A good friend once told me, “It’s ok to get mad at your baby”.
I never really thought about getting mad at my baby but at the time I was still pregnant. Little did I know how easy it would be to project adult thought processes onto a tiny infant. Before I go any further, I don’t want anyone to think this translates into ‘it’s ok to harm your baby’, that’s not it at all. There are no actions with these emotions, just honesty.
So in the first couple weeks it was easy to be forgiving. Oscar and I had been through quite an ordeal and neither one of us knew what we were doing. Of course most of the time we still don’t, but we are learning each other. We go through ups and downs just like any new relationship, only the difference here is that Oscar can’t mentally engage in the give and take part. It’s all take for him at the moment and that should be OK.
What gets me is that I have to really REALLY guard against feeling like he owes me something. Lately, every time I leave the house he melts down. I have tried going to the mall, the Dr. office, friends’ houses, Jerry’s office, the store and each and every time, he has a major meltdown. It doesn’t matter if I feed him before leaving, while there, or after we get home, if he is asleep or awake, his peaceful demeanor quickly dissolves into tears. It is SO completely frustrating and makes me never want to leave the house. I think the remedy is probably to KEEP going places so he can adjust to the world around him and not just our living room. However, this isn’t something that sounds awesome to me so more often than not, we stay in. This is annoying, it’s not what I pictured when I thought of having a baby and therefore I have to fight creeping feelings of resentment.
It’s as if he is saying WAHHH WAHH WAHH, I need something and I don’t know what it is, but what I hear is WAHH WAHH WAHH, You don’t make me happy, why are you trying to ruin my life? I hate you! Clearly, I have some issues 😉 but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I don’t think I’m alone.
And then of course, it doesn’t help that there are the complete strangers who upon seeing you and your child for 13 seconds in the infant section of Babies R Us taking it upon themselves to state the obvious, “boy, he’s REALLY going to town on that paci”. Let’s be clear. I would much rather someone come up to me and say, “Excuse me, I know we have never met, but do you think you could bother yourself to feed your child for once? Some of us are trying to shop in peace”. At least then I wouldn’t feel like she thought I was a failure AND an idiot.
Which brings me to another piece of advice given to me by a fellow mom, “I’ll pray for you for patience, but in the meantime a sense of humor”. So instead of being resentful, I’ll try to take each day for what it is, a learning experience and another chance to laugh at myself and not take everything so seriously. And so Oscar, it’s for this reason that I forgive you. You know, for being a baby.