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Throw Like a Baby

Simon is getting pretty good at throwing things. Things like his ball, crackers, menus, and most hilariously, his pacifier. Less hilariously, he’s also perfected throwing a righteous fit. I think I’m seeing glimmers of toddlerdom in my baby.

Funny stuff first. The image of a baby throwing a pacifier may not seem that funny. But in context, you’ll have to trust me that it is. The most common scenario has Simon waking up from sleeping or napping with a pacifier in his mouth. I carry him into whichever room we’re going to nurse in and settle us in. While I’m doing that, Simon is doing his own bit to settle in. He shifts in my lap to get more comfortable, takes his pacifier out of his mouth, throws it off to the side to get it out of his way, and then grabs on to me. The first time he did this I laughed out loud so hard he couldn’t get a good grip.

Other favorite objects to throw include pretty much anything from his high chair. He throws his menu, spoons, Cheerios, you name it. A particular favorite is his sippy cup, but he’ll settle for anything I’m likely to pick up for him. So far as I can tell, nothing in the world is quite as much fun as watching mom pick up the same item six or seven million times. ‘m thinking of getting him an atlatyl for his birthday. These are the best of times!

Alas, with the good comes the bad. Saturday night Simon threw an absolute, hellacious fit. I had put him down to sleep for the night, and Matt had gone out to meet some friends at Dutch’s Tavern. Simon woke up around 11:30 or so, which isn’t that unusual. Since he hadn’t nursed much that day, I brought him into the bedroom to nurse instead of just tucking him back in to sleep. Normally, he’d be happy and drowsy at the end of this session, would fall asleep easily in his crib, and would awake at 6:00 a.m. or later the next morning.

Well, not Saturday night. He nursed halfheartedly, then whimpered a bit. I put him in his crib and assumed he’d fall right back asleep. You know what they say about assuming, right? About 10 minutes later I heard awful screaming. I go back in the nursery, reset the crib-side aquarium, give him his pacifier, and walk out.

Now he’s screaming bloody murder. I wait about four minutes, go back in, and attempt to repeat the routine. Only this time he’s on all fours, he’s writhing and screaming, and he goes berserk when I try to reposition him. Back out of the room for about five to six more minutes. Still hysterical screaming. Back in the room. Now he’s on his back, arms and legs up in the air, cross-wise in the crib at the extreme end. I try to give him his pacifier. He swats my hand away. I try again, and he grabs the pacifier and hurls it across the room.

At this point it’s nearly one a.m., I am simply beat, and I don’t care a whit about sleep training; I care only about getting Simon to calm down. So I call Matt on his cell; my message is short and to the point: “Simon is hysterical. Please come home.” After placing the call I drag Simon into bed with me, half expecting him to calm down and go to sleep under these cozy circumstances.

Nope. Still the hysterical crying. His face is red and blotchy. His features are distorted. My sweet, beautiful boy is now a foreign, ugly little alien creature. But I was oddly calm about the whole thing. He didn’t seem to be in pain. (Just in case it was teething, I gave him some Tylenol.) He had no fever. No sign of earache. Was dressed correctly. Was full. And he didn’t sound particularly pained or sad or scared. What he sounded was M-A-D mad.

I’m not sure what or at what he was so angry, but the entire scenario played out like a horrible tantrum more than anything else. In the end, Matt came home, Simon calmed down nearly instantly upon his return, and we all got some sleep at last.

Whew! If that was my first tantrum, I’m not looking forward to the second. Truly, I’d be much happier if kiddo would stick to tossing menus, balls, and cups. But since that’s not likely, I’ll have to settle for hoping his next fit comes on a night when I’m less run down and have the energy to make him work it out himself.

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