Bad Days

As a new mom, I consider myself lucky since I haven’t had too many days where I feel like gouging my eyes out with an ice pick or tearing all the hair out of my head from frustration. Believe me I’ve had my moments, but they’ve been few and far between.

This morning, I wasn’t so lucky.

Whether it’s the damn time change or that another top tooth is on its way, my daughter hasn’t been herself for the past couple days. She again woke earlier than normal this morning and would not go back to sleep as is the routine. This extra-early start to our day was not a good sign, yet I hadn’t given up all hope yet.

It was after her 3o minute catnap that I knew it would be the morning from hell. There was no way that was enough sleep to ward off the cranky demon baby that takes over my daughter when she’s extremely tired or starving to death.

I hadn’t showered yet and I wasn’t up for the circus of getting ready while trying to keep her entertained and out of harm’s way while trying to brush my teeth and put on deodorant. I was already too exhausted. But I had no other choice.

In her seat she sat while I tried to reenergize in the shower. I found I could muffle her fussy cries by letting the water run over my head and ears just so. It was bliss for a couple minutes…until I had to get out. The fussing continued even when I was in sight. It stopped when I picked her up, reminding me of our days when she was a newborn. (I barely ever put her down then.)

As I placed her on the floor so I could get dressed, she broke down. She did the silent cry that breaks my heart every time: eyes squeezed shut, mouth open in horror, body trembling. It’s like the clap of thunder after the bolt of lightning. You wait and wait, then boom!

So I scooped her back up and there we sat on my bed, both of us wailing away for no better reason than we were so very tired.

Soon after she fell asleep, allowing us the reprieve we needed to start fresh and salvage what was left of the day.

When I opened her door to her bright rested eyes, she smiled at me like nothing had ever happened. And I fell in love with her all over again, like I do every single day.

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.

The Living Dead

Forget diamonds — concealer is a new mummy’s best friend! Cursed with spotty skin from an early age, concealer and I have been bosom buddies for a loooong time. But now I rely on it for fear of looking like the undead without it, as well as covering up PMS breakouts. Awesome. It’s no surprise that I would frighten young children first thing in the morning, yet when I look over my daughter’s crib she’s not horrified by my zombie-like appearance, she’s tickled to see me. Now that’s love.

My mommy guru (sister-in-law) used to tell me the wonders of a highlighter pencil and how it could brighten up the dullest of faces. But to me, it was just one more thing I couldn’t be bothered with, plus I didn’t have kids yet and didn’t know the importance of looking well-rested even if it was just smoke and mirrors. I was already putting moisturizer, concealer, foundation, powder, eyeliner, and mascara on…wasn’t that enough?!?

Apparently the answer is no!

I didn’t know what it meant to be truly tired until my baby came along. I also didn’t know what it meant to look truly tired until my baby came along. There’s nothing worse than someone saying, “You look tired.” Really? Why don’t you tell me how fat my ass is while you’re at it? What do people think they’re accomplishing by telling someone this? That once you hear it, you’ll realize they’re right, drop everything, and take a nap right away? This observation is almost always followed up with, “Why are you in a bad mood?” Gee, I wonder…

When I see pictures of myself now, my eyes are happy but they’re beyond droopy. I see the same thing in my hubby’s eyes, but he’s not battling the dark rings that I am. It’s probably because he gets to sleep through her 3 am wake-ups. Lucky bastard! He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to figure out a way for him to breastfeed number two, whether it’s taking hormones or what! That way maybe I won’t have to glop on so much concealer to cover up my racoon mask! And in the meantime, maybe I’ll have to buy those wonderous highlighter pencils…in bulk.