There’s a reason why I don’t write as much anymore, although I’d really like to. His name is Fletcher.
He’s just exhausting. I’ve never met a more tempermental, strong-willed individual. We thought that Darcy was our tough one until we met Fletch.
He screamed for his first hour of life, completely inconsolable. The nurses said they’ve never had a louder baby in the nursery. It hasn’t stopped. He’s a screamer. Don’t mistake that for crier or whiner, SCREAMER. It seems as if everything is world ending to this little guy. I would probably find it funny if it wasn’t ALL DAY LONG. It’s to the point where we are trying to just ignore it so that he doesn’t learn to use it as a means of communication.
He’s also a hitter and hair puller. When he wants to nurse (which I’m convinced will NEVER end), he comes over to me and starts hitting my chest. I’ve tried several different ways to correct this, but he’s damn strong willed. Then when he does nurse, he pulls my hair. Not just pulls, but rather yanks at it. I have short hair all around my face from this and now wear headbands to keep it out of my face. It’s a lovie to him, so it’s a hard habit to break. Oh and there’s the whole screaming thing again.
And don’t get me started on sleep. I’m not sure I even know what that is anymore, unless it’s curled into a little sleeping person. If I’m being honest, I do love snuggling the little guy, but not every night, every nap. And naps? It’s a war of wills until one of us breaks (lately it’s been him giving in around 3 PM because he’s so damn tired). I fight and fight for an hour plus just to get 45 minutes out of the kid. What can you really get done in 45 minutes??
I’m pretty sure Fletch’s middle name should have been ‘indifference.’ He’s seems to have gotten a little better, but I’m pretty sure this child spent the first year of his life enjoying being unhappy. Or bored. Or whatever his issue was. There was one night when my husband said to my daughter, ‘uhoh, I think Fletch broke Mommy.’
I’ve never been more challenged in my life. My old job was nothing compared to parenting this child. And I haven’t even hit the true toddler stage yet! I’ll be over here waving the white flag when that happens.
Is this what a stressful pregnancy creates? Did I do this because I was so freaked out? Or is this just the cocktail of DNA that we got? Maybe I should have done more yoga and taken up meditation. My therapist kept warning me to calm down.
So I’ll publish this, and about 5 minutes later the guilt will sink in. I’ll feel terrible for committing any of this in writing. For allowing it to seem like I’m frustrated (even though I am). I say these things and then I think about how lucky we are that Fletch is here. Not everyone gets a rainbow. And I feel just ungrateful.
I remember what it was like wanting another baby so badly. I remember how excited we were when I was first pregnant. I remember how lucky I felt that I was able to have a baby again.
It’s like a tennis match back and forth in my head all day. It’s hard to feel empathetic and selfish at the same time. I never felt this way with the other two. His life is so tied into Benny’s death and it complicates everything.
So for the moment I will try to feel grateful, until the screaming starts.
One thought on “Grateful”
Please, please, please don’t hold yourself responsible for Fletchie’s temperament. I say it all the time: They are all so different. You get who you get. and they are all “special.” I don’t doubt he challenges you. I am amazed at the patience you show him, even as he’s ripping out your hair! He will get bigger and you will be able to reason with him more. And eventually he will sleep. Hang in there! Call me if you need to vent!