And The Award Goes To…


Me. Category? Worst. Mother. Ever. Don’t believe me? Just ask Robbie; he’d be more than happy to fill you in on the horrors of being my child for the past week.

It really all started on Wednesday night during our flights home from Kentucky. Robbie screamed and fussed and wiggled the entire way. I was not patient. I was not understanding. I didn’t care that he had a cold. I didn’t care that he’d barely napped. I wanted him to sit on my lap during take-off and landing. I wanted him to sit in his seat and color during the flights. And, I’ll be honest, I fully expected him to fall asleep on the second flight and be cuddly and wonderful. But you know about all of that…

Thursday night was perhaps the worst night of my life. Other than the night that I spent in labor – but I knew that would end eventually with a fabulous little boy. I wasn’t sure that Thursday night would ever end. Robbie went down around 7:00. He woke up at 9:00 and screamed until 9:50 when Justin came home and took over. Of course, Robbie went right to sleep for Justin. Until 11:00, when he woke up screaming. Again. And at 1:30. Justin brought him into our room at that point, too tired to keep soothing him from the rocking chair. Robbie stayed there, tossing and turning, until 4:30. And then he was over it. We finally put him in his crib and let him scream. And scream. And scream. Until almost 6:00 when he finally wore himself out. I felt like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mother. But I couldn’t deal with it. He was fed, dry, and warm. And I was going to lose my mind. Justin and I weighed the options and decided it was best for everyone to just let him scream.

I knew it was an ear infection around the second time Robbie woke up. However, as any seasoned mom knows, there’s nothing you can do about it until the doctor’s office opens the next morning. There are only so many times you can try to shove Tylenol down a baby’s throat. Or offer him a bottle and have it thrown across the room. So, we waited. But we were at the doctor’s office when the door opened for the walk-in clinic at 8:00.

I was right. It was an ear infection. Actually, it was two. And a cold. But, lovely child that my son is, he turned on the charm and flirted with the doctor. Me? I burst into tears, so tired of the screaming and not being able to fix anything. Robbie’s doctor told me that I’d done a great job. In fact, she confided that that morning, she’d told her two little boys they needed to get their acts together because, although she loved them, she did not currently like them. This made me feel a little better.

We spent yesterday in New York visiting Justin’s family. It was the first time Robbie got to meet them, and he was a perfect gentleman. He even took his medicine without a problem. Twice. And then it was back to Bartlett Avenue, where all hell broke lose this afternoon.

Robbie didn’t take a nap. He was wound up and, at some point, pooped (we all know the fun of Augmentin, right?). I got him up and tried to clean the house. Robbie wasn’t having it. He knocked down the gate to the bathroom. He tore down the (already broken) linen closet door. He knocked down the gate by the stairs. It was all I could do to remind myself that I was the adult in the situation. And I had to remind myself over and over and over. After he screamed. After he clawed my face. After he tried to choke me.

Eventually, I did the only other thing I knew to do: I took Robbie and left the house. After all, in public, my child is charming and there are witnesses. I have to be the adult in public. We went up and down the aisles. I took my time, sifting through coupons (I saved over $71 with my card and the coupons). Robbie flirted with people in the aisles, the cashier, the bagger, and the people in line behind us.

Then we got home. He screamed for a cheese stick, so I gave him one. Then he screamed for another. As I was opening it in the disaster area that is my house, Robbie opened his mouth and spit out all of the cheese he’d just chewed. Much to Barkley’s delight.

Speaking of Barkley… My other “child” is also on the list. He peed in the house twice today. In the middle of the disaster. But, back to the rest of the day… Robbie tore around the house, pulling items from drawers and throwing them onto the floor. Finding myself at my wits end (again) and without any other errand to run, I put Robbie in his Pack ‘n Play and went to the other side of the house. He ate dinner on his own, too. I just couldn’t bring myself to sit with him while he threw food and screamed.

He screamed his way through dinner. And his bath. And getting dressed. And medicine-taking. He tried to throw the bottle again. He squirmed out of my arms when I tried to rock him. So, I ignored him. Went about my business, putting away laundry. He puttered around for a little while and then got his bottle. He climbed into my lap and fell asleep in my arms after a long talk about how I was a bad mom and he was a bad boy but we were both going to work on being nicer tomorrow. The time? 5:55.

It’s been a long four hours since then. I cleaned our room, sorted through my clothes, bagged up four bags of things that didn’t fit. I dusted and vacuumed. I finally got the groceries (mostly put away). I did a load of laundry (still have to remake the bed). I cleaned up chicken juice from some chicken Justin defrosted – dated December 2009. I purged the fridge of rotting produce. I cleaned up Barkley’s second mess.

Is everything finished? Absolutely not. There are still (non-perishable) groceries on the counter. Only one load of laundry got done. The downstairs wasn’t vacuumed or mopped. But I’m all set. Done. Ready to put clean sheets on my bed and crash. So, I’ll leave you to mull over your less-than-stellar parenting moments. And perhaps not feel so alone in them.


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