Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello. I'm two.

It's nap time. We've been building up to it for almost an hour.

"When Elmo's over what are we going to do?"

She makes the sign for sleep.

"Yes. Go upstairs and go to sleep."

We go upstairs. We struggle over a diaper change. Settle into the rocking chair with one doll. No, fine, both dolls. No, not the third doll. There's no room. Not the third doll. No.

"What are we going to do when we finish this last story? Yes. Sleep. Go into the crib and go right to sleep."

She goes into the crib. Dances. Jumps. I lay her down. She jumps up.

"If you want me to stay and rub your back, you need to lie down."

She jumps up. I move towards the door.

She shrieks. I come back to the side of the crib.

"Lie down. I'm not staying with you if you don't lie down. Lie down. Lie DOWN."

She sits. Grins. Jumps back up.

"It's time to go to sleep. I need you to lie down. I'm not saying it again. Lie DOWN."

She peers at me from between the bars. Jumps up again.


I rush out the door, pulling it forcefully behind me.

Being a mother to a baby made me so patient. I was so protective. So nurturing. So quiet.

Being a mother to a toddler has turned me into a two-year-old. I'm overly emotional. I'm reactive. I'm irrational. I'm loud.

I should have said "Okay then."

I should have smiled. "I guess you really are a big girl. I see you're ready to go to sleep by yourself."

I should have blown her a kiss and said "I love you! See you after your nap!"

I should have left calmly. And closed the door quietly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ETA: Lest you think I broke with reality and abandoned my screaming child, I wanted to let you know that she let out one mighty scream when I closed the door. Then she puttered around in her crib for the next 45 minutes (I was hiding in the guest room) before sleeping for almost 2 hours. Go figure.

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