The other day Dustin called and asked what I was doing. I responded really nicely with: “Well Dustin. I’m currently driving home to put a paper bag over my head.” He then, cautiously, asked why Wyatt was crying and how the day had been. I was so calm and kind and quiet and non emotional as I responded over the screams of my child in the back seat with: “HOW HAS THE DAY BEEN?! The day has been straight from hell. Thankyouverymuch. Wyatt has literally cried all day. He woke up crying and I feel confident that we are going to put him to bed crying. He has thrown exactly 37 tantrums and has had 29 meltdowns. The latest BEING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET while I changed his nasty blow out diaper on the trunk of my freaking car. (We were at a park with no bathroom. Everyone calm down.) So he’s screaming because… I changed his diaper? Wouldn’t let him eat a book this morning? I tried to feed him something other than Teddy Graham’s today at lunch? He rolled his car under the couch after I had told him a bazillion times I wasn’t going to get it anymore? Wouldn’t let him eat the toilet paper roll he got out of the trash? Told him he couldn’t throw balls at the tv? Oh, no those were all earlier. He is currently screaming because he can’t have my keys BECAUSE I’M DRIVING. I have crap all over me and a head ache and his crying all the minutes of this day is making me want to drink. I cannot “redirect” anymore today. I cannot with the redirection, that ish is for the birds. I’m literally about to lose my mind. So I’m going home to put a paper bag over my head and wait for you to get home.”
I have said exactly one million times since becoming a parent that if I were a bad guy of sorts, and people were trying to get information out of me… No need to torture me or deprive me of sleep or food. No, just put me in a room with a crying baby and I will tell you all the things in 90 seconds or less. Literally all of the things. JUST MAKE IT STOP NOW PLEASE.
I become totally irrational when there is all this crying. My heart starts beating fast. I get really hot. I literally want to cut my ears off. The crying makes me all kinds of panicky and anxious. And then there are the sometimes I take all the crying personal, because what in the world are you supposed to do with it all? (We shall surely talk about grief and babies and parenting those grieving babies soon. Everyone get ready because it so much a thing.)
I hear people say things like: “It’s so funny when toddlers get frustrated (i.e. cry their heads off over something ridiculous)” or “I think I’d just laugh if my kid threw a tantrum in public (Side note: I can’t even with the fact that some people have lived multiple YEARS with their child and never had a public tantrum. I have been with mine for exactly 19 seconds and have picked his flailing body off of so many tile floors it actually makes me want to die a slow death just thinking of it all.)” or “Even when mine throws a fit I think it’s so cute” or “Aww, sweet Wyatt’s a crier? Awwww.” And I’m like, ARE YOU ALL ON ACTUAL DRUGS!?!?! Because I hate it. I think exactly none of it is funny or cute or like so fun or awww. I’m just not there yet. HOW DO YOU GET THERE? Someone write THAT blog post please.
Oh right, paper bags. So several weeks ago I came across an old blog post of Glennon Melton’s and was like, OH MY WORD. YES. I FORGOT ABOUT THAT. I had read it before, back when I was not a parent… So I totally read it like: “Good Lord. I will surely never feel like that or need to do that. That’s so funny though that she feels like that and needs to do that. I will laugh at this because this will never be me.” Right? Because we were all idiots before we had kids. Anyways, she talks about how she doesn’t do well with the crying and the tantrums and the we were having such a fun time… WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?? moments of parenthood. She doesn’t love them or even like them. They make her crazy. Her solution? Put a paper bag over her head. Her children are still screaming. They are all still in the same room. She just has a paper bag on her head. She even put a smiley face on the paper bag so her kids can remember these times as happy. But for some reason the paper bag on the head makes her feel less crazy and less anxious and more like all of the things will actually be okay.
AND SO I STARTED DOING THAT. Putting a paper bag over my head. And it works so good! I swear to you! It really does make me feel less like, THE WORLD IS ENDING and more like, IT’S ALL OKAY HERE IN THIS PAPER BAG. It also makes me die laughing. Every. Single. Time. It also *sometimes* makes Wyatt stop crying because, WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON? And so now when Wyatt won’t.stop.crying I just look at his sweet little face and say the following, “Mommy is going to go put a paper bag on her head. I love you so much.” And then I do just that.
All I’m really trying to say is: try this y’all.