After feeling relatively confident about my ability to juggle two children at the same time, someone/something out there felt I needed a reality check.
I had one of those days that almost brings you to your knees.
The day started out rough the night before it even started. Bryson refused – REFUSED – to sleep in his crib. We think that the Indian food I’d had for dinner (at this awesome organic farm restaurant, I might add!) caused his stomach to be unhappy. He has a generally unhappy stomach as it is, so adding Indian food to the mix was probably not a good idea. Anyway, he wouldn’t sleep in his crib – or in the pack and play – so our bed it was. He settled immediately – making me wonder if it was the Indian food at all. Anyway, he was up a few times nursing – and I think he may have nursed all night. I don’t even know. I just know that I only half-slept.
While nursing Bryson around 5:10 in the morning, Matthew woke up and would only have me – no way was he going to accept Daddy. I gave Bryson to B (Bryson was just soothing himself, he wasn’t eating) and I ran in to snuggle with my boy. He was outside of his room, in the hallway, when I said, “go back to your bed, Buddy,” and he turned right back around, returned to his room, and climbed into his bed. He always does this for me, which is super awesome – B does not get the same response. HA! This part of the day was not awful, because I LOVE sleeping with Matthew in the morning for many reasons, but one of those reasons being that I’m monitor-free and know that all the kids have a parent tending to them, meaning that I can RELAX for once!
Matthew and I slept until 7:30. SEVEN THIRTY! It was glorious.
I had a speech therapy evaluation appointment for Matthew at 9:30, but needed to be there at 9:00. Downtown. And we had to pick up B’s car from my dentist’s office (we forgot to get it the day before after he’d picked me up there in my car) and take it to the dealership for detailing. And I had to take B back home so that he could do some things while I was at the speech appointment. B asked if I wanted him to come with us, but I said I could handle it. HA! I actually got B back home in time for me to get to the appointment by 9:00, so that made me happy.
But I went the wrong way (even though the clinic told me how to get there) and didn’t realize my mistake until 9:00 AM. No biggie, I plugged it into the navigation system and headed in the right direction. We arrived at 9:05! That’s a success!
I decided against the stroller (for no reason – just decided) and took the boys into the clinic. I apologized for my lateness as we entered and the gal said, “Honey, you’re way early. Your appointment is not until 10:30.” I am always late – ALWAYS – yet I got to this appointment, with both boys in tow, 1.5 hours early but wasn’t prepared. Matthew ran around like a crazy toddler (go figure!) as I struggled with the paperwork. Bryson woke up and wanted me. A nice nurse came over and held Bryson for me as I finished paperwork and chased Matthew. I managed a text message to B telling him that I’d arrived 1.5 hours early.
I finally got the paperwork done and turned it in, and the receptionist told me to take the boys out and have a good time until we needed to be back at 10:30. It took some work to load the boys up again, but we did it. B had texted me back and offered to come down. I took him up on it in a flash!
We met at a park and B took Matthew while I nursed Bryson on a park bench (I nurse in all sorts of places – it doesn’t phase me). Of course things took longer than I’d wanted and we were pushing it to get back to the clinic on time. Of course I snapped at B when he said he wanted to change Matthew there in the parking lot and I insisted it wait until we get back to the clinic (B won). Of course I got all screwed up on my way back to the clinic and ended up on the other side of the river from where I needed to be. But we got there at 10:31, with the stroller this time, and we were called back immediately.
The appointment went fine (the therapist said that insurance will deny us because Matthew is in the normal range for his age, but on the low-end, which is what I figured) and we left. I couldn’t find my phone after I’d loaded both boys up in the car, so I had to unload them to go back in to the clinic to look for it. It wasn’t there. Turns out it was in the carseat with Bryson (don’t even ask).
Loaded up again, we headed home. Holy Hell, what a morning!
I was so frazzled that I stopped at Wendy’s for a burger, knowing I’d need to feed both boys when we got home.
I loved that burger!
Lunch went OK – Matthew devoured his “DOG” but wouldn’t eat anything else, despite my attempts at making it tempting with BBQ sauce. B came in and gave Matthew something else to fill him up which I was fine with – I needed a content boy for nap time.
Nap time was a DISASTER. Matthew would not settle down and screamed as I put him in the crib. He continued to scream for 30 minutes, with everything in his arms as he leaned over the crib rail. As he screamed, Bryson screamed. And I hate saying this, but I went in and yelled at Matthew to “just settle down and go to bed!” And I slammed the door. He cried even more. GAH. I was a terrible mother in that moment. I’ve never screamed at him aside from when he bit me once on the stomach.
I still feel awful about it.
I went out to the garage to tell B about it and I just sobbed. I said that going in to get him would teach him that if he screams long enough, that I’ll relent. But I felt so bad for yelling at him, that I didn’t really care what it taught him. I also blame myself for this dependency that he has on me – it is all my fault. So why punish him for it when I’ve done nothing to change it? So in I went. I plucked him out of the crib and held him tight (he held me so tight too), crying and apologizing for yelling at him and slamming the door.
