Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Last night, I was going to post about my great disappointment in my lack of popularity preventing my child from getting invites to birthday parties. It hurt my feelings that my impression on other parents would inhibit my child’s dance card so to speak. (He was not invited to a birthday party for his classmates 1st birthday when other kids were). I realize this is me projecting my fear and is completely shallow but I have this deep seated fear that parents will ostracize my child because they don't like me.

Then amidst the normal hectic evening schedule, my child had a complete and utter emotional breakdown. He didn’t want to sleep, he didn’t want to eat, and he didn’t want a bath. He didn’t know what he wanted. Daddy couldn’t pacify him. Momma couldn’t pacify him. He screamed and cried hysterically for almost three hours.

At first I was a little angry with the situation. His meltdown coincided with dinner and I just wanted him to eat so I could eat and go to bed. I had come home from a long day at work after three nights of not sleeping due to his whining/teething/congestion and I desperately wanted to sleep. So when he got fussy and refused to eat, I got frustrated. Then I got mad at myself and started tearing up because I got frustrated with him. I had to do deep breaths. Stephen took over so I could eat but I had lost my appetite.

From there, it went into full melt down mode and emotionally I was drained. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t fix whatever was wrong. Nothing worked. I rocked, I walked, I sang. I even offered him THE BOOBS which pacified him until I couldn’t take the pain of empty sucking anymore, which prompted him to scream more. Apparently this weekend wasn’t the most opportune time to go dry and wean him but my body made that choice, I didn’t and now he (and all of us) must suffer for it.

Those three hours were by far the worst three hours of his life to date. I can’t imagine what it must be like for new moms with colicky babes hours and days on end with unsolvable crying.

He finally wore himself out and went to sleep. It’s amazing how draining just a few hours of tending an upset child can be. All the emotions going through my head: Why can’t I comfort him? I’m a terrible mother! What if there is something seriously wrong that I’m not recognizing. I’m a terrible mother! I’m so tired, baby please go to sleep. I can’t do this all night. I’m a terrible mother!

We gave him Tylenol for teething pain, his amber necklace is on, Vick’s vaporizer steaming up his room, Child’s vapor rub on his chest, Gas Medicine. The combination plus the crying at least lulled him into one of his best nights in a long time. Granted he didn’t stay in his crib but an hour or two but he settled right down curled into me in the twin daybed in his room…and that’s where we slept ALL night.

That bed hurts my back lately but a stiff back is a small price to pay for a night of quiet sleep after the ordeal we have been through.

His top two teeth have come in simultaneously (just as his bottom two did) and they are completely through the skin now. His fourth bottom tooth is showing but not through yet. I’m hoping we are on the down swing of the teething trauma and get a reprieve for a few days.

It pains me unbearably to see my baby unhappy. It rips my heart out when I can’t soothe him. It makes me question my ability to parent, my emotional state, my everything. Why am I not good enough to make him happy? I know, logically, that I’m doing fine. I may not be perfect. I may not be the trendiest or have all this new fangled research under my belt to prepare for the happiest/healthiest/trendiest/hippest kid of this decade but I love my son. I do my best and sometimes that means just slugging through a workday in order to get 5 minutes of precious hugs and smooches and baby giggles before going through the nighttime routine. I give him all of me and that’s the best I can do.

Maybe all of me isn’t always good enough and maybe some parents will look down on me for whatever reasons: because I drive a Chevy Impala instead of a Lexus SUV and my kids dinosaur shirt that we both love has a slight blue tinge to it because it was washed with my brand new Dark rinse Calvin Klein jeans but I send him to daycare in it anyway. Maybe because I bake for his daycare teachers and give them Cashmere scarves for Christmas or because I wear jeans and workboots instead of suits and heels most days. Maybe just maybe, I do fear that because I don’t meet the standards of some parents, my kid will be outcast by his peer group but that is my insecurity, not his.

When you peek in the door at daycare he is usually in the thick of things, with his besties, crawling, passing toys, butting heads etc. He has friends already and everyone loves him. I can’t worry about his peers’ parents and their opinions of me. I can only be me and hope that by doing my best by my babe; it will be good enough, whether that’s making impressions on peers’ parents or soothing his aches and pains through endless nights.

I am only a mother, but I am his and after everything we went through last night, his peer group popularity at 8 months old seems completely frivolous and unimportant so why bother with a blog post solely dedicated to my insecurity over the issue. I will worry about that in a few years….when he’s not teething and is out of diapers. For now, I just hope to have a happy baby and no repeats of last night any time soon.

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