This afternoon, I am the proud mother of a screaming, head-butting, slapping, fit-throwing T. Rex who apparently does not want me to make dinner. How do I know? Because every time I walk in the kitchen, he wedges himself in between me and whatever work surface I'm trying to use, and caterwauls until I pick him up. I have tried ignoring him -- I get hit with whatever toy is handy. If I pick him up, he immediately wiggles and squirms to be put down, then cries when I DO put him down (lather, rinse, repeat). I've tried a snack, I've tried a drink (for him, not me, although MAN does that sound good right about now), I've tried reading together, watching a show together, ad infinitum ad nauseum.
And now we've reached the point that I like to call "OH FOR THE LOVE OF PETE WOULD YOU PLEASE STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!" I don't yell this out loud, or even say it in a regular voice. But it blares in my brain at full volume -- almost like in The Shining, when Danny sends a telepathic message to Dick Hallorann that's so strong, Dick feels like he's going to pass out (or something like that):
"ZOMG I CAN'T LISTEN TO ANY MORE OF THIS FUCKING WHINING!"
This is the point where I have to carry the screaming, kicking T. Rex up the stairs, put him in his crib, shut the door, and walk away. Because seriously? Mommy needs a time out.
I'd never, never, NEVER do anything to hurt my son. Even at the worst of these moments, when I feel my blood boiling, and all I want to do is scream right back at him, it never enters my mind to hit him out of anger. But I also know that sometimes very scary things happen in the brains of tired, stressed, hungry mommies on the verge of their own little meltdown.
So I walk away, and I turn the volume down on the baby monitor (it's up just enough for me to hear if he's doing anything other than peevish whining), and I wait for the transformation -- his, not mine. I get my shit together, and then I go upstairs and get him. Lather, rinse, repeat.