I read a lovely and hilarious blog, and one of the entries talks about snippets of moments, images that she has of parenting over the years. Her examples were all happy. I'm going to talk about an unhappy moment that hopefully leaves my memory soon.
To begin, we're in the tedious process of refinancing a home that we "own." (I say that with quotation marks because, really, the bank owns the house, and they will own it for what seems like an eternity.) There are a few problems: First, the bank is on Central time, and we're 5 hours behind on Hawaiian time, which means that there are not many hours in the day that I am awake while our liaison is at work. Second, K has been working insanely long hours, which means that he has not been able to submit much of the paperwork in a timely manner.
Sooo... we each got a rather panicked voicemail from her saying that if we don't get this current batch of paperwork in *today,* we will not be able to keep this stellar interest rate, and would have to start the process over (which, I believe, includes any fees that we have already paid, but I really have no clue about that, because K is the one that handles pretty much all of our long-term money things). I called her back because I had a couple of questions about the paperwork that I needed to submit. After being on hold for 16 minutes (literally - this is one of the only instances in which hyperbole is not needed), I finally got her on the phone.
When she answered, Baby J was content in my arms, but it was fairly inconvenient to try to hold him and the phone and shuffle through paperwork at the same time. I put him in his swing. He *loves* his swing. He takes long, wonderful naps in his swing. However, because I needed to do something while he was in his swing, he naturally was not having any of the swing game. I knew that it would take a second to calm him down if I picked him up, and I didn't want to have a baby crying into the phone while I'm trying to conduct business. I thought that this call would only take 2 minutes, max.
After 7 minutes, all of my questions had been answered. Baby J had been *hysterical* for the past 5 minutes - I could hear him 2 rooms over, with the doors shut... and, with each of those seconds, my heart was absolutely breaking. I kept trying to say things like, "okay - that sounds great," and, "well, I think that's all the questions that I have." But, the crazy woman would not let me off the phone. Finally, I was able to shut her up, and I practically sprinted through the house to comfort my oh-so distraught baby. My lovely, helpless baby. But, the poor thing had fallen asleep. I was heart-broken even worse (which I hadn't thought possible). I left this being, who I am head-over-heels for, and for whom I am the primary caregiver - the one that reassures him that he is safe in the world, and that people love him and will help him when he needs it - to hysteric-cry himself to sleep. This wasn't the "he needs to learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on his own" cry, this was "is there anyone in the world who loves me anymore?" cry... and that's how he fell asleep: wondering if there was anyone in the whole world who would rescue him.
I have done my fair share of crying myself to sleep: hormonal stuff, deployment stuff, giving a cat to the humane society because she keeps pissing on everything stuff. It's miserable (as everyone knows).
Yes - I know that this happening once out of the millions of times that he cries and I pick him up, reassure him, and calm him isn't going to scar him for life. This will be the least of the reasons that he will need therapy by age 8. I know, also, that in the big scheme of things, this one incident of taking care of something that will ultimately save us something an obscene amount of money instead of immediately rushing to his aid does not make me a horrible mother - that, in fact, this incident being so traumatic for me might be a sign that I am a good mother.
But, I reallyreallyreally hope that, in 5 years, this isn't a moment that I remember.
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