Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Venting and a Hot Shower

Sometimes I am not a well adjusted Mom. I have been known, on occasion, to join Rae during one of her screaming fits or cry while I hold her when there seems to be no end to her tears. It stems from a deep seeded frustration over not being able to figure out what she wants or needs. Sometimes it feels like she is doing it just to throw a wrench in the cogs (which is silly to feel). It sucks!

I am sure most parents out there can relate to this overwhelming sense of agitation and helplessness when faced with an unconsolable child, but there has to be a better way to deal with it than joining in Rae's temporary madness. Lately, it has been happening in the morning during breakfast and again an hour later.

Currently I have four options (not in any particular order after 1):

  1. Run through the check list (clean diaper, hunger, thirst, pain, gas, temperature, etc...). I always do this first in hopes that I can nip the fit in the bud.
  2. Lose my cool and screech along with her singing a tune no one wants to hear.
  3. Place Rae in her crib, shut the screen door, and seek refuge in the peace of a hot shower.
  4. Open up the waterworks and have a good crying session.

I feel horribly guilty when I opt for the second and third choices.

Once the checklist has been exhausted and the fit is still moving ahead at full steam I continue down the list and decide on the next plan of attack.

Screeching like a bird with her is counter productive for both of us. It doesn't make the frustration stop nor does it truly offer any sense of relief...only more frustration and guilt over screeching like a mad woman. So, now I am trying to curb this ill advised, ineffective behavior and have sense found other options better suited to our needs.

Leaving her to fend for herself and teaching her to "self soothe" can be equally stressing because I want to be there for her. I want to hold her and tell her it will be okay. Wipe the tears from her cheeks and make whatever ails her cease. I want to fix it! But I can't. There are times when it just seems best to let her vent. We all have to vent sometimes and Rae is no different. When all other courses of action have been tried and ended in failure, then it is time to let her scream it out. Eventually, she falls asleep, usually after I hop in the shower, and when she wakes up from her nap all is right in the world again (or at least in our home).

Since I'm a firm believer in the cleansing power of good cry, I don't have a problem joining Rae when she is on a tear bender. Of course these occasions are few and far between because the incessant crying has to go past an acceptable (in my opinion) fifteen or twenty minutes and usually no one else can be around to help alleviate the pressure (Dad or Mimi). Eventually, we both calm down and are able to move forward with our day.

I frequently utilize the third option...letting her vent. There is no sense in my fuse blowing because hers has already blown. After I have exhausted the checklist and if I'm not in need of a cry, I leave her to her own devices. She mumbles, whines, screeches, cries, and cusses me out in her own adorable baby talk fashion. We are working on finding and teaching her different ways to communicate more effectively (sign language), but until then we're going allow her the time to vent and I'm going to take a nice hot shower.

Here's a mealtime fit for your viewing and listening pleasure...

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