I was under the misconception there would be less crying when my newborns became babies.
When my babies became toddlers.
Little did I know the crying would continue daily well into my children’s 3rd and 4th years of life.
My daughter cries in the morning when my husband leaves her to come downstairs because she isn’t cooperating while getting dressed.
She cries at night because her Hello Kitty hat fell out of the bed and she doesn’t want to get out of bed to retrieve it.
She cries louder when I threaten to shut her door if she doesn’t stop crying.
She whines when her brother touches her.
She whines when she can’t get her shirt over her giant melon head.
She whines when I break the devastating news that we will not be eating Ravioli every night.
My son whines because his blanket has slipped down to the bottom of the bed.
He whines because I tell him he needs to put his sippy cup on the counter when he’s done.
He whines and transforms into a tiny T-Rex, flopping his stumpy arms because I won’t put “Baymax” on a perpetual loop on the T.V.
He cries if you even suggest he’s going to get time out.
He cries with shame if he hurts himself.
Last night, he cried at 2 a.m. for no apparent reason that we’ve been able to discern.
Most days begin with the sound of crying raining down from upstairs as I cook my breakfast and lunch for work.
Most days end with someone crying for some stupid reason before bed.
Most nights, sleep is interrupted by someone crying because they fell out of bed, had a nightmare, have an earache or in my son’s case… who the hell knows why?
Last night, I had a Come To Jesus talk with Alma about the crying.
A shut the door, sit down, look at me chat.
I told her that as she approaches age 5, it’s becoming increasingly ridiculous for her to whine and cry.
I told her she needs to start verbalizing her emotions, using words to describe how she feels. Say, “I’m sad.” Say, “I’m mad.” Say, “I’m an irritating a-hole and think you’re a shit mom.” (Okay, I didn’t say that.)
Her response was, “There’s a big kid at school who whines all the time.”
“Okay, he’s a dork.”
I said, “Do you hear me whining and crying all the time? No, cause I’m a big girl. I don’t go around saying, “I’m tired! Wahhh!” “I want to wear ripped jeans to work! Wahhh!” “I don’t wanna write about dead babies and riots and mass shootings! Wahhhh!” (Definitely didn’t say that.)
I made her paraphrase back to me what I was saying to be sure she understood.
Less than an hour later, she was in her room, screaming like a banshee, tears streaming down her face because she couldn’t find her Frozen lip gloss.
“Oh, the horror! The tragedy! How will you survive SLEEPING without lip gloss?”
These are the moments when I really start to feel a deep connection with parents arrested for duct taping their kids mouths shut.
I thought crying at this age was reserved for broken bones and stranger danger.
Do my kids just suffer from weak constitutions?
Should I be prying their eyes open, forcing them to watch videos of real suffering like A Clockwork Orange for kids?
Or maybe I am the only parent who feels their blood pressure rising with each meaningless wail.
The only one whose skin crawls when their child is shrieking needlessly.
The only one who sprouts spontaneous tears as soon as their child starts crying.
I’m the one with the weak constitution.