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the mommyhood memos: i got punk'd... by my sweet baby boy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

i got punk'd... by my sweet baby boy

Is it a little bit too ironic that my last post—written two days ago—was about communication with your baby… and then just today I’ve been in an all-out yelling match with my 16-week-old? (I didn’t even know children were capable of this at 16 weeks...)

Let me explain...

This morning I had meetings beginning at 8:00am at the non-profit my husband and I work for. And now that I’m (mostly) a stay-at-home-mom, I try to at least attend these weekly gatherings so that I can stay in the loop of things.

Although it may seem like no big deal, these meetings last most of the morning and cut into two of Levi’s naptimes. Now this is fine, I just have to think ahead, plan, and be creative. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about naptimes so far, it’s that when the first nap of the day goes south… it gets more and more complicated (read: difficult) as the day goes on. (Mommies, tell me you know what I'm talking about!)

This morning was no exception.

When it was time for Levi’s first nap, I quickly swaddled him, read him a short story, and laid him down in his stroller in our darkened office and went out to join in the meeting. All was good.

But after a few minutes I heard fussing on the baby monitor... and then the fussing quickly escalated into very loud crying. I went in to see what was wrong and found that my son had wiggled his way not only to the end of the stroller, but half-way out of the stroller. From his waist down he was practically hanging off the edge – ready to fall out completely!

Imagine my shock and horror as I realized that if I had arrived seconds later I would've found my baby on the floor, quite potentially injured, and most definitely screaming (with very good reason). Poor little guy! (And poor little momma was probably even more spooked than him!!)

I quickly scooped him up and settled him, but by then he was so worked up that naptime was significantly delayed, which in this baby’s world means he gets overtired… which then translates to one of his 30 minute cat-naps. (I can almost guarantee that when he is overtired, his naps only last 30 minutes – it’s like clockwork.) You’d think the more tired he gets, the longer the nap goes… but it doesn’t work this way with my little one! (And a 30-minute snooze is definitely not enough for him to make it through the morning as the happy chappy that he normally is.)

Eventually he calmed down and went to sleep.

I rejoined my meeting… but sure enough 30 minutes later Levi was awake and fussing (whereas he normally wakes happy when he’s had a full-length nap). Let’s just say the morning was already on a fast track toward disaster.

By the time we left our meetings (which I missed most of anyway), he not only had a terrible first nap, but we had eaten into his second nap time as well. He was actually quite placid as we were leaving, but I had seen this behavior before and I knew it was the calm before the storm... 'cause like his mommy, this little boy needs sleep or else he gets Grumpy. (Yes, with a capital 'G'.)

I was desperate to get him a good nap so we could “reset” the day before he had a total melt-down due to overtiredness. I had a fair few things to get done in the afternoon and needed a rested, happy baby on my hands, so I decided we’d take a little drive.

Now, I’ve heard lots of parents say that to put a baby in the car is a sure-fire way to get them to sleep for as long as it continues moving. I had not tested this theory out yet since Levi’s normally very easy to get to sleep. But today it sounded appealing… 

It was a gorgeous day, I had lots to think about, and it seemed that a long drive into the country would be perfect. Babe could sleep, I could think, and by the time we got home he would be “reset” for a normal afternoon and I could "get stuff done."

He did sleep… for a little while that is.

Before I knew it I had driven about 45 minutes and—just as I was turning around to head back to the city—my sweet sleeping babe awoke.

First, he stirred.

Then he made some sighs.

And then he started "talking."

(This is all completely normal for how he usually wakes up.)

But then in just a few short moments his talking escalated into his newest trick: yelling. (This is not “mad” yelling mind you, but happy, see-how-loud-you-can-make-your-voice-go-yelling. It's pretty funny actually.) The happy yelling was all fun and games until... He started crying/screaming/yelling for real. And when I say for real, I mean for real. (This kid can go from zero to sixty in three seconds flat!)

I found a place along the highway that I could safely pull over, went around to where his car seat was, and opened the door. (He was still screaming wildly at this point). As I reached for the buckle to take him out and settle him, the most miraculous thing happened: he stopped screaming—dead in his tracks—and laughed at me.

I mean he seriously laughed at me.

I would expect this sort of thing from a toddler… but a kid who’s not even four months yet?!

Hmmmm… is little man already learning how to push mommy’s buttons? Seriously???

When I realized he was fine and in complete control over settling himself, I got back in the drivers seat and continued toward home. We still had 35 minutes left in the car.

Not even a minute passed before little boy began with more screaming. I stopped yet again only to repeat the whole thing all over. (And just like before he immediately stopped screaming and flashed me that irresistible grin once more.)

A few minutes later we were back on the road, and, you guessed it: more screaming.

By this time I was well and truly onto him. It was obvious there was nothing wrong… But could my sweet, innocent little baby boy actually be testing me? Was this really a temper tantrum? (I like to believe the best but... where else can a mommy's mind go with this one?!)

