Yesterday I had what I am pretty sure was my worst 45 minutes of motherhood so far.
The day actually starts out on a promising note.
I take Wade to the doctor for his four month check-up. We make it out of the house on time. We’re even 10 minutes early.
The check-up goes well. Wade gets some shots, and only cries a little bit.
I need to pick up some milk and cereal so we head to Target. Not because Target has the best prices on milk and cereal, but because it’s an excuse to go there. Target isn’t close to home, so I don’t get to shop there often. A good thing probably, because I could easily bankrupt us with a few too many trips to Target.
I get the items I need, and a couple that I don’t (A-hem), and make a b-line for the in-store Starbucks (another reason to love Target) to get a Carmel Macchiato. This turns out be a great day to go to Starbucks, because they’re giving away their big chocolate chunk cookies. There’s a basket on the counter, and I think I’ve died and gone to heaven when the barista tells me to, “help myself.” I really want to take like 10, but decide that would probably be a little greedy. I just take one, and bring it home David who makes it disappear in about 15 seconds flat.
After lunch I get David into bed for a nap. Wade is tired, and I try to lay him down. That’s when the screaming starts. If I hold him, he’s fine. But if I move in such a way that he even thinks I’m trying to put him down, he cries.
I notice Wade feels warm. I figure he has a fever from the shots, and give him some infant acetaminophen. But even after the medicine has time to work, I can’t put him down. I hold him for two hours while David naps.
Then David wakes up and tells me that, “I pooped in my pull-up.” He’s potty trained during the day, but still has trouble when he’s sleeping. So he wears Goodnights disposable underwear at nap and bed time. (He still calls them pull-ups.)
I’m holding Wade, who is finally sleeping. I don’t dare tell David to clean himself up. Oh, no! There would be poop everywhere.
The next 45 minutes that follow can only be described as utter chaos.
I lay Wade down. He immediately wakes up, and starts screaming. But what can I do? So I leave him in his crib to scream while I clean up David.
When David is taken care of I pick Wade up. But he feels so miserable, is so tired and so mad that he will not stop crying. Wade never, ever cries like this. I’m walking him around the house trying to calm him when David tells me he wants me to get a certain toy for him from his room. I answer, “No. You are big enough to get it yourself.”
Then David starts to cry, and Wade is still crying. David is mad so he talks back to me. Then he defies me. Now he knows he’s in big trouble, so he cries even harder. Wade’s crying escalates to screaming. David continues to pester me about getting the toy for him through tears. I can barely hear him over Wade’s wails.
I try to decide if I should put Wade down again so I can discipline David. I choose to wait, and tell David he will be punished later. That’s when he breaks into an all out tantrum. He bawls, and yells, saying something like, “Mawa, mawa, mawa!” I can’t really understand anything he’s saying, because he’s throwing such a fit.
Then I notice that Wade stopped crying. Not because I comforted him, but because David’s fit is so loud and animated, Wade is watching and listening.
Wade. Is. Fascinated.
Nothing I say gets through to David. I just make him more angery. So I leave him on the love seat to finish his fit. Still holding Wade, I sit down on the couch trying to ignore David. As soon as I sit down, Wade starts crying again.
Both boys cry at various levels and degrees for several more minutes. It feels like an eternity, and I think I’m going to lose my mind as I try to comfort Wade, and block out David’s hysterics.
Finally, David gets tired, stops crying and collapses into a heap on the love seat to pout. (He is punished later as promised.) With David quiet, I calm Wade down, and get him to sleep in the swing.
I collapse on the couch with a pounding headache. I don’t lay there more than 30 seconds before I hear, “Mommie. I’m hungry.”
The conflagration lasted so long it’s dinner time now.
I drag myself off the couch to get supper, and knock back a couple Ibuprofen.
And I think to myself, “I wonder if Starbucks is hiring. No one ever cries over Carmel Macchiatos and free cookies.”