I had a bad day. I woke up at 7:00 a.m. for the 16th day in a row, exhausted and yearning for my usual sleep-in Sundays. Some people sleep 5 hours a night without a problem. My need for sleep borders on the freakish. I need at least 9 hours a night to function well, 8 to survive with a severely compromised vocabulary and with 7 or fewer hours I behave like a severely intoxicated bitch. My doctor says my vocabulary will refresh if I sleep enough, but I never do, so if you notice the dumbing down of this blog, you’ll know why.
Back to my day. I was so tired; every cell in my body felt like it was vibrating. Everything was shaky but I worked five and a half hours before the babysitter dropped my almost 2-year-old daughter Rose off in the afternoon. Rose has been erratic about her naps lately but she’d lost some sleep the day before and I had grand plans to put her to bed a half hour early, at 1:30 p.m.
We played for a little bit and, dreaming of my own sweet slumber, I said “Nap time,” and she said, “Noooooo!” and I picked her up and put her in her crib. After 20 minutes of, “Mommy, where ARE you, Mommy?” which I ignored, she started to cry. It’s not unusual for her to cry when she doesn’t want to nap but this was different.
I opened her door to this: Rose was standing up in her crib, naked from the waist down, her pants and diaper on the floor. Picking up her diaper I said, “Oh, Honey, did you need a new diaper?” then I saw it. Two pieces of fresh poo sitting on her bed sheet. I moved closer and saw there was poo smeared on her blankets and one of her dolls. So I pulled her out of the crib, cleaned her little butt off, took off her poopy socks, diapered her, put on new pants and set her down. Then I yanked the blankets out and put them in the hamper, took the doll out of the crib, took off the sheet and wiped down the mattress (whoever decided to cover those in plastic, God bless you!), changed the sheet, cleaned the doll, got a new blanket and inspected the crib for anything I’d missed.
I let Rose stay up for another 15 minutes, which is our pattern when she won’t sleep, then put her back to bed with a good feeling that this was it, her poopy diaper kept her up. This time, I thought, she’d go right to sleep, so I optimistically lay down in my own bed. Through the monitor I heard her babbling to herself, which she often does before a nap. She wasn’t moving too much so I figured she was calming down. Then after about 15 minutes, “Mommy, where ARE you? Mommy, where ARE you?” I let her go a little more but then she started crying and I had to accept that although I was ready for a nap, she still wasn’t.
So I grabbed her and she stayed up for another 15 minutes, I gave her some Benadryl to help her sleep, felt guilty for drugging her but assured myself that it would help her snotty nose too so it was perfectly legitimate. We both went back to bed and, despite Mommy’s evil drug pushing plan, she did not sleep. We went several more rounds. Once while we were up I called my husband and told him that if this continued, we would put her up for adoption. He agreed. I was too tired to count the number of nap attempts but she finally lost the fight at 3:30 and let me sleep.
Today she fell asleep in the car at 2:00, right on schedule, but I was expecting another late nap. We had just pulled up to the grocery store, after she threw a fit and head butted me at the Halloween store. The grand rule of life says that if an experience is fun, it makes a great memory, but if it sucks, it’s a learning opportunity. If I learn nothing else from this it’s that plans plus kids do not mix. I have a severe planning disorder with, I’m noticing now, some control issues, and I need help. I can’t mother a toddler according to the schedule I’ve got in my Palm Pilot. I’ve got to give up that control and roll with whatever comes up, whether it’s a late nap or short nap or no nap at all. Like so many other things that slipped on the priority list, planning, I’m sad to say, is another thing that, as a mom, I must leave behind.