Something strange happened last night. Or maybe it’s not that strange. But it made me feel very uncomfortable. I cried over my son’s diaper rash.
Buggy had a bit of a stomach issue throughout the day- to put it lightly. He acted normal, didn’t seem to bother him. So we had a normal day and then went to a cousin’s cookout in the afternoon. He’s doing great until around dinner time. Naturally, he starts getting restless and whiny when the food is almost ready. But this wasn’t his normal “please give me food before dinner time” whine. My gut felt it, but I had no other explanation. Hubby told me later he had the same feeling.
The dinner plate is finally ready and we sit in a corner to feed him. Real crying ensues. He is not interested in eating. Not a thing on the plate. He is beside himself. This is not normal. Finally we stop trying to get food in the mouth and I just pick him up and hug him. He lays against me and continues to get worked up. I remember the day’s stomach issues and take a peak… there are issues in the diaper. I wouldn’t feel like eating with that in my pants either.
Go upstairs to change him (yes, I respect the fact that people are eating and don’t want to hear him cry anymore or see his dirty diaper!). RED BEHIND! Whew, thank goodness there is diaper rash cream in the bag. But I have to clean and then apply. As I begin to wipe, he begins to SCREAM and is STRUGGLING TO GET AWAY FROM ME. I immediately panic. I am hurting my child and I am overwhelmed. I start tearing up myself as I wrestle him back to being tortured – by his own mother. I yell for my hubby as loud as I can. Thankfully a good friend and the lovely host hears and asks what she can do. Trying not to show my weakness I don’t turn to look as I choke out “Can you get Kamnab please?” Hubby comes immediately. Trying to explain to him what has happened. I can’t choke it back and the tears fall. Luckily my husband is not a jerk and doesn’t seem to care. When I apologize for being emotional but that I’ve never heard him crying like this and how horrifying it was to know what I was doing was hurting him – he says he understands and that it must have been tough. Wow – you are an awesome hubby.
What gets me? WHY WAS I CRYING OVER DIAPER RASH? What is wrong with me? Yes, my child was obviously not feeling well and was hurting. But did I really need to cry over it. I had to spend a minute gathering myself before going back downstairs to say “bye” before we took Buggy home in case issues came back. For the rest of the evening – although Buggy gets chipper and plays like normal – I’m in a somber, sullen mood. Contemplating my emotional outburst. I feel as though I remain on the verge of tears all evening. Why did I cry over diaper rash?
I can definitely say I did not enjoy the cry that was most obviously meant to say “I’m in real pain here” coming from my son. And it was especially not fun to hear that cry increase as I cleaned and applied relief. But why was that so much to make me cry? Did the cup of sangria have something to do with it? Feeling tired from the late night out (yeah, 11:30 is late these days) paired with an early rise? The impending doom of starting work full time again on Monday? Embarrassment that my child was so upset and inconsolable (people without kids, and some with, don’t really understand crying children and immediately think something is wrong with the parents – I was one of them, I know)? Maybe all of it?
One thing I do know is that I was overwhelmed and anxious. And those two feelings usually ensue crying in me – as much as I wish them not to. I can hold it together until I have to talk. When I’m really not feeling well and I have to call the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment – my voice cracks and I get all emotional as soon as I have to say why I’m coming in. I do my best to hide it in my voice – but they have to hear how shaky it is. Tense situations, people in high and scary authority, heights (like the top of our 6-foot ladder)- it all makes me anxious and then emotional. I am one of the reasons women are stereotyped as overemotional. Because I will cry in an argument. Not because I’m sad, or dramatic, or ridiculous. Simply because the release of my adrenaline triggers my tear ducts – immediately.
Maybe I am a freak of nature or I am perfectly normal. All I know is that tears were appropriate for my anxiety level at that moment. Overwhelmed comes in many different packages.