Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Further evidence that I am a wonderful mother only when I have a happy, well-behaved child

Phew. Okay, back to Eve! I'm sure we've all missed this.

First off, for announcements: Watch this space for the first edition of what I'm titling my religious tract morality tales: The Little Sinner. You'll read about the pitfalls of church hoping with the nursery bully!

So, last night we all went to bed around midnight. Now, this isn't too much later than we went to bed on Sunday night--but that was on purpose and enjoyable. Last night at about 9, Eve was on the verge of being asleep in my arms... probably 10 minutes away from being able to be put in bed without waking her. At least, that's what I thought. She began with the sign for potty and a small, sad whine of the same word. This was repeated again and again, escalating quickly to hysterics and sobbing, wailing. At first, before it got bad, I asked her if she really needed to go (this is sometimes a stall tactic I'm sure many of you are familiar with, from your own childhoods even!) she ignored the question and simply got more and more frantic about it. I could tell she really needed to go, so I took her, but as we entered the room, she continued her pitiful wailing and began shaking her head and just as hysterically saying "mama" over and over. I began to put her on her little potty and remove her diaper and she simply clung to me, crying and shaking her head no. I lifted her up, and proceeded to reapply the still-dry diaper. She cried and shook her head, she called for daddy. We went down stairs to see him and she wouldn't go to him. All of this is happening as she cries so hard it breaks my heart. We go upstairs again, back to her room, I try to nurse her, she wants to go potty, repeat above scenario. This time, we stay downstairs as my husband showers, and she calms somewhat, but is still very close to tears. I ask her if her belly hurts and she ignores me, I ask her if her teeth hurt, and she ignores me... I have no idea what was bugging her, but as she seems to have calmed down, I take her upstairs again to try putting her to sleep. The whole thing starts again. This time I'm getting really frustrated. I am sympathetic to her, but at the same time, completely and totally frustrated. I had anticipated a nice night with Tom, we could watch a movie, have some dessert, enjoy each other's company and get to bed before Eve woke up. Nuh uh. And worst of all, I can't figure out what Eve needs to make it all better. I know she's exhausted, and sleep would be very helpful to her state of mind, but she got close to sleep 3 times, and then woke up with the same "potty" refrain, and the same refusal to actually go potty, and refusal to go to daddy when she asked for him, and refusal to nurse when she asked for that. gah!

I didn't want to give her Tylenol if it was her tummy bugging her, because I know that such drugs can make upset bellies worse. I suspected possible teething, but she wouldn't let me probe, nor would she answer any questions about what hurt. I finally gave in to Tylenol as the only thing that might help. She cried continually while we administered, but then we were able to calm her down with distractions. She fell asleep after that and stayed asleep for 3 hours before a normal wake-up. We didn't have any other problems with her all night, what was left of it.

Then this morning, she woke up with the same fussy, I-want-this-I-don't-want-this sort of behavior. Again, I do feel so bad for her that she's not feeling her normal, cheerful self, but it makes it so frustrating to get ready for our day, and really hard to leave her and come to work.

I didn't have any serious blow-outs because of this, but it was a test of my patience. I felt really guilty for being mad at my daughter for being--to all appearances--ill. How selfish of me.