Toddler = Brutal Dream Crusher, The Sequel

The sleep backsliding in our house continues.

Friday and Saturday wake-up times: 0600.

Today’s wake-up: 0530.

(Let’s not pretend I didn’t see this coming.)

HOWEVER.

Have I mentioned I have the best neighbors on. the. planet.? Why yes, yes, I do. AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY:

So I was in a total crappy pity party mood on Friday. Dane’s getting (the aforementioned) tooth (or possibly two) (I mean, COME ON.). We’ve been getting a lot of early-toddler no’s lately, but haven’t hit the toddler tantrum stage yet… until Friday, when he woke up at 0600 and spent the first twenty minutes of both his day and mine screaming because, oh, I don’t know, THE SCHOOL BUS DOESN’T SHOW UP AT OUR HOUSE UNTIL SEVEN A.M. (He’s sort of obsessed with buses. He does not get that from me.).

I get it. He doesn’t have control over his emotions. He’s not the adult. He’s an innocent toddler with a solid independent streak, but who still wants to be held, oh, 70% of the time. He lays his head on my chest every naptime and every bedtime and about 100 times in between.

I didn’t snap at him (Yay me, right? It’s good I’m the adult in this relationship). I might have sighed heavily a few times. I went for a walk with a friend and bitched about it for ten minutes with him in earshot, maybe. But other than being a little grouchy, I wasn’t too terrible. He was exhausted, is exhausted, but we had a busy day and he did fine. And yet:

I spent all day trying to figure out how to reconfigure my toddler. I see the dark circles under his eyes. I understand that the crying jag this morning had more to do with the discomfort in his mouth and the fact that he woke up at least half an hour before he should have, rather than that the bus was an hour away. And so I spent all day wondering: What am I doing wrong? Why do I suck as a mom? Why can’t I help him sleep? Do I need to move his schedule forward/backwards/sideways? Better curtains in his room? Lullabies on or off? Should we chuck it all and move to Hawaii? I sleep better on the beach, after all.

I try to find happy endings to posts (or at least, conclusive endings) (okay, fine, ENDINGS). I don’t really have one today (the pity party hasn’t completely ended. Sorry.). So instead, let me return to my neighbors, which, if you remember from 500 words ago and possibly the longest digression in blogging history, was the original hook. Friday afternoon, after Dane took a super short nap at a time when he needed at least a two-hour-er, I headed down the street to see the bus and, subsequently, my neighbor. I might have told her a little about my frustration. Here’s what she said:

“Want some wine? Or a Mike’s Hard Lemonade?”

If that weren’t enough, she went inside, got a big plastic cup and filled it up with ice and alcohol. And then put Dane in the swing in her backyard and pushed him around until he was all giggly and happy. Just as we were about to head home, her youngest son (five) came up and started pumping Dane’s arm up and down like a tire jack. Dane didn’t appreciate this, but y’all, I was busy, you know, GULPING MY DRINK (yes, while holding him on my hip) (insert unfit mother joke here). And instead of looking at me like (said) unfit mother (or calling CPS) (or possibly both), my neighbor just reached over, took Dane’s arm from her little guy, and poured the rest of her bottle into my cup. And that, my friends, is why we live in the best neighborhood in the block.

See y’all tomorrow, huh? Bright and early. 🙂

Smooch -s

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