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To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern:

First off, let me just say that I am overall extremely pleased with the baby I received on Nov. 12, 2004. I enjoy slobbering kisses on her so much that I may be training her for her first Junior High School Boyfriend, I love watching her sleep with her mouth kind of open and her blanket wrapped around her head so tight like a turban so that I feel I must move it in case she can’t breathe. I enjoy listening to her laugh most of all especially when I threaten (and, it’s no empty threat) to eat her tummy for lunch. I can’t get enough of her smiles, her curiousity, her constant question “wassthis?” to any object she doesn’t know the name of. I love that she makes me drive her all around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.

I love being her mother. The person who will shape the way she knows love forever.

But…yesterday, I didn’t like her. At all. Please excuse me if I start crying because I’ve had very very little sleep. But we (my husband (and for the record I don’t like it when people refer to their husband’s online as DH -it’s just irritating), newly turned 2-year-old and I) were flying home from Connecticut where were visiting the in-laws. Taking a child out of state is hard enough. Dealing with a borrowed Pack & Play which seemed way more in the play catagory since she busted out of it every single night, wandered around the house breaking small expensive objects, like she was browsing at Tiffanys. But I worked though that with drinking and daily Holly Hunteresque crying spells everyday. We got through it just fine. It’s the going home part that was the real motherfucker.

More specifically the second leg of the airplane ride home that has done permanent damage to my relationship with her, my husband and every passenger on that plane. Granted, I’m still on very very little sleep but…it may have been the worst night of my life. My daughter had, naturally woken up that morning at 4 a.m. because it seemed like the right thing to do on a the day we were FLYING HOME. She refused a nap so by the late evening she had worked herself into a state only seen in in a certain movies starring Linda Blair. I am truly not exaggerating when I tell you that she screamed and screamed and screamed for hours. I’ve truly never heard of a baby being able to keep up a crying fit for that long. We tried everything. The flight attendants tried everything. I literally cried and cried myself and wished I could jump out of the plane. No parachute would’ve been fine.

She writhed in agony like she was having convulsions, threw sippy cups at passengers heads, swatted my much needed coffee in my lap (on purpose), and continued to scream relentlessly until about 45 minutes before we landed. She was possessed and I’m not sure I will ever be able to fly with her again. I felt like the worst mother on the planet. Like I must be wearing a sign that says “that mother cannot comfort her poor, obviously in pain or severely traumatized daughter.” At one point I completely gave up and read Entertainment Weekly while she wailed.

To top it all off, I’ve been doing nothing but crying since we came home last night at 2 a.m. I, honestly feel as bad as when I had postpartum depression. And I don’t like her. I don’t. And I know that’s so fucking wrong and fucked up. I know it’s not her fault. I know she was stressed. But, she won’t come near me, she’s not her usual self at all and I just guess I thought two-years-old would still feel so innocent that how could I possibly be mad. What’s wrong with me?

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 1, 2007 9:37 pmUncategorized32 comments  

32 Comments

  1. Anne D said,

    You are a human loving mother … the fact that your daughter is still here proves it! :-)

    Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. Just try to get some sleep (easier said than done, I know).

    I said with both my kids … sleep deprivation is a form of torture in some countries and can, literally, make you crazy.

    Sounds to me like you handled the whole thing wonderfully!!!

    Good luck getting that oh-so-needed sleep!!

    | January 1, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

  2. Anonymous said,

    Just an idea..my daughter did this on a flight once and she had an ear infection and she was in pain. Also, a trick handed down to me is Dimetap cold medicine(the purple kind) b4 the plane takes off. I’m not saying to drug your child….but if she’s say a little stuffy….and then she sleeps the whole flight..and you don’t cry..etc… :)

    | January 2, 2007 @ 1:00 am

  3. Denise said,

    Stef, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Do not be hard on yourself. It is SO hard to travel with children, and you’ve had the very worst of it. She’s had so much going on in the past week; I’ll bet she’ll be a little bit better each day. Hang in there. All your friends are pulling for you!

