by: Emma Aguirre
Mommyhood brings with it some of life’s most wonderful, happy feelings on a level that I’ve never experienced before. My daughter was giggling today like I’ve never heard her giggle as I was launching her in the air (great shoulder work out FYI!), and it was just the most perfect moment. But just a few hours later she was screaming bloody murder, and it was all my fault. Mommyhood also brings with it a level of guilt and worry that I’ve never experienced before.
We were running errands this afternoon and she napped on and off in the car. After a two and a half hour nap this morning, I figured she had reached her three-four hour quota of day sleep. She was beginning to get a bit cranky around 4:30. We usually start her bedtime routine around 5 and I couldn’t entertain her for any length of time, so I decided to bathe her early and take my time as that usually makes her happy. It bought me some time but she still ended up falling asleep while she was eating, which rarely happens these days and something I really wanted to avoid. She managed to almost finish the bottle and I was happy with that. I just laid her down. She was out cold by 5:30.
By 6pm, she had woken up crying, which is also unusual these days. She has recently found her voice and seems to love the sound of it so I thought maybe she was just playing. I let her go for five minutes before going in to soothe her as it got louder and more severe. She quieted down and I left. Fifteen minutes later, she let out another enormous cry and I picked her up. She burped. Suddenly I realized she had gulped down seven ounces of formula, with cereal, without burping. I had just been daydreaming.
I almost burst into tears myself when I realized what had happened. She burped several more times, but I could tell she was not comfortable or happy. I felt so bad for her. We walked around the house and I calmed her and soothed and apologized profusely for what it was worth. Eventually, the worst seemed to have passed and I was able to lay her down. That was about thirty minutes ago and she’s still asleep.
The sad thing is I was probably thinking about how messy the kitchen was and how I need to go pick everything up. Or what we were having for dinner. Something so unimportant by comparison. We owe it to our kids to be in the moment for every moment, to be fully engaged in everything they do. Lesson learned.
I don’t beat myself up too much about mistakes I make, nor do I claim to be the perfect parent. This IS my first rodeo and I’m learning as I go, so mistakes are inevitable. It’s just another reminder that a) we are only human and b) we are completely responsible – in every single way – for the well-being and happiness of this tiny, new little person, and when we don’t bring our A-game, they are the ones who suffer. The only silver lining is at four months she won’t remember that mommy forgot to burp her and gave her killer gas.
In other news, my daughter loves bananas! We’ve been having about one eighth mashed of a fresh one for lunch, followed by formula and she’s doing great with it! Interestingly, I have a couple of British friends who were surprised to find that I gave my daughter banana as a first food. They said they had been advised by their UK pediatrician to avoid bananas as they can’t digest them under the age of one. They also said the same about honey, which I had read. Funny how we have different rules for achieving the same goal.