Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Forgot

This morning I've been watching a 9 month old little boy for a neighbor while she gets 2 hours of dental work done. I'm not sure who is in more physical pain.

OK, I'm kidding. I'm sure it's her.

He's been crying for about 90 minutes. He stopped crying long enough to poop, then started up again. He seems to cry more when I approach him or look at him. He's exhausted. I don't know why he doesn't pass out on the floor.

I've been armed with Craisins and cheerios and frozen baby yogurt in tubes. He wants nothing to do with any of it. I've shown him Hot Wheels and Rescue Heroes and books and blocks. No luck with those either. I've walked him around the kitchen-familyroom-livingroom loop like 20 times in a row, doing my special bouncy walk (registered with the Ministry of Silly Walks) and that only resulted in me getting a snotty, slobbery spot on my shoulder.

There is a mental shut down that takes place once all logic fails. Once you've tried everything, and despite it all, the baby is still screaming. For the stay-at-home mom, this mental shut down is a life saver. A happy place, so to speak where you can actually tune out the crying and find some level of peace for a few precious minutes. It's a tenuous peace, almost like a soap bubble, floating through the dog park with hundreds of snapping dog jaws vying to be the one to break it.

I forgot about that mental shut down. It's not only self-preservation at its best, it also helps preserve the species. (I'm not afraid to say it).

At first I was gratefully surprised at how, after all these years, my mind was able to so quickly shut down. That glossy look probably returned to my eyes, and I was able to answer phone calls with a cheeriness that bordered on creepy. (Because shouldn't I sound a little more harried with a screaming baby in the background?)

After a little introspection, I realized that happy place had been visited by me more recently than I'd first thought. I recalled last Sunday and the Battle For The Sticky Hand which had lasted for hours and never come to a resolution. At the end of the day Robert mentioned how awful it had been with all the fighting and arguing and crying. "Had it?" I thought. I'd spent the morning in bed, reading and quite enjoyed myself.

Maybe the mental shut down is why women live longer than men.


Angela!! said...

LOL! Afton...this is hilarious!

Emily Laing said...

Ok, I thought it was just a lack of sleep...but now I will enjoy my brain shut down a little more. The only time when it gets to be annoying is when you say "yes" because your not really listening to what your kids are saying and then find them in the backyard trying to start something on fire....

shiguy4076 said...

rofl that is fo funny because it's sooo true. Thanks for my morning laugh.

Heather said...

Mental shutdown is such a perfect word for it, and I have been there many times...today. :)