Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Scary Even to Me

Sometimes life just gets to be too much. No amount of wine or cigarettes (I wish!) will do. A nap, a good book, or a time out just isn't sufficient.

Pedicure? Yeah right.

What you need is a good crying jag. Or a meltdown of such epic proportions that has built up for so long that you scare even yourself back into normalcy. Your kid? Well, I feel I have scarred mine for life now and spent a good half hour apologizing to a child who just looked up at me with huge eyes.

How did this happen?

1. Lack of sleep. Sleep has been positively elusive to me the last few days and now weeks. Each day it gets worse. (Do NOT suggest Tylenol PM or some natural remedy for sleep the do NOT work on this woman) That does not make for a totally sane Mommy.

2. Ongoing and unfinished house projects. Debris in various areas of the house. 'To Do' lists that just won't die.

3. The Mole (more on that later)

4. Heat. Temps in the 90s and humidity were just keeping us inside with the A/C when what we really needed was room to roam.

Add in a dose of everyday life and a possibly teething toddler (molars are hell!) and you have yourself a set up for a scary situation right off the Hollywood screens.

When did it happen?

Yesterday. After a morning of constant whining and more whining from T.D. and an already exhausted me I knew a storm was brewing within me. She refused all food all day and just continued to cry. I could not figure out what on earth was wrong! I was getting close to the edge. A doctor appointment later with some not so fun news (the mole indeed) I picked T.D. up from the sitter and put her down for a nap. I worked for longer than I intended becoming mesmerized and repelled by my computer screen. I just needed sleep. I tried to nap to no avail. I just tossed and turned and became increasingly surly.

When T.D. awoke I was already starting dinner. Dinner that would not cooperate. A toddler that gripped my legs refusing to be soothed by toys, music, books, being read to, held, and baby Tylenol and Orajel. I broke out a wet washcloth figuring she needed to be cooled down? She wasn't sick. I gave her some snacks and a drink. No change. The diaper was changed. Nothing. Just that incessant "eeeehheeeh, eeehheeehh" whine. About the time I tried to start dinner for the fourth time I could feel myself going over that cliff. The edge was gone and I had fallen down the rabbit hole into meltdown land.

I threw a portion of dinner across the room. It went in two totally separate directions and I screamed. I later found more of it behind the phone and attached to the spice rack. Yum! I glared at T.D. with blazing eyes, tears starting to brim over, and begged her to stop crying. Begged. I begged my 17 mos. old child. A new low. She just kept going. I lost any amount of calm left and scooped her up fast and with tears streaming down my face, jagged sobs escaping me, I put her in her crib and slammed the door. I just couldn't take it. Eight hours of incessant whining with no stop and no cause I could find was too much. I was beyond tired and had slipped in the mode of being a cranky toddler myself.

Back downstairs trying for a fifth time to concoct dinner I could hear the whines turn into downright screams of fury. Blood curdling. Except my blood just boiled and I began screaming. Crying and screaming and hic-coughing. I ran up the stairs and threw open her bedroom door a la Jack Nicholson in 'the Shining' and bellowed, "JUST BE QUIET!! STOP! STOP CRYING!!" The look on her face said it all. Startled and thrown off from crying her eyes became saucers and she just gulped. A little like Shelly Duval I suppose as she watched her husband axe his way into the bathroom.

For about the longest two minutes of my life I just gripped the edge of the crib all white knuckles and panting. I was eye level with my daughter as we both tried to control our rasping breaths and lip trembles. I wanted to die. Outside of post-partum depression where I lashed out at others and not my child, I had never had such a desperate moment with her. It was terrifying. I picked her up and just hugged her to me. We sat for a bit just staring at each other. Me in a quite voice apologizing for yelling and losing myself. She just asking me questions such as, "Dat?" as she gripped my necklace and smiled at me.

How could she just forgive me like that? I can't.


  1. Anonymous11:20 AM

    She could forgive you, because she knew that you were sorry.

    Forgive yourself. You did the right things - you put her in her crib, and you only yelled.

    Now you've had your shitfit, and can go on with life - once you forgive yourself.

    Seriously. It happens. It takes a hell of a lot more than THAT to bugger up a child.

    Don't make things worse by beating yourself up about it.

  2. I totally understand. I went through that with my daughter as an infant. She had colic (acid reflux, really) and would cry for 8+ hours solid almost every day. There is no way to communicate how psyche-destroying it really is. And not getting enough sleep magnifies it beyond measure. Just remember, you're only human. And you're not alone.


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