When we brought Super Z home from the hospital I didn't realize that I would never be the same. Before I had children it was pretty easy to hurt my feelings. I could be reduced to tears at the slightest hint of anger. This made confrontation a little uncomfortable for me. I mean, confrontation usually involves some sort of anger (or at the very least an angry tone). It wasn't that I didn't have my own angry indignation, it was just that the only reaction I could muster in such a situation was melting into a puddle of tears. I may be wrong, but I don't think that crying your eyes out really lets people know that you mean business. (Back off, buddy or I'll sling some tears on you!)
Well, Super Z changed that instantly. I think it was the day after we brought him home that Randy discovered that Z had an ingrown toenail. He was across the room from me when he announced its presence. He then began to torture my child in an attempt to remove it. Or at least that is what Z's cries transmitted to the inner core of the Mother that I had so recently become. All I can say about that day is that we are all very fortunate that Randy is still alive. Everything in my body told me to do whatever it was that I had to do to protect my baby.
It is instinct of the rawest sort. When someone hurts my children in anyway my hackles go up. Hackles don't make me the most reasonable person. I would confront anyone to protect those babies. And I guarantee you there would be no tears.
I realize that sometimes this instinct makes me overreact to things. Like when the daycare that I took Princess H to when she was first born brought her bottles out to me at the end of the day and they hadn't been washed out. I mean, what the crap? What else did they not do? Did they even refrigerate the frozen breast milk that I had brought them or were they too lazy to open the refrigerator door? The fallout from that incident is what led to Randy being a stay at home Dad. I don't know, even now two years later that pisses me off. So I am not sure if that was an overreaction.
But a definite overreaction is the way I feel when the babies get shots. I have to hold myself back from grabbing them off the table and running out of the room. I have to chant in my head, " They need this..This is good..It is ok..." Every single time that they have cried from a shot I have cried along with them. I have cried because they are hurting and I am standing there completely helpless to stop it. I have cried because they see me there and they know that I am not stopping it.
Well today Super Z got his booster shots. Like always I wanted to throttle the nurse when she came in with the four needles...YES FOUR. But a miracle occurred. For the first time I didn't cry. No, my protective instinct mixed with inappropriate guilt did not vanish on me. But it was almost as good. My baby didn't cry. My baby was the biggest boy that you have ever seen. He argued his case, " I don't need a shot. I don't want a shot. Don't give me a shot." and then he sucked it up and just impressed the hell out of his Mama.
I guess as they get older they will be able to handle more. Little things will hurt them less. They will learn to stand up for themselves. They will learn to take a few knocks and keep on going. There is one thing that I am fairly certain of though, that raw killer instinct that I got when I had Z will never go away. Having to hold myself back and let them be hurt is never going to be easy.