Archive for July, 2011

Mommy Meltdown

I interrupt my current work on a sex blog (cha cha cha) for my week o’ mommy meltdown.

My son is a really good baby. He is. He has followed in my baby footsteps, if you believe the stories from Nana. He’ll sit in the living room and play with a board book for a half hour at a time. If he goes for the buttons on the DVD player, he will listen when he hears “Maxwell!” and turn around—about 50 percent of the time. He sleeps all night. He laughs a lot, and smiles for almost everyone, and he is a super cuddly guy. He can eat like a champ. Overall, he’s a great joy.

But when he hits the wall, turns up the cranky or displays his will … oh, ever, you must watch out.

Day one started off with a no-nap morning. The no-nap morning is a new development; one I hope goes away until toddler hood when this will be a no-nap morning house. So by noon, lunchtime, Max isn’t ready to eat, he’s ready to sleep. But we had a swim lesson that afternoon, and he needed food.

Fast forward to a teary conversation with Ned, begging him to come home for lunch and attempt to feed the baby, who had thus far rejected rice cereal puffs, peas, carrots, zucchini with cereal, and pureed carrots. There was a diaper change. There had been yelling from both sides, and then finally, a spoonful of green cereal tossed across the high chair tray.

When that happened, I turned into Oh-No-You-Didn’t-Mommy, complete with “We do not throw food in this house!” This of course, accomplished nothing except making me feel terrible and the baby go from a tantrum cry to a Mommy-yelled-at-me cry.

Needless to say, the only food ingested was a few pieces of watermelon and some veggie dip-flavored puffed corn snacks. Then Ned comes home, after we’d given up the higher chair and moved on to the green, plastic rocking horse. He promptly takes our son, plops him in his comfy seat and proceeds to feed him all of his lunch. Ugh.

Day two’s morning oatmeal went off with help from Mommy singing her entire cabaret repertoire. At lunch, Max was not having it. By dinnertime, I was ready to quit.

All of it just makes me crazy. It’s not knowing why the baby won’t eat red beans and rice one day, and chows down on it the next. It’s feeling guilty that I let a 10 ½-month old get under my skin. It’s not knowing when the boycott will end. I’m starting to completely understand why the book Go the F*** To Sleep was written.

It is amazing to me how we can go from cute and cuddly to hot button of rage in an instant. That’s what makes my stomach churn. It’s like in any situation when you in it, I mean, really IN it, you’re completely blind to logic or calmness or sanity.

I logically know that he will eat when he is hungry, and he’s a baby, so Mommy’s schedule means squat to him. And I know that if he doesn’t take a nap during the day, he’s going to bed two hours earlier, and he doesn’t care that it makes him scream through his entire swim lesson. And I know that whatever energy I put out toward Max is what I will get back from him. Period.

So this week I’m taking a time-out with my son. Mommy is shelving work and play dates and getting as much done as she can around the house as relatives prepare to land here for Max’s baptism on Sunday. Today we survived only eating half a breakfast, a mere ½ hour nap in the car, a few finger foods for lunch and no afternoon nap. And he still had a great time swimming.

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