Monday, April 2, 2007

The Joys of Motherhood: Part II

You thought sleepless nights were bad, well let me just say welcome to the wonderful world of TANTRUMS! From the age of roughly six months to 12 months life seems quite a bit easier. In fact you gain confidence in your parenting abilities. You made it through the phase of sleepless nights and are now cruising along enjoying each wonderful new milestone your precious offspring bestows upon you. Life is pretty much perfect. You are basking in all the amazing moments, enjoying each smile, every silly laugh, and all the slobbery kisses. For those of you who have yet to embark upon the age of one, you might be deluded in thinking you have well over a year before your precious bundle of happiness hits the phase known as the "terrible twos". I too admit I was duped into believing I had one more year of bliss and enjoyment as well. Enjoy your little ones first birthday because the day after they turn one you will think someone must have come in the middle of the night and abducted your sweet angel, replacing them with a head-strong, and I do mean head-strong, determined to do it their way and only their way toddler.

At first you will chalk it up to them getting a new tooth, regardless of the fact they are showing no other signs of teething other than moodiness. Then after a week of seeing no new teeth, you decide quite certainly well then they must be going through a growth spurt. Why yes that has to be it. A couple more weeks pass and you realize your toddler looks no bigger than a week or two before. In fact their clothes still fit the exact same as they did two weeks ago. So then what could it be that has made your angel change so suddenly. Then it dawns on you that perhaps they have an ear infection. Afterall, you cannot explain this sudden change in attitude. You determine quite certainly they must be ill. While making the call to schedule an appointment with you pediatrician you silently berate yourself for not seeing the signs sooner that your angel is sick. Now while on hold with the receptionist at your doctors office your toddler who just moments ago was sitting quietly at your feet, playing happily with her favorite baby doll notices you are on the telephone. She quickly loses interest in her favorite doll and climbs up your pant leg, stretching as far as her chubby little arms can reach. She stands on the tips of her toes, smiling a slobbery toothy grin. Your heart melts at how cute she is. You know she wants the telephone but right now is not the time to play pretend with the telephone as you have done countless times before. You tell her "No, no sweetie, Mommy is on the telephone right now." But your little one is determined, she reaches and stretches again but this time starting to grunt as well. Again you tell her "no, no" in a loving way. You reach down for the baby doll she was just seconds ago happily playing with. Surly you can pacify her for just a few minutes more with he favorite doll. But it is not her favorite toy she wants. She wants the telephone. She begins to whine. You say "here is baby, play with baby. Give baby a kiss. See Mommy give baby a kiss." All this to no avail. She throws herself full force onto the floor. The wails and screams growing louder by the second. You worry she has given herself a slight concussion by throwing herself like that onto the floor. You wonder how much longer you are going to be on hold for crying out loud. All you need to do is schedule an appointment for goodness sake. You search desperately for another toy since she has no interest now in her baby doll. You find her favorite book and offer that too her. Again she wails even louder as she grabs the book from your hand and flings it across the room. Her face is turning a deep shade of red. Next she begins banging the heels of her feet onto the floor. You panic wondering how much more destruction her poor little body can take. Then by a miracle you hear the line click from the classical music that has been playing in your ear for what seems like an eternity to the voice of the receptionist. "Yes, Mrs....." You quickly interrupt, "I need to sched...." The receptionist breaks in and says "Please continue to hold for just another minute". And before you can even utter another word your ear is once again filled with the sound of classical music. Do they not realize your child is sick and completely out of sorts. Did she not hear the anguished cries of your BABY! Well of course not, she cut you off in mid sentence to put you back on hold. Why the nerve of that woman getting your hopes up like that. You are quite sure this woman does not have children of her own. Your thoughts begin to wander back to a time not so long ago when you yourself did not have children. You are quickly jolted back to reality when you hear loud banging. You look down to see your child has now in her fit of anger begun banging her forehead against your wooden floors. All the books you've read have repeatedly told you to ignore this kind of behavior but how can any mother ignore this. You are terrified if she keeps banging her head against the floor she will end up with a concussion and quite possibly brain damage. And where on earth did she even learn this. It is not like you or your husband go around banging your head on the floor when you are upset. This whole situation has you near tears as well. You pick up your angel and try to comfort her as she flails about in your arms. Then it dawns on you...your cell phone. Why yes that will pacify her, why you did not think of this before is anyone's guess. You grab your purse from the kitchen counter and quickly rummage through your purse for your brand new shiny pink Razr phone. You hand it triumphantly to your daughter who instantly stops crying. Within seconds she figures out how to flip the phone open and she begins to push buttons. You begin to have doubts about giving her your cell phone. After all it is brand new and what if she drools all over it and it stops working. Or what if she dials some number for another country. How will you explain a cell phone bill to your husband for hundreds of dollars? You decide this probably wasn't your best decision ever, not to mention all those parenting books advising not to give into the behavior. But you'd like to see how they would react if they were in your shoes at this very moment.

"Sorry for the wait"...the receptionists voice breaks through the line. It is about time you think to yourself. You give all your information to the receptionist asking for the earliest appointment available. She tells you the first available appointment is on Monday at 3:15 p.m. What do you mean on Monday you practically shriek into the phone. Does she not have anything sooner? Can't she squeeze you in? Is she out of her mind thinking you and your baby can go through the entire weekend. Never mind that it is 3:45 p.m on Friday that you are making this call. You tell her you can be at the office in 10 minutes if she could just get you in. The receptionist explains they are completely booked until the time they close but if you feel it is that much of an emergency please feel free to take your child to the emergency room if it cannot wait until Monday. At this point you are beside yourself. You are so upset you yell into the phone "well fine then." and then hang up on the receptionist. You slam the phone down angrily on the coffee table as you fling yourself down on the couch and have a good cry and a temper tantrum of your own.

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