Thursday, April 14, 2011

Failing: Mommy-style

Just add it to the list of things that Charlie Sheen and I do NOT have in common:
He's "winning" and I'm ... failing.

I haven't been too shy about displaying the fact that Barrett is a pretty easy-going little boy.  I am very lucky.  In fact, he is so fun to be around that all of his playfulness, expressions, and words are truly the bright spot of my day.  But something seems off lately.  I'm not sure whether to blame it on early terrible twos or the fact that he's cutting his molars PLUS the back teeth beside his molars all at once, but trust me, something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

This morning, right after I put Charlotte down for her nap, Barrett started an epic tantrum.

It was triggered by the fact that I made him put on shoes before he could go outside.  I am SO unreasonable.  Tantrum ensues, and so I try to ignore the bad behavior instead of rewarding him with lavish attention or going outside, like he wanted.
We tried Tylenol (no fever, but potential ear infection? teething pain?), playpen time to "ignore" the tantrum, and during brief 5 second respites from the screams -- intermittently playing with Sassy, riding the tricycle, reading books, etc, etc, and nothing would do.

After 45 MINUTES (not a typo....forty-five minutes) of crying, flailing about, and being generally inconsolable, I finally surrendered and turned on Blue's Clues. 

Barrett: 1
Mommy: 0

Before you judge me, think about that in your head.  A 45 minute tantrum is a loooonng time.  Especially when you add in the simultaneous mental olympics of "I know I'm supposed to ignore a tantrum, but should it last this long??  Am I psychologically scarring him if I don't console him??  Okay, when I console him, it seems to get worse....what's his heart rate now?  Why won't he let me listen to him with the stethoscope???  Agh!  Okay, obviously whatever I'm doing isn't working..."

Anyway, with the Blue's Clues theme song chirping in the background, Barrett is instantly entranced and consoled.  Great.  I'm out-Mommied by a cartoon dog.

Plus, apparently, my child is addicted to TV.  Awesome.  Please, don't all stampede at once to get my Mom of the Year autograph.  Pfft.

Adding insult to injury of my crippled sanity, I suddenly notice that in my haste, I had clicked on a new Blue's Clues episode from the DVR line-up -- it's the one where Steve AND Joe try to solve Blue's Clues together!!  Cool! 
Jazz hands!
I always wondered about the Steve-to-Joe transition, so I briefly consider watching this one, until I realize how crazy this sounds when I'm in the throes of a mini-breakdown, so I immediately go to the kitchen to self-medicate with Easter cookies and diet Sunkist.
ps:  Those Easter cookies were meant for the neighborhood Easter egg hunt on Saturday.  Now I have to get new ones.  Just add it to the list of mommy fail!

Ironically, the doctor's office calls at this exact moment to tell me the results of my recent battery of heart tests -- the EKG and echocardiogram were normal, so apparently my recurring chest pains are not related to heart malfunction or early heart attack, as originally feared, but stress related

Who knew?!  (dripping with sarcasm)

The very best part of my job is that the only people who don't think I'm overreacting are the people who have had my exact job.  The rest of the world thinks "stay at home mom" means I'm too simple to have a real job, nevermind the fact that I do, in fact, work from home in addition to mommy-ness. 

Thanks, world.  You're awesome.

Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't trade my time with the kiddos for ANYTHING in the world.  Barrett's health journey has taught me, in no uncertain terms, that you can never take a single second for granted.  I want to be around for everything -- the good and the bad.  It's just that life isn't always cupcakes and sunshine.  And that's fine.


  1. Gotta tell ya li'l sis.....I still vote you "mom of the year". What you do every day inspires me....MAYBE I can be as cool a mom as you are. I honestly hope I can someday be a mom like you!!

    Barrett is my KNOW I love him. But there is no way the score is Barret 1, Mommy 0. Today was a tough day. He's a baby....a sweet baby, but a baby big as he is! You are still mama! Come on - we are perfect examples. What does our mama STILL do to us?!?! Shoot fire - she can still sleigh us with a look - and we are both very grown, very independent women!!! :)~ We were raised right - the rule is that mama RULES! - and you are raising your babies right. (Imagine how much FUN you are going to have in just a teeny-tiny 18 years!!!!).

    Chin-up sweet pea. I love me some Barrett! But my vote is still with've got this one! Terrible twos or've got this one!


  2. My Jake started his "terrible two" moments around 18 months, but it could be any number of things. Just whatever you do, however you decide to handle the tantrums, be prepared to handle them all the same way. We failed seriously in that department and now, at almost 3 1/2 years, we're still paying for it. When it comes to kids, consistency is key.

    Here's to a better day!......


  3. Ugh we had a whole month of behavior like that around 19 months old. 45 min is ridiculous to put up with! Luckily most of our tantrums were close to nap time so I'd just put mine in his crib!

  4. Poor mama! My heart goes out to you. I'm with Gessa, you SHOULD be mom of the year! Wish I had some magic tricks for you, but, alas, I do not. Think you're on the right track ignoring the tantrum, tho. At least you weren't in public.