Saturday, April 27, 2013

Patience is a virtue

Well, as the title of the post hints towards, I am was hanging by a gossamer strand and my patience was truly being tested.  And the girl is ONLY 14 months.  Boy, am I in for a long, unending road of struggle...

The last couple of days, Finorah has been testing my limits as well as my fortitude.  When reflecting over the last days, my only answer is that my patience dried up.  I'm not proud to say it, but in the last couple of days, I've "set" things down a little harder than I intended to; that I've had to count to 10 too many times for my taste; that I've raised my voice a little too loud for my liking.  For the past couple of days, in the darkness & stillness of my yard after the terror went to sleep, I've had to swig on some seriously large glasses of wine to relax my frayed nerves.  And yes, I understand that this is only my first real taste of the difficulties of parenting.  Yes, I understand that there will be too many glasses of wine drunk in the dark of my yard than I care to count.  Yes, I understand that I will have more meltdowns, both to deal with and to actually have myself.  I'm just breathing a small sigh of relief that I was able to replenish my patience pool in time and again feel invigorated and not defeated.

This week, Lady decided that she wanted to boycott evening naps.  Joyful!  I'm sure that part of this is somehow my fault (it usually is) -- that maybe I could have bear-hugged her a little tighter as she was screaming and trying to hit me in the face rocked her a little bit longer.  But after about 15 minutes of struggle, I gave up and figured she would tire herself out playing on the floor.  Except she didn't want to play on the floor -- she wanted me to hold her.  I began to assume that she was getting her molars as the drool coming out of the girl over the weekend could have made Niagara Falls jealous -- so because I had put her in the "I-feel-crappy" category, I yielded to her need for me physically.  Traditionally, I've always been okay with putting all my evening plans on hold should my little babe not be feeling well.  I always chose sick baby snuggles over cleaning and cooking dinner before.  Why was this time so different?

I think part of it was that before I was a food source.  I knew that if I could get her to nurse, at least she was getting her antibodies and all her vitamins that she needed to get better.  Now, I need to get up and make her dinner.  Unfortunately, Finn would start screaming like the floor was burning her with the heat of a thousand suns.  Without sounding like a terrible mother, when I have to finish something that is necessary and need to put her down, I can usually ignore her cries or at least distract her into doing something else (like raiding the pantry and pulling everything off of the bottom two shelves).  There was no distracting her this time.  As I tried to get dinner ready as quickly as possible, her cries escalated and continued through my futile attempts to feed her dinner.  This continued until it was time for a bath.

We spent part of last weekend kissin' babies...

Bathtime is a happy time in our house.  This time was no different (surprisingly).  But when the last drop of water was drained and she was sitting in an empty tub and realized that she was sitting in a waterless tub, the banshee again made her appearance.  There was no soothing bedtime routine on these nights.  And the screaming continued as I tried to get her to sleep.  After 15 minutes of her writhing around on our bed and crying, I finally picked her up and went into her room.  I sat down in the rocking chair and held on for dear life.  It was almost like she knew the jig was up.  She knew that the rocking chair would be her demise and that soon she would be tricked lulled into slumber.

I'm not joking when I say that within 3 (yes, THREE) minutes of rocking her, she was sleeping beautifully.  But the most amazing thing happened once she fell asleep.  I looked down at her slumbering peacefully in my arms, the swaying of the rocking chair soothing me as well, and I recognized how blessed I was.  Even through my frayed nerves, her face was beautiful and angelic.  My heart melted once again and I thanked the powers that be that I was the chosen & lucky one to be this beautiful creature's mother (I really did).

But don't think that the first thing that I did once I put my beautiful creature in her crib wasn't pour myself a hefty helping of wine and pray that tomorrow the more peaceful version of my child would come back.

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