Alone

I’ll never understand just how single parents do it. They are honestly superheroes. I’m not even a single mother, but I feel like I am more often than not. Since day one, I have changed every poopy diaper (yes, every poopy diaper), and most of the wet ones. I have cooked and fed every meal. I have executed every bath, and read every story. Given every dose of medicine. I have put him down for every nap, and every bed time. I have woken up with him night after night, and rocked him back to sleep. I am the one who wakes up with him every morning. Just last night, he woke up at 1:30, and would not go back to sleep, not matter what I did. We spent hours rocking, and got nowhere. My back was on fire from the crappy, old rocking chair, and I was so exhausted that I was fighting the urge to throw up all over his sweet face. I ended up lying down uncomfortably on the couch in the living room around 3:00 in the morning, and he fell asleep on top of me from 5:00-7:30. All I could do was try to cry silently, like I’ve been doing most nights lately, and try not to wake him up. I got no sleep. None.

His separation anxiety is so extreme this time. It has never been this bad. He screams and screams and screams when I try to put him in his crib, if I even lean over it. He wakes up the second I put him in there, even if I’ve been rocking him for an hour, and he was passed out. He open his eyes, stand up, and scream.

This morning, he refused to nap, just like every day for the last week. This sleep regression/cold/ear infection/teething/separation anxiety has hit him like a ton of bricks, and it is wearing me thin. He has been so fussy during the day, and it has been so hard to get anything done, whether at home or in town, because he is just so clingy and upset. I tried to leave him with his father today, so I could try and get a few moments of sleep, but honestly, I don’t trust him with him. I know he would probably never hurt him, but he has a very short fuse, and a very bad temper, and often raises his voice at him, or cusses at him, and it makes me so angry. Sure, I get angry sometimes, and I’ve raised my voice more often than I’d like to admit in just the last week, but he just gets ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that our son is barely over a year old, and doesn’t even understand what is going on, but what reason does HE have to be upset? He doesn’t DO anything. He has never spent a night, getting zero sleep, rocking in a creaky rocking chair for 3 hours. He got 10 hours of sleep last night! So, I do everything. I sacrifice sleep to make sure his diaper is always clean, or that he gets his meals on time, because Kyle always seems to “forget” or “lose track of time” when I leave him alone with him, even for an hour, so I can sleep, even though he is just sitting on his ass playing a game, or watching TV. I hate it.

I made a comment out loud to my son today, a bit passive aggressively, about how I was too exhausted to make lunch, but that I had to, because no one else would, and Kyle stormed off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him, to play his Gameboy (yep, talking about a grown man here). He gets so upset when I voice my frustration about doing 90% of the work when it comes to our son and our household, yet he throws these tantrums, and shuts himself in the bedroom for hours, leaving me even more alone. Proving my point. I’ve been asking him to get out to the laundromat for the last three days to do some laundry, since we are completely out of clean clothes, and he just keeps forgetting. A few days ago, I asked him if he would help me with the dishes, not DO the dishes, just help me, since I had already done nearly half of them, and our son was clinging to me, whining to be picked up. He just ignored me.

Last night was trash night, one of the only chores he will partake in, if I don’t do it, and he always waits until we are going to bed to do it. I was already under the covers, with the lights off, and with my glasses on the end table, when he came in and asked me to get the kitchen garbage out, and empty Liam’s diaper bin for him, which is something I always seem to end up doing for him. I stood my ground, and told him to just do it. He made sure to make as much noise as possible, sighing and gagging dramatically, cussing at the garbage bin when he dropped it and made noise. Then he came to bed, in a huff, and rolled over angrily. Absolutely unnecessary. And I get bitchy, and I get passive aggressive, and he brings out the worst in me. I don’t mean to, but I just get so upset. He doesn’t fight, we never fight. And that is a problem. He doesn’t talk back, because he doesn’t talk at all. He just shuts off, often storming off to the bedroom. And nothing gets done. I am so tired of it.

I love him, I really do, and I know he loves me and his son, but this is frustrating, and it is destroying me. I am exhausted, my blood pressure is through the roof, and I have been so, so depressed. I am tired of the bullshit excuses, and the immaturity. I want him to grow up, but he just won’t. I want him to listen to me, and understand how hard this has been for me, and what I am going through. The only reason I keep going is because I know that my son needs me, and no one else will take care of him.

