Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Don’t You Know Who I Am?!?!

I love how celebrities use that line when they want something and think the person is just going to give them whatever they want because of who they are. They say it with such clout and fierce sense of self-entitlement. It’s so pompous and asinine. That’s why I think it’s funny, when Thomas had been crying for his second straight hour in the middle of the night, and I had the urge to yell over his screams, “Don’t you know who I am?!?!” Like he should care!

Let me back up first. Thomas created a nice, little schedule for himself when he was first born. He ate every three hours (which I thought was great for a breast-fed baby), and he slept through the night (11-5) around two months. And then he turned three months, and it’s like he said, “Yeah, this isn’t working for me anymore. I’m not getting enough face time around the hours of midnight and 5 am. So see you guys then.” Actually it’s a bit more complicated than that. He would go on these nursing strikes and arch his back and cry. My fast letdown was causing too much air intake. This would cause him not to eat enough, which would cause him not sleep, which would cause some pretty horrible crying fits. So I pumped and gave him a bottle, which turned into half breast milk and half Similac Advance, which turned into all formula. (The guilt I felt from that broke my heart on top of all this other drama, guilt that would be best shared in another post). And when that didn’t work, the doctor said he probably had acid reflux and put him on Prevacid and Mylanta Supreme. The Mylanta Supreme didn’t work, so the doctor said I had a fussy baby. I agree, but I don’t think he’s fussy because he likes to cry; I think there is a reason. So I changed to Dr. Brown’s bottles, Nestle Good Start Formula, and Mylocin drops. That day went so well! He didn’t cry when he ate, he napped pretty well, and smiled a lot. I thought I finally figured out all the pieces to his very complicated puzzle. Until 1:30am last night. He woke up cooing which quickly turned to crying. For two hours. I didn’t think he was hungry since he ate at 10:30 pm, but after two hours of trying everything, he ended up eating 3 ounces, fell asleep, and then was up again at 4:30 am for another fifteen minutes. But during that two hour jag, I felt like screaming, “Don’t you know who I am?!?! I used to be someone! I was a teacher, the head of the English Department! I have a Masters in the Art of Teaching! I have traveled the world! I am good at what I do!” However if you uncover all the layers of misdirected anger, it would really read, “What am I doing wrong? I want you to be happy! I don’t want you to be a miserable boy who ends up acting out, and then people say, that’s a boy for you. I want you to be understood and happy. I am usually successful at the things I do. I am trying so hard. I feel like I am failing you. And that makes me feel so guilty!” But at 3:00am, things come out a little angrier due to lack of sleep.

And I know I am somebody. I’m a Mom (although I don’t like to be painted solely with that brush because I like to think I have an identity aside from that, but taking care of an infant and a three year old there is little time for anything else), and that’s a really important job. I have worked long enough as a junior high school teacher to see the products of horrible parenting. So maybe I’m projecting some of my fears, but hey, I haven’t slept a whole night on a consistent basis in almost a year. Sleep deprivation can do some crazy things to my perspective. I just want to be a good mom to my babes; and right now, that is the last thing I am feeling.

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