Yesterday wasn’t great and today started off rough.
Z woke up early. He barely ate breakfast. He was fussy. He cried. A lot. Much more than his somewhat usual whining, he was loudly sobbing for large chunks of the day. Anything or nothing would set him off. He cried more today than since he was a little baby.
He’s been getting over some sort of sickness, but his mood was sour despite a lack of other symptoms (no cough, congestion or fever).
He fought us during lunch. He took short naps. Taking him outside, which almost always cheers him up, wasn’t much of a help.
It was a long, rough morning and afternoon.
We took turns trying to cheer him up. We took turns trying to feed him. We took turns walking away in frustration as the other one held him while he cried.
We resorted to gallows humor, noting that Z clearly wanted to be an only child.
We had a beach picnic dinner planned and for some reason we decided not to cancel.
There was uncharacteristic traffic on the way there. He howled as we noted that we’d barely have time to eat before we had to leave to get him home around his bed time. While traffic was at a standstill during a green light, Lex ran from the front seat to the back to try to comfort Z. It didn’t work. He cried and screamed the entire ride to the beach. My ears were ringing as I tried to park quickly and safely.
A funny thing happened once we got out of the car. He calmed down and didn’t fight us as we walked to the beach, met up with the group, and spread out a blanket. We had Thai take-out and he let us feed him some chicken, tofu, and noodles. He didn’t even try to eat sand. There was a beautiful sunset and even offered a smile to a camera.
We departed quickly, thinking it could have been a lot worse.
He wasn’t happy on the way home but also didn’t scream the entire time.
As is normal, he was happy in the bath.
After Lex fed him, I came in his room for our nightly reading of “Pajama Time.” Lex was sitting in our rocking chair and he was standing in her lap hugging her. I came over to give him a hug and kiss and let him know we hoped he’d feel better tomorrow. We had a nice hug for one second, two second, three seconds. Z was completely still.
Lex and I looked at each other and whispered, “Is he asleep?” He hasn’t fallen asleep on either of us in a long time. Two seconds later, he started to giggle, causing us to laugh. He continued laughing and smiling through the rest of the bedtime routine.
It was a very rough day. The kind of day that makes you wonder how siblings are a thing or overpopulation is a thing. The kind of day that makes you think horrible thoughts and want to run away. The kind of day that makes you think wistfully about the days when taking care of an infant was not a responsibility of yours.
But, in seemingly an instant, it became a great night. One deep hug. One enthusiastic, mischievous giggle. One nearly toothless smile. That’s all it takes.
All’s well that ends well.