Last night I was attempting to manage both girls while Eric was down for the count with some illness, and I told Aria I was putting Avery to bed and to stay downstairs. She was good at first but managed to find her way onto my lap when Avery and I had reached the storytime part of the routine.
We read a few books then I told her I was going to give Avery her bottle and she needed quiet to settle down. So Aria very reluctantly left, but only managed to go over to our bedroom and I could hear her saying in her highest, most motherly voice, “daddy sick?? Sick daddy?”
I set Avery on the floor and left her lying next to her crib still drinking her bottle (sippy cup). The floor is safer than the chair or changing table now that she rolls, and she freaks out if I put her in her crib before we’re done with the entire bedtime ritual.
I decided to go ahead and start Aria’s bathtime so that would be underway and it would keep her occupied. Once she was in I went back to finish feeding Avery, and the little doll was lying on her side, curled up in a little ball next to the crib, assuming that this must be where she was going to sleep tonight. Granted, her rug is super plush and soft, but still. That made me feel so bad that she thought she was going to sleep there. 😦
Then tonight I had to set her down on her floor again to get her a refill on formula. She was beyond mad because she was still hungry on top of being tired since it was way past her bedtime. So as I was in the bathroom preparing another bottle I was watching her in her room, watching me and squirming and struggling and throwing a full blown tantrum from her belly, up on her elbows.
And it gave me a terrible idea.
She is 10 months and still not crawling. Yes, she’s had more setbacks than most babies will ever have to endure, from having her legs casted, to having back surgery, to just having systems not all functioning up to par… but since the tethered cord release she has no physical reasons why she shouldn’t be able to crawl, so I turned into PT mommy. The mommy I usually struggle with and instead cave to her pitiful sobs when she struggles so hard and just can’t manage.
I put her bottle down on the floor…just out of her reach.
It felt awful. The whole time she was reaching and writhing and stretching I was both cheering her on and apologizing profusely. My heart broke at least 50 times during those 30 seconds.
She tried so hard. She squirmed and pushed and managed to get close enough to knock it over, and that was about all I could take. I tried setting it back up, but when she tried again and couldn’t grab it she buried her face in her carpet and cried and I picked her up, snuggled her close with her bottle, and told her how very sorry I was.
But don’t you worry. After she finished her bottle she lie there for a second all content with her full sleepy belly, sighed a big sigh, then turned and looked at me with her big beautiful eyes. She cooed once at me as she reached out her little hand and grabbed my nose. Then squeezed it with her fingernails digging in and tried to rip it off my face.