    | January 2, 2007 @ 2:03 am

  4. Portlairge said,

    That sounds like the nightmare trip from hell. I hope at this point you and she are getting some much needed sleep. When you can wake up you can put it behind you. I don’t have any advice because my boy is only 3 months old but I can say I think you are a great mother. Don’t beat yourself up. You couldn’t have done anything differently. Maybe she’s brewing with an ear infection like anonymous said- especially as she is still not herself.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 2:51 am

  5. Binkytown said,

    Oh you poor thing! Listen- mine is a month shy of two years old and a MONSTER. ALL THE TIME. I’ve found myself thinking the same things and wondering where my sweet boy went. It’s the terrible twos. Get some sleep, get a babysitter if you have to. You’ll feel better and things will turn around. Sorry that sucked so hardcore.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 4:21 am

  6. Mrs. Chicken said,

    You aren’t terrible. You are human, and you are exhausted. The holidays should be outlawed. Sleep, drink lots of water and eat well. You and your girl will both get better each day.

    Oh, this made me feel so bad for you both! Hugs to you.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 4:23 am

  7. elly said,

    Aww, how could you have anticipated that she would be such an unhappy camper for the flight!? I think you handled the situation as best you could (i.e. you didn’t try to lock her in the cockpit with the pilot) and for next time maybe have some child pain killers on hand… I have sensitive ears on airplane trips (I think if there is fluid in the ear canal it reacts due to the change in cabin pressure) where my ears hurt (espcially on take off and landing) like someone is drilling into them with a ice pick-so maybe that’s what was going on even if it wasn’t an ear infection and taking ibuprofen or some other pain killer usually helps reduce the intensity of the pain.

    also luckily you’ll re-fall in love with your cutie patootie the next time she asks “wassthis?” cuz thats how babies work on their mothers! :-)

    | January 2, 2007 @ 7:01 am

  8. Misfit Hausfrau said,

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! None of this was your fault. I can’t imagine the hell that you and your husband (and daughter went through.

    Someone once told me that the best time to travel with a child is when they are 6-10 months old. That proved true in my case. My older daughter was a dream to travel with at that age. I am too afraid to travel with both of my girls–I’ve never done it and they are now 23 months and 4.

    Until your daughter is older, it will be better for family to come and see YOU. It just isn’t worth the disruption and drama. Now go, get some rest.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  9. Mama of 2 said,

    I agree you AREN’T horrible. You are like another poster said human and just as stressed as your daughter.

    I think it will take a few days even a week or more to regroup from the chaos before you and your little one are feeling back to normal. (if normal is such a thing)

    Do your best and that’s all that you can do.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

  10. crabbykate said,

    Oh Stef. We’ve been there, and then some. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my screaming daughter and thought “ummm…why motherhood again?” Sometimes it just sucks the bag.

    Get thee a babysitter for the day, crawl into bed. And sleep the ugliness away. It will feel better, promise.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

  11. Bluepaintred said,

    oh dear guess what. i had this for three weeks. my adorable two yearold, so giggly and curious screamed and whined and whined and screamed for three weeks. no fever, no cough no blah blah blah. all he did was cry. hours and hours and hours at a time. in fact my mil told me to calmly place him inm his room 9door open) and tell him, calmly, come out when you are done crying. he was out of his room for less then 15 minutes, the ENTIRE day. he criiiiied

    then we took him to the doctor because i very much wanted to punch him in the face. sorry if that sounds bad. but i did want to ( i did not do it tho). his eardrum birst when they looked for signs of ear infection. he had infection but no symptoms.

    not going to go back and check my typing, because i will end up not hitting “send”

    | January 2, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  12. Taira said,

    We are not normal unless we’ve thought of ripping our child’s heads off one time or another.

    I’ve done the dreaded nightmare plane ride and there have been bouts of completely not liking my son for days at a time. I never feel bad until a perfect non-parent stranger points out that they are supposed to be the joy of my life for 24 freakin hours of the day and shame on me for thinking about running away to Namibia so I can get as far away from him as humanly possible.

