Welcome to Crank City. Population: Nellie

The past few days, Nellie has been cranktastic. Even her grandparents, who normally praise her behavior until they’re hoarse, commented on how nothing seemed to make her happy. Nellie is a happy baby by nature and is very easygoing, so when she gets cranky it’s definitely out of character.

I started noticing it on Friday, when she and I took a side trip to Hobby Lobby before picking up Josh from work. I put her in the cart and she was happy for approximately 5 minutes before she began whining at me and stretching her arms out. At this point I’d already put a few things in the cart, so I calmly explained to her that mommy couldn’t hold her and push the cart.

Unfortunately my words did about as good as a bunny rabbit pleading with a hungry cat not to rip out its’ entrails and eat them for lunch. Come to think of it, the rest of the Hobby Lobby trip I was pretty much the bunny rabbit. Nellie won, and I pulled her out of the cart. It’ll be okay, I thought to myself. I’ve held her and pushed the cart before. But this time Nellie wasn’t just content with riding on my hip. Ohhhh no. She decided that she wanted to push the cart. Considering she is approximately two feet tall and cannot reach the handle to push the cart, I had to hold her so her little hands were wrapped around the cart’s handle. I then had to continue pushing, but also steer the cart with my free hand so we didn’t crash into the lovely knickknacks that lined the shelves of the Hobby Lobby.

Soon my sweet babe became bored with that and started to scream. I plopped her back down in the cart and handed her a sippy cup. She sipped happily for about a minute and then tossed the cup onto the floor. As soon as her juice hit the ground with a “clank” she began to wail and point. Ever the obedient servant, I bent down and retrieved it, handing it back to Her Crankness. I turned my head to admire a particularly pretty flower pot when I heard the cup hit the floor again.
I turned my head slowly to look back at Nellie, who was staring at me doe-eyed. Then she started whining, reaching, and squalling for the cup.

This continued pretty much the rest of the time we were at Hobby Lobby. I tried to placate her with keys, toys, even a riveting pack of baby wipes which she could open and close. Nothing was making her happy. I became that mom. You know, the one desperately pleading with the screaming toddler to just, “hold on for one second because mommy’s almost done”? The mom who is sofuckingclose to being through with her shopping trip so instead of abandoning the cart and carrying her yowling offspring out of the store, she frantically presses on with a wild look in her eyes? The mom that I used to glare at before I had children?

YEAH. I became THAT MOM. And I silently apologized to every single woman that had ever been the recipient of my smarmy, snarky, childless glares in the past as I pushed my screaming, thrashing kid in the cart toward the checkout lane.

On Saturday, I had to go back to Hobby Lobby (a different one) and it was pretty much a repeat of the entire debacle the day before. Screaming, throwing, pleading, wailing, grabbing. I had pretty much decided that Nellie just hated Hobby Lobby. That the whole time she was in the store she was thinking how much she hated crafts and was all,  “fuck yarn. I hate yarn. That fabric offends me. Who needs colorful pom poms? WHY ARE THESE STICKERS SO EXPENSIVE? I HATE THIS STORE. DON’T WISH ME A GOOD DAY, I WILL TAKE A CRAP IN THAT EASTER BASKET RIGHT NOW, I DON’T EVEN CARE.”

Yesterday, however, we almost had a repeat performance of I Hate Hobby Lobby Starring Nellie Rose at Walmart. After about the tenth time of retrieving Nellie’s sippy cup, I decided she was just going through some personal baby issues and hated the world. I debated playing her the CD Jagged Little Pill, because it was always good for me when I felt angsty. She whined and cried the whole way back from Walmart. When we got home and I climbed in the backseat to release her from her carseat I saw her gnawing on her fingers, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

She’s fucking teething. Her mouth is hurting. It’s her damn molars breaking through her soft, sensitive gums. I’ll be a son of a bitch. THAT’S why my kid has been such a cranker the past few days.

We got inside, I set down the groceries and gave my lady some Tylenol. About a half an hour later? Much less cranky, easier to please and not gnawing all over everything like a cracked out beaver.

Sigh. It’s been a while since I had a mom fail, so I guess it was a little overdue. While I hate that her molars are causing her so much pain and discomfort, I am kind of glad that it is teething and not just a general hatred of crafts in general because one day, maybe, I might get into crafting. Probably not because I am so un-crafty and uncreative that if I tried to knit, I would probably somehow start an accidental fire and if I tried to scrapbook, it’s likely that I’d accidentally cut my jugular open and bleed to death all over the pages.

But it’s nice to know that if I do decide to start crafting, the Hobby Lobby will be there for me and won’t have to fear the Wrath of Rose.