Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mommy Fail #186

Tonight, once again, LO refused to go to bed. After a relaxing bath wherein LO tried to show off his ability to stand on his own and discovered the age-old problem of slippery porcelain, our ritual reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and 10 minutes of rocking and counting our blessings, I put the child down in his crib, anticipating that he would emit a short protest and then drift off to dreamland.

I had no reason for believing this would happen, as our bedtime routine has followed this comforting pattern exactly never. But hope springs eternal in the breast of an overtired Mama, and as his shrieking picked up speed, anger and loudness, I assured myself that he would be drifting off within a few moments.

Sadly, this has been one of those days when I have not necessarily made good decisions or predictions. I could hear the child's protests while I sorted laundry in the basement. He was pissed!

After a few moments, so was I. Damn it, hadn't I done all the right things in putting the little man to bed? Didn't I deserve to have one lousy evening where the soundtrack was not shrieks that shuddered down my spine? Heading up the stairs to LO's bedroom, I shouted "Go to sleep!"

Let's stop for a moment and just examine this particular Mommy Fail. I was clearly making the same assumption that every tourist to a non-English speaking country makes--that the root of our communication problem was volume. Because when a baby is crying uncontrollably in his crib because he is unable to go to sleep, the best and most mature way for his mother to deal with it is to shout at him.

When I pulled LO from his crib, I found that the young man had be-crapped himself, which was why he was so upset.

After de-crappifying the child, I was easily able to get him to sleep. He was quite magnanimous about the Mommy Fail.

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