Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Communication breakdown

It's happening more often now and it's usually on nights when Jon is out of town. It seems Owen likes to wait until he has me all to himself to spend a good chunk of the evening yelling at me. It's not a cry--there are no tears involved--it's clenching his fists, opening his mouth wide, and yelling as loud and as long as he can until he turns bright red in the face. I know it's only because he doesn't know how to simply tell me what he wants. I know this because I spend most of this time choking back tears and anger because I can't find a way to tell him yelling at me isn't going to help either of us. We have officially reached a communication barrier. My little boy knows what he wants but he doesn't have the words to tell me what it is.

Evenings like this kill me. Evenings like this serve as an annoying reminder that I don't know what I'm doing. The panic sets in pretty quickly. I start doubting I'll ever know what I'm doing and if I'm actually capable of raising a bright and happy child. Evenings like this make me feel like I'm slowly and miserably failing motherhood.

Then something weird happens. I miraculously snap out of the doubt that is closing around me. I say so what and keep trying to find whatever it is he's looking for. We sit down. We play with blocks. He gives me a high five every time I ask for one. We watch a little Nick Jr. I give him a bath and squirt him with the little bath time fishes. He brushes his teeth while I put on his pajamas. I read him a book and when he's heard enough he touches the page and grunts. We'll finish the book tomorrow night. I set him in his crib and he reaches over to turn on his Baby Einstein fish tank. I tuck him in and kiss him good night. We'll start over again in the morning.

I'm not failing. My child is already bright and happy. It's just that motherhood makes me feel really stupid sometimes, especially when he's yelled/I've listened for hours only to find he wanted some Cheerios, but it's all part of the process. I forget that sometimes. I forget that often. He and I are teaching each other. He's searching for words and gestures to help me understand and I'm paying very close attention. I'm telling him the name of every item I hand him so that one day, in the not so distant future, he won't have to spend another evening yelling at me for lack of a better word.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I can totally relate to this, Katie! Emmett does that same screaming thing. It's SO frustrating for both of us! Hang in there... even though it feels like forever, this phase doesn't actually last that long. Just wait till he starts talking - it is so incredible to finally hear what's going on in that little head!