    Of course, then the fantasy trip and the bad mommy hallucinations fade and I have a hurricane style cry and then things get back to normal again. Dont beat yourself up, we have all been there!!

    | January 2, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

  13. Mela said,

    I’m not a parent yet, but I think it was probably the eardrum/pain factor that sound of your respondents mentioned. My husband gets this “ice pick in the ear drum” pain upon take off and landing too. The only thing that helps (when the stars aline) is when he takes behind the counter Sudafed that unblock his sinuses. The pharmacist recommended that, and if he takes if a bit before take off, that seems to help. Pain relievers don’t do it.

    I would think this may have been her problem since she was screaming. FYI, my husband’s ears typically hurt a day or two after a flight too. Maybe she’s still in pain. I’d ask her doctor about it.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

  14. Stefanie said,

    Thank you everyone for your support! I didn’t want to blog about this at first because I felt so badly about having felt so pissed at my daughter. But you’ve all really helped me feel less alone. I did get some sleep last night and I do have a sitter coming today so things should be looking up.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  15. Lena said,

    Oooooh girl. You are not alone.

    What you need is to get away. YOu know, so that you’ll actually WANT to come back.

    You name the day and we’ll do momtinis.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  16. Mom101 said,

    Oh lord. Sounds simply miserable. I only know that with some time and distance, that you’ll be able to turn it into One of Those Stories.

    Hope you get to catch up on some sleep this week.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

  17. Nath said,

    Hi,although not a regular I thought I would still butt in and tell you that you shouldn’t blame yourself.
    Ear infections could definitely be the reason for your daughter’s crying. I used to suffer from them and must tell you that it is the single most painful thing I have ever gone through. Up to this day I get awful ear aches if I can’t adjust my ear pressure when flying.
    When I was a child someone suggested warm cotton at the bottom of 2 styrofoam cups and placing the cups over the ears (so as to make a warm – empty or hollow sensation) when taking off or landing. It works, any cup would do actually.

    Also, educational psychologist say there is a reason for the terrible twos, they call it the practicing phase.I don’t want to leave a whole thesis on your comments, but let’s just say that you are going through a difficult phase where the child realizes separation (start to walk, etc) and feels abandoned, alone and angry. The theory says that your daughter sees you as the source of gratification (food)but also as source of frustration (she is starting to be her own person but still needs you) and so she’s mad at you and acts up. The good news is that it’s a short phase and your daughter will once again become close to you.
    Hey, we’ve all gone through it and have survived.

    I don’t know if knowing the probable reason behind it helps, I know I feel somewhat better when I know what’s going on.

    Best of luck (and babysitters once a week? great idea!)

    | January 2, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

  18. Meira (comments AT voirdire DOT org) said,

    Just chiming in to say: Yes, I’ve felt that way, too. And even having been there and back a couple times & knowing that it passes doesn’t seem to help most days.

    (Also, in your ‘About’ blurb, you have a typo : “It’s chock full of alchohol references!”)

    | January 2, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

  19. Meira (comments AT voirdire DOT org) said,

    Just chiming in to say: Yes, I’ve felt that way, too. And even having been there and back a couple times & knowing that it passes doesn’t seem to help most days.

    (Also, in your ‘About’ blurb, you have a typo : “It’s chock full of alchohol references!”)

    | January 2, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

  20. School Teacher said,

    OMG! So you were the mother on the plane that I wanted to choke! Just kidding. I agree with the others that it wasn’t your fault. Although you may have given birth to her, she is not you and therefore being that she has her own unique personality and quirks too, you simply can’t control everything that she does and how she’ll act (or react). With that said, hang in there. Don’t give up on travel with her just yet. I was on a plane with several babies and young kids and one family had brought along liquid Benadryl to kind of sedate their kid(s). The others had books, toys, movies and food. Better luck next time and do try hard to catch up on your sleep. It’s like a wonder tonic. Again, hang in there.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

  21. Karen said,

    Dude. DUDE.

