Monday, October 8, 2007

The Sun'll Come Out....

Well, it was inevitable...I had my first melt-down as a full-time SAHM. It all started so innocently. You've read the saga about the transition to the toddler bed, and naps were going so well in the pack-n-play...until....

Yes, H decided that he was no fool. If he could climb out of his crib, he could certainly get out of this wimpy mesh-enclosed cave that he was forced to slumber in during the day. This was on Sunday. "Luckily" my husband was home and could share in my frustration as H quietly (or not) refused to nap. This was the child who had been sleeping for a solid three hours in the afternoon...I was NOT willing to forego that time, as it was all mine! Finally, I just layed down with him in my bed as he was obviously very tired, and he and I proceeded to sleep for over 2 hours (guess I was just as tired) while my DH watched the game.

Monday came and I caved, deciding to lay down with him again just this once. Going down was not as easy this time, as he wanted to play on the bed, and screamed whenever I tried to snuggle (okay hold) him to me so that we could settle in for a nice nap. Finally, blessed sleep overcame him and another 2 hours went by...again, I fell asleep as well, so no time for mommy.

Tuesday, repeat Monday's scenario, including the screaming and playing.

Wednesday...Okay, I was done with wasting my time alone by falling asleep with him, and decided that I'd have him sleep in his toddler bed. You can guess how well that worked. he stood at his doorway crying "Go Seeeep!" Translation: I want to go to sleep with you, mommy! Which quickly turned into "Go Seeeeeeeeeep, Mommy beeeeeeeeeeeeed!" So, being the mother of iron resolution, I scooped him up and took him to bed in my room.

Monday's scenario played out again, except no sleep came. I finally told him he'd have to go to his own room if he didn't lay down. He was not happy. After about 30 minutes of him saying "H Tired! Go SEEEEEP!" in his room, I tried the whole go into my room bit again...this cycle played itself out 3-4 times. Each time, his eyes lolled back in his head as I picked him up, and then when we layed in my haven of a bed, his eyes popped open, and he was ready to play and be jolly. I was SO frustrated by the time this was all done (about 2 hours) that I plucked him out of my bed, using all of my reserve will not to smack him on the bottom, and deposited him in his room, put up the gate, and said "I don't care what you do for the next 2 hours, but mommy is going in the other room."

I called my DH at work on his cell phone on the minute chance that he'd luck... I was breathing faster and faster, trying to choke down the tears of frustration that were threatening to spew out of my throat. I then made the call that I knew would make everything better...

There are four girls in my family; The Big Girls and The Little Girls, as there is an 8 year space in the two sets. I am one of the little girls. I immediately called my Oldest Sister, Myrtle T(who has three children ranging from 9 to 14), hoping that she would answer her work phone.

"Phone Company One, this is Natalie" Oh Crap...must sound normal, must sound normal..."Is Myrtle T there?" As soon as I heard my sister's voice, I could barely squeak out her name. She knew that it was me, as they have call waiting. When she heard my voice, she immediately asked "What's wrong?!" as that voice was generally reserved for deaths and disasters.

The floodgates opened, and I cried out (literally, I was sobbing by this point) "He won't sleep in his toddler bed and I'm SOOOOOOOO frustrated!" silence...

Myrtle: Ohhhh...I'm sorry...that's so hard!
Me: He's just playing in his room! (I then recounted the previous couple of days and the culmination of today, with gulps and sobs and a couple of expletives).

Myrtle: Calculated Silence, and then comforting...Ohhhhh...that is so frustrating. I remember those days well. Why don't you just go in your room and close the door for about five minutes. By then, he probably won't be crying anymore and you'll give yourself some space.

Me: He's not crying, he's just playing in his room!

Myrtle again: Ummmm...he's just playing in his room? He's not crying or doing anything dangerous?

Me: Yeah

Myrtle: Ummmm...I know that it can be frustrating, but he'll probably just fall asleep in his room.

Me: No he won't! He'll just play, and then he'll be exhausted tonight!

Myrtle: Well, maybe that will happen today, but if he's just in his room and being good, don't worry about it.

Me: (Slowly dawning on me that I sound like a crazed loon) Sigh...It's just so frustrating! I've never been this frustrated with him before!

Myrtle: Yep, this is that fabulous time of life when they still really need you, but are also aware of what they want, and aren't afraid to assert it.

Me: Okay...(wiping the last of my tears as the weight lifts off my chest)

Ahhhhh...that was all I needed...someone to let me know that I wasn't completely crazy, but also to remind me that this is what the 2s are all about...assert, challenge, assert! This just reminded me why it's so important for mom's to have a support network. Had I not had someone to call, I would have just cried in the living room by myself, withough bringing things back into perspective. I then peeked in at H to see that he was playing so well by himself in his room, talking to his dolly and "Haffy Feet".

That night, H was asleep by 6pm, wouldn't wake up for dinner, and slept through the night. The next day, I was lamenting to a friend that he was most likely just not going to nap anymore, although that thought terrified me! That afternoon, after H's friend left, I put him on his bed and let him know that it was time to take a "night-night". He promptly said "NO!" So I told him...'okay, you don't have to sleep, but mommy's going to leave the room, and you'll be in here for an hour or two by yourself." I checked on him periodically to ensure that he had a clean diaper and gave him a snack. About 35 minutes later, I peeked in because he was suspiciously quiet, only to find him sound asleep on a pile of books...he's napped most days since!

I struggled over whether to blog about this, not knowing if people would just think that I was a horribly mean mommy, or if they'd relate. At any rate, it's important to note that I just put him in his own room and walked (okay, stomped) away; I didn't spank him or yell at him (which is important to me, but maybe not to everyone). It's also always good to remember that tomorrow (for better or for worse) is a whole new day.

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