For the past three days, Jackson has not been himself. Therefore, I have not been myself. I would almost have to believe that this isn't teething behavior, because even his past behavior from teething has not been like this. I suppose as I write this I am saying to myself, "Yeah April, but he's older now too - and teething has different effects at every age." Jackson has been pretty slow with cutting his teeth. He's almost 11 months and only has three chompers.
Jackson has been extremely demanding, fussy, ornary and stubborn. He gets royally ticked with every diaper change, he NO patients at all. If he happens to see that you are making him a bottle, you have T minus 2 seconds to get it in his mouth before he lashes out the demons. Lately, he just isn't as content or flexible as he used to be. He hates his stroller, is bored with his toys, doesn't last longer than 10 mins in a cart, stiffens his body and cries when you get him in his carseat. Some of you may say, "That's just what little kids do". Ok, but how did this switch literally take place in a matter of 2 days? There was absolultely ZERO warning or transition from 'happy content' Jackson to 'releasing all fury' Jackson. I think Paul thought I was exaggerating when I told him the kind of day I had on Friday. At the end of the night however, he got a good taste of it.
At church this morning, we were summoned out of service because he wouldn't stop crying at the Kidz Zone center. He was fine when we dropped him off. He seemed overtired, despite having slept an extra hour and a half in the morning. The childcare lady told me he was putting his down and crying miserabley, wouldn't stop. That's not like him at all! Needless to say, this is all new for me. My son is 10 1/2 months old and has not been sick once. I think we have broken that chain now.
When Jackson gets stressed out, I get stressed out. It is one thing I struggle with. I need to relax when he is getting tense, else his emotions will feed off of mine. When he's upset and wants the bottle, I do what I can to get that bottle ready. I get frustrated and antsy when I want him to sleep on the way home from visiting family and he refuses. Instead, he screams and wails.
At the end of the day today (another LONG day, I took a bath with Jax to let him play and enjoy himself. Looking at him sitting in front of me, his little naked back and his bald head that is finally growing a little hair, I wasn't looking at a baby anymore. His figure from that view was truly a little boy's body. I remember holding him in my arms in the tub trying to get him to splash the water. Now when I hold him, it isn't quite in my arms anymore... it's on my lap. Those little baby feet that have always been my obsession, are getting less pudgey and longer. I remember the days he would grab onto my finger and not let go. Now he wants nothing to do with holding my hands. Seeing these things change saddens me. I have been here every step of the way and yet I feel as though these memories of his babiness will disappear from my mind.
At the end of the evening tonight, while I sat with jackson on my lap in the rocking chair in his room, I sang to him as I have for the past 10 months of his life. Our nighttime routine has varied slightly as he has gotten older, but the singing hasn't changed at all. After he finished his bottle I attempted to turn him around and hold him upright to see if he would lay his head on my shoulder. I rarely succeed at this and if I do, it only lasts for a second or two. But to my amazement, tonight he laid his head on my shoulder while I sang Amazing Grace in his ear and rubbed his back. I let the words flow out of my mouth by memory while my mind drifted. I was standing before my God giving him thanks for this very moment. A moment that defines a mother, holding her child has he surrenders completely in his trust to her. My thoughts were broken when he lifted his head, looked right at me and kissed me on the lips. Then he laid his head back down on my shoulder. I was stunned. I was breathless. I was speechless that my 10 month old son would have thought to kiss his mommy while she held him and sang to him. I have been getting kisses for a couple of weeks now, but only when I ask for them. This was something entirely different. I started crying as I struggled to finish the song. He did the very same thing, 3 more times before I laid him down peacefully in his crib.
At the end of the day, no matter what kind of day it was, Jesus gives us little moments like that. And I am thankful.