Jun 28, 2007

It's enough to make me cry for MY mother

The wedding was so much fun, it was like an escape from everything—Guy and I spent the morning of the Big Day walking around Newbury Street and Boston Commons, and it was so wonderful it was pathetic. (If a little window shopping (and, okay, a little real shopping) provokes repeated sayings of “This is just the best day!” “I love this day!” “God, this is nice.” “Isn’t this a great day?,” we clearly need to get out more). And then getting all dressed up and, as a friend put it (using questionable grammar), “Usually really great people and people who care about each other, might not be the most fun people. But everybody was on the same page and it was just amazing how you could have so many great people together and each one of them not only enjoying themselves, but truly enjoying each other's company. I think it's a testament to Kate and Pat. Just an amazing experience and a ton of fun.”

Yeah. What he said.

And then we came home. And thudded.

Girl’s been on this kick for the past few weeks. A kick that I do not find particularly pleasant. She’s got a case of the mommies, and she’s got it bad.

Okay, on the face of it, that sounds perfectly fine—she adores her mother, and wants to be with her, and that’s sweet but I haven’t described the symptoms yet. They include: crying constantly. That’s really the only one. There’s a lot of “Mama says…” and not really being interested in talking about anything that doesn’t involve her mother, but that’s all fine.

The crying is not.

It usually starts right around the time it occurs to Girl that she’ll be sleeping at our house. Her lip will begin to quiver, in this forced lip-quivering thing that she does, usually just to get attention. We will hug her and say it’s okay, we love her, and her mom loves her and she’ll see her tomorrow (or the next day, or whatever). This does not appease her. Not having received the response she wanted (which is what? Her mother at the door? Or just better attention-giving? It’s unclear), she begins to cry. And then to wail.

For hours.

Every night.

Granted, the kid has been on antibiotics pretty much this whole time, and if they make me feel like shit, I’m sure they do the same to her much smaller body. And I know I’m being entirely self-absorbed in wishing that I could stay in effervescent, fun-with-friends wedding land where there is no crying and no screaming and no ignored-feeling Boy child pitching fits over Every Single Little Thing that doesn’t go his way so he too can get some attention. But I wish it just the same, and I drag my feet walking home.

But more than anything, I just feel bad for her. She is making herself SO MISERABLE, it’s unhealthy, and Guy and I are at wits end as to how to fix it. Distracting her with fun and games has not been successful. Remaining calm and comforting hasn’t helped. Giving in and sending her to her mother’s hasn’t helped (in fact, in retrospect it probably just made things worse). We haven’t tried guilting her or scolding her and telling her to knock it off before we really give her something to cry about, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t help either. Every day, I think “this has to end soon. It’s just a phase. It can’t last forever.” But it just drags on and on and on, and everyone is unhappy because of it, Girl more than anyone. And it’s a self-defeating cycle, because nobody can have fun at our house when there’s constant sobbing, and there’s constant sobbing because our house isn’t as fun.

Sigh. I think I’ll go look at some wedding pictures now. Good times.


B&G's mom said...

Honestly, I don't know what to do about it, though in the past when she or her brother have had the mommies, it always passes on its own after a while. The pendulum swings both ways, and soon she's no doubt have the daddies. I would think that the daddies won't be much fun for you either. In any case, it's temporary, and we all have to ride it out.

B&G's mom said...

Ummm, that should read "she'll have the daddies," not "she's have..."


Julie said...

My friend who raised 3 nice kids recommends alone time. She sends crying children to their rooms saying "it's ok to feel sad. We all feel sad sometimes." She says everyone needs private time to settle the nerves. In her house, if the crier has been disruptive, when s/he comes out, s/he's to apologize for ruining the fun times. Then everyone moves on from there.

I don't have kids...so, my advice is to burst into tear with her. Tell her you want your mama too.