August 31, 2008 9:59 pm
We pride ourselves on being very scheduled with our kids. We don’t go far from home when there are naps to be had, we don’t fluctuate with bedtime and we have strict routines in place for just about everything. This has not always gone over well with friends and family. We’ve come to blows on several occasions, like when I refused to keep my then one year old son up late for Christmas Eve festivities at my parent’s house. They didn’t start until 8PM, Graham goes to bed at 7:30, sorry. I firmly stand my ground when challenged. We didn’t make the decision to have children to drag them around at all hours and not change our lives for them. They’re our children, we’re responsible for their care and upbringing. Jamie and I agree on this and since we’re their parents, that’s all that matters. I can withstand the judging. In fact, bring it.
Graham is now twenty months old. He has never missed a nap. Ever. It’s hard to believe, yes, but he hasn’t. That doesn’t mean that he’s never taken a short nap that resulted in an angry pint-sized monster for the remainder of the day. Fast forward to this week, his first week of school. Graham went to school on Tuesday and was home in time for his nap. I had to sing to him and shake him to keep him awake in the car, but I did it. Come nap time, he flat out refused. He jumped and screamed and rolled around in his crib. We’re cry it out people, so after thirty minutes, I finally went in. Nothing worked, the kid was NOT going to nap. For most people, this wouldn’t be a big deal but to us it was huge.
We endured hellish tantrums for the rest of the day. And the day after. It was bad, our sweet kid had turned into the devil while his parents were tired, angry and confused. My patience for Graham was dwindling. Everything we said or didn’t say sent him into a fury. I snapped at him on more than one occasion, he was certainly getting the best of me. Jamie and I agreed that the tantrums and lack of sleep were because of a change in his routine. Once he got used to his new school, he would settle back into his routine and be our sweet happy kid again. Our entire week was like this. It was one big tantrum after another, pausing only briefly to rest up for the next tantrum. I think I actually considered running away and leaving the kids for Jamie to raise.
On Friday night, Graham woke up an hour after going to sleep and proceeded to scream his bloody head off for the remainder of the night. He was inconsolable, I rocked him and sang to him and snuggled him but nothing was working. Well nothing, except the episode of Blue’s Clues he watched at 12AM. We knew something was wrong so we brought him to the doctor as soon as they opened on Saturday morning. There was our reason, a severely infected inner ear and another ear in the beginning stages of infection. We quickly filled our prescriptions and things started to get better.
Well, fuck. I was ready to sell my kid on ebay all week and had no patience for him when I was letting the poor kid walk around with an ear infection. How could we have missed that? He was looking to us to help him and fix his pain but we blew it. I feel like such a suck-ass parent right now. Graham has forgiven us and on his way back to being his old sweet self. He’s doling out kisses left and right and his hot temper is back to being lukewarm. I know we’re not the first parents to ever miss something like this but I wonder if it ever gets easier?