But I’ve been having days lately, where the prospect of simply disappearing, leaving everything behind, seems more and more tempting.

I shouldn’t feel like this. I shouldn’t feel this overwhelmed, and this alone, when his father is RIGHT THERE. He doesn’t even work this week. He has been home for days, and will be home for the rest of the week, but… nothing. He won’t help me. It honestly feels like he doesn’t care.

I am at the end of my rope. I just want a break. A nap. Some quiet. I need help, and I have no one. Some days, I feel like it would be better if I actually were alone, then I would only have one toddler to deal with. Only one person’s messes to constantly clean up.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends. Thank you for letting me vent. I’m off to feed my overly exhausted kiddo a snack, and try to get him to take a nap, even though I know it won’t happen.

Jan

Little Milestones 8-9 Months

Green beans make everyone gassy though, don’t they? I think it is a green bean thing.

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Hello, friends! My little munchkin is now into his 8th month here on this planet, so I thought it would be a good time to update you on all of his latest milestones!

If you haven’t read my “Little Milestones 7-8 Months” post, you can click HERE!

So first, a couple stats on my kiddo:

As of today, Liam is 8 months, 1 week, and 5 days old! He hasn’t had a wellness check up since his 6 month shots, so I’m not entirely sure about his current height and weight, but he is now wearing mostly 12m clothes, with some larger 9m sizes, and size 4 diapers. He also wears a size 5 shoe on his giant baby feet! Tall and skinny still! I am just guessing here, but I feel like he’s around 26-27 inches, and maybe 22-24 pounds. Something like that, maybe? I could be waaay off, haha!

And, no, he has no teeth yet!

He eats 3 meals a day, and drinks 4 bottles of formula (26-30 oz. a day). For breakfast, he generally eats around 4 tbs. of oatmeal, mixed with 2 oz. of a fruit or vegetable, as well as some Cheerios if he still has room. Lunch is almost always a 4 oz. jar of fruit, with Cheerios/toast/smashed fruit on the side. Dinner is always a 4 oz. of a jar vegetables, with either toast or a different, chopped vegetable on the side.

I haven’t introduced too many new our exciting finger foods, and still haven’t introduced any meats. Peas and green beans continue to be favorite finger foods, but he also enjoys black beans, hummus, salt-less pretzel pieces, raw tomato pieces, rotini pasta, and toasted whole wheat bread. And Cheerios, obviously. Since I’ve recently gone meat and dairy-free, I want to try to get some different, healthy finger foods for him to try, that I can eat as well. I really want to look up tofu recipes, but tofu is scary. We’ll see! I have also started adding spices to his foods, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic powder. So far, no allergic reactions to anything we have tried, although, I’ve noticed that green beans make him pretty gassy. Not uncomfortably so, but gassy. Green beans make everyone gassy though, don’t they? I think it is a green bean thing.

And I suppose that’s it when it comes to food.

Just like my last post, I will include charts! I pulled both of these charts from the BabyCentre UK site, which is my favorite website for all my baby questions and needs. And, yes, I do like the UK site more than the US site.

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Here is the 8 month development chart, and if you scroll down, you can find the 9 and 10 month charts as well. The first column contains Achieved Skills (things that most babies at this age can do). The second column contains Emerging Skills (things that half of babies at this age can do). The third column contains Advanced Skills (things that few babies at this age can do).

I’m very proud to say that Liam has mastered everything on this list, aside from two things, which we are working on. He does reach for items, but hasn’t really gotten the hang of pointing, at least not with one finger. He kind of points? But it is probably just him reaching. He also doesn’t really say “dada” still. He is very fluent in “mama”, but has only said “dada” on a handful of occasions. Kyle isn’t home very often, but whenever he is, I try to push the “dada” talk, but so far it hasn’t improved too much.

He completely mastered crawling over a month ago, and is still getting into EVERYTHING. He is now able to pull himself into standing position (which he was able to do at 7 months, if you recall), and is also able to stand on his own if he lets go. He can almost stand himself up from crawling position, without holding into anything, but his core and balance aren’t quite there yet. He also jumps and bounces very well, and is able to sit and kneel himself back down from standing. He just recently starting being able to slowly cruise while holding onto his crib or play yard, but he hasn’t been as daring when it comes to holding onto the couch. So proud of this!

