Bad Behavior.

It was the end of a busy week. Buzzy's cousins had visited, and we'd all had a wonderful time, but their absence Friday morning left her out of sorts. Her behavior alternated--one minute, mopey and whiny, the next, manic and crazy with bad behavior. Note to the parenting police: I know I should say, "inappropriate behavior," but you should probably stop reading now because things are only going to deteriorate.

By Friday night, I was sick and tired all around--sick and tired of Buzzy's attitude, exhausted because I hadn't slept much, and I had such a sore throat and was so hoarse that my raspy whisper had prompted someone at the park to ask me if I was from New York. Greg had to work late. The baby was fussy. We got through dinner, bite by painful bite. Buzzy's bath, unfortunately, couldn't be skipped due to the aforementioned trip to the park. She kept turning on the cold water and shrieking in that piercing, two-year-old key when it splashed her body. I managed to keep from shrieking when it hit me, too, but the baby cried loudly from her bouncy seat in the hallway.

I gritted my teeth and figured I could make it--her bedtime and my sanity were just minutes away. But Buzzy squirmed from my efforts to dry and diaper her. I started yet another count to three, threatening the loss of her beloved story time if she didn't cooperate. Somewhere after two, she kicked her towel towards the baby. "That's THREE! You lost stories!" I roared. So much for remaining calm. Then, out of nowhere, I spanked her (undiapered and bare) bottom.

She stopped, looked at me with shock, then started sobbing. I was horrified. Buzzy had never been spanked. Generally, I don't think it's an effective form of discipline, and I don't approve of doing it in anger. So much for my principles. I stared at my distraught girl in the hallway, wanting to hug her but not sure if I would make her more upset. Then she well and truly broke my heart by coming to me and lifting up her arms for comfort.

"Oh, baby, mommy's so sorry." I murmured. "Mommy should not have spanked you like that. I should have a time out."

"But, Mommy," she said, tearfully, "You're a grown up." Oh, baby girl. Of all the ways to learn that her mommy isn't perfect and that grown ups make mistakes.

The baby continued crying as Buzzy calmed in my arms. I didn't want to leave Buzzy, but she looked at me, wearily. "Mommy, get Rosie." I went. Our bedtime routine resumed, calmly now. After I tucked Buzzy in, and her prayers were said, and we did our "good night, sleep tights", she added, "And, Mommy, try not to spank me again, 'kay?"

I recounted/confessed the events of the evening to Greg later that night. He questioned whether I should have apologized for spanking her. He's not a spanking advocate, either, but pointed out that, "Back in the day, it wasn't a big deal." I don't know. I will never forget her bewilderment that I did something wrong; causing that confusion and shaking her world seemed an injury bigger than the spanking itself. Is two too young to learn that mommies can make big mistakes? However, keeping my "Mother knows best" credentials when I'd spanked her in anger didn't seem right, either. Plus, obviously, I didn't want her to think that hitting was okay. I kept the apology simple and tried to move on quickly. I don't think I'll spank her again, and I sincerely hope Buzzy's a lot older before I demonstrate again how fallible grown ups--even mommies--can be.

Slow Learner

All I want is sleep. But I must finish feeding the baby. Then burping the baby. Baby writhes and wimpers. Try the pacifier--no dice. My pillow calls to me; I'm falling over with exhaustion, but I'm prevented by a tiny little tummy full of agony. She's only happy when completely upright. Envision a contraption that would keep her upright that would not require me to be upright as well.

Burping, burping, still burping. Her body is stiff; she wails when I set her down. Shhh, shhh, sorry baby. Back up again. Pacing, and walking, and I am so very tired. Finally, I can't help myself. I fold that tense tummy into the swing, whispering apologies, and I collapse onto the sofa. She cries--then, we both fall asleep. There's a lesson in there somewhere. . . .

Three Month Love Affair

It's that magical time of night. Buzzy snoozes upstairs, and we turn our undivided attention to Facebook, the laundry, the baby. She gets to be an only child for a couple of hours each evening. They say the second gets shortchanged on attention, which may be true, but I will say that I am savoring her sweet babyhood more than I did her sister's. Partly it's because there's a good chance she's our last baby. Partly it's because we have seen what comes next, and two is tough. But, mostly it's because she's just a doll. It's much easier to enjoy her than to write about her, but I need to record some of this before it disappears into sleep deprived oblivion.

This one smiles so easily, and has already chuckled a couple of times. She has lots of punky black hair that stick up, and ears that stick out (in a very cute way). She thinks she can talk already and coo's and oooh's right along to our conversations. She squeaks a lot in her sleep. She rolled over tonight (already!), for the first time. She still grips an offered finger in her little paws. Her eyes are blue blue blue. Unlike Buzzy, she isn't addicted to her pacifier. All of the doctors have commented on how strong she is, since day one at the hospital right on through to her shots last week. She's growing long, all too fast.

My doctor commented on how very pink she was when she was born, so I think I’ll call her Rosie on this blog. In real life, she's named for my mother--who informed me that her name was actually Rose for a while, until my grandmother changed her mind. (And neglected to inform anyone official, so my mom discovered it when she applied for her first passport and needed a copy of her birth certificate. But that's another story. Needless to say, Rosie works on a number of levels, and the poor child has a rich family history of nuttiness, which you already knew if you read this blog).

At some other time, I will record my battle involving the double stroller and the trunk of my car, the challenges of feeding one baby as the other one strips off her diaper and announces she has to go potty and needs help NOW, and the fun family times reading Those Can Do Pigs above the shrieks of an irate three month old. But, tonight, in the baby's first dedicated post, I will simply say that she's a joy and we are smitten.