July 22, 2010

The Baby-Monster Whisperers

Oh, what a morning. This is the story of how my baby's and my day started.

The kids and I sat down for breakfast, and I realized that all I really had to feed them was graham crackers. I haven't been feeling very good for the past couple of days so we hadn't walked to the bakery or the market and we were out of everything that my kids would normally eat for breakfast. I would have made pancakes, but they were hungry (especially baby boy), and I didn't think they'd be patient enough to wait for that. So I brought the box of graham crackers and an almost empty box of corn flakes to the table and passed around some crackers. I gave them all cups of milk and then went into the kitchen for some reason.

Just moments later, my baby was fussing so I went to see what else he needed. I figured he had already devoured his crackers and wanted more. However, he still had cracker pieces in front of him and milk in his cup. I couldn't figure out what he wanted and my baby suddenly turned into a monster... a very angry monster. His fusses turned into screams, his hands turned into instruments of destruction, sweeping across the table and hurling everything in their path to the hard, cold floor below. And the crying and angry screams didn't stop. I tried giving him another cracker. That calmed him down at first, but after a bite or two, he turned into the monster again. My little girl suggested that he might want some corn flakes, so I gave him some of those. Seconds later, the helpless little flakes were strewn all over the floor.

They never knew what hit them.

At that point I got my baby out of his booster seat, set him on the floor, and told him no throwing food! The crying and screaming only increased in volume. I tried to give him his cup of milk, but be pushed that away. I tried holding him, but he pushed me away. I tried putting him back in his seat and giving him more to eat, but the destruction of the poor bits of food was replayed. In the meantime, the boy and the girl had finished eating and were (thank goodness) playing nicely upstairs.

My baby boy cried and screamed, and soon I found that I was having a good cry myself. Maybe it was the fact that I'd been feeling a little under the weather. Maybe it was a little bit of the loneliness of being in a new place. Maybe it was the little bit of stress that comes with trying to establish a home and a routine again. Maybe it was just frustration from not knowing what baby boy wanted. I really don't know. I have no reason to cry. I guess it was just one of those days. The whole situation is pretty funny in retrospect.

Anyway, I soon realized that what we needed was some music... something calm in this emotionally charged situation. So I found one of my favorite YouTube videos. It worked. After listening to the beautiful music, I felt better. My baby boy calmed down too. I was then ready to face the mess of crackers and cornflakes covering the floor under the table. My baby happily toddled around while I swept, but soon discovered the pile of food that I was sweeping into, and decided that he did want to eat it after all. I glanced down in time to see him about to stuff a handful of cornflakes into his mouth. The handful also contained a piece of thread, some hairs, and who knows what other nastiness, so I quickly reached down to stop him from getting it into his mouth.

And that's when I accidentally jabbed my thumb into his face.

He exploded into tears, and we started all over again. But, this time I had the remedy all ready to go. I turned the music on again, danced with baby boy, and he was happy within a couple of minutes.

I still don't know why he got so upset. I've never seen him so mad for so long before. Maybe an early onset case of the terrible two's? Teething? Whatever the reason, I'm glad that Iron and Wine and Calexico could soothe his whine... and mine.

p.s. Iron and Wine and Calexico are going to be in Germany in a couple of months. We're really hoping to be able to go see them. We don't know any babysitters yet, but I think we should be able to find one by then... unless we can't find anyone willing to face the challenge of our little baby-monster, in which case we could probably just take him with us, since I know he likes the music. :)


  1. Oh man, what a rough morning! So glad you had some great music to calm the little guy. I hope today is a better day. I wish I were closer so I could babysit your kids for you while you and your man went to the concert! I'll be praying you find a babysitter. :)

  2. I can't help but notice that this post came directly on the heels of your "I love being a Mom" post. Don't worry...whenever I say things that are laden in gratitude the Universe makes me eat my words too. :)

  3. I'm sure Jack would agree that Iron & Wine music can cure just about anything ... he's a big fan & will be jealous that you get to go.

    It's a good thing you're not a drinking woman; you might have been tempted to soothe the little monster with Iron & Wine, and soothe yourself with just the wine!

    Maybe the tears you shed were just what you needed. Sometimes we all need a "terrible twos" meltdown to cleanse, hmmm?