Caleb decided to wake up at the midnight hour the other night, and my reactions with each waking reminded me of what happens as most Mommies go thru the whole crazy-train of sleep deprivation from infanthood thru sleeping-thru-the-night-hood.
1. First cry- "Waaaaah!" Mommy's eye pop open from dreary deep sleep and first thought is "Awww... my little one neeeeeds me! I'm coming to the rescue Buddy!"... I rush to his room and take the opportunity to snuggle a bit before settling him off to sleep and heading back to my room. "What a cute little angel!" I think. This reminded me of his first few months, when everything is new and you spend those wee hours just looking at your little one sleeping and relishing every little soft velvety curve of baby lump your eyes find. Oh well, off Mommy goes to sleep again.
You start out all, "Who needs sleep when I can care for my little one? Maybe I should scotch guard the couches and scrub the fridge while I'm at it. And then knit blankets for the poor."
2. 2nd cry- 12:30 am "Waaah!"..."Whatever could be wrong with my baby tonight? He doesn't wake this often anymore" Rushing to the little guy's bed, you sit there comforting him and go thru the checklist of "what could be wrong?," much as was once done when baby was about 6 months old and starting to settle into more regular sleep. Fever? nope. Diaper full? nope. Lost toy? Nope. All is well, so a drink is offered and wee one is tucked in once more. Mommy slips back to sleep, though it takes a bit longer this time...
only this time, just five minutes after settling back into blissful sleep again...
3. 3rd cry- 1 am "Waaaaaaaaah!" "Dangit! What the heck is up with that kid!?" Groggily, and much more slowly, you slog into the room and croak, "Whassamatter!?" "I wanna nuther dwi-iink" "Dude! Mommy has to get some sleep tonight. Take another drink real quick, but DON'T wake Mommy up again. Go to sleep." Door is shut unceremoniously whether or not little guy has found his lovey and blankey again and he's left to find his own way back to sleep as you thump back into bed and pray to God he goes to sleep this time. Groggy hubby says, "Man, he's waking up alot tonight isn't he?" to which you reply thru your teeth, "Yes, and if you ever let him nap till 4 pm again I'm gonna kill you with my bare hands!" "What? What was that Honey?" "Nothing, it doesn't bear repeating, just. let. me. sleep!"
Reminds me of the 1 year mark when you're thinking, "Dude, I don't care what's wrong, just shut it and learn to soothe yourself already!"
Darling baby starts out looking like this to you
however... by this point they just look like THIS to you
4. 4th Cry, 1:30 am "Waaaah!" You jump out of bed, throwing pillow over hubby's head, and stomp to crying child's room, throw open the door, and growl, "IF YOU CRY OR CALL ME AGAIN I AM GOING TO SPANK YOU. NOW GO TO SLEEP!" Stomp back to room and put pillow over head. Slink back into sleep only after arguing with self for an hour about whether CPS is going to come tomorrow to claim your children becuase your such a mean Mommy. And then settle on, "Well, he should be sleeping thru the night now and able to comfort his darn self!" as the replying answer, and slip back into sleep. Have extra cup of coffee in the a.m. and shirk off hubby's evil eye thru the day at including him in the bad-sleep extravaganza. Catch a nap and leave him in charge as payback ;) (or at least I wish). Give little guy extra hugs in the a.m. as pennance for mean-mommy persona showing up in the wee-hours. This is the reality of 2 year old sleep.
Aaaaaand this is how you end up looking at the end of the night. Approach only if you are bleeding or on fire, as per the established rules of the household... Mommy will go back to her sweet, loving self once she gets some @#$(*&^% sleep.
I keep reminding myself someday he'll be a teenager and then I won't be able to wake him up no matter how hard I try. But then I'll miss all the other cute stuff, so in a way it's worth it now... just don't ask me how I feel about parenthood at 2 in the morning. I may slug you with a pillow, too.