He forgave me and fell asleep on my shoulder. It was wonderful. He went down just fine after that.
He slept 2.5 hours before I woke him up.
We all got some rest but then it was time for us all to be up and at ’em again! B decided that we should go out for dinner – and of course I agreed. We searched for a nice place with a patio (it was a BEAUTIFUL night) but ended up indoors at a Mexican place downtown. I love the place, but B does not – so I was a little nervous about it. RA.GBR.AI is going on right now in our city (it’s a bike ride across the entire state – and it attracts thousands and thousands of bikers, including Lance Armstrong every once in a while) and every place was busy. But the busyness was fun and exhilarating, and more importantly, it kept Matthew busy. But the waitress lost our order and never got it in to the kitchen (she didn’t tell us this until we asked 45 minutes into dinner where the appetizers were), we never got drink refills, and it took over an hour to get our food. We boxed it up on the spot and headed home with a cranky toddler and a fussy baby who was starving at that point.
We stopped for a coffee so I could nurse Bryson but they were closed, so I nursed him on a park bench at another park. This was actually a GREAT part of the day. B took Matthew to the fountain to play and he got soaked and had the BEST time! He came home in just a diaper and wrapped in blankets in his car seat. That’s toddler heaven, if you ask me!
We didn’t push bed time hard enough and finally put Matthew to bed at 8:45. I went in at 9:05 to sing to him and I woke up in there after 10:00. It is so HARD not falling asleep with him in that blacked-out room at the end of an exhausting day.
Bryson slept in the pack and play (because the monitor in the nursery broke earlier in the day) for 3 hours before nursing at 2:00, then stayed in bed with us because I couldn’t get him to nurse on both sides and he was gassy. He slept pretty well, which means I slept well(ish).
Matthew didn’t wake up and ask for me, even though I sort of hoped he would. He slept until 7:00:00 (truly) on his own – and that NEVER happens. Maybe me sleeping with him in the morningshas helped him realize that more sleep is better. Who knows. But it was nice to wake up that way!
And today is better so far.
But let’s face it – anything is better than the disaster we experienced yesterday!
July 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm
Yeah, I have a feeling this is what all my days will be like and I won’t have a back up like you did with B. Babe will be heading right back to work, even though he gets 2 weeks of paternity leave. It’s going to be interesting especially with the dogs thrown into the mix….so glad today was a much better day….you definitely earned it!
July 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm
I’m tired just reading about your day, j/k. But, really, you are a super mom and handled the day beautifully!
July 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm
Oh Courtney… I am sorry you had such a rough day!!! Don’t be hard on yourself though. Nothing you did was the cause of this.. even the yelling is absolutely, perfectly normal with a toddler.. but I know what you mean about feeling bad afterwards 😦 You are doing an awesome job as a mama of two… even if there are tough days in the mix. Hope the days ahead are easier for everyone!!
July 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm
Your bad day kinda sounds like my good day. 😉 it’s NOT easy, you’re handling things with more grace than you know! Here’s to easier times ahead!
July 25, 2013 at 1:03 am
That was definitely an intense day. I’m glad everything worked out okay in the end. Your boys are lucky to have you.
July 25, 2013 at 6:18 am
Oh, fuck. This blows. I know we all have those days (yesterday was one for me, actually, seems like something is going around…) but I also know that’s not really any help to hear. And, honestly, it sounds like you did almost everything right in the face of all the shit the day threw at you, so at least please feel good about that. Re: yelling at Matthew – I don’t know if it was the first time, but i’m guessing it won’t be the last. I’ve had moments like that when I simply cannot take it. And the fact that you went back in and apologized to him is the biggest thing in the world. He knows you love him. You proved it even more by stepping up and showing that respect for him.
Don’t know if you’ve read Gemini Momma’s recent post about losing her cool and that being a GOOD thing in a way because it teaches her girls about real life and real emotions and apologies, etc. It’s a GOOD read.
July 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm
Holy moly, what an epic saga! Not gonna lie, this is the part of parenting that I dread… between the stress and the lack of sleep, I seriously don’t know how you do it. But I give you major kudos for surviving to another day!
July 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm
What a day! I always try to remember “this too shall pass,” when in the midst of one of those “moments.”
Glad today is better for ya!
July 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm
I just read this and it made me think of you (and Sarah and Rhi and all of the other amazing Mommies of 2!). http://www.mothering.com/community/a/transitional-mom-becoming-a-mother-of-two
July 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm
phew, what a day! hope you have some much calmer days coming up with those two precious boys. I am awaiting getting my butt kicked soon!
July 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm
Those are the days when the only thing you can do is poor a big glass of wine at the end of the night! So sorry you got tested like that lady – hope it was just a fluke!