Friday, April 11, 2014

Reporting from the trenches: Tag-teaming

I suspect a theme with these types of posts... The photos will never match the story.  Happy baby photos, screaming baby words.

I didn't anticipate writing another "Reporting from the trenches" post so soon.  But Tuesday night was one for the ages in our household.  I also had hoped that the next RFTT post (catchy, right?) would be a funny story -- not this time (but hopefully really soon).

I'm flying solo again.  E left on Monday afternoon for Ireland and is set to return on Saturday afternoon.  I had it all worked out in my mind that everything would be spectacular this trip.  Finn is still at daycare due to the fact that I'm not sure about my return to work.  I would have the two of them for a couple of hours (albeit the witching hours) and then we were all snuggle away in my king-sized bed and have an epic slumber party each and every night.  Yeah, perfect motherhood fantasies are fantastic, right?

Sister's eye got into a fight with the kitchen table that morning.

Monday went off without a hitch.  Fish had his 8 week appointment.  Officially, he is 24 inches long, 14.95 pounds (quite basically 15 pounds), & 40 cm head circumference.  I was shocked to find out that he wasn't at the 99 percentile, though.  He is 87% in weight, 83% in length, and 66% in head circumference.  Oh, and also?  He got three vaccines.  That plays an important role in the story later.

Tuesday comes and almost goes.  We go and pick up Finn from daycare.  The moment we get home, the screaming begins.  Fish instantly goes into Linda-Blair mode.  He is thrashing, punching, and kicking as if he has some serious biting fire-ants in his pants.  My first thought was that he was overly-tired.  He usually naps for an hour & a half between 5 - 8pm.  So I do everything in my artillery to get him to sleep.  While he is trying to rip off my nipple in his thrashing, Finn decides that his screaming isn't enough.  So she adds her own.

Love the side-tongue -- makes him look like he is scheming up something.

We all know that Easter is right around the corner.  That afternoon, I got out our Easter eggs.  She wants them all to play with.  I oblige.  Only, that isn't enough... Girlfriend thinks that I'm holding out on her and doesn't quite understand "I don't have anymore.  You have them all."  There is snot and stomping and throwing... Oh, and LOTS of screaming.  Her screaming is so loud, it sets Fish into a tailspin.  He is usually quite calm about her tantrums -- this time, he thinks that I really am holding out on her and not giving her all the eggs, because he screams right along with her.

By this point, it's 7:00pm.  I declare a state of emergency and ship everyone upstairs for an early bedtime.  Finn sits in my bed and watching Dora the Explorer on the iPad while I try to nurse a still thrashing Fish to sleep.  It is only then that I realize that his arms have quieted, but that his legs are the main culprit.  I put a light pressure on one of his thighs and he jumps about a foot high (total exaggeration) and begins screaming anew.  I mentally slap my head.  The doctor had said that he may be sore for up to 48 hours after the vaccinations.  I run to the cabinet and grab the only infant pain-reliever we have.  Look at his weight of 15 pounds and give him the recommended dosage.

Once I settle in next to him to ease him into slumber, I realize that I gave him infant Motrin.  Then I remember that he can't have Motrin yet -- not until he is six months old!  Then I remember that when I gave Motrin to Finn for the first time, she broke out in a severe rash.  Mother of the year award, right here, folks.  So then I begin to switch in between staring at him, just waiting for the rash to erupt and furiously googling what would happen if you gave an infant Motrin.  I had some serious moments of anxiety in there.  I realized that it was only a single dose and that it wasn't even a full dose as he had never had any pain reliever before, so I didn't want to give him a full dose.

Eventually, he does fall asleep, quite fitfully.  He awakes up at least 3 times in my trying to get Finn to listen to me and fall asleep.  At this point, it is past 9:15 and Little Lady needs to be sleeping if she isn't going to become a crankpot tomorrow.  I gave her the countdown on putting the iPad away for the evening.  The countdown ends and I take it away.  Holy balls.  The torture I just placed on her.

At that point, she refuses to put her head down to go to sleep and starts throwing her lambs and her binkie off the bed.  When I don't rise to her bait, she begins to scream, beautifully waking up brother.  I ease Fish back into his light sleep.  Now my normal threat when she won't lay down in her crib, is that I will go into my room and lay down.  Well, she is IN MY ROOM.  So I can't threaten her that I will leave the room.  So, I threaten her with her crib.  If she doesn't lay down, it's to her crib to sleep.  Well, my threat wasn't idle and after more indignant "uuuuhhhnnn"s from her, I pick her up and place her in her crib.  I'm at my wits end at this point.  I have been dealing with constant tantrums for four hours.  So I bring her lambs, binkie, and pillow back to her crib and let her sit in there to cry.

She doesn't call for me.  That's usually my cue that she is calm enough to listen to me -- she will call "Mommy!  Mommy!"  Not this night.  So I let her sit more and cry more, feeling like a terrible mother who lets her child cry.  But I know that she needs to get this out of her system and that if I go in there, she will just give me attitude.  Five minutes later, she doesn't say my name.  So I go in there and ask her what she needs.  She immediately lays down, still slightly crying.  Then she starts requesting something through her binkie.  I couldn't understand her and she repeats herself three times.  Eventually, I ask her to take her bink out and tell me.  She did that and with little ragged breaths, said "Moon River, Mommy".  Now, I haven't sang to her in about a month.  I ask every night that I put her to bed and she always tells me "no" that she doesn't want it.

The minute that "Moon river, Mommy" comes out her mouth, I instantly start to bawl.  The stress of the evening washes over me as well as the emotional surge that I got knowing that she isn't as grown up and she thinks that she is.  I bawl my way through the first line and don't make it through the second line before she is sleeping.  After they are both finally sleeping, I go downstairs to finish my cry into a good beer.  After drinking half, I decide to bring it upstairs to the bedroom and watch some TV.  As I settle into bed, the movement of me getting in is enough to wake the beast and it begins again.  Only this time, Finn stays asleep and it's just Fish and I battling through his aching muscles for the rest of the evening.  I never did get to finish that beer.

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