she’s just a baby, not capable of manipulation the books say. Pssshshaw, sure she is!

She has everyone completely buffaloed that she’s still the perfect baby I bragged about in the beginning. (I know, bragging about her was my first mistake.) She grins and coos it up, blowing just the right amount of bubbles and blinking her huge expressive doe eyes. However, as soon as we’re alone again, she lets me have it — assaulting me with her rage like she’s the warden and I’m her lowly peon.

I think I’ve finally figured out the problem though — I was starving her. My milk supply was low and she wasn’t satisfied. Pretty awful, I know. I am a complete bear when I’m hungry and she takes after her mummy. So I can’t really blame her for being pissed. And now I think back to all those terrible nights when she wouldn’t nurse but would cry and cry from hunger. All the frustration and empty threats of jumping off a cliff could all have been avoided by simply giving her a bottle.

Just goes to show that even as a second-time mom I have no effing clue what I’m doing…just sayin’.

 

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Mummy Milestone #28

I finally became one of “those parents” with the screaming child in the restaurant. However, in my defense it took a good 9 months for it to happen, so I think I deserve some kind of pat on the back. (But it’s not like she’s been out to that many eateries — probably under 10.)

I’ll have you know that I promptly left the restaurant once she let out her first, ear-piercing shriek. I wasn’t about to stay and enjoy my spicy sesame chicken when it was my fault for bringing her out in the first place.

The wheels were set in motion when the hubby called to ask if I wanted to join him and his mom for lunch. Why yes, going out to lunch during the middle of the week is one of my favorite things to do (or at least it used to be), so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. But the timing could have been better…a whole lot better.

I take full responsibility because I knew my daughter was tired and due for her afternoon nap, but I thought that she’d be fine if I was holding her. I was just thinking that my trade-off for her not napping like a “normal” baby was that she’s almost always very mellow and well-behaved when we’re out and about. Well, damn if they don’t love to prove you wrong.

I almost called and canceled, but the lure of midday dining was too strong (and I’m completely selfish). So I kept the date and met them against my mummy’s intuition. We sat down and threw every toy at her from the diaper bag. We even let her play with the chopsticks despite the jagged wooden edges. They were keeping her happy…for the moment.

At first I didn’t worry too much, even brushing off my husband’s concerned look at her first sign of fussiness. The din from our fellow diners and the music overhead was pretty loud, so her first squawks went unnoticed. But as I walked back to the bathroom to rinse her pacifier for the second time after she spit it on the floor, a blood-curling screech followed me, prompting a reaction from an older lady sitting at the sushi bar.  I knew then what I had to do.

Get the hell out of there!

I did not want to be “those people” with the screaming kid, garnering angry stares from everyone sitting around us. So I quickly inhaled a few bites of chicken, gathered her up, and went home.

There you have it. I reached a new mummy milestone and I survived. Scratch that off the list and wait for the next one.

Don’t You Judge Me

“Don’t you judge me” is my new mom motto. As much as I think it, it should be tattooed on my forehead. Or maybe just printed on a T-shirt for me to wear every single day.

This morning a plumber came to install a toilet and a sink in our master bathroom. He didn’t look like any plumber I’d seen before. He was missing a beer belly and that famous plumber’s crack…thank god!

Having any kind of handyman in the house gives me anxiety. So it’s safe to say I was a big ball of awkward. Throw a tired, cranky baby in the mix and I was even more on edge.

Naturally, the plumber showed up right when my daughter was to take her morning nap. Lately I’ve been putting her down while she’s still awake so she can learn to put herself to sleep. She usually cries for a couple minutes before conking out. I’ve become immune to those cries.

Sure enough, as soon as I closed the door behind me, a wail erupted from the depths of her bowels. A scream I’ve never heard before. Someone was surely torturing her. That was the only logical conclusion. So I went back in. She was fine. To the contrary of her screams, no-one was killing her. I placed her back down and told her it was nap time. As soon as I left, the same god-awful shriek.

It’s not enough to allow a stranger into your home to judge your living conditions, but now that I’m a mom, my parenting skills are on full display and up for debate. I just knew this guy was judging me as an unfit parent for letting my baby cry. But what he doesn’t know is that’s how we roll.

She was asleep within a minute, and I could finally exhale.

Needless to say, she woke up 40 minutes later thanks to the plumber banging around in the bathroom.

As I signed the check over, holding my daughter on one side, he looked at her and said, “So that’s the little one who was crying. Never knew such a loud sound could come out of a tiny person.” I wanted to give him my best “Don’t you judge me” look, but like always with these guys, I just gave a nervous laugh and said, “Yep. That was her. Not a fan of napping.”

See, if I had that tattoo or that shirt, he would’ve gotten my message loud and clear.