The Ugly Truth

I love my mommy and my mommy loves me. You’re probably thinking that this is going to be one of those posts about our perfect relationship depicting parenting as all smiles, hugs, and kisses. That would be in line with most of my writing, but this post is going to be different.

All mommies and babies struggle sometimes. We all have bad days and bad moments when we are angry, sad, exasperated, and questioning our ability to cope. Sometimes we come to a point where we simply don’t know how to proceed further. Each of us has a breaking point and the mommy and baby relationship tests that point frequently.

These things are normal but we rarely share these ugly moments with the world. Instead we prefer to paint a pretty picture of ourselves being perfect and serene living in a world of constant unconditional love. I’m going to change that now by sharing one of our recent ugly truths.

For the past couple of months I have been experiencing strange discomfort in my mouth. It’s not the first time this has happened, but this time the experience has been much worse. When I get these feelings, I don’t really like to eat.

That’s two months of grumpy mealtimes where I will eat no more than three spoonfuls and then refuse any more. Sometimes I don’t even want to taste my food and refuse to have it anywhere near my mouth. My way of refusing food is to tear my bib off, keep my mouth firmly closed, turn my face away from mommy, and flail my arms at the spoon.

In the beginning mommy would let me put my food aside for later, but I wasn’t eating enough in a day. Since then, mommy has been trying to push me to eat. This has caused me to become more adamant in my strategies to refuse food, and mommy has been becoming more desperate to get food into my tummy.

Bab in a swing

I don’t feel like eating

Mealtimes have become very difficult and time-consuming. Mommy distracts me with toys and lets me watch my favourite video while I eat. This helps a bit but mealtime is still a struggle for us. I take a few bites then turn away. With more coaxing I take another bite or two and launch a hand at the spoon sending food flying.

A couple of days ago we had our worst mealtime yet. We had a long day and mommy was trying to get a late night meal into my tummy before bedtime. I was tired and I could tell mommy was tired too. She was also complaining about something called a headache, whatever that means.

I wasn’t in the mood to eat and I was making that very clear with my yells and growls, but mommy wasn’t listening. Whenever I swat at the spoon, mommy tells me I’m being naughty but I do it anyway. How else will mommy know that I mean business. That night mommy meant business too. After covering mommy in food for the third time, mommy yelled at me.

My immediate response was to cry, which I occasionally do when I really don’t want to eat. Usually mommy backs off at that point but not this time. Instead, mommy told me to stop crying and eat my food. I didn’t stop. Instead I cried louder with big tears running down my cheeks.

At this point I was very upset. My mouth hurt, I was tired, mommy was yelling at me, and I didn’t understand why. While sobbing uncontrollably,  and with tears running down my face, I reached out my hand towards mommy and gave her a pleading look. Mommy froze and looked at me with an expression full of sadness and heartache. Seeing mommy sad didn’t make me feel better so I cried with more urgency.

Mommy took my hand and told me it would be alright if I just calmed down. I figured this was a trick to get me to eat more, so I tore my hand away and cried louder. Mommy tried to talk calmly to me but I could barely hear her over all the crying. I didn’t know what to do, so I cried some more.

Baby drinking from a sippy cup

You still love me right?

Mommy gave me some water which made me stop crying for a moment but then I started up again. Mommy offered me more water but I told her that I didn’t want any while I continued to cry loudly. Mommy insisted on the water and once I started drinking it, I finally began to calm down.

At that point I was exhausted and I could tell mommy was pretty spent too. We brushed my teeth together and mommy took me upstairs for my bedtime routine. Before I go to bed, mommy always holds me for a while and we have a good snuggle. That night we made up for the fight we had and we snuggled extra hard until I fell asleep in mommy’s arms.

I know mommy loves me even if we get upset with one another. I suspect that mommy might feel like I don’t love her but that’s not true. I just don’t know how to express my feelings yet. I do have my ways of letting mommy know but they are subtle and easy to miss.

