October 9, 2012 by Katia
After a 4am feeding that lasts over a ½ an hour I wake up a little after 6am to a demanding “mommy” call. Right, I’m being summoned by 3 year old. Eyes wide shut, feet on the floor feeling for my slippers, I am losing my religion. My pathetic 4am prayer to the all mighty for an extra hour of sleep didn’t help. Evidently she’s not a she at all or she would sympathize, so that dispute is now settled. With a resounding headache I walk into 3 year old’s room, always a little apprehensive about what awaits me there during this gruelling era of night time potty training. I am greeted by a bottom down naked adorable toddler who announces that he had “accidents”. The difference between a single accident and plural accidents? I don’t intend to stay long enough to find out. I dress him up as quickly as possible, noticing that it’s a tantrum that he is really after, except he hasn’t identified a potential subject for it yet, until he decides to zoom in on the wetness of his teddy and best friend, Blue Bear. The lower lip professionally curls down, the voice is distortedly lowered a few notches, he poses a loaded question that starts with a shaky ‘whhhhhhhy’ and is fully prepared to launch his fit when I manage to diffuse that bomb by creating a distraction. I have to work quickly. My goal – breakfast and Tylenol before 8 week old wakes up. As we walk down the stairs to the soundtrack of a newborn’s hysterical incessant cry it is clear that that boat has sailed. The updated itinerary: quickly prep 3 year old’s breakfast and bring baby downstairs from bedroom to allow husband to enjoy his sleep shift. I dart into the kitchen mixing apple sauce into 3 year old’s yoghurt – my toddler refuses to eat fruit. The morning that starts with deception. Sounds like a James Bond flick. Or an Agatha Christie novel if you switch it to past tense. Let’s hope it’s neither one.
3 year old feeds himself. In a matter of seconds sticky splotches of yoghurt/apple sauce mix are covering the table, floor, his and my clothes and the sofa. Next step is usually the hair and this is where I draw the line. Baby on breast, I take over. Ok, so this is going to require some coordinated movements, but hey it’s me that we’re talking about after all! The person who fell so many times off the stairs that the ER nurses actually started suspecting a Rihanna-Chris Brown type family dynamic. Besides it’s not like I don’t practice the ‘baby on right breast left hand available to feed 3 year old’ technique every other day. With my left hand I gather some yoghurt in the spoon. Piece of cake. It’s the serving of it to 3 year old’s mouth that’s the problem but I got it. The position is uncomfortable for sure, but the spoon is headed in the general direction of 3 year old, and with a little effort and twisting my shoulder slightly more I’ll manage to redirect it so it doesn’t hit the couch. Never mind, that’s ok, this is where the pile of about 200 crumpled tissues that 3 year old pulled out of the box yesterday will come in handy! On a less positive note, it’s possible that I have a mild shoulder dislocation. Will have to visit ER again if this doesn’t get any better.
I manage to bounce back from that incident and I’m ready to go again, but it looks like 3 year old lost some of his faith in me and he now feeds himself again. Since he won’t eat any fruit he spits out the pieces of cherry back into his bowl. To make sure no fruit entered his system he quality controls the process by spitting out EVERYTHING that’s in his mouth including the saliva diluted yoghurt. He then considerately digs out a cherry chunk and offers it to me holding an overflowing spoon above fanatically sucking 8 week old’s head. The yoghurt/apple sauce/saliva mix drips into 8 week old’s ear. Neither one of them notices. I wipe it and politely turn down the offer. On a positive note, 8 week old is doing such a good job that I too shall shortly be having breakfast followed by the long awaited Tylenol.
Once off the breast 8 week old is passionately licking his fist thus signaling me that we are nowhere near my breakfast/Tylenol time. I abide and move him to the left side. Advantages? My injured shoulder can now rest and it’s easier to type this note with my right hand.
Peace finally achieved. Baby fell into a sweet tummy-full sleep, 3 year old watches show on tv. Tylenol seems closer than ever. I can almost taste it. Just then 3 year old’s show ends and just like that he shouts “BADA BADA BADA” into surprised baby’s ear. Baby didn’t enjoy that as much as 3 year old and he starts fussing. It’s time to bring out the heavy guns. Where’s my Baby Bjorn? I am very much a creature of habits and there is a whole routine associated to carrier wearing and baby straddling. That routine can go fly itself out the window this morning, dammit I need my breakfast + Tylenol!
Cereal is now partially consumed, but 8 week old never seems to have fully recovered from the yelling incident. He is not quite the same and just like 3 year old wanted his tantrum this morning, this one feels entitled to some light complaining which escalates into a full blown cry. I am standing, bowl of cereal above baby’s head (seems like he is destined to be put in this Wilhelm Tellian predicament). He is still straddled in a carrier and in the meantime, determined to do anything it takes to finish my breakfast, I am ever so slightly shaking my body in an attempt to rock baby to sleep and get him to stop yelling, a movement that generates from my bum. It’s ok, this is almost like I’m salsaing, let’s call it my morning exercise routine! Baby finally falls asleep. I’ll take my Tylenol straight with a glass of water please. It’s 8:30am, I’m exhausted.
It’s ok, I’ll sleep when I am 50.