“Two can play this game,” I thought to myself.

I rolled down my window hoping the noise and wind would catch him off guard and distract him from his dramatics. And it did… for a fleeting moment before he picked up the volume even more. (Please understand that this wasn’t a hungry cry, or a wet diaper cry, or a gas-in-the-tummy cry. This was some other cry that definitely resembled a temper-tantrum.... or something.)

After his latest volume increase I decided to turn on the radio. Levi loves music and that usually captures him enough to quiet down.

The next few minutes went a little something like this:

Music on = baby louder.

Music volume louder = baby volume louder.

Music volume waaaay louder with mommy singing at the top of her lungs = baby quiet…. Perfectly quiet.

The rest of the way home we alternated between Levi screaming and mommy singing as loud as I possibly could. As long as I was yelling—I mean singing—Levi was quiet. As soon as I stopped his wailing began.

I drove the rest of the way home with my windows down singing along to the radio as loud as I could muster. (And I had no idea the words to any of the songs that were on so most of my singing consisted of “la la las,” except for “Life is a Highway…”) Because it was no longer about calming him down; it was about winning.

Oh my. Did I really just admit that?

Yes, it was true. I wanted to win this one. (Oh, first-time-mommy... with soooo much to learn!)

"Game on!" I thought as I continued to sing at the top of my lungs. And this was not “pretty singing” or even “silly singing.” This was “yell-singing” at its absolute worst. I must have looked like a complete lunatic to anyone passing by.

Like I said… Oh my. (*sigh*)

Finally we pulled into our driveway. I was glad for this escapade to be over and right about then was wondering if Ryan [my husband] would be willing to switch jobs with me for the afternoon.

Because—yes—Levi piped up again the moment we arrived and I stopped yell-singing.

As Levi screamed his head off I turned off the ignition, got out of the car, opened the door to get him out, and it happened again: dead silence… followed by the biggest, most gorgeous grin you’ve ever seen. (I swear the cute little monkey even giggled at me... again.)

So much for a peaceful drive in the country with a sleeping babe and time for mommy to think! (Who’s idea was that anyway? Mine???!)

We got into the house and my little darling acted as if nothing strange had just gone on for the last 40 minutes. He was quiet and calm and still smiling at me… ready for some play time with mommy.

I’m quite sure he thought it all was a game. Either that or he has a remarkably short memory and had already forgotten about his untamed shenanigans and desperation to have my attention exclusively on him again. In any case, he was absolutely fine… not a care in the world.

I, on the other hand, thought certain it was a battle of the wills. (And where in the world did he get such a strong will I wondered? Uhhhh…. No comment.)

I shook my head in both mild frustration and amusement, and smiled at my son in absolute bewilderment…. I had just been duped by a 3 ½-month-old.

And really, can someone please tell me, is this normal? :)


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11 Comments:

At May 20, 2010 at 12:50 AM , Anonymous Ulani Couper said...

Thanks for making my day! It's truly amazing what they figure out at such a young age. I'm always amazed at how they know what buttons to push......even though they can't even talk!!!!! I would've loved to have seen you driving down the road, it probably would've been pretty funny! :)

 
At May 20, 2010 at 1:23 AM , Blogger Aimie said...

I have so had that day with my munchkins too!! :) Love your story...it was so funny!!

 
At May 20, 2010 at 5:58 AM , Blogger Feature Me said...

Congratulaions! You won the Feature Me award!

 
At May 20, 2010 at 4:47 PM , Blogger Tuibuas said...

Adriel, this was a great read!!! I loved it!
Shey

 
At May 20, 2010 at 9:51 PM , Blogger Shanna said...

Loved this! =)
I am following you back! Have a fabulous day!
~Shanna
http://www.mommyofoneandcounting.blogspot.com

 
At May 21, 2010 at 1:08 AM , Blogger Mama Hen said...

I love that picture! What a cute post!

Mama Hen

 
At May 21, 2010 at 3:19 AM , Blogger LJO said...

Love this! Ahhh...the joys of Motherhood!

 
At May 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Made.By.Jess said...

With kids, nothing is normal. You will have days like this forever. You'll have days when they push your buttons so much you feel like collapsing, but somedays it all giggles, smiles, and grins. (I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old)..
Kids shall be mischievous =)

♥Jess.
p.s. I am following you back.

 
At May 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM , Blogger bigfatmama said...

Very normal...the louder the music in the car, the better mine sleep. I don't understand it either.
A great sleep website is www.familysleep.com

Thanks for stopping by www.cookingupfaith!

 
At May 22, 2010 at 9:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adriel - so funny! Laughed all the way through. Nice knowing that things that go around ... :) love you! Gigi, xo

 
At June 5, 2010 at 11:31 AM , Blogger Alisha said...

This was absolutely fantastic! I think I'm gonna have to follow you! *grin*

 

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