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Wherein the holidays come back to bite me

January 4, 2011

I was at home for a week and a half over the holidays and I think C got used to it. You’d never have known that yesterday, when we concluded that the change from his normal routine was what was causing him to behave less than angelically. So, this morning, back to work I went thinking it would be nice to get back to normal and maybe see the end of a bit of the tiny terrorist.

Had a good day at work. Got organized, was feeling in control, looking ahead to some of our upcoming work and being excited about it. My boss is off for a couple of months, during which time I get to pretend to be him. Day 1 and I haven’t screwed anything up yet. After work I went to an appointment with my counsellor (I made it through at least 7 minutes before starting to cry. 7 minutes, people! That’s a record.) and felt that it helped. She says stuff that makes me think, and while I always find it hard to change my perceptions of myself, I can at least do it on an intellectual level and start to question some of my reactions.

And then home. C was just finishing dinner and after some prompting ate a few more bites and was rewarded with some ice cream. He told me a bit about his day and we did some puzzles, and I was thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this mom thing down. Look at me: went to work, had a good day, did something good for myself, now playing with my kid and thinking how funny he is.”

Things went fine at bath time. Reading stories, fine. (I love how much he’s loving books these days.) Brushed teeth, and he actually cooperated fairly well. Had our nightly cuddle in the rocking chair. He was squirmy and despite seeming tired he wasn’t getting sleepy.

“Ah well, I thought. He’ll crash soon enough.”

So I put him into bed, same as every other night. Aaaaand…. cue meltdown.

“I WANT TO SLEEP IN MUMMY’S BED!” “I LOVE you, Mummy!” “I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP IN MY BED!” “I WANT MUMMY’S BED!!!”

Apparently the change in the change in routine didn’t go over so well.

I want to say, “Why do I never see these things coming?!” And then I hear my counsellor’s voice in my head saying, “Why are you criticizing yourself for this?” So I’ll simply say this:

A few months ago, I would have been crying along with him, pleading with him to go to sleep. I probably would have walked out of his room for fear that I was going to say something that betrayed my lack of patience, and then walked right back in again for fear that he was going to climb out of his crib and land on his head. (Yes, he’s 2 1/2 and he’s still in a crib. I haven’t had the strength to suffer through that particular transition.)

Instead I just stood there for a minute and thought, “I don’t know what do to here. My mom instinct is not kicking in.” Cover face with hands, deep breath, give it a minute.

Progress. Better than I used to be, which gives me hope that perhaps one day my child will have a meltdown and I’ll know what to do, even if I don’t learn to expect it.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Monica permalink
    January 8, 2011 4:54 pm

    I think it’s natural not to know what to do in case of a meltdown. When I think of all the hours I’ve spent learning what there is to know in my field, I still get clients come in with problems I have no idea ho to handle. Then I think of how many hours I’ve spent training to be a parent – practically zero! From that perspective, it is totally understandable that a person could need some guidance.

    • January 8, 2011 5:57 pm

      Monica, that’s a really good point! Thanks.

  2. January 5, 2011 6:01 pm

    I don’t think we ever know when to expect it really – it tough (and I imagine its tougher at 2.5!) I’m constantly having to talk myself down these days but I keep reminding myself that at least now I KNOW things are off – wasn’t too long ago that I thought my reactions were normal. Baby steps!

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