Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just One Of Those Days

Noah and Cecilia in Non-Grump Mode
It was just one of those days.

One of those days when the occupants of the house included a grumpy preschooler, a grumpier baby and the grumpiest mom. It seemed we had all woken up on the wrong side of the bed (or crib). At least one of us was sleep-deprived (gotta love working nights), another was cutting a tooth, and the third, well, he's 3, so enough said. Together, our grumpy trio grumped through the day, feeding off each others negative energy like a child (at least my child) tears through Goldfish crackers. By mid-morning we could have hung a sign outside designating our house as Tears R Us. Most of lunch ended up being thrown under the table, which is also where I considered throwing myself at several points. By naptime it was all I could do not to scream "GO TO SLEEP, #$%& it!!!" but somehow managed to tuck them both in with a story, a kiss, and a weak, shaky "Sweet dreams."

Finally, a break.

It lasted about 6 minutes.

The little angel who naps 3 hours/day and sleeps 12 hours/night (yes, I know- we are spoiled) decided to Just Say No to naptime. Repeatedly. And loudly. I calmed her down and gently placed her back in the crib. Nap, Take 2.

This time, it lasted about 6 seconds.

After a seemingly interminable stretch of rocking, back rubbing, singing and shushing, we had a breakthrough. Nap, Take 3. I tiptoed backwards out of the room, quietly opened the door and was instantly greeted by shrieks of "MAMA!!!!! I HAVE TO GO POOPOO!!!!" from the room next door.

Scream went the baby! Scream went her brother! RUN FAR AWAY! went the little voice in my head.

Noah's current favorite nap location

Another 20 minutes and the screams had been calmed, the poop had been pooped, and the now relieved preschooler was tucked back on the floor. Yes, the floor- it's where he currently insists on napping. Like I said, he's 3.

Baby, however, was adhering to the "3 strikes and you're out of the crib" rule. In her mind, there was no going back.

I tearfully stood there holding her, unable to move. I was so very, very tired, so thoroughly in need of a little downtime, a few peaceful minutes with no one pulling at one of my appendages. Defeated, depressed, and downtrodden, I carried her to my room, crept into bed, and held that little one to my chest. Within 2 minutes we were both sound asleep.

Seems like only yesterday
My little baby girl is now almost 16 months old. Though I still call her a baby (and in my heart she will always remain my baby), I can see clearly that she no longer is. At some point I blinked and she turned into a talking, almost walking, highly opinionated little person. When awake, she's a constant ball of motion, but yesterday I got to once again feel her at rest. It had been months since I held her sleepy little form in my arms and felt her heartbeat next to mine, her little chest rising and falling against my own.

I only slept for a few minutes, as her jerky little sleepy twitches woke me with a start. But for a time I wished could have gone on and on I breathed in her sweet smell, ran my fingers through her hair, and just held on to that precious baby girl. It was the