    I. HAVE. BEEN. THERE.

    On that plane, with that child. (for the record, it was the ears, but I’ve flown with kids more than enough times to know that sometimes it just the way the wind blows. I’m sure that you had all the books, food and toys anyone could care to travel with it. Sometimes it just doesn’t do it.

    She’ll still be the girl you love. You’ll get by. Even without the babysitters. You don’t really need respite, you just need space to air it out.

    | January 2, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  22. Granny said,

    Hi. Just spotted the link at Kristin’s BB post.

    Adding my voice to the reassurances. That was a trip from hell for you and of course you’re exhausted. You’re also human.

    I think all of us have been there at one time or another. Mine are older but there are days when I want to run screaming.

    I’m glad you were able to rest and that you’ll have a short break from it all.

    Ann

    | January 2, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

  23. Jess said,

    Hope you’re feeling better now, Stef.

    My little sister told us tonight that she’s pregnant. Total shock. I’m buying another copy of your book for her.

    But hey, I get to be aunt FINALLY.

    | January 3, 2007 @ 5:39 am

  24. S. said,

    I found you blog through Chicken n Cheese.
    Just want to echo what everyone else has said. You had a lot going on with the holidays and you all made it out (relatively) unscathed.
    Just hang in there. You will both get better.

    | January 3, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  25. Haley-O said,

    Ahh, this must be what they call the terrible twos. Get some sleep and give it time and you’ll wonder why you felt this way. By the way, it’s not fucked up — it’s perfectly normal. You’ve been through hell and you’re frustrated. Give yourself a break — you’ll both get through this and grow from it. I hope you feel better!

    | January 3, 2007 @ 8:33 pm

  26. Antique Mommy said,

    I think every mom goes through this sooner or later. I know I have and it sucks. I adore my child but I don’t like him at least once a day! The people around you with kids were empathizing. The people without kids – well, they were cursing you and hating your guts! I’ve been both. I hope you’re feeling better. If not, may I recommend a good Chardonnay?

    | January 4, 2007 @ 12:45 am

  27. surcie said,

    I think you need a huge break. It probably feels like post traumatic stress disorder. And why wouldn’t it? Considering the HELL you’ve been through, don’t beat yourself up for one second more! You have nothing to feel guilty about.

    I’ve missed you!

    | January 4, 2007 @ 2:00 am

  28. MrsFortune said,

    Wow, that sounds sooooooo rough. On both of you. My only comfort to you is that she’ll never ever remember it, and while you certainly will, it will fade with time. Now the airlines have a longer memory and you may be in some trouble there, but hey. That’s why there’s a bunch of ‘em.

    | January 4, 2007 @ 3:37 am

  29. Kristi said,

    Kids suck at the absolute worst times. Remember what you wrote in the first part of your post and remember time heals all wounds.

    | January 4, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

  30. cry it out! said,

    God I really, really wish I was sitting next to you guys — just so someone else could say it’s alright, it’s fine. Kids do crazy shit. Especially when they’re tired. But you’re still a great mom. Besides, I take a sippy cup to the head like nobody’s business. I hope you guys are all doing better. All best, Mike

    | January 5, 2007 @ 3:19 am

  31. rebecca said,

    Hi. I’m not a mom, and don’t really particularly want to be a mom. I also don’t care to be around crowds in general and I admit that I think “oh, crap” when I see a family with a young child getting on the plane I’m getting on. But I feel so much compassion for you after reading this — for what you went through during that trip home and for the struggle you’re still having with those feelings — and I promise that I will remember you the next time I am in a public place and annoyed by a screeching kid. I will do my best to remember that I have no clue what’s going on and the parent may be totally unable to do anything about it and may be feeling horrible about the situation, and that it just happens sometimes. So I appreciate you sharing your story for that reason. (And I’m glad it’s done you good to share it and to hear from other moms empathizing with the experience and your feelings.)

    | February 10, 2007 @ 4:42 am

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