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Difficult Days

I’ve gotten spoiled of late with a happy, mellow baby. For many months, Simon has eaten well, slept very well, and been happy and giggly most of the time. All in all, he’s made parenting feel easy.

The past five days, on the other hand, have been trying. I don’t know if teething or nascent toddler temper is to blame, but he’s definitely given me a run for my money. This past Wednesday Simon threw a fit the likes of which I had not seen or heard for a very long time during his lunch time. He eventually settled down and had a nice time playing with his sitter, but I had an author call during the eye of the storm, and Simon was so loud that I was forced to exit the premises immediately. So I took the call on my porch, in the winter, with no coat on. I turned completely blue and didn’t have much fun at all.

Thursday was fine, but Friday witnessed a return to bad form, with lots of moaning and crabbing, and several all-out shrieking fits. The worst was when I gave him a home-made icicle for his teething pain, and either the hardness of the icicle or its cold surface somehow irritated his gums or lips. All I know is that he was giggling one minute and then began to wail and bleed from his mouth. That wailing continued long after the bleeding had stopped. Matt and I high-fived each other when he went down for the night, and then we collapsed ourselves.

Saturday we had another terrific day-truly one of our best ever-but I knew I was in for it today when Simon awoke hysterical at 2:30 a.m. and had to lie down in bed with us for a bit before he was calm enough to go back to his crib. Things were spotty from then on, and his dinner hour was a flat-out disaster. I was pretty frustrated by the non-stop wailing, and I am already stressed today for non-Simon reasons. (I’m traveling for work this week, I broke my glasses yesterday, and I discovered today that my brand new glasses-the ones I spent three hours and $500 on yesterday–are damaged with no time for me to fix before I leave town.) Honestly, all the while Simon was yelling tonight, all I could think about was having a glass of wine and going to bed myself.

It’s hard to decide what my least favorite type of fit is. It’s a tight race between the arching-back-twisting-rolling shrieking fit and the bending-over-putting-head-on-floor shrieking fit. I think the former is more disturbing and the latter more heartbreaking, but neither is going to get him into charm school or make me feel like the mother of the year.

Somehow, though, we managed to get through it all, and I managed to keep my cool. When he got upset on our walk today, I carried him home. When he was despondent in the living room, I held him and tried to comfort him while he worked it out. And by the time he went to bed, he was smiley and happy again, so we got to end the day on a sweet and loving note. I suppose these days are necessary to remind you that it’s hard to be a baby/toddler, that your wards are little, complicated people and not just toys, and that the bonds of family unity are forged as much by bad days as good ones. Tomorrow is another day!

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