Mommy and I have our disagreements and fights just like anyone else. It’s hard sometimes because mommy doesn’t always understand what I’m trying to tell her and I rarely know what mommy is talking about. It doesn’t mean we are dysfunctional, in fact I would say we are quite normal.

If everyone has these bad moments, why are people so reluctant to share them with others? I suspect it’s because mommies and babies love each other so much that we want to be made of pure love. Those ugly moments we see as failures that make us question ourselves. It’s hard to reveal failure in trivial matters, it’s even more difficult to show it in the one area that is more important to us than all the others combined.

Baby girl asleep in mommy's arms

I knew it. Mommy does love me.

Our mealtime argument was certainly not a pretty sight, but was it really the horrible failure that it seemed to be at the time? Nobody likes to see their beloved baby cry, but my crying is not the same as mommy’s crying. I have limited options for communicating my feelings. Crying is the only way I know to express strong displeasure.

Last week my Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony stopped working. It’s one of my favourite toys. I yelled at it in rage, then I threw it across the room, and then I cried. Mommy said it just needed new batteries and that we could fix it but I didn’t believe her until I saw it working again.

Because I haven’t mastered words yet, my attempts at communication rely heavily on physical expressions. I yell, I cry, I growl my displeasure and I giggle, shriek, and even sing my joy. If I really want to get my way, I try to appeal to mommy’s sympathy with a pleading look, a reached out hand, or a snuggle. Works every time.

Disagreements, arguments, and fights might seem like the opposite of a strong relationship but I think they might be proof that a relationship is in fact a strong one. If you think about the fights you’ve had, most of them were probably with people you care for deeply and few if any were with strangers. People we don’t have strong feelings for aren’t worth that kind of effort.

Where there is a large investment of love, there is a high risk for a conflict of an explosive nature. The people we love get both our best and our worst. It is no wonder that the love between mommy and baby sets the stage for our most significant conflicts. As serious as they may seem, it’s nothing that a good snuggle won’t fix.

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Dilan and Me
February 7, 2017
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68 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth

  1. I loved that, it was so cute and you are so right. I do relationship coaching and it always amazes me that people say they don’t argue and think that’s a good thing. Truth is, any kind of love involves passion and being able to get it out takes a great level of trust. So amazing how much you can tell by a child expression, gotta love their honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have always told my husband that the day I stop arguing with him is the day I stop caring. You’re absolutely right about trust being involved in that. We wouldn’t pour our heart out to someone we don’t trust. Thanks for reading.

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  2. Awww… this is such a lovely post and written so beautifully. I know what you mean Peachy. My kids have one of those days too. Well – loads of those days too in actual fact. I agree that a hug does fix everything. My 5yo still needs a good old hug from time to time. xx

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is lovely. We’re going to make our babies cry a lot over the next few years with our rules and keeping them safe etc. They’re going to make us cry a lot and feel terrible but hugs will make everyone happy again 🙂 #blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peachy does that too. She knows she’s not supposed to but she does it anyway. Mealtime is when Peachy is at her most defiant. She seems very pleased with herself and her tray is all clear of food. She looks at me as if to say “all done”. Like I won’t spot the piles of food on the floor. Thanks for reading.

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  4. What a refreshing post. Sometimes we all get grumpy and that is just fine, but we humans are a funny lot, we like to let people think our lives are always perfect. I’ll tell you a secret…perfect doesn’t exist and you are doing just fine as you are 🙂 #DreamandSparkle x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 🙂 It’s hard to believe we’re doing fine when we’re always comparing ourselves to people who only show us their perfect side. But you’re right, perfect doesn’t exist. Thanks for visiting.

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    • Thanks. The bedtime snuggles are our favourite too. We’re all relaxed at the end of our day and we have nowhere else to be. Those are our best snuggles of the day. Thanks for visiting.

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    • I’m generally a very good girl but I am independent and very aware of what I want. But I do love mommy so I sometimes do as she asks just to make her happy. Thanks for visiting.

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    • That must be four times the trouble and four times the love. Peachy is very clever and strong willed. She tests boundaries all the time and gets fuming mad if she feels that she is being treated unfairly of if she’s been tricked. I never knew babies could get that angry. But when she’s in a snuggling mood, she can easily win me over. Thanks for visiting.

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    • I hope so too. We’ve been having such a hard time with the teething lately. Peachy was a bit late with her first tooth. It erupted in September when Peachy was nine months old with the second came days later. Peachy took it very well. After that we had a break until December when the top ones started coming in. Ever since then it’s been one after another and Peachy is taking it a lot harder this time. I hope we get another break soon. I want my happy Peachy back.

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    • Thanks! Those mealtimes are tricky. For the longest time we didn’t have any issues with eating but the last couple of months have been hard. Thanks for visiting.

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  5. It’s so true that any relationship where we love someone that deeply is always going to have it’s explosive moments too. I definitely remember a lot of battles at that age – I do think it’s so hard when they start to have strong wants but no way of properly communicating them. I really hope the food issues calm down for you soon. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was so refreshing to read! I love the honesty here. Of course families have their moments and disagreements and through it all, you both still know that you love each other
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, Peachy won’t eat for my husband. At least not from a spoon. For the most part, she will only allow me to feed her. I’m not the most patient person by a long shot, but I have to try and be better than what I really am. Thanks for reading.

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    • Thanks. It wasn’t easy to write. I didn’t really enjoy thinking about that rather unpleasant moment when Peachy was just so upset with me. But once I was done writing it, I strangely felt better about the whole thing. Thanks for reading.

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  7. Ah such a lovely post and very true too, people do seem reluctant to talk about the less than perfect moments but often those moments – or at least the moments that follow them – are the ones that speak the most about our relationship. Lovely post. Thanks for joining us at #sundaybest, hope to see you again tomorrow x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We al have days like this! My little one is also teething – it can be super tough. I no longer try to spoon feed her it’s not worth the battle for me. She feeds herself at every meal & eats much better for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have been doing this too. It is easier but I she can’t pick up yoghurt or soup. These days I make her two meals most of the time. First I try the spoon, and then I give her the finger foods. It has improved the mealtime experience. I wish I had thought of it before.

      Teething can be rough. The first two teeth were easy and we had a break after those. In the last two months another 3 teeth have arrived one by one and it has been much more difficult. Today I spotted another two coming. My poor Peachy. I wish she could just have a break from all this teething for a bit.

      Thanks for reading.

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    • It is hard! I never force Peachy to eat but I do push her a little. Otherwise she would starve. I just keep offering the spoon. Sometimes it gets us nowhere but sometimes she forgets that she didn’t want any and eats it anyway. I just have to find the right distraction. Other times she won’t eat from the spoon but will feed herself. Not easy when soup is on the menu! Thanks for reading and I hope this phase passes quickly for both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually had a breakthrough yesterday… I found that if I let him watch me cook and ask him if he wants to join in… he eats! So he watched me pop he butter and milk into the man and watched me mash it all up and for the first time EVER brought his plate over to the saucepan and i dolloped a big ol’ pile of mash on there and sent him off with a fork and he tucked right in! He also ate the sausages I bought over once they had cooled down too! I totally did a little dance ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s awesome. Good for you. Peachy isn’t old enough to really understand cooking yet so I doubt that would work for us. I just hope she goes back to being a good eater once we get past this teething spell.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a lovely piece. It’s really so smart to think about the other side of the argument when you’re at the end of your tether. And when they’re not eating it’s SO worrying – I had a couple of weeks of stress when our girl wouldn’t eat for me. Brought her to Nana’s house and she scoffed the lot! Think she was just bored with looking at my face *sigh*.
    Good luck, both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have good days and bad days. I’m sure it’s due to the teething. There are now four teeth on the bottom and two on the top. I think I see some more teeth threatening to make an appearance though. My poor Peachy just hasn’t had a break from teething in months. Thanks for reading.

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