Friday, June 21, 2013

01Y 05M 11D

Today my son is one year, five months and 11 days old. He’s fussy. We’ve hit this horrible phase of tantrums. He’s a big boy, very independent. He’s a busy boy. He wants to play. He doesn’t want to be strapped into his car seat. He doesn’t want to be in the car. He doesn’t like the sun in his eyes. He doesn’t want to play with his toys that I keep in the car. He doesn’t want to sing songs. He’s so frustrated. He’s so fussy.

It’s only a 15 minute ride from our house to daycare but those 15 minutes are hard for me especially to and from daycare five days a week. Maybe those 15 minutes wouldn’t be hard for you and that makes you a better mother then me. Maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself, lashing out a bit, but those minutes tick by so slowly.
I try talking to him. It doesn’t work. I try turning the radio on. It doesn’t work. I try pulling over and reaching for his OTHER toy to see if he wants that one. That doesn’t work. I try tuning him out. I try sipping my coffee and focusing on my favorite radio talk show. I can’t stand it. The anxiety is building in my stomach, my chest, my shoulders, my neck and the spot right smack in the center of my forehead.

I grip the steering wheel, my knuckles turning white, I start thinking about the evening before when he didn’t want to eat his dinner or sit in his highchair. He didn’t want his hands wiped off. He didn’t want to come out of the chair. He doesn’t want to be put down and play with his toys. He doesn’t want to be held. He’s rubbing his eyes. He’s cutting teeth. His nose is running. He wakes up once a night. We wake up with him once a night. Everyone’s tired. It’s been a long day. Now it’s morning and already it’s Good Morning Mr. Fussy Face. I think ahead to the fact that Ryan’s working all weekend and we have a family function to go to and I’m already picturing his tantrums in front of my family. Yeah, I know, they are moms too and they understand blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t make me feel better.
Back in the car, on our way to daycare, in this moment, like other moments, I’m having a hard time seeing the joy in motherhood. I start comparing myself to other mothers who never seem to complain or struggle. Jealousy, frustration, guilt well up in my heart as the tears well up in my eyes. Then it happens, I yell, “SANTINO RYAN, STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!” I hear his breath catch followed by my beautiful baby boy’s crying. And here it comes, instant guilt and regret, waves and waves. I tell him, “It’s okay buddy. Mommy’s sorry for yelling but we’re almost there. You’re going to have some breakfast, see your friends and Miss Nancy and play and have a good day.”

He settles down and we both stay quiet the rest of the way. I even keep the radio off. We get to daycare. I come around to get him out of the car and he’s smiling at me, happy guy with bed head. I grab his comb from my purse and comb his wispy hair. I kiss, kiss, kiss his ravioli cheeks. I tickle his belly. I pat his bottom. He’s so amazing to me. I’ve never loved anything so much. We go inside and he runs to the little table covered in toy trucks. I say bye and step outside. I flop into my car angry with myself for losing my temper. I try to remember to stop and take a moment to thank God for His grace, for my precious child, for Fridays, for coffee and then... I ‘keep calm and call my mom’. TGIF

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where's Momma?

Ryan and I have found that the one thing that helps us be the best parents that we can be is routine. It’s not for everyone. Before Ryan and I had Tino we said that we would bring Tino into our routine and not wrap our lives around him. Well children change everything when they come along. You can’t deny that. In some ways we’ve adjusted our lives to Tino and in others he just has to deal with the way we run things. Either way, sticking to a routine really helps us and I think Tino’s happier as well.

In my opinion, Tino’s bedtime routine is great. Around 7 pm – 7:30 pm I ask Tino if he’s tired and ready for bed. If he is he drops his toys and runs over to the baby gate blocking his way up to his room. I walk over, take down the gate and he runs to the steps, crawls up and runs down the hall to his room. Recently, he’s started opening his drawer that holds his pajamas and then running over to his CD player and turning his bedtime music on. I’m usually one step behind him, getting ready for bath time if it’s a bath night.
Tino’s almost 18 months old so the risk of SIDS is no existent so now he has some stuffed animals in his crib and a blanket and a monkey pillow pet. He likes all these items arranged a certain way in his crib. So I get them all settled blah, blah, blah.

Last night, we went about routine as usual.
Me: “Tino, buddy you tired?” He runs to the baby gate. I remove the baby gate. He climbs the stairs and runs down the hall to his room, which was dark. However, this time, I stopped at the top of the stairs to get a pair of his pajamas out of a laundry basket of his clean clothes that hadn’t gotten folded yet. Normally, I’d be right behind him. Only this time I stopped for a minute at the top of the stairs and he ran on ahead of me.

I hear him start screaming and crying and calling out, “Mummy, Mummy!!” I’d never really heard this cry from him so I thought maybe he’d tripped and hurt himself. So I rushed to his room and he’s standing there crying big ol fat tears, arms out for me to pick him up. He was afraid. He’d walked into the dark room, turned around and I wasn’t there. He got scared. I scooped him up and soothed him. He settled down. 
It was a tender moment. He’s so independent pushing my hands away whenever I try to help him with anything. But, last night he still needed his momma. I just love my little guy.