The Girl is right now in the bedroom wailing that she wants mommy. I’m typing this instead. Don’t gasp her father is in there with her, I need a break. This has been going on since 8pm; it is now 10:18pm. It’s my fault really, I let her nap for almost two hours this afternoon, not the best way to help her go down on time after a weekend of late nights, but she’s been so tired.
We’ve had sketchy success with teaching this little girl to sleep by herself, if she had her druthers she’s still be nestled up next to my body all night long nursing whenever she felt like it. This arrangement worked well for us her first year of life, and long into the second, but then neither of us was really getting much sleep after that and it was time to get her a bed of her own and teach her that she really can fall asleep without a nipple in her mouth. I won’t bore you with the long process that ensued to reach this goal, but we did eventually get there.
Some nights we can brush her teeth, turn, out the light, sing and leave with absolutely no fussing and she will go to sleep and sleep all night. And then there’s tonight. She lay quietly for almost 20 minutes, and I think the problem is she just wasn’t tired enough to go to sleep in that time, because it has gone from there through the various calling and I have to pee excuses to heartbroken sobbing if one of us tries to make a break for the door.
“I want you,” in a little tiny voice punctuated with broken hiccupping sobs, and a little arm fastened around my neck like a vise grip. So I count to warn her that I must leave now, I will return to check on her in five minutes, she is quiet until I reach the door and then the wails begin again. I know she thinks she needs me there, I know her heart needs reassurance, I also know that if I stay until she sleeps, she will wake up all night in a panic when she no longer feels my body next to hers, and we will both be tired and cranky in the morning, because I won’t allow my children to cry themselves to sleep. Not if it’s real crying, fake tears and temper tantrums on the other hand, not a chance that I’m caving to those, and I can tell the difference, most mommies can.
I told her she couldn’t go pee an hour ago because she had just gone, and 10 minutes ago she appears at the bedroom door and collapses into tears at my order to get back to bed. I go in to her and smell the pee in her pull-ups.
“Were you coming to tell me you peed in your diaper?”
“Uh-huh.” Again with little hiccupping sobs.
“Why didn’t you tell me before, was it because I said no more pee?”
So we change her diaper and she begins wailing that she wants to go pee in the potty, she gets really upset by accidents. So I take her to the bathroom, and she tries, and of course there is no pee, She wants to try the other toilet, so we go there, again no pee.” Tired tear-stained and heartbroken she lays down in her bed again sobbing, “I want to pee in the potty.” as I tell her I know, I’m sorry, it’s mommy’s fault, over and over again, until I hear Daddy get home and am rescued by him coming in to sing to her.
As I type she is finally sleeping, calmed by Daddy’s promise to get ready for bed and come in soon. I keep telling myself that she will not be like this forever, by the time she’s 3 things will look much different. They had better, because we just found out there’s another one on the way, so she’s got 9 months to figure out this sleeping thing before mommy becomes very unsympathetic, maybe less.