Earlier this week was one of those rare days where I got to spend the entire day alone with Spud on a weekday as it happened to be a long weekend where I got both Monday and Tuesday off. And, because Silver Bullet did not get the Monday off like I did, I thought I’d tell the Nanny to take the day off as well that day as it has been ages ago since I get the chance to spend the day alone with Spud.
If anything, it was a day I was looking forward to.
As if on cue, it also happened to be the day when she was teething again. She has done not only some massive, smelly poo several times a day that day (it was such a feat to change her diaper that day that I wanted to slap myself purple), she also decided that she was going to be extra clingy to me. .
By clingy, I mean, the moment I showed some indication that I was going to shift my butt somewhere and a-w-a-y from her play mat to do something else (even walking to the other end of the sofa to get her wet wipes, never mind to the kitchen or the bathroom to do anything else), she started wailing. And I mean serious, teary-eyed, crazy loud haler, ear piercing, crying bloody murder, my-mother-has-tortured-the-crap-out-of-me wails.
It was insane.
I mean, she was OK if I just sat right next to her, She was even OK if I just lie down and sleep and did not interact with her (I closed my eyes small enough to try to con her that I was asleep, hoping that she would take the bait and follow suit. It was of no surprise that she didn’t), as she kept herself busy while sitting at one spot. She, however, drew the line at when I needed to get up to do other things…even if she could see me from 3 meters away! While she immediately went quiet if I carried her, she would also start wriggling like a worm within minutes after being carried as she wanted to be on the floor.
She just could not make up her mind that day, and I swear, it was like she was taking the piss out of me! I was, to my own credit, able to remain calm for most of the time. I continued to do the things I needed to get done (which ironically were mainly the stuff that are directly pertaining to her needs), and continued talking calmly to her as she went on with her sad, pathetic I-want-attention-now wails.
I left her in the play-pen and blocked out her wails as much as I could by speaking to her as any calm adult would while I continued doing other things (like cooking!). I would, every few minutes or so, stopped what I was doing and went to her. Still crying.
At some point, I even let her out of the play pen, but as soon as I left her side, started walking to the kitchen and then closed the safety gate to the kitchen behind me, she started crying again with gusto. (It was actually quite a funny sight to see her holding on to the safety gate that separated us as she continued her crying, but stopped herself for a few minutes when she got distracted by the TV or the cats!)
She went on with her crying bouts for almost an hour as I went about doing the stuff I needed to do, and still keeping my cool. It was, in all honesty, not my intention to let her cry, but I figured she was just being a drama-queen with me, and that she cannot always have her way.
When I was done 10 minutes later, I scooped her up and sat with her on her play mat, trying my utmost to calm her down. But, the more I tried to get her to stop her crying, the angrier she got, the more she pushed me away and the louder her cries became. Nothing I did could stop her from her temper tantrums, and after about another 10 minutes of trying (yes, I tried everything — the milk, the nappy change, the food, gettng her to nap etc) before I gave up and just let her cry as she started stumbling about on my lap.
Realising that I was not going to do anything about it, this little imp then just let it ripped once again! This time, the cries were louder, angrier and visibly agitated.
I got to the point where I just don’t know what to do anymore…and then I did it.
I let it rip. I yelled at the top of my lungs. Just her name out loud. Really loud that I think China could have heard me. Definitely enough to startle her (and myself!) and telling her “Enough” in a very stern voice.
That did it. She looked up to me, cried a little bit more, as if upset that she got scolded; and then almost immediately stopped screaming her head off and reduced her wailing to sniffling sobs as she buried her head on my chest.
I did not say anything for a few minutes, but just rubbed her back gently as she sniffled along. Within seconds, she stopped her sobbings and soon after, gave me a very wide grin. It was as if nothing had ever happened!
The little imp, I tell you.
I did feel somewhat bad for having to yell at her; especially since that was my second yell of the day. (OK. I know this sounds bad, but the first (milder) yelling happened when she was also at it as I was changing her nappy earlier on in the day). But, seriously, I was really at my wits end…what’s a mother who is obviously no saint herself, is supposed to do?
I did wonder if teething has anything to do with it or if Spud was just testing me, pushing her boundaries. Either way, she has, single-handedly managed to drive me insane with her incredible inconsolable crying.
Despite all the drama, her mood got better towards the end of the evening, and as long as I did not try to get her to nap, she was actually quite pleasant to be with. I did think that she might just be experiencing separation anxiety, but I had to bust that theory as she did not show any signs of distress when she saw me walking out of the door to go to work in the next few days!
At this rate, I thought, it would be better for my sanity if I continue being a working mom. That way, I will be more capable of appreciating Spud better.