How many parents have a baby that throws so many tantrums, you want to leave them on someone’s doorstep and bounce?
My oldest daughter, Karmyn’s 12th birthday is today. Karmyn is the most amazing child. Her temperament is mild, her heart is huge and she is insanely talented; she doesn’t give us much grief. BUT, it didn’t start out like that. Her first two years on this Earth made me question my sanity. You know the saying, “The baby that starts off as a raging, out of control, gremlin, always mellows out once their older?” Okay, maybe you haven’t heard those exact words, but you catch my drift. Now that I have dealt with Karmyn, I am a firm believer in that.
When I gave birth to my first daughter, it was nothing short of the greatest miracle. After what I went through a few years back with the loss of my son, delivering my healthy daughter via c-section was one of the highlights of my life. My stay in the hospital with her was glorious. Then…
I brought Karmyn home and she turned into the baby from down below.
Karmyn cried, NON-STOP! I am not kidding; I was repeatedly shoving my boob and her pacifier into her mouth to shut her up. As a young mother, I did not know what to do. We didn’t have the internet or Google, (the symptom-checker) and all the tools that we all use today to raise our babies, (I’m joking, but it’s somewhat true). She would cry day and night. Hell, sometimes I would cry with her out of frustration. I was the only person that could hold her and the only one that could partially console her, (by way of boob). I realized she was colicky, (at the time I had no idea what that meant) and the doctors gave me gripe drops and Milicon. Nothing worked. Karmyn spent the first ten months of her life in between cutting her eyes at people and crying. Around ten months, the doctors realized she had pretty server acid reflux because Karmyn started throwing up all of her meals shortly after eating. They started her on medicine and I felt relieved. Things were finally going to get better…
Boy, was I wrong!
Karmyn had the worst temper in the world! She was mean to me, her dad, her grandparents, everyone! People that know Karmyn now don’t believe me when I share stories from when she was younger. Everywhere we went, there was a battle. I would be sweating and so flustered because I could not stop this child from throwing temper tantrums! She wanted what she wanted, and she wanted it NOW! If I were to say, “Hold on Karmyn, let mommy go get your snacks.” she would collapse to the ground and start screaming. I’ll never forget when we were in the store and Karmyn was throwing a mad fit over, I can’t even remember what. All of the sudden, someone we knew came up to us. She said, “I knew it was you guys because I recognized Karmyn’s scream from across the supermarket.”
I was in Office Depot once with my friend and I had Karmyn with me. She wasn’t in a cart, so she was free to roam as she pleased. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but the raging Karm took over. Her meltdown was so fierce that I left her in the aisle with my friend and left the store. No joke. Sometimes as a mother, you reach your meltdown quota for the day, and mine just happened to peek inside of Office Depot.
It is so funny, when someone has the crying kid from down below, people act differently around you. There are three kinds of folks:
- The one that tries to help: They try to distract your kid, give your kid a toy or just try to support you emotionally and spiritually with prayer.
- The know-it-all: The one that tries to give you all the advice about what worked for them, how you should approach parenting and then diagnose your child with a personality disorder. Nope, don’t need your opinion. My kid is just a rotten apple.
- The “If that was my kid” person: The one that always tells you what kind of discipline they would use if that were their kid and how they wouldn’t take the crap that I am taking from my daughter. The funny thing is, HALF OF THEM DIDN’T EVEN HAVE KIDS! You don’t know what you’d do until you are in my shoes. They had no idea how hard I was trying at being a mother, trying to figure my kid out. What did they want me to do, tie her to a tree?
- The one that just plain feels sorry for you:. I decided to start Karmyn in a mommy-and-me swimming lesson. She pretty much yelled at me, told me no and cried every week, every class. I would be wrestling her like an alligator to get her to calm down. During one lesson, I dunked her under the water as instructed. She came up, started screaming and slapped me directly in the face. I was shocked. The instructor looked at me and simply said, “Boy, do I feel sorry for you, ma’am.”
Karmyn was about two when she started banging her head on walls, floors, dishwashers when she got angry. You name it, she hit her head on it. To the point where Marcus actually asked her pediatrician if we need to put a helmet on her for safety. She assured us it was a phase and that Kamryn would eventually stop. She did stop banging her head on things and picked up talking back. Karmyn’s favorite thing to do was to walk away and yell, “I’M NOT FOR THIS!” She’s TWO! Where did she get this from? No matter where we were, as soon as she got pissed off, she resorted to that phrase and either threw a toy or walked out of the area.
I was pregnant with my second baby at the time and I wasn’t quite sure if Karmyn was ever going to grow out of this naughtiness. Her last psychotic hurrah was at the mall. I made the mistake of not having a stroller. Karmyn wouldn’t walk, she wouldn’t listen, she only screamed. I was pretty much in between dragging and carrying her. I was super pregnant at this point and I was physically and emotionally drained. As I grabbed her hand and begged her to stop screaming, she yelled, “LET GO OF ME! NO MOMMY!” People were stopping and staring, some giving me dirty looks like I was the worst mom ever and some gave Karmyn looks for being the worst child ever. I am so serious when I say I was at my breaking point. I felt sorry for myself and I have had enough. I stopped in the middle of the mall, (I didn’t care who was watching) grabbed her and swat her butt one good time! Yep, I did it. If you don’t like it, go back in time 10 years and call CPS. I looked her dead in her eyes with the look of a possessed, crazy person, and I said, “THAT IS ENOUGH! I WILL NOT LET YOU TREAT ME LIKE THIS! STAND UP AND WALK. OR ELSE…” Karmyn looked at me, stopped screaming and started walking in silence.
After that day, Karmyn progressively got better and better. Today, Karmyn is seriously an angel. When I tell her about all the grief she gave me as a baby, she shyly smiles and says, “Was I really like that?” YES. YES, you were. I cannot say enough about my girl. She is so smart, independent, beautiful, shy and even though her voice was heard as a baby, she is a true introvert. I am so incredibly blessed to have her as my first daughter. I understand her, and she is starting to understand me as she gets older. Karmyn is a shining role model for her sisters and a perfect example of a well rounded twelve-year-old.
In closing, I am grateful for all the crazy I went through with Karmyn as a baby. After her, there was no way in HELL her siblings could be that bad!
Happy 12th birthday, my sweet girl. I love you, to infinity and beyond.