Monday, May 19, 2008

I should be shushed

See this? This is a happy, laughing baby. This is my happy laughing baby. This is what I get to hang out with for most of the day.

There is another side to him though. Something new has transpired.

Bird hates to go to sleep.

I know when he is getting sleepy. He makes it very obvious. When the signs occur, we move to his nursery, I swaddle him, and we either walk or rock until he is out. Sometimes we nurse to sleep.

Since Friday though? As soon as he realizes that I'm about to swaddle and walk him? He breaks out into panicked wailing. It escalates to a wail-gasp-wail-gasp frenzy faster than I can shush and walk.

I rub his little head. I kiss his cheek. I shush him in his ear. I hold him tightly so he can't flail. I rock him. I walk him. I sway with him.

He screams.

Tonight? I yelled at him. I yelled "stop" and I yelled his name. I would like to say that I had to yell to be heard over him. That would be true, except that deep down, I know I yelled out of frustration. It did get his attention, but is that really how I want to start getting the attention of my child? By yelling at him?

I'm not a yeller. I hate yelling. I grew up with lots of yelling. I don't want to live in a yelling house. And yet, I yelled at my baby.

He's just a baby. He can't help it. The problem is, I can't help it either because I don't know what is wrong. He's dry, he has been fed, he is clean and has been played with. He is tired. Tired and unwilling to go to sleep.

The frantic wailing? Is going to send me over the edge I'm afraid.

It hasn't felt like this since he was 10 days old and was crying nonstop for hours. I just sat in the rocking chair with him and cried right along. It was all I could do then.

I thought I had grown past that. Instead I found myself sitting in that rocking chair again tonight, rocking and crying right along with the wailing Bird. Hating myself for having raised my voice at him already in his young life.

I feel like a monster. Yelling at a baby.

Mother of the year, I am.