Raising a Blended Family


on February 21, 2013

So we kicked the stomach flu out of here, finally, but it has still been a rough day or so for Pax.

It all started last night.  Shorty and I decided to join the local YMCA in order to get our exercise on.  One of the perks of this particular Y (as opposed to the town-run rec center that we also have available to us) is that their daycare center will take babies! Meaning, my wife and I can actually go work out, like, together…. in theory, anyways.

We decided to test that theory last night with our very first family YMCA excursion.  We decided it would be a test run- we needed to tweak a few things with our membership package at the front desk and knew from experience that that could take awhile… meanwhile, Thing One would be bored out of her mind waiting for us and it would be up to the heavens above as to whether or not the babies behaved during our paperwork extravaganza.  We decided that rather than chance it, this would be the perfect time to drop the babies at daycare and Thing One at her big-kids club.

We hit the babycare first, by simple expedient of it being closest to the Y entrance.  When we walked in there were a few other babies there, all being rocked, held, or crawling happily around the place.  The staff had it well under control and when we explained that it was our first time leaving our babies, they willingly spent extra time with us answering our questions, letting us look around some more (I had toured this babycare before when I signed us all up; Shorty hadn’t) and generally reassuring us that the babies would be fine.  Ha. Little did they know.

Here is where we began to fail: once they were done explaining everything to us and we were done asking questions, we just told the staffers where we would be and handed the babies over.  That’s it- cold turkey. We didn’t take time to make sure the babies were comfortable first or anything- just said here you go, she likes to do X, Y, and Z and he likes A, B and C, and prepared to leave.  Sure, we kissed the babies bye, and eyeballed their caretakers to make sure they weren’t going to drop them or anything… but we didn’t like, sit down with them while the babies were being held by the Y staff to make the babies more comfortable.  We watched them put Addie in a jumper, settle down with Pax in a rocker, and hightailed it outta there. Ya’ll, what kind of parents do that?  I’m cringing as I type it… because of course, it’s common sense that you’re going to make sure your baby is comfortable with his/her caretakers before you leave. It’s common sense that you’ll sit with them for a minute, especially the very first time, so they hopefully won’t feel quite as abandoned.  It’s all just common sense. And we just left them high and dry.

Strike One.

Strike two was that we didn’t think about the time when we were doing all of this.  Our babies have put themselves on a pretty strict schedule, and are very prompt about when they want to do certain things… like sleep. Very dependable like that, and if you mess with their schedule, they mess with you! So we stopped by the Y on our way home from dinner out, thinking we were fine because the babies were acting happy and both fed and changed… but we failed to notice that it was seven o’clock… maybe even seven fifteen.  Dangerously close to Meltdown Hour (aka, baby bedtime at 8-830). In retrospect, I really don’t know what we were thinking.  We should have been hightailing it home, praying to make it on time to get baby bath and bedtime routines done before the meltdowns started, not stopping in at the YMCA to fix paperwork… gah. And the #momfailing continues…

After abandoning dropping off the babies, we went and dropped Thing One off at her kidsclub (no anxiety there, she threw her coat at us and went running with nary a see-you-later) and then we were on our way back through the (enormous, huge, neverending halls) to the front desk to do our paper pushing. We even held hands and marveled at the fact that we were kidfree on our way back up to the front (it’s pretty sad when you get excited by dropping your kids off at the YMCA daycare). Our excitement didn’t last long though- it seems like no sooner had we gotten back to the front than a staff member from babycare approached us.  By the worried look on her face, we knew it wasn’t good.

“I’m really sorry,” she said. “But Paxton just isn’t having us.”

Turns out that was the understatement of the century.

Shorty and I exchanged Looks, the Look that you get as a mom when you know your kid is having a meltdown or otherwise in trouble… and I volunteered to follow the lady back to retrieve our errant son.

When I got there, Pax was in hysterics.  I could hear him screaming from outside the door. The lady holding him had him swaddled (which, coincidentally, he hates, but we neglected to tell them that) and was bouning and shushing him on her hip.  He was so upset that his face was red and puffy and his sobs were tumbling out one on top of the other with no time for him to breathe in between them.  The poor baby was a wreck.  I immediately took him (I think the lady looked a little relieved) and started shushing him like we do at home, expecting him to calm down once he saw that it was me.  Yeah… that didn’t happen. What did happen was he looked at me, kept crying, and promptly threw up all over the front of me. So now we were both a mess and he was still screaming.  Ya’ll… it was a disaster.

I went into the nearby bathroom to clean both of us up as best I could (him still screaming), then (with a quick check-in on Addie, who was still happily playing in her bouncer thankgoodness), I took the poor guy back out to the lobby with me.  Shorty’s eye got big when she saw us coming and everyone in the facility could hear how unhappy he was… long story short, even with moms holding him it took him another twenty minutes to calm down.

Strike Three, and huge #momfail.

You guys, I feel sooooo bad.  I never meant to traumatize the little fella and I have very very rarely seen him that upset- not even when he gets shots at the doctors.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him that upset!  Poor baby boy.  Shorty and I still aren’t sure if it was separation anxiety, or just the fact that he was exhausted and ready for bed (he fell asleep as soon as we got home, after crying all the way home of course), or a combination of both. And we are both terrified to try the babycare again! We have left him with sitters before, and it’s always been fine… but it has always in our home environment, always with friends who came and hung out for at least a half hour first (not necessarily holding him, just being there), and he has never had a meltdown like this before. So we honestly aren’t sure what’s up.

Anyone have any similar experiences?

Sigh.  I still feel guilty even thinking about how upset he was.


The second #momfail happened today- Pax rolled over for the first time (back to front), and even though I was sitting right above him, with him on the playmat and me on the couch above him, I didn’t see it! In fact, I didn’t notice he was on his tummy until Thing One came in and said “oh, Pax is on his tummy. You’re doing tummy time with him?”.  And I looked down and there he was, on his tummy when I knew I had left him on his back. I KNOW!!!! I feel horrible about this too, and super bummed I missed it!  I was reading a blog or something… gah.

So, in summary, it’s just been a 24hours full of epic #momfails.  Hopefully, there won’t be anymore for awhile!


4 responses to “#momfail

  1. Brittany says:

    Seems like Pax is definitely a momma’s boy.. Addie and Thing one must be your easy ones lol. Hopefully he will grow out of the needy phase soon. I agree with what you said before the more he moves around and is able to explore he will want more independence. Goodluck! And by the way as much as it sounds like you had a crazy day, you didn’t fail as mothers, especially as mothers of three children! 🙂

  2. allison-lee says:

    😦 These thing happen. Don’t give yourself too hard of a time.

  3. meridith says:

    Oh my gosh – you’re doing great! You noticed all the things that derailed at the Y and rolling over is rolling over, even if you didn’t watch the actual flip. You’d say you saw Tom Cruise if you were in the same room together, even if you didn’t see him walk in! That said, I have completely abandoned R before (to my detriment) so you are not the only one. I also agonized forever about missing milestones while she was in daycare and settled on this – it doesn’t matter if she did whatever it was once before in front of someone else. The first time I see it is just as special and just as momentous. Revel in the forgiveness!

  4. lesboparentstobe says:

    We had the same exact problem at the gym! I joined because they have childcare but Buggie is NOT having it. I haven’t tried again for several months, but I literally tried leaving her there about 10 times and each time they came to get me within 20 minutes because she was screaming her head off. And she’s super easy going usually and will let other people hold her or stay with her. In other words, it happens! Try not to beat yourself up. And yay for rolling over!

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