I felt like a bad mom today. I woke you up early to take you to the doctor for your one year physical exam. The nurse pricked your toe to test for iron (you screamed and screamed) just so she could tell me what I already knew: you were perfect. I wouldn’t let them prick the other toe to test for lead. You’re welcome.
There’s a big debate about giving your child shots. Dad and I would rather a needle than a horrible disease so I hope we picked right. It’s so hard to tell sometimes because the memory of today isn’t going to easily fade. I’m so sorry that I had to hold you down while two nurses gave you five shots and you screamed and cried and tried to get away before you gave up and just stared at me with those eyes, like “why are you letting them hurt me?!” I hope that you never have to take your own child to get shots because that feeling is terrible.
This afternoon I could tell that you weren’t feeling well. You cried a lot and only wanted to play with toys while sitting in my lap. I took you to the store to pick up some baby Tylenol and you screamed the whole time in the cart holding your arms up for me to hold you. Baby boy, if I had 5 arms to carry you and a gallon of milk, a diaper bag, and a box of baby Tylenol, believe me when I say I would have done it. Instead, I had to let you cry and try to ignore the judgmental stares that I was getting.
When we got home I changed your diaper, but didn’t realize that one of the band aids from your shots was stuck to the diaper so I accidentally tore it off when I took your diaper off. You REALLY didn’t like that, and this time we both started crying.
I gave you a bath at bedtime and it made your lips turn blue and gave you the shivers. I took your temperature and it was 101.9. I’m sorry that I didn’t realize sooner. Dad gave you some Tylenol so that you could be mad at us both, and you wouldn’t let me rock you. So we put you to bed with a fever.
You’ll never know what mother’s instinct feels like, but it’s waking up from a deep sleep exactly 4 hours after dad gave you Tylenol. Lucky for me, you were okay that I woke you up. You stood in your crib with your arms up and your eyes closed, because you were too tired to keep them open, but you knew that it was me and you wanted to cuddle. I didn’t have to take your temperature this time to feel that you are what I already knew: perfect.
I rocked you in that chair for at least 30 minutes. You were awake the whole time but you didn’t move and let me cuddle with you. You stared at me like you did in the doctor’s office, but tonight you didn’t look sad.
I’ll never know what baby instinct feels like, but you must have it because while you stared at me in the quiet, dark, nursery in the middle of the night, you took out your pacifier and very quietly made baby babble noises. It’s so hard to tell what you were saying because you only know two words, but since one of those words is “Mama” I think that I can guess what the inflection meant. You took out your pacifier, looked at me, and in your own words I think you were telling me that you love me, too. Then you put your pacifier back in your mouth and closed your eyes.
Oh, Baby Boy. Mommy loves you.
Don’t make me cry.