Friday, August 27, 2010

Toddlers Will Make You Mental

My son was not an accident; we desperately wanted him.  My husband and I tried for months upon months upon months to have a baby.  I loved my son before he was ever conceived.  I wept when I heard his heartbeat at 6-weeks gestation.  I adored him before I ever saw him.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that the sun rises and sets on his face (that would be my husband), but it's pretty darn close.  I sometimes think that no one can possibly understand just how much I love this little boy.

But, as much as I love him, sometimes he makes me absolutely cuckoo.  I've gathered, through experience and advice, that mothering a toddler can be strange at times.  And, man, peculiarity is ruling in this house right now - particularly when it comes to sleep.

My son used to be a super-sleeper.  The operative words there are "used to."  He slept a minimum of twelve-hours each night and he still napped for several hours every afternoon.  All that stopped when he began sleeping (yeah, right!) in the big boy bed.

Now he throws a fit and protests bedtime.  He refuses to take naps.  He runs out of his bedroom to be with us in the living room.  Every night doesn't end in a horrible battle, but most nights do.

I know he's not getting enough sleep because he has suddenly become a child who will sleep in the car.  My son has only slept in the car a very small handful of times in his entire life; perhaps ten times total.  Now, he falls asleep in the car at least once each week.

I've tried all kinds of tactics to get him to sleep.  I've cuddled him until he's nearly sleeping, I've sat on the floor and rubbed his back, I've put him in time out, I've yelled at him to get back in that bed!, I've snuggled with him on a bed, I've moved his bedtimes and naptimes.  Nothing seems to work more than once or twice except me sleeping in the twin-size bed in his room.  I do not want to sleep in his room because I want to be in my room with my husband.  But I want sleep more than anything these days so I will sometimes cave and go to the little one's bedroom.

He actually went to bed pretty easily last night.  Sort of.  He ran out of his room and sat on the couch.  He zonked out in short order so I put him in his own bed.  Around midnight, he ran to our room and wouldn't go back to bed.  I decided to go to sleep in his room so we could all get a little sleep.

That worked wonderfully until 2:00 am when he kicked me in the head (!) and then ran out to the living room.  As he was running about screaming, I really envied friends who have never experienced the joys of parenthood.  I eventually got him back in bed and he slept until 9:00 this morning.  I, however, didn't have such luxury and I figure that I maybe ended up with a total of three or four hours of sleep last night.  I find it practically impossible to sleep with him in the bed.

I was tired, but we went to a birthday party today.  It was a pool party.  My son loooves the water and he had so much fun.  My heart felt so full as I was watching him splashing, laughing, and playing.  Yes, I'm chronically exhausted.  Yes, his tantrums are tiresome.  Yes, I'm finding that his toddlerhood is making me mental. 

But, oh how I love this little boy.  He really is my sweet sunshine.

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