As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and are staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.
p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category. Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!
Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.
4 y.o.: “It is dark!”
Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”
4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”
Me: perplexed. Laughs.
4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)
me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.)
4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”
Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!
4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”
Me: “Not until you sleep!!”
4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing.
me: “You have to paint it.”
4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”
I give up.
4yo. Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.
Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out.
Me: mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house.
4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that.
4yo.: Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase.
Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl.
Me: DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl.
4yo: You guessed it: awake.
The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity.
Me: Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed.
4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!
7:00 a.m. (sharp!)
Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”
Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)
Time to make the coffeeeee!!!
Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee.
That was the three-year-old in response to stuffing being placed on her thanksgiving plate. The nerve! You don’t even want to hear what she said about the celery.
(She did however find Redi-whip to be quite to her liking. She ran around the house with it clutched in her hands and squealing. It took three of us to corner her and grab the can before total-and-utter-whipped-cream-chaos ensued.)
Never a dull moment with this kid.
Nobody is getting sleep in our house lately. The kid seems to be getting too much sleep at preschool nap time plus allergies and colds and high-spirited-child. No sleep. No time for watching Jane the Virgin before bed. (Me, not the child.)
Ok, I’m done whining.
But first, a story. A humorous story where I thought I could perhaps FIX this lack of sleep thing!
I read about some music that has been proven by science to be the most relaxing and I thought, a HA! WE WILL TRY THIS.
So while my husband was trying to get the kid to sleep I listened to it to try it out. I nearly fell asleep. Oh this was good.
When it was (inevitably) my turn to take over trying to get this child to go the f to sleep, I brought my handy music playlist.
This is a recap of how it went down:
Me: “We are listening to nighttime music.”
(Turns on ambient-ish music on iphone.)
Child: “I WANT TO SEE! I WANT TO SEE!”
Me: “NO! There is nothing to see. You listen with your ears.”
(Places phone high, high up where child cannot reach.)
Child: bouncing on bed to music.
Me: Yelling, cajoling. Finally gets kid to lay down in sleep position.
Several minutes pass. Music is weird and includes rainstorm sounds.
Child: Sits straight up in bed. “What is that sound?? It is not raining! Why is it raining in the music!”
Me: “It is supposed to relax you! Just LISTEN! AND GO. TO. SLEEP.”
Music nears the end of six minutes. Child is twitching and falling into sleep. Omigoditisactuallyworking.
KID WAKES UP.
Child: “I want the music again!”
Annnnd back to square one.
(These small beings eventually grow up and actually sleep. Unassisted. Right??)
I’ve Just had a reminder from the universe to not to take everything so seriously. Or to rush to judgement. Not that I ever do any of that!
We’ll start with my daughter. She has been acting out like crazy and not sleeping and it was basically melt-down city (me, not her). I wrote a post about it. I questioned my parenting skills. There was wringing of hands, inner turmoil, the whole nine yards. I tried regrouping and facing it with love. Mostly compassion for myself because I really needed to cut myself a break.
Well. It turns out she was having a reaction to an inhaler medicine she was taking for her cough. She is really, really sensitive to any amount of steroid, even the small doses. Side effects: hyperactivity, extreme thirst. (So that explains her constant whines for water and then potty breaks. Nope, not entirely stall tactics this time.)
Hahahaha. Good thing I didn’t overthink all that and make sweeping conclusions about my parenting skills and my child’s sanity!
And about that lemon with water. The other day I literally wrote a love story about coffee. I mocked the idea that anyone in their right mind would never leap from bed for water with lemon!
Funny thing about this detox cleanse thing…I am discovering I kinda need to hydrate more. Especially first thing in the morning. You know, before I drink my coffee.
Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sitting here writing with hot water and lemon. Pre-coffee. I am not sure if there was leaping from bed, but still. Slightly funny.
OH, and my child is not a (1000%) hell-raising three-year-old.
(But seriously, the decaf coffee IS brewing. I haven’t totally lost my marbles. I mean have you noticed how much I love coffee??)
I have a secret.
The bee on the Honey Nut Cheerio’s box is named Bob.
According to my daughter at least, who whispered that to me this morning.
(She was close. Wikipedia says his name is Buzz.)
This morning was a jolly romp of chasing each other to the bathroom (she won the pee-pee race in case you were wondering), snuggling under a blanket to watch Dinosaur Train, and playing chemist on the kitchen floor. My name for the game, not hers. She takes little cups of water and dumps, sorts, stirs, arranges and, when it spills (it always does) she then cleans it up. She is a weird and wonderful one, my child.
The morning ended with me frantically putting hair into lopsided pigtails because that was the best we were gonna get before she finished sorting her shoes on her play slide. I realize that statement makes no sense to anyone unless they have a three-year-old. But trust me. She wasn’t going to last beyond the shoe-sorting game.
Yesterday I was looking through some photos of my daughter from when she was around one year old. I was searching for a picture of a friend and ended up getting distracted by this tiny version of my daughter. Her arms were SO CHUBBY it is almost too much to handle. She was sporting a band-aid even then. (Always with the boo-boos from some kind of raucous adventure.) She had an intense look on her face, highly suspect of you taking her photo.
Oh but to breathe in the smell of that baby 15-month-old’s hair.
I cannot help but sound like an elderly aunt: I cannot believe how fast you have grown.
All I can do is stay present to what she is right now. To her lip with dried yogurt, her feet in my way-too-large shoes, and her little whispers to me about Bob, the Honey Nut Cheerios bee.
Do you have a kids who are growing way too fast? Isn’t it just astounding?
Today is party day!
As I have written before, I have been working on building a village. I am new to my neighborhood, my state (Florida), to parenthood, to all of it. It’s taking time but I’m happy to say that slowly, ever so slowly, we are finding community.
I am pretty sure my (deceased) mother is the one who put a bug in my ear that, hey, you should have a bbq/potluck! She even reminded me about the favorite sangria recipe of mine that she loved.
(Yes, I take party planning advice from my dead mother. Trust me, you would too if you had my mother at your disposal. She was a master party planner. Lots of lists, sometimes party themes (but never tacky or cheesy–just fun), and always a great spread of food.)
A lot has been written about the carefree moms of the 1980s. I would love to try to capture the fun, laid back spirit of the parties my parents had, even if just a teeny bit.
This is harder than you would think. Last night my husband and I were shopping at Target to get some last minute items, and he said, “You know what we need? A shiny copper bucket to put ice in with all the drinks!”
They had them but they were kind of expensive. But then I turned to him and said, wait a minute. We don’t need this damn thing! You know what Keith and Diane would have used? A crummy old cooler that they pulled out of the garage and hosed down!
When your husband, the man who has zero design sense, starts suggesting fancy copper bins to put ice and drinks into, you know you have found yourself squarely in the Pinterest-generation.
So guess what we will be using: a crummy old cooler from the garage. That’s right, there will be nothing instagrammable or pinterstery about this party.
[Disclosure: love me some Pinterest. Love being creative, love having fun craft ideas…but sometimes you just need to chill the heck out ammiright?]
Today I raise a glass to carefree, no hassle parties. To good-enough. To dust bunnies and mismatched stemware! To friends!
I’d write more but that lime kool-aid isn’t going to make itself.
p.s. This week I have been writing about my journey of healing that came after a period of loss, and more loss, and more loss. I will pick up the series next Monday because today, my friends, is party day!