Thursday, March 20, 2008

Conclusive evidence that I should not be left alone with a kid all day.

Lila woke up extra early today for no reason at all. She was just finished sleeping. Ben got up with her and fed her and she seemed perfectly happy playing with her little baby toys until Ben left. Then she got "fussy".

She didn't want her solid food breakfast because Ben gave her a bottle. She didn't want to sit with me. She didn't want to be put down in her jumper or her swing or on the floor. She was rubbing her eyes so I tried to get her to sleep. But as I rocked her and she just kept whining and trying to stretch out in my arms with her eyes clenched shut, it was obvious that she wasn't going to go to sleep with my help. So I put her in her crib to cry herself to sleep.

This is not a method that I typically support and I reasoned that if she was still crying after 10 minutes I would try again to rock her. But she wasn't. And for all intents and purposes, this was a good nap. One of the best ones EVER. She slept for almost 2 hours when I decided that I needed to go check on her because usually after 30 minutes she was up yelling and this had been 4 times that.

Lila had puked all over herself. And I mean ALL OVER HERSELF. It was all down the front of her (she cant sit herself up so I have no idea how that happened) she had rolled around in it. It was at both ends of the crib. It was everywhere!

And here's the thing, not only was she not really crying all that hard or that much, but she slept really well! I had to wake her up (much to her disagreement) to put her into the bath and she was fine once she got her bearings and realized she was awake. She has actually been really super mellow and happy today.

And yet, I let my kid sleep for 2 hours in her own vomit. And it smelled too! And yesterday was such a good day...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I wish I could ignore her for 10 minutes!

I was watching her dad with her yesterday out in the yard. She sat on the grass fingering it and trying to touch the flowers that sat restlessly about 2 feet away. And throughout her little play time she babbled random syllables and made screeching noises that scared the cat. Ben sat there on a chair making some notes for whatever project he is working on and barely looked up. Lila was fine. She sat there content and just babbled away.

I was in the bedroom looking out. And I couldn't stop looking. I wanted to take a nap. Or read a book or at the very least zone out for the hour that Ben would have her before needing to get some "real work" done. But I couldn't stop watching. Why is he allowed to focus on his own task, fully secure in the knowledge that she is there, perfectly fine, in front of him when I can't even fold clothes in the same room with her without having to stop every 30 seconds to hand her a toy or pick her up or play peekaboo?

Why is it that I can't just ignore her for a few minutes like that? It sure would help me to get some stupid tasks done. Maybe the dishes wouldnt have to sit for days. Maybe I could post this blog during the daytime or update my stupid myspace profile without forcing Ben to take her on an errand with him. It would be nice to be able to just know she is okay and I could just work around her. But it isn't like this for me.

I must always answer her "mamamamama" with "lilalilalila" and I have to get her when she STARTS to fuss for fear of a full blown "satan-child incident". I have to fight with her to make her eat and sleep and I have to run my entire day around her weird nap-eat schedule that she follows like clockwork only on the days when I have something to do that would interfere.

I know that in no time she will be older and want nothing to do with me. I know I am supposed to cherish this time. But my brain is mush and my body is mush and the entire house is a disaster and my relationship is boring and I really just need time for myself.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Imagine a woman driving on the highway in her 2003 Royal Blue Toyota Camry. She has dark shoulder length hair that is pushed back with a peach-patterned cloth headband. She wears black sweatpants an a gray tee shirt that depicts a rocking chair and underneath it is printed "I Rock".

She gets off the highway heading to a suburban strip mall and just then the baby that is strapped into the car seat facing backwards in the back seat starts to fuss. She looks into her rear view mirror to see the baby view mirror to see what the baby is fussing about. She decided it's nothing serious and hits the button on her stereo for a different FM station. She kind of zones out then, looking for the sign to her destination. She is singing along to the radio. She sings because it calms the baby since the baby cannot see her but she is obviously there.

She turns into a parking lot for a Target store. She is singing along to REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight this Feeling." She sees herself in the rear view mirror and seriously contemplates killing herself. She has no idea how she became this person that she would have made fun of a year ago. And yet here she is.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The kid has made her decision

The kid has decided that she no longer needs to sleep. No naps, no rest periods. And certainly no need to sleep for more than an hour or so at a time at night. It appears that she believes that there is just too much going on for her to waste her time unconscious. She confided that her new mantra is "I can sleep when I'm dead."

This is challenging to me to say the least. The fact that she vehemently hates naps is something that I am trying to work on, although there are a lot of days where I just don't have it in me to fight about it. Sometimes I just let her bounce off the walls until she wears herself out. But the nighttime thing is a new phenomenon.

After about 3 hours of sleep she wakes up to eat. She drinks her bottle and goes back to sleep with little problem. But an hour later she wakes up wide-awake and ready to party.

Lila can outscream my patience in the middle of the day. There was a time where I took the advice of the so-called experts to let her cry herself back to sleep and she would do so after 5 or 10 minutes. But lately she has been on streaks or 30-45 minutes, at which point I am wide awake anyway and so I just go try to get her back to sleep.

Last night she woke up screaming. I assumed she was hungry and got her a bottle and rocked her. She took two sips and was out cold. So I eased her back into her crib. I then went back to bed. A few minutes later, she was screaming again. I assumed she was ready to have her bottle so I gave it to her and what do you know? Two sips and she was out. We did this three times. Then I decided that since she was just wanting me, I had to put her back to bed. A few nights earlier I brought her to bed with me and she thought it was play time and kicked and giggled and stuck her hands into her sleeping daddy's mouth repeatedly. That wasn't an option. And so commenced the crying.

After 30 minutes, Ben went to get her. He picked her up, tried to give her a bottle but she refused. She wanted to play. He rocked her and she realized he was trying to get her back to sleep and that was the start of the battle of wills. She cried for 30 minutes in his arms. She just did not want to sleep. We traded.

I decided that we really do need to let her learn that night time is not play time and we aren't going to reward her antics by getting up and hanging out with her. We put her in her bed. She screamed for another 45 minutes before she finally wore herself out.

I lay there thinking what a terrible mother I am for doing this to her. If she wants me shouldn't I be there? The emotional side of me says I should. But parenting is also about teaching hard lessons, and lesson one for her is "at night, mom needs some sleep or else she won't be able to deal with your daytime antics without medication and caffeine."