I’m not quite sure how it happened.
It appears that someone else has taken over my body and left both Joel and I extremely confused.
One night about a month ago I went to bed as normal, but when I woke, a highly strung Baby-Nazi was in my place, being all bossy and rule-ish and controlling.
As you can imagine, Joel was not impressed.
The other week, Ella was crying. She was extremely over-tired and Joel was trying to settle her. The Baby-Nazi was watching and judging and noticing that he was just doing it all wrong. So she barged in. She grabbed Ella straight out of hims arms and said Here, let me do it. He looked back, shocked, and said What are you doing? I told him that I know what works and that I couldn’t relax watching him do it wrong and that she needs to go to sleep right now and every minute longer she stays awake is only going to make it worse. So please Joel, just let me do it. He fired back: Rachel, look at yourself. You are getting out of control. I shot back But you don’t know what works. You don’t know what she likes.
SO TEACH ME, he snapped back. SHOW ME HOW AND WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER.
He left the room, hurt, and I just stood there. Stunned and ashamed.
Does this happen to all mums? I can’t be sure. I don’t know too many. Maybe because I’ve been her primary carer for the past 3 months, I’ve grown to know her in a more intimate way than anyone else possibly could. Maybe I feel like this gives me the authority to boss and grab and dictate. Maybe I’ve been burnt one too many times in the many afternoons I’ve spent soothing her arsenic-hour-moods, and so the sound of her crying in someone else’s arms when I know what will instantly stop it sends me crazy. Maybe I consider myself The One Who Knows Best and therefore push away any helping hands and hearts.
Whatever the reason, it’s a problem.
My progression into Motherhood, it seems, has gone something like this:
They put me in charge? What the hell am I supposed to do? Joel, you are not leaving me alone with her. What does she want? I don’t know what she wants. WHAT THE HELL DOES SHE WANT?!? JOEL!
Okay, Ella, it’s you and me. Daddy’s gone back to work so I’m all you’ve got. Joel, you can meet your friends for a beer after work but come straight home. I might need back-up. In fact, I will need back-up. So scrap that – you can’t go for a beer. Come home.
Ella, I’ve got you sussed, honey. Joel – go surfing, go to aikido, go for a beer, do whatever you like, I am OKAY! (I can’t believe he even wants to go out. Why would you want to be away from this goodness? She is the BEST.)
Week 10 +
No, Joel you’re DOING it wrong. She likes being upright. She likes this toy. She needs to be bounced up and down not side to side. Talk to her more. She needs to be fed soon, you can’t take her for a walk. That bath is too hot. We don’t DO things in that order. No, not that jumpsuit. No, no, no, it’s all WRONG!
See? Baby-Nazi. Just appeared straight outta nowhere.
And although I appreciate her knowledge and efficiency and organisation, I think I need to ask her to kindly leave so Joel doesn’t run away with the circus and leave me all alone. Maybe her twin sister could replace her – the one with all the know-how but who is kind and decent and open to the concept of partnership. The one who doesn’t FREAK OUT if Joel doesn’t soothe quick enough, rock gently enough or love her-way enough.
Any suggestions on where I could find her?