Going off the Rails

Something about a screaming baby/child puts me on the fast train to Crazy Town. Correction. Something about my screaming baby/child puts me on the fast train to Crazy Town. I don’t actually mind when other babies or kids are crying/screaming. OK, I’m not a huge fan of it, but it certainly doesn’t get my heart racing or blood pumping the way they do when one of my precious little bundles goes over the deep edge.

In fact, sometimes I think I am better at handling the freak outs of other people’s children than I am my own. Wha??? I don’t know if this is because I can sympathize with the other parent because, Lord, have I been there, or if I just have more patience because I don’t feel like the world is ending if I don’t hurry up and quick stop this crying, screaming, sobbing, sometimes kicking mess. Not that I don’t want to help, but you know – my value as a parent isn’t riding on it like it seems to be when my own Little is spiraling out of control.

Ah, control….something I once loved and now know so very little of in my daily life. Don’t get me wrong, I still try to control as much as I can, but as my dear, sweet father has been telling me from the day I went into labor with Harrison (12 days early), my children are “driving the bus.” And, of course, he is right. It just so happens that some days that bus also takes us straight to Crazy Town!

Really. It is remarkable how a grown woman, accomplished in many ways, can melt down just as fast as her toddler or infant when faced with long hours alone in the house with the kids, no naps, and yes, screaming. Wait. That’s not remarkable. That is reasonable!

As you can about imagine, we’ve had some really long days the last couple of weeks. Let’s just say that May 20th cannot come soon enough in my world. Dave Matthews may tell me (wisely) that the future is no place to place my better days, but by God, I will be doing cartwheels around the house after May 20th. Ben will then be done with teaching for the year, State Track will be over, AND he will have graduated with his (second! yea, you, Honey!) Master’s from Doane. CANNOT WAIT! But until then, I’m going to have to figure out what on earth to do about the screaming.

To Harrison’s credit, he doesn’t actually scream much. Whining is another story, and there is definite crying/fussing/throwing of fits in a given day, but thankfully he doesn’t (typically) haul off and yell. Raegan, on the other hand, has been exercising her lungs lately and I’m about done with that. The problem is, I’ve been trying to get her to take naps without nursing because it seemed that was the only way she wanted to sleep during the day, but it turns out she just wants to be in my arms. I mean, yes, she’d rather be nursing while she’s there, but that is not the only issue. The last two days I’ve endured 15+ minutes of holding her screaming little swaddled self in my arms, while pacing the floor (just like we did when she was a newborn), only to have her wake back up (& scream!) the minute I try to set her down in the swing/her crib/our bed.

Oofda.

Except “oofda” is NOT what is going through my head in those moments. Oh, no. Lately the monologue running through my brain, at times anyway, has me wondering if I’m developing Tourettes or something. I don’t know what it is; I just start to get frantic when she starts screaming like that. I sent a text to a friend after this morning’s disaster wondering what the point of trying to avoid crying-it-out is if she’s going to flip out while I’m freaking holding her. Is it really different? It certainly isn’t any fun to have the screaming 12 inches from my face/ear, I can tell you that!

But I do want to avoid CIO, if we can. We did it with Harrison and yes, it worked….until we took him out of his crib, that is. By letting him figure it out on his own by crying to sleep at 7 months, we taught him to sleep, so long as he was contained. Now, as we enter the last fourth of The Year of Two (but who’s counting?), we have so many sleep/bed/staying put issues, and I have to wonder a bit if it is all connected. My hope is that by not forcing RL to CIO, we can avoid some of this circus when she’s a toddler.

But seriously. The screaming has got to go. Mama doesn’t really need any help in the crazy department!

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