Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sharing a Room: Part Two

Which is worse: No sleep, or lots and lots of crying?

HA!!!  That's a trick question!!  The two can't be separated.  They are tied together in a hideous tango of pain.  If the kids don't sleep, there is lots and lots of crying.  If I try to make them sleep, there is lots and lots of crying.  LOTS AND LOTS OF CRYING.  No matter what.  Sometimes, it's me crying and wishing I was sleeping.

(Dear god, make them sleep!)

I'm trying to hold on dearly to the promise that "they" made me.  "They" say that the kids will adjust.  "They" say that the kids will learn to sleep together without waking each other up.  "They" say the novelty of sharing a room will wear off.  "They" say that this will work.

Will "they" please come over and make my children go to sleep?  Because I can't seem to do it for the life of me.  I've put them to bed separately.  I've put them to bed early.  I've run them ragged with exciting playdates and put them to bed late and exhausted.  I've begged.  I've pleaded.  I've sticker charted.  I've bribed.  I've guilted.  I've stared.  I've gone in every 30 seconds and laid them both back down and told them in no uncertain terms that it is TIME TO SLEEP.

But there is no sleeping.

If a napless day was the only problem, I could deal.  I could handle losing that precious, precious hour and a half in the middle of the day when I can answer my emails and eat a warm meal and watch trashy TV and pee in peace.  But naplessness leads to other problems.  It is the gateway drug to naughty and cranky.  A day without naps means a day filled with time outs, temper tantrums, and crying.  So. Much. Crying.

This embargo on sleep is causing me to lose my ever-loving mind.  I am stress eating Reese's peanut butter cups.  I am contemplating drinking starting at 10:30 a.m.  I am wondering if I will ever get to experience a day when my toddler doesn't yell in my face and I don't want to hide in the closet and my infant isn't hysterical because all of us are SO exhausted.

"They" are on my shit list.  I think "they" must be the same ones that said parenthood is easy.  The ones who make people think that being a full time parent is all baking and zoo trips and lattes and spinning circles in the park while the children happily skip to bed singing, "I love my Mommy!!"

Those days do exist, thank god, but they seem to be few and far between these days.  So until my days look like a scene out of Sesame Street, "they" better get their asses over here and put my kids to sleep.  And bring me a latte.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gold Medal Mother Moments

There are those moments in motherhood when you feel like a complete and total ass.  Loser.  AWFUL parent.

Tonight was one such moment.

I've been struggling with my children as they wade through the newness of sharing a room.  It involves a severe lack of sleep on everyone's part.  Things have been getting better (kind of), but new ugly things are popping up.  One of them is that my toddler now insists on keeping the baby up when it's bedtime.  He jumps up and down in his crib, screams, yells, sings, does somersaults, and hucks his lovies into the baby's crib across the room.  Shockingly, this keeps the baby from going to sleep.  Today it resulted in something worse.

Today, it resulted in a bloody nose for my baby.  BLOODY NOSE.  BABY.  Seriously?

The baby has just learned to pull up, so he's not particularly stable yet, but he tries like hell to keep up with my toddler.  Accordingly, today the baby was trying to hop up and down like the toddler (when both were supposed to be going to sleep!), and apparently this resulted in a bloody nose.

Here's where the gold medal moment comes in: I didn't respond for a full 5 minutes.  To my baby.  With the bloody nose.  Yup.  AWESOME MOTHER, RIGHT HERE.

Why the hell would you not respond to your crying baby?!?!  Because I have a crying baby a lot.  Like, A LOT.  He's a high maintenance one, this one.  And he cries for a plethora of reasons, few of which require my attention at bedtime and very few of which are actually worrisome.  So, I let him cry for 5 minutes.  Because that's what you're supposed to do.  So they'll learn to self-soothe.

Yes, I know they aren't supposed to be left to perform triage on themselves.  Jesus.  It wasn't on purpose.

Anyway, I did go in and saw that he had pooped.  (Well.... smelled that he had pooped.)  I picked him up to change him and went to wipe his snotty little nose.  And then I realized that it wasn't just snot.  The poor kid conked his face on his crib and gave himself a bloody nose and his good-for-nothin' mother didn't bother to show up and help him out until she felt an adequate amount of time had passed.  You know, for him to suffer.


These are the times when I think, "What was it that made me think I'd be good at this?"  Not really sure, but I sure am questioning myself now.  Thankfully, I think everyone questions themselves in this parenthood gig.  (But not everyone leaves their infant to bleed in their crib for 5 minutes!  Gold medal for me!!!!)

Reason #1 (of 4,374) for my youngest to attend therapy in the future: my mother left me to bleed in the dark.  Benign neglect: successful.  Damn it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sharing A Room: Part One

I'm sorry, ma'am, but did you just stand in the doorway of your children's room for 15 minutes and glare at your toddler until he fell asleep?

Yes.  Yes, I did.

I literally just guilted my child to sleep.  Really?  Did I really just do that?  Yup.  Sure did.  I stood in the doorway with my hands on my hips and my eyebrow raised in the, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" kind of way until my son laid down, stopped peeking at me and went the hell to sleep.  I glared him into submission because this is the umpteenth day in a row that he has jumped up and down and squealed and thrown lovies and asked for water and hollered my infant's name until my infant finally woke up out of his blissful slumber and screamed for the next hour and half.

I could not do it again.  I am tired.  I am pissed off.  I am DETERMINED to make this sharing a room thing work.  Shit, I HAVE to make this sharing a room thing work.  The only other place I can put a kid is in the closet, and that just opens up a whole can of later-in-life worms.  (He can go in or come out of the closet whenever he wants, but I'm not forcing him into either.  That's just rude.)

Anyway, I'm feeling like a crappy, controlling, psychotic mother for doing what I just did, but they need to sleep and they need to work this thing out.  It has to happen.  People have been sharing rooms for eons; they can do this.  I think.  But can I do this?

I have been reassured over and over that they will adjust.  People swear up and down that they get used to each other's noises and will be able to sleep through anything the other one can dish out.  "They" say to just give it time and the sleep will come.  But, Oh. My. God.  WHEN WILL THE SLEEP COME?!?!?  I need the sleep.  They need the sleep.  Sleep needs to be happening in this house.  And if that means that I guilt my toddler to sleep, apparently that is what I will do.  I won't like it and I won't feel good about it, but I will feel damn good when both of those children GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP.

(By the way, Adam Mansbach is a genius.  If you have children and have not yet seen the book with the above title, RUN to the bookstore and get it.  Now.  Go.  Seriously.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How To Tame A Toddler

Dear god, don't ask me.  I was hoping someone else out there knows.  Perhaps it's akin to taming a lion and I need to just pick up a chair and point it at him?  Worth a shot.