His fine motor skills are developing nicely from where they were at before. We took his doctor’s advice from his 6 month exam and started giving him his finger foods at 6.5 months with each meal, if only just to help with his pincher grasp, and it has definitely improved. He still prefers to rake, mostly because he likes to squeeze and smash his food in his fists, but he is definitely able to pick up his Cheerio’s with his thumb and pointer fingers. He has also gotten a lot better at getting his food to his mouth, but still hasn’t grasped the concept of letting it go so he can eat it, and ends up just sucking on his in his fingers. He eats probably 2-5 Cheerio’s/beans/peas/etc. himself during meals, sometimes more, and the rest I have to give to him. I also recently started giving him a spoon to play with during meals, because he was always trying to grab at the one I was feeding him with (which resulted in huge messes), so now he has started showing an interest in trying to feed himself with a spoon. Sometimes, I mash a pea or a bean onto his spoon, so he can see it and try to aim for his mouth. We’re getting there!

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I’ve already covered a few of these from the previous chart that Liam has learned already, but he also has been banging things for quite a while now, but more recently starting dropping and throwing his toys out out of his crib or play yard. He also throws and drops food while sitting in his high chair (my kitchen looks like a graveyard for Cheerio’s every day, seriously). He doesn’t sit still long enough for me to really play games with him when we are on the floor, other than peek-a-boo, which he likes, but sometimes we roll a ball back and forth! He likes to hit it with his hands and crawl after it. We actually haven’t tried the pat-a-cake game, even though the song is on his Scout toy, so we’ll have to try that when he is in his high chair!

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Just for fun, I wanted to post the 10 month chart as well. Liam recently started waving by opening and closing his fingers, so every time I put him down in his crib, or pick him up from his crib, I try to wave to him. He doesn’t do it on command, like if you’re saying hello or goodbye to him, but he can do the motion of waving! And he has gotten excellent at babbling and talking, and it sometimes sounds like he is forming real words! I swear, it sounds like he is sassing me on occasion!

We transitioned Liam to a sippy cup with handles at 6 months, and he has been using one ever since. He holds it and drinks from it on his own, both while sitting in his high chair and lying down, but we are still using the nipple lid, as opposed to a spout lid, because he refused a spout. We tried again recently to switch, but he was not happy. I have tried giving him sips from cups, we even bought him tiny, colorful drinking cups to use, but more spills out than gets in his mouth usually. We’re getting there though!

I’ve reeeally been trying to stop using so many cutesy nicknames, and have started trying to just call him by his own name (though I slip and use a silly nickname sometimes, because come on), to get him used to hearing it, so that he responds more. So far, nothing. However, he does respond to the word “no”. Kind of. If we are sitting on the floor, and he crawls over to my DVD shelves or tries to crawl under my computer desk, I sternly tell him, “No.” and he stops and looks over his shoulder at me. It actually makes him laugh! I have to repeat it several times sometimes, but he does listen! I’ve been trying to say the word “no” while picking him up and moving him away from where he isn’t supposed to be, so that he knows to associate the word with me taking him away from it, and it seems to be working.

And just a quick little bit about his sleeping habits, Liam has been sleeping through the night since he was around 2 months old. When he isn’t going through a sleep regression stage, he generally sleeps for about 11-12 hour stretches, only waking up once or twice in the middle of the night if he has a bad dream, or bumps his crib, etc. We moved his bedtime forward an hour, from 8pm to 7pm, after noticing that he seemed overly tired and cranky when we tried to put him down. It worked beautifully, and he still doesn’t wake up until around 7:30-8am. He is also still taking 2 naps a day, ranging from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours each, depending on how busy a day we’ve had. He just got out of his 8 month sleep regression phase, which luckily only lasted a few days, because it was so awful! We were both so tired and cranky that week. Now, he’s kind of teetering on being back in his separation anxiety phase, and has been having little fits whenever bedtime rolls around, but it looks like that may only last a few days as well.

This kid, such a freaking champ!

So there you have it! We have his 9 month shots coming up this month, so I will probably write in a more accurate height and weight in an edit, and let you know what his doctors say about his development. I just wanted to give you a good idea of where he is at right now!

Thanks for reading!

Jan