Sometimes the sole reason behind a blog entry is to realize how humorous bad days are when they are retold.  Unfortunately, I didn’t move this from draft to post when I thought I did, so for a true status update, you have to read the one BEFORE this.  Pretend there was a mishap with my kids’ time machine.

Our family went on an outing today. There we saw the following.

That he was angry was obvious. The gentleman’s face had moved from pleasant to frustrated to disgruntled to downright furious in the last little while. Nobody seemed to know the key to settling him down and restoring him to a pleasant person again.

Not even his mother who was in attendance. Nor his sister who was also there. Nor the many others who came and went while he experienced this descent to pure madness.

When proffered an item. He scorned it with his face and tossed it away with disdain, not caring that it fell to the floor, much to the chagrin of the one who had offered this peace gift. As he grumbled louder until everyone could hear his frustration even over the surrounding sounds which were numerous, the catering party tried again. What about this? Would this help you? Same reaction. Toss it aside. Complain louder. Red-faced now.

In spite of the fact that Asa was tired, cutting teeth and in a strange place, there could be only one conclusion.

Breakthrough 1: My son is old enough to throw a real live tantrum when he feels provoked to do so.

I had been wondering if the rising frequency of the "oops, I dropped my toy" occurrence was an indication that he had learned to do so purposefully. Now I know.

Sub point to Breakthrough 1: My son is old enough to start intentionally manipulating his surroundings

And on our way home, when he dropped his pacifier and began to air his frustration anew, I played the part of a budding contortionist and got my fingers (his favorite chew toys) in his mouth to quiet him. That’s when I noticed.

Breakthrough 2: My son’s first tooth has broken through the surface.


Breakthrough 3: My son is far too old to be chewing on my fingers.

By the time we got home, both of the older two were sleeping. Asa was still crying. He stopped for about 10 minutes after we got home- he’s a homebody, home is what he knows and likes. 10 minutes after we got home, he started screaming again as a harmony to his half-awake and overly tired siblings who were fussing and screaming about having to go back down for a nap.

Breakthrough 4: Earplugs should be issued with each new baby and at each well-child visit until children move out or are declared mute.

Subpoint to Breakthrough 4: Parents who keep their children out past their naptime for any reason short of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity are gluttons for punishment and deserve what they get.

Asa woke up crabby. Lithany woke up crying shortly thereafter. They did solos and duets until I gave up on the baby and started reading to the older two. That solved one problem. Asa continued to scream from his crib for an hour. I occupied the other two and spent the next hour trying to solve his perceived issues before I finally got him asleep. All toll, this house rang with crying, fussing and screaming without intermission from approximately 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Breakthrough 5: Melody needs to move in with us until I become a scientist

Yeah… Just never you mind how I got there!

BUT… DESPITE repeated requests, Melody won’t trade her career for a bunk bed in my daughter’s room and all the hotdogs she can eat. 

Now to do some experiments and see if we can solve this problem. Does taking him out more often solve the agoraphobic baby? Does getting him used to one place at a time make it better?

This has the promise of a great experiment. Who was that dude that just stayed home with his kids and wrote observational notes from what he learned from them and whose findings are now reported in EVERY Child Growth and Development book in the world??? I remember thinking that he must have had the perfect job. Now, I think he must have A) worn earplugs all the time or B) been emotionally detached from his children.

Breakthrough 6: Being emotionally attached to your children and getting frustrated by a noisy, obnoxious day is at least marginally better than being completely emotionally detached from them… Although, having the ability to objectively observe and respond is infinitely better than the frustrated option. 

Disclaimer: Since I can’t even recall the guy’s name or what theories he came up with beyond that a child can have a behavior extinguished if the desired result doesn’t occur when the action does (great thing to know as parents – though I use it for things other than training and extinguishing the behavior of an infant kicking their feet in order to make a bell ring…) I can in no way claim to know that he wore earplugs. (or that he was emotionally detached. For all I know, he was a very caring and involved father.) I should find that out.  Did his name start with a "p"??? This is killing me. Too bad I gave away my growth and development text.