Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Worst Mother Ever

Okay, so I'm not on par with Medea or anything, but I am feeling pretty completely awful as a mother today.

This morning we made a family trip to the dentist. No problem. It went better than our appointments have ever gone in the past (in terms of Miss Thing, I mean - but this time I did unfortunately have a cavity - my first in 11 years). In fact, Miss Thing asked me when we got there, "can we go see Daddy (who had driven separately and arrived about 5 minutes earlier than we had) getting his teeth cleaned?" The staff were willing to let us do that, and since the dentist is a big huge sweetie who loves children, and probably also since Miss Thing is going to have her first dental visit soon, Miss Thing even got introduced by the dentist to all his nifty tools, and he let her play with the chair after Daddy's checkup was finished. And he gave her a toothbrush and fun red dental floss. She definitely took it all in. After Daddy's checkup she went to the waiting room and colored with him until the end of my checkup, when she came back in to watch me get my teeth polished.

So, that all went well. As we were driving home I looked at the clock and noticed that it was 2 hours 'til naptime. Although, I should have thought more about it, because of the way last night went. Anyway, as it was I asked Miss Thing, "should we go grocery shopping before naptime?" She was all giggles and fun and said, "Okay!" so we kept driving to the store. Things were going fine until we got to the frozen aisle. She grabbed onto a freezer door handle and wouldn't let go. She said she wanted to stay there. I insisted that we needed to keep moving, especially since she was starting to act a little grumpy. She wailed for the rest of the trip. Grabbed the side of the checkout counter and wanted to stay there. Tried to keep me from unloading the groceries into the car. Very successfully kept me from getting her out of the grocery cart until I figured out I should pull her out backward. Tried to crawl out of the car to run back to the store. Cried so hard I seriously thought she was going to puke several times.

I talked with her. I tried reason (what a joke - reason is nothing to a hysterical 2 1/2-year-old). I called Daddy to get a reality check and cool down a little bit. I knew I was going to have to shove her into her car seat and hold her down to get the seat belt on. I used every ounce of will I had to keep from screaming at her. But it wasn't enough. Finally, over Miss Thing's hysterical, choking, nonstop, ever-hoarsening crying during the seatbelt battle, I yelled at her, "STOP IT! STOP IT!" I noticed in my peripheral vision a strange movement behind the car. A woman stopped walking and peered our way. The side and back windows are tinted so she couldn't see in. In the minutes following, I noticed movement much closer and realized that she had come around to peer an open front window, I imagine to make sure I wasn't beating my child. That made me feel wonderful. I half expect that she took down my license plate number and will somehow get Child Protective Services to come pay me a visit.

Miss Thing continued to scream, but I got the seatbelt on and pretty well cinched up. I got in the driver's seat and started up the car and drove home, listening to, "Please don't take me home, please don't take me home, please don't take me home!" on the way, coming in more and more hoarse tones and followed by weaker cries. By the time we got off the freeway she was sitting, red-rim-eyed and staring, in her car seat. I thought she would be asleep by the time we got home. She wasn't, and of course once we got here she had become attached to the next place she was, her car seat. I expected that. She didn't want me to take her out, so I left the driver's door open, opened the back hatch, and unloaded the car. Then I opened her door and sat on the floor and talked with her. She was much calmer by then. I pointed out that our next door neighbor was grooming his lawn and asked her if she wanted to go see the "neat edging machine" he was using to trim along his walkway. It worked. Thank God.

Now I feel beaten. I feel like a horrible mother. I should have known, after only a half hour nap yesterday and two freak waking incidents last night (those happen almost never these days), the second of which lasted a couple hours, that we should have come straight home from the dentist. Why did I throw in that impromptu grocery shopping trip? And as always, I feel horrible for not having her on a regular schedule so that we KNOW when naptime is, and it is always the same time, and her body is used to it.

As if that weren't enough - yesterday was freaky too. I imagine it had something to do with lifting my 30+ pound Miss Thing too much. Up on my shoulders, carrying her around all wrapped up in a blanket (it was a funny thing she wanted to do - no shirt, but she was cold, so she wanted to wear her fishie blanket and be held "like a kitty"). Well, in the afternoon I started having some contractions. And they happened whenever I was up and walking around, or even just standing. I couldn't reach the hubby, despite sending a text message on his cell phone and calling several times. So, I had to carry on for the rest of the day & evening, through Miss Thing's bedtime, while worrying about contractions, and trying not to exert myself too much. Our midwife said that the contractions were normal - they were just Braxton Hicks. There was no regularity to them; they were just tied to exertion. She asked me if I had upped my water intake (which, in fact, I had as soon as I felt contractions, though I have no idea why - it just seemed like the thing to do). She encouraged me to take a bath with epsom salts to relax. Well, the bath didn't happen. By the time Miss Thing was asleep I was too hot to get in the bathtub.

Anyway, I thought being away from home for parts of two weeks in a row was stressful - this week is a doozy unto itself! And I am left feeling drained, depressed, and unfit.


daniela said...

Rest assured you are NOT the worst mother ever! Oh boy, I can relate to this post so much more than you know. Been there..A LOT. I am sending you enormous hugs as well letting you know you're far from alone. I hope that you are feeling alright as I read this. I too had Braxton Hicks and the water helped (as well as laying on my left an OB nurse instructed me to do). You take care..and just try to get some rest..and deep breaths! Hugs.

Stahl family said...

HUGS and comfort! I assure you, you are not alone in the contest for "Worst Mommy Ever". We ahve had days like that and I am right up there with you. I think we all have and anyone who says they haven't is LYING through their fake white teeth! :)

Queen of Spain said...

Wow. Totally not the worst Mom ever. I won that title long ago!