Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Beast Has Awoken

In dealing with clients, I often mention the "fourth trimester". It's a term I learned from one of my early teachers and it means the first 3 months after a baby is born. The baby needs the fourth trimester to adjust to the world around them and the parents need the fourth trimester to adjust to realities of being completely responsible for another little life. During the fourth trimester, my personal parenting philosophy is to mimic pregnancy as much as possible. This little being is used to being warm, rocked, soothed and fed 24/7, and I try to be understanding of that and ease them into the world a little bit.

Secora is nearing the end of her fourth trimester though. She's less "newborn" and more "infant". That means she's much more awake. I learned years ago that babies are pretty much totally pooped out once they've been awake for 2 hours. I never scheduled my babies, but I did pay attention to when they woke up and then helped them get down for a nap about 2 hours later. Secora is in that stage now (if you don't help her nap, she'll stay awake and get fussier and fussier).

And that's all well and good. Except that she's the third baby. She has two older sisters that do not nap every 2 hours. We're having a bit of an adjustment while Sedona learns that you need to be quiet while a baby is napping (at least a little bit). Good thing this stage also means more smiling and cooing to melt the frustration away!

Post-edit. Or, pre- post-edit. Or, too damn tired to rewrite the thing: I wrote this Friday morning and scheduled it to post on Saturday. And then Friday afternoon rolled around and all the baby smiles and coos in the world wouldn't have been enough to put a dent in the frustration. Back around Christmas time I saw the following on a blog I read regularly, "May your legs remember to walk away before your mouth loses its loving voice." Yeah, well, my legs forgot. After many many many reminders to be quiet and many many many reminders to put away what they had gotten out, I was greeted with two children sliding across the floor in a laundry basket and when I asked where their dirty clothes were, I walked into their room to find virtually everything they own thrown on the floor--every piece of dress up clothes, most of the clothes out of their drawers, most of their toys. It looked like a bomb had gone off. And then I saw it. The green playdoh crumbled into a thousand pieces on their carpet. They aren't even supposed to have playdoh downstairs (and they know it), I don't know where they even had that hidden out. And when I asked Sierra, "what did I tell you just this morning?" she immediately responded with "put each thing away when we're done with it" and when I asked if playdoh was allowed, she said, "no" and I asked why and she said, "because it gets stuck in the carpet and won't come out". So at least one of them KNEW they were doing exactly what they shouldn't be doing and did it anyway. It was a straw that broke the camel's back moment and I completely lost my shit. Yeah, I said it. Because it's true. And don't bother telling me if you've never had that day with small children, because I won't believe you anyway. I had the where with all to stay away from them, but "loving voice", "age appropriate punishment" and "take a deep breath and count to 10" were all out the window. There was yelling. Lots and lots of yelling. Here's to hoping for a better weekend :-/


Carolyn said...

Hope you do have a better weekend. Been there so many times in the last ten years myself. Usually at our house there is also nudity involved. Not sure why but when Connor decides to do things he's not supposed to there's also nakedness involved for no apparent reason. Yeah it's funny now - so not funny in the moment.

Big Fat Gini said...

The fourth trimester thing helped so much after I had the twins. I try to pass that knowledge on, but I always garble it. Soooo, maybe I'll just send people to you instead.

I think I'm going to print that saying and hang it up somewhere. Far too often, I end up letting the frustration take over and before I know it, my mouth has a mind of it's own (I know you're real surprised to hear that).

Here's to a better weekend and no more Play-Doh in your carpet.

MoJoMama said...

Can I just tell you that I am SOOO relieved to hear I am not the only mom that did some insane yelling this weekend at my child? It must be the age.... because that is almost VERBATIM what happened with Sophia. Hang in there! Hope the rest of the weekend goes smoothly!

One Acre Homestead said...

Ditto what MoJoMama just said! Thank you, my dear friend, for being so honest and transparent. As I was reading your Fourth Trimester, I was wishing I was half the mommy you are...thinking of how I could have done so much better with the girls when they were babies, then you made it all better with your honesty of those things I call "bad mommy moments." Now that I know you have them...I'm pretty sure ALL mommies have our moments. I've always admired your parenting are awesome. I do hope the rest of your weekend has gone better.

The Hills said...

Oh yeah, I try to stay calm and I apologize when I take it out on them just because I was in a bad mood. But yesterday was a definite bad mommy moment. I ended up throwing everything that was in their floor in a large laundry hamper and taking it away. I'm thinking they're going to have to use their bonus bucks (from the accountable kids thing) to earn it back piece by piece. Perhaps they'll appreciate it more.

Rebecca said...

I hate those bad mommy moments. *sigh*

And we've all had them!

I hope you are able to get the play doh out and don't have to deal with any more of it anytime soon!


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