A confession

I can’t take it anymore, I have a confession…my kid is angry.  Sometimes all day and all night.  It’s maddening.  I feel guilty (there is that stupid word!) even confessing this, but I figured “this is Syd…for the good or bad of it, this is who she is…” so here it is for her to read someday (and hopefully laugh).   I’m fairly certain if it wasn’t for day-care I would have gone insane by now.  I don’t pick her up until 5 pm just because it’s 1.5 hours less (I’m usually off by 3:30 pm) for her to scream at me.  And boy can she scream….loudly, for a very long time…2 hours to be exact tonight. She screamed through dinner, while I read books, while I colored, while I sorted and stacked, while I sang, while she bathed.  Good times I say…good times indeed.  Most nights aren’t quite as bad as tonight but if I had to push the numbers we probably have 1 scream-free happy child night, out of every 14 nights handed to us.  If that ratio could bump up to 1 out of every 7 I’m pretty sure I would drink less, and be marginally happier about being a ‘mother’.  I would maybe even be happier if each night I wasn’t walking on egg shells to avoid upsetting the delicate emotional ‘tee-ter-totter’ by moving too much in the kitchen or leaving a room to go get a tissue.

Portrait of an Angry Girl

In my opinion, angry children are harder when they are older. When she was young I would breastfeed her, walk around with her or give her a pacifier…she seemed, at least in my memory, easier to sooth.  Now eating is frustrating (she is very picky), and I can’t very well hold her all night long every night…even if I did she has started that back-arching apoplectic crap that makes it impossible to hold onto her.  As much as I would love to just plug her up with a pacifier from 5- 7 PM we are already having a hard enough time with language development so we are trying to keep the pacifier for bed-time/nap-times only.

She is typically quite better in the mornings but even that is hit-or-miss.  She typically doesn’t scream if in public.  She will drive you  nuts squirming though in the grocery cart or high-chair, eventually putting herself in such a precarious position that you are forced to pick her up and hold her.  And she is usually fairly good if people are visiting…I think she likes the distraction…especially if it involves other kids.

Granted my sample size is only an n = 1 so maybe all children are like this and other mothers lie…or maybe they have a higher tolerance.  Regardless it drives me nuts to hear “my 13-month old plays independently can can stay strapped in a chair for 5 hours no problem as long as they have toys and a snack”. Really?  REALLY?  Sydney would burst into flames if I didn’t sit ON THE FLOOR, sing songs at the top of my lungs and play with her 1:1 every-night.  And I don’t even want to think about taking a car ride longer than 1 hour cause I would be deaf by the end of it.  I’m fascinated by those mothers who rush back home to be with their babies, who leave parties early to be with them…who choose to stay home with them.   I want to understand them, watch them, figure out if their baby is different than mine.  Or maybe I’m just a monster.  That’s probably what society would peg me as.  That’s OK, at least I’m a monster that doesn’t lie.

Don't put me Down (Photo by Linda Crayton)

At least she sleeps well. I’m 99% of the time guaranteed that every-night at 7 PM she will go to sleep and 80% of the time she will stay asleep until 7 AM.  Even if she wakes up it’s rare that we have to go in to intervene…she is good at putting herself back down (or we are good at putting pillows over our heads to muffle the screaming).

Maybe the next child, if we even have the energy for another, will be low-maintenance…less busy…HAPPY.  I do find comfort knowing that my cousin who has two amazing teenagers said that one of his girls was, “an angry baby, but grew up to be a lovely child and teen”.  Let’s hope the same is true for Sydney.  Maybe we are all born with a certain amount of angry and Sydney is just choosing to get rid of hers at a very young age.


  1. Man, I’m really sorry to hear that she gives you such a hard time some (or most) nights. Though I will say that even though we’re lucky and Jake is a very happy kid, he had a lot more screaming/needy times when he was 13 months old than he does now and was a lot crabbier when he was teething. But like you said, it may be a personality thing. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it’s just a “phase.”

  2. Monica (aka Auntie M) says:

    Aww sis I’m sorry. I hope that this is just a really quick phase that’s she in, and she will become a happy baby again for you. It won’t matter to me if she’s screaming and crying at the top of her lungs when I see her in April. I will take her anyway I can get her.

  3. Hang in there! It probably is just a phase she’s going through. Look on the bright side — those photos of her crying are freaking adorable. And they remind me I should take more of Liam like that. Though, i feel a bit guilty grabbing the camera when he’s having a meltdown 🙂

  4. I, too, agree it’s probably a phase that hopefully will soon pass for you. Maybe she’s just about to conquer a new skill of some sort and is frustrated? I recall periods of crankiness that eventually were followed by the ta-da! moment….

  5. midwestkids says:

    Thank you ladies for your kind comments (and Amanda for making me laugh! Pull out that camera!!!).

    I too hope it is a phase. It’s been rather precarious around here ever since she turned 1. I’m not sure if it’s a language thing, or a skill thing or the fact that she has been sick or teething for almost 3 months straight. This week was just an accumulation of her anger, my cold, Royce’s absence, and a few weeks at work which has left me with little energy to come home and ‘entertain’ non-stop for 2 hours. Honestly it can’t get much worse…I guess it could…someone could take away my wine. Good thing I’m not pregnant! : D (trust me I’m not…2 years later my ‘friend’ returned…yes like I said it’s been a FANTASTIC week).
    One can just laugh…or maybe I will a few years from now.

  6. Are things on the up and up yet? Here’s to hoping so!

  7. Somehow I missed this post! You’re not a monster! You’re just real! And maybe this will make you feel better: Sometimes I freak out that I’m about to have a child. I’m so afraid he’ll get here and I’ll already be done. I’m hoping it’s just the hormones talking. Because other times I’m excited and looking forward to having him in our lives, but I seriously do wonder if he’s going to destroy my peace and quiet. I think your daughter will find her happy independence, maybe once she feels better and spring is in the air.

  8. Bernadette says:

    I really understand where you are coming from, Julie. Zoe was an extremely high-needs baby. She screamed most of the time from the day she came out of the womb through the first two years of her life. I was so envious of parents who could take their kids out and were able to live semi-normal lives. That was just not our experience.

    This really could just be who Syd is – Zoe is still pretty tightly wound as a 4yo. BUT Zoe also has sensory processing issues. Once we did some OT for her, the hours-long screaming things lessened and now we only have that every couple of days, for maybe 20 minutes max. Let me know if you want to chat. 🙂

    • midwestkids says:

      Ooo yes I’m not alone! Superb! I too think this could be a wee sensory issue…or a boredom issue…or a high maintenance/pay attention to me all the time issue. At what age did you seek help? Cause right now people just think I’m either crazy, lazy or an un-fit mother. And to them I just laugh and say “how lucky for you to have such happy children!”.

      I’m hopeful that this spring/summer we can do more outside, explore, swim, etc to ‘keep her engaged’. Being cooped up in this house all winter is not good for anyone of us…especially a high-functioning busy kid!


  1. […] we all have a limit, she pushed me to mine which I think is fairly high…she has been known to scream at us all day if you remember correctly at a very young age.  But now we know this rage was probably associated […]

  2. […] and for that, I am thankful.  She was a hard baby (yes I’ve refered to her as ‘angry‘…if you had spent a goodly amount of time with her you would have too), and is proving […]

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