Aug 6, 2014

baby...or monster?

After a long day of packing, sorting through mom's stuff that's been collecting dust in my dad's basement, preparing for a garage sale, doctor's appointment, craigslist extravaganzas, making banking arrangements...I'll stop there, you get it...Neal left Eleanor and I at home so he could attend mutual at the church.

We have been sleep training E and it's been rough. I'm starting to think it was a dumb idea because she's always gone down easy at bedtime, but she's been used to napping in her swing. I am 120% certain she exceeds the weight limit of the swing (it's a loaner so I don't have the manual), as it barely moves even at the highest speed. Also, pretty sure we can't bring that thing to Scotland. So we are trying to get her used to napping in her crib during the daytime. Anyway, sleep training is controversial and I don't really want to get in to that, but the point is, now seems like the best time to do it. Neal and I are both home and able to take turns, we will be living in an apartment in Edinburgh and don't think our neighbors will appreciate it then, etc. Like I said, it's been rough, and I think Eleanor has been a bit crankier as a result.

After Neal left, I decided to feed her a bit of sweet potatoes. Sounds like a one-man task, right? Normally Eleanor behaves like the babies you see on commercials and will allow us to airplane the food into her mouth. She'll mash it around with her gums and wear a confused face, but eagerly leans in for more. It's always cute and fun. Not so much tonight.

She has, seemingly overnight, started reaching for everything in sight. Notice that I said everything in sight, not everything in reach. So tonight I quickly realized that I needed to remove everything from the kitchen table because she was whining and reaching for every little thing and totally ignoring the food I was trying to feed her. Once we were all clear and she finally focused on the spoon, she started to yank it out of my hand and shove it into her mouth and began chewing down on the spoon ferociously. I think this was more due to teething than to interest in eating the food. She did swallow some of the food on the spoon but I'm pretty sure it wasn't intentional. She kept gagging herself, so I tried to take the spoon from her and hold it myself and kind of dump the food into her mouth, but that made her so angry she started screaming hysterically and even threw the spoon on the ground. I was shocked! My sweet daughter was seriously glaring at me as she repeatedly reached for the jar of food and the spoon.  I couldn't tell if she wanted more food or what. Within two minutes I was covered in sweet potatoes, my kitchen was covered in sweet potatoes, Eleanor was covered in sweet potatoes + drool + her tears + my tears. It was time to abort. I threw my hands in the air, pulled Eleanor out of the Bumbo chair (although someone's chunky thighs made that less dramatic than I wanted as they were firmly lodged in the leg indentations. We practically need baby oil to get those things out). I stripped her naked and one-handedly drew a bath as I held her on my hip and prayed over and over that she wouldn't pee on me (although why not throw pee into the mix; I was covered in everything else).

As I set her into the bath her countenance changed. E loooves bath time. She started splashing and squealing and obviously I melted. She's just so darn loveable.

Bottom line: Every time I think I am getting the hang of this mom thing, I have an evening like this where I realize I have no idea what I'm doing. Such a rookie. On the bright side, I put her down to bed just before starting this post. She fell right asleep without even a whimper. Sleep training is either my nemesis or my best friend. We'll see.

Okay...I'll forgive you.



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