I always thought I would be a good mother. I sort of think I am (how’s that for positive affirmation), but still, there are those times when I am positive that I will not be getting the mother of the year award. Once you read a few of my tales you’ll know why.
I never thought I had a temper. I never hit anyone growing up as a child—even if they deserved it! Oh sure, I would throw shoes at my sisters (whom I shared a room with growing up) when they wouldn’t shut up in the middle of the night. I guess I figured there was nothing like a Vans sneaker to hit you in the face to make you want to go to sleep. But still, they provoked me, and I still mistakenly believed I did not have a temper. Then I became a mother. I was giving my then 2-year-old daughter Ilene a bath but for some reason my then 5-year-old son Nathan was driving me nuts in the bathroom. I asked him to go out, so he did, but of course, stood just barely outside the bathroom door as to still annoy me with his pleadings, whinings, etc. So I reached behind me, and without looking, slammed the door shut. The next thing I know Nathan is screaming LOUDLY because his finger is stuck in the door. Oh yes, I slammed his finger in the door and ripped the tip of his finger off. We quickly called our neighbor over to stay with Ilene while my husband and I drove Nathan to the after-hours clinic where they sort of offered us plastic surgery to fix his finger, or was that when his little friend Rachel split his forehead open last year with a toy piano? In either case, we opted to forgo the plastic surgery and put this whole mess behind us. Nathan still reminds me of this “incident” to this day.
Then there is the recent “incident” with my baby girl Hallie. Just as I thought I never had a temper, I always thought I was a patient person. A couple of months ago Hallie was going through a terrible phase of not sleeping through the night. After X plus days of being a zombie and not sleeping through the night I had decided I had had it with this nocturnal baby. After all, the pedicatrican’s number one advice is that “a baby can sleep through the night by 6 months.” Fine. Whatever. So I decide that tonight is the night to ignore the screamings. Afterall, every other night I went in her room to see why she was crying she was fine. Not wet, not hungry, just not happy. So on this night she started her usual axe-murder screams at 3am. (You know, the screams some children/babies make in the middle the night for no other reason than there must be an axe murderer standing in their room!) I ignore her. She screams off and on for 2 hours! I refuse to go in. Don’t ask me how my husband Paul and two other children can sleep through this, but that’s another blog. So finally by 5:30am I decide to go in and get the little twit. After all, the alarm is set to go off at 6:15 and I surely am not going back to sleep so angry so I might as well get up. I go into Hallie’s room and to my HORROR discover that she is sitting in the rubble of her broken crib. Oh yes my friends. Hallie’s crib had collapsed some 3 hours ago (just a good guess) and she couldn’t quite go back to sleep with her crib mattress at a 45 degree angle. And of course she was trying to sleep head down too, so all the blood kept draining to her poor little head. I gasp and reach down to pick up my baby out of the rubble that was once her crib, holding back my tears. I go back to my bedroom and wake Paul: “Hallie’s crib is broken that’s why she hasn’t stopped SCREAMING!” That’s code for: “Go fix Hallie’s bed.” So he does. The next day I quiz the kids to see if they know any reason in the whole wide world why Hallie’s crib would break. Nathan confesses that a few days ago he and Ilene were playing under the crib when it broke. They kicked the mattress up to see if that would fix it, and to their surprise, it did! I can’t believe it held as long as it did. Obviously I’ve missed a few parenting classes. Oh and to sum it all up: I discovered not lack after this that Hallie was teething and getting 8 teeth at once. Gee, that might be why she was screaming. Mother of year, that’s me.