Friday, February 02, 2007

The B Side

He nursed while I watched his eyelids grow heavy and his body relaxed in my arms. I laid him on the sofa beside me and surrounded him with pillows. I turned the cd player on and played a vintage recordings of the "Winnie the Pooh" and "Peter Pan" to ensure sweet and adventurous dreams. He napped for only 30 minutes, barely enough time to read a few more chapters of "The Mermaid Chair".

Last night as I nursed him, I fought hard against the sleepines brought on by oxytocin and the fatigue of motherhood and after he dozed off, I rolled over, clipped on the owl light, took a few gulps of water and read my book. I felt like I was a child again, hiding under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight so that I could sneak a few more chapters of Roald Dahl without being caught, only I'm a "grown-up" now and reading a book without pictures. When he began to stir, I clicked off the light and snuggled in next to him.

And this is how it has come to be...grasping for a few moments to do things that I enjoy, a few moments to find myself. I want to be upbeat and say that toddlerhood is challenging, but "difficult" is more apt. And there are days when nothing pleases him...when he is so demanding that I am unable to shower...days when I lose my patience, lose my grip, raise my voice, and feel guilty about it...feel like I totally suck at being a mom. Today was one of those days.

When he is in one of his moods, he will begin the day whining. It's a sound like I've never heard before...a sound so shrill and horrid that I am pretty sure it could induce seizures in laboratory animals. It is truly disorienting!

Has anyone had this experience?

I look forward to the day when he can amuse himself for more than a few minutes and I keep reminding myself that we DO have some good days: days when we laugh, sing, and play; days without whining, crying, or hurting mama; days when I can shower and nights when I lose myself in a chapter and find myself snuggling in the moonlight with my baby.

Tomorrow is Saturday and that means I am guaranteed a shower while dada plays with Satch.


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posted by Wendy at 9:31 PM


Anonymous Karen Maezen Miller said...

I understand completely sweetheart. Once another mother said to me, "They take us to our breaking point, til we can't handle it one more minute, and then they change." As they grow, the difficulties grow. But it will change. And you will too. One day soon you will have yourself back again and wonder where the baby went. In the meantime, get help, even if it's just the company of other women, and I mean it. It makes all the difference. It's the best way to take care of your family.
Love, Maezen

5:14 PM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

I'm sending you a big, warm hug and want to tell you that you are not alone and that you are a really, really wonderful mommy to Satchel. These days will pass, m'dear.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

As a nonmother, I have not had this experience but I can feel for you. You are doing something amazing, Wendy, and years from now you will see Satch grow into an incredible young man. I am with you as much as I can be.

1:39 AM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

you don't know how BADLY i'm feelin' you on this one. seriously. it was so good to come here and read these words, knowing that i'm not alone. my 13 month old beauty of a son has been going through a tough time of whining, crying, and constant but brief nursing...sometimes i just feel so alone. and then there are those bright moments that make it all worth it. i heart the bright spots, for sure.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you all for your much appreciated support. Your words lift me when I feel as though I'm sinking.

All my love,

5:43 PM  
Blogger Veronica TM said...

dear wendy,
i hope you enjoyed your shower yesterday. i also have days like those {in fact, today is one} when i wonder if i am ever going to have a moment to just sit and contemplate, read, create...anything. and, like you say, then we laugh and play, sing, dance and can't even imagine my life without this little person who has become the most important being in the world to me.
Wishing you lots of patience, my friend.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous swissmiss said...

Oh my, I can relate. I had one of those "i suck at this - days' today. And I just got off the phone with my friend who's a mom of two. She picked up the phone as she poured herself a glass of vino (her two little ones just went to bed) to 'take the edge' off. She sighed along with me as we were discussing the challenges of motherhood.

We're all in the same boat and that makes it easier. It really does.

10:25 PM  

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