About 20 minutes in I was getting very frustrated and so I put her in her crib in order to leave for five minutes; let her scream it off for a little bit while I tried to gather myself a wee bit. Less than one minute later I heard a bang. Finally she had ripped off the side of the crib?! Nope. It was her body hitting the floor as she found a way to crawl over the side. I picked her up and rocked her until the sobbing hiccups had ended and I thought she was completely asleep. Shortly after I put her down in the crib the flailing began again. She would not. lie. down. She slammed her body around and smashed her face into the side. I clenched my teeth, perhaps thinking that it would mute my outburst, and screamed "Lie! Down!" She looked at me and continued crying. Realizing that this situation was not going to end up in the ideal the way I wanted, I picked her up and took her to my bed where I held her and began to cry as she settled down.
Screaming at my child(ren) is one of two things I never wanted to do. My father was a screamer. He'd lose his temper and scream at me until his spit was on my face and he had done his best job at belittling and humiliating me. Blaming me for his inability to take responsibility for how he reacted. It only made me lose respect for him. Over the past few weeks I've been having more difficulty dealing with Sweet One's outbursts and the challenges from her being sick for the past two months. When I get angry I feel like part of my father is being expressed by me and I absolutely hate it. I feel sick to my stomach. I was plagued by his abusive anger for so long in my life and when moments like this happen, I feel like it is still has a place, despite all my attempts to let it go.
Sweet One has forgiven me for yelling so easily but I can not seem to forgive myself because I am afraid it is going to happen more. It's been a long two months with 7 weeks of congestion turning into an ear infection, followed by her first stomach virus over the past four days The few days in between each of these illnesses had her waking up multiple times in the night. I am trapped in a dark tunnel and completely unable to see the light at the end.
I want so much to remember this Christmas Day as the one where Sweet One woke up and found the little kitchen I had assembled for her the night before. She enjoyed opening her presents and became so focussed on each new toy that she played with it for as long as she could before her Daddy couldn't wait any longer to give her the next gift. She put on the new shoes I bought her and didn't want to take them off: "Pitty! Pitty!" It was absolutely delightful to watch her.
If I may have one Christmas Wish before this day is through, I desperately ask that we get back to the great sleeping habits that we had worked so hard to find. And if that isn't a possibility, I ask for more patience with both myself and my daughter. Perhaps even the ability to forgive myself.