Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Bad Day

This was the first really bad day we've had since Westley turned one. For a week, it was like he'd received some memo on the whole baby/toddler changeover and had decided to take the whole thing very seriously. He was handling the routine very maturely, and was even downright angelic at times.

I'm not sure what changed, but it started today at 3:45 AM. He woke up and wailed. He's added another dimension to his crying--before he launches into his mournful sobbing routine, there's a loud shriek, almost like a scream. It sounds like someone's choking him. Rob was able to soothe him, and he slept for a little while as long as Rob didn't make any attempts to leave the room.

It was the perfect beginning to a perfectly awful day.

When Rob brought Westley to me, Westley wanted to nurse forever--I was sore and starving when he finally detached from me and crawled off the bed. He cried when I closed the bathroom door and took his pajamas off, and wouldn't eat the two bites of baby muesli into which I had mixed vitamin powder and fortified almond milk. I got in a fight with my mother, who actually sent me to my fucking room, like I'm a fucking child instead of a mother to my own child...

It took forever to get the boy to nap, and when he did nap he slept so long we were late getting out of the house and I forgot to pack soy yogurt for both of us. There was rain, and traffic, and nowhere to park, and nowhere to change a diaper when we got to Rob's office for lunch. Westley cried and fussed in the car on the way home, and dumped his emergency, non-perishable snack that I keep in the car all over himself. More traffic. The bridge was up. Construction and more traffic. Westley was crying, doing his choking-shriek, and I screamed at him. It scared him and he cried harder for a while, until we turned down the hill and he seemed to know where we were.

He played on the floor, and I tired to read but he grabbed my book and lost the page. Finally, I gave up and just sat, and after a while Westley cruised over to me and patted my lap to be picked up. I held him, and he crawled up my chest and just rested his head on my shoulder and relaxed. He shifted his position after a while, and I watched his eyes go from wide awake to sleepy-but-alert to Closed, Gone Dreamin'. I held him for five minutes before putting him in his crib.

Rob called while Westley was napping to say he'd be late home from work. There was an emergency, they needed him on a project. I wanted to cry--I really needed him home, our day was in a state of emergency--but I remembered that Westley was sleeping, and that he'd fallen asleep on me. Westley was over it already. I was feeling like a bad mother for yelling and fretting and not being able to get my son to take his vitamins, but Westley was fine. He was probably toasty warm and dreaming about walking.

I told Rob it was fine and that I'd see him when he got home, and then I made black bean soup for dinner.

I can't stay mad at Westley, even on the baddest of days. He never stays mad at me longer than a few minutes, and then he's on to the next thing. He so lives in the moment. I want that. I had chalked today up as a bad day before we were even home from lunch. But my son came and asked to cuddle with me while I was still being miserable about living with a one-year-old boy instead of a perfect little gentleman. He raised my crappy-ass day up into something beautiful in a matter of minutes.

No day when my sweet boy falls asleep on me can really be that bad.

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1 comment:

Cynthia said...

When I first read this, I thought....this too shall pass. And, then, I thought...not too fast. Our babies will grow up before we know it, and won't want all the cuddles and hugs. That will be harder than any really bad day.