Monday, July 28, 2014

Parenthood Week 61: Melting Away The Bad

Breakfast was not going well.

Ollie was fussy because he was hungry but instead of putting food in his mouth he was picking up the scrambled eggs off his tray and throwing them on the ground.  "That's fine," I thought, "I’ll just feed him myself and not let him pick up the food." This worked for a little bit until Ollie pulled the food out of his mouth and threw a handful of half-chewed-up mush on the ground.

When mealtime is going well with Ollie, it’s really charming. He loves the challenge of using his hands and baby utensils to eat.  Ollie normally has a great appetite and he genuinely enjoys the ritual of sharing a meal with others.

Ollie’s a baby and he has his moods just like anyone else and sometimes he just doesn’t feel like eating. Fine, so I pulled him out of his high chair, wiped his hands and face off, which always causes the most melodramatic screams of anguish and I put him down in his pack ‘n play with some toys.

As I started on the dishes from breakfast I heard the sound of Ollie throwing his toys out of his pack ‘n play. I walked over to see Ollie crying and reaching for the toys he had just ejected from his play space.  It was one of those mornings when he didn’t want to be held and he didn’t want to be put down. After some fruitless efforts to clam him down and entertain him, it was time for his morning nap.

Maybe it was the previous hours of chaos but his screaming as I rocked him down for his nap, didn’t really seem so bad.

People talk about how you should nap when your baby naps. Well, this is a ridiculous idea since your baby's nap-time is the only time you have to do chores or work. However this idea nap-time is often unrealistic when the time that your baby was awake was stressful and taxing. This transforms your baby's nap time into something completely different like lying face down in a bed, too wound up to take a nap but too tired to get anything done.

Hearing Ollie wake-up, I got up from my zombie-like state on the bed, not feeling refreshed or satisfied that I was productive during this time. When I walked into the room I could seem him smiling in the dim light. Even as I changed his diaper, which usually is a little uncomfortable for Ollie right after he has woken up he was giggling.

I carried him over to my bed and lay down with him, hoping that he would chill out with me for a second, so I could get myself together. To my surprise, he crawled on top of my chest, placed his thumb in his mouth and reached around my neck with his other arm to cuddle up.

Ollie isn’t much of a cuddle-bug when he’s awake. He does these super cute re-charge cuddles in-between crawling around the house.  He comes up to one of us, usually Diana, cuddles up to her for ten seconds and then scurries away.

This was different. I had gotten plenty of cuddles in with Ollie when he was younger but now that he has begun to be more active, he wants to move around more than anything else. This made the fact that he chose to stay and cuddle with me even more special.

He scooted off of me after about ten minutes and started vocalizing. He was being super-cute as he tried to mimic sounds I was making.

And then this happened:



Yes, Ollie was a handful that morning, but so what? He was being a cuddle-bug and actually said his own name!  That's the balancing act that is parenthood.  Endless hours of frustration melted away with the sound of your child's laughter or a sloppy open-mouth toddler kiss.

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