While irritating, that wasn't the cause of the meltdown. We went back to playing, had some lunch, and then Daddy suggested all three of us take a nap. Now, if you've read any of my other posts, you'll know that it was a big step for me to decide okay, yes, I need the sleep, I'll lay down, too. I was so proud of me. Good Mommy, putting a priority on sleep. I was so looking forward to drifting off.
Except, it didn't happen. (The best laid plans of mice and Moms...) Munchkin was having none of this "nap" idea. He would nurse a bit, then pop off and scream; his newly-coming-in teeth must really have been bothering him. Then he'd arch his back and strain, usually a sign he needs to burp, but when I'd put him over my shoulder to pat him, he'd wriggle back into nursing position, and the whole sequence would start over again.
After about a half hour of the nurse-scream-burp-nurse dance, I figured he was serious about not sleeping, so we went back in the living room to play some more, practice walking, and use up energy, leaving Daddy contentedly sawing logs. By this time, having made the decision to take a nap (and looking forward to it!) I was getting really tired. I made sure he had his favorite toys, so he wouldn't notice my minimal involvement, and tried my best to stay engaged. An hour later, we tried going down again. No dice.
Meanwhile, sweet hubby had fallen fast asleep immediately, with no trouble. Each time I brought the little shrieker back into the room, I felt bad, but I was feeling desperate, too. I had made this important decision to sleep, but it wasn't being backed up by my sweet son... it would be good for both of us, I tried to convince him - why wouldn't he just comply?
Another hour of playing and snacking, and I was about to collapse. We tried coming back to bed again, this time waking up my hubby. I handed over my more-awake-than-ever offspring to him so that I could finally go to sleep, and I lost it. Collapsed into a sobbing puddle. I tried to reason out with myself what it was, specifically, that had set me off, and it finally dawned on me: envy.
I was completely envious of my husband for those 2 1/2 hours. He's not the one with the milk, the magic touch; for a frustrating stretch of time for me, he hadn't a care in the world, and I got to watch. Put it all together with a week of near-single-parenthood while he was away on business, then fishing, and my envy-pump was primed to bursting. It made me feel like a terrible person to admit that - that I needed a break from the person I love the most in this world, but couldn't take one - it turned me into a green-eyed monster, and I didn't like it one bit.
So, I've made a resolution. At least once a week, I'm going to take an hour just for me. Whether that means taking a long walk, or running to the store by myself, I'm going to give my boys some father/son time, and clear my head. It's not fair to my little one if I let myself get so hepped-up that I become Mommie Dearest. I want to make sure that when I'm with him, I'm really there, and that (as much as possible) I'm the pleasant, fun-loving version of me.
He'll learn the most from me because I'm around most of the time. But burnout is a real issue, and I don't want to expose him to that - he's the sweetest, most loving kid, and he deserves to have my undivided, loving attention. Hopefully, by showing him that it's okay to take time for yourself, I'll defeat the envy-monster, and be the best teacher I can be.