Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Like Nails on a Chalkboard

As I sit here writing this, Baby Boy is in his room screaming like he's being tortured by Saddam loyalists who want to know KFC's secret recipe.

Every muscle of my body is tense and I've never wanted a cigarette so bad. And yet, I let him scream. Because I believe in increasing my chances of going to hell by letting innocent babies scream until their lungs are raw.

There are two schools of thoughts out there about babies. The first one says to cater to every single one of your baby's whims. To hold them at all times and ensure that you spoil them so much that they will one day appear on My Super Sweet 16, bragging about how daddy spent 500,000 dollars on their party and rented the Sahara desert for the day, just so that they could have the most kick ass party ever.

The second school of thought says that your baby should know that their crying means shit and that when you decide it's bed time or nap time or whatever time you decide it is, they must bow down to you and scream until they realize that screaming does nothing because your ear drums have bled out and you are immune to it. This school of thought guarantees that your child will end up in therapy and blame you for their drug/sex/shopping addiction and their lack of drive to succeed in life.

Each school of thought makes parents feel like shit if they believe in the other school of thought. And so I've found myself during the past eight months doing both, trying one or the other based on my mood that day or what I feel will make Baby Boy and I survive another day.

This probably confuses Baby Boy even more, but so far, we're both happy and secure most of the time, except for the times he throws up slime all over me and I call him a little bastard before I'm unable to hold it in.

I don't actually think he's a little bastard, it's just what I've always called men who throw up on me and ensure that it gets all down my cleavage and puddles in that pocket under my boobs that used to not exist when I was 18 and perky.

I wish that babies could be reasoned with. I wish I could just say to Baby Boy "hey dude, it's time for your nap. Let's rock!" And then he'd nod at me and roll over and go to sleep. And actually, in his defense, most of the time he does. But then there's the days where he doesn't and that's when the core of the Earth threatens to blow up and cover my house with hot lava.

And I'll usually wait five, maybe ten minutes before going into his bedroom and saying "dude, there's no reason for this meltdown." Then I'll scoop him up, kiss him, wipe the snot from his face and tell him I'm sorry. We'll go on with our day and then I'll try again when I feel he really should be down for a nap. And then most of the time I get lucky and he accepts his fate, laying in his cage/crib, huddled with his stuffed animals, drifting off to sleep. And then there are days like today, where his wrath can be heard from blocks, and dogs three miles away cower from the loudness that is my child.

When this happens, I feel shitty, I feel like I need to smoke a pack of cigarettes to get my blood pressure down (oh why oh why did I decide to quit six months before I got pregnant... If anyone needs to smoke it's mothers) and I think there's not enough hard alcohol out there to numb me from the sick feeling slowly enveloping my body.

And now, there's the silence. In some ways, the silence is worse than the screaming, because it means my sweet little boy has exhausted himself crying. He's now asleep, his body ever so often shaking with a small sob, the devastation of being abandoned by his mother in his times of need too crushing to deal with. And right now, it's taking everything in me not to walk into his room, pick him up and hold him and tell him how sorry I am that someone convinced me that he needs to just cry and learn to go down when I say so. Why I had these nazi powers given to me, I'll never know. And in many ways, I don't want these nazi powers. I'd be content letting him play with wooden spoons, pots and bubble wrap all day really, except for the fact that when he gets overtired, he turns into nightmare child, some cross between the kid from The Omen and The Exorcist. That overtired baby is not only no fun whatsoever, he's also the biggest pain in my ass since my days at a PR agency.

The one thing I love most about Baby Boy is how much he's willing to forgive me. When he wakes up, he'll coo at me, letting me know that he's awake and ready to eat/play. I'll walk in and his whole face will light up with a smile while he rolls over in his crib to get closer to me. Once he's on his back, he'll raise both arms at me and open and close his hands, like a little crab in overalls, his signal that he wants to be picked up. And when I do, he'll hug me, his soft hair brushing against my face and I'll know that all in the world is right again and that we still love each other.



1 comment:

Emma in Canada said...

My biggest regret about my youngest daughter is that I didn't let her cry herself to sleep before she hit 8 months and her dad came back from Australia. The first night I said to him that I was going to put her in her crib and let her cry it out he decided that after about 30 seconds he couldn't handle it anymore. She has been in our bed at some point every night since. Or his, since she's currently away with him. How we ever managed to conceive this one I'll never know. I've told him there's no way I'm having 2 babies in my bed so he can go for long walks while she screams it out.

Nice though that when they wake up they forgot that you ever left them in the first place.