Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SAHM PTSD, or crib-jumping update

I never thought I’d say this but David has bested Seconda in a battle of wills. My money was on the kid, one hundred percent, but it just goes to show you, two year-olds are not invincible. Although I had a hand-me-down crib tent at the ready, we haven’t had to use it yet because the old-fashioned method, of just sticking the kid back in the crib every time she jumps out, is working.

But Sec hasn’t gone down without a fight – the first night she must have climbed out of her crib at least twenty times in a row, screaming “WHAT WE GONNA DO?” at the top of her lungs. Such is the knack young children have for punishing their parents. They latch onto things you said in moments of weakness and use them against you, over and over again, the kind of retribution Dante was fond of enacting in his Inferno.

“What we gonna DOOOOOO?” she cried plaintively, as if at a hopeless crossroads. .

“We’re gonna stay in our cribs is what we’re gonna do!” I shouted from the living room.

The living room is my base of operations during this sort of showdown. An by that I mean: I'm not allowed anywhere near the sleep-training child. I am a caver. I give up the fight quicker than a virgin on prom night. What can I say in my defense? My nerves are shot. You’d think it would be the reverse, that’d I’d build a kind of tolerance to the insanity, that after four years of non-stop whining and wailing and begging and pleading, I’d be a rock, but no, all of it has actually eroded my store of patience and calm. But who am I kidding? I didn’t have much calm to begin with.

Hearing a baby cry has always hit me like a bowling ball to the guts (I’m speculating here, since I’m not a big bowler brawler, but it seems like it would hurt). On the rare occasions when I can slip out to a movie, and they play that pre-movie segment which tells you all the stuff you shouldn’t do during the show, that baby wail that’s included in the sound montage shocks my system to the core. It’s nothing logical. My body just responds, instantly, like a woman that’s been defibrillated. I’m back! On duty! Whatever the problem, I will fix it! Sorry for temporary lapse! I’m back!

I must suffer from SAHM PTSD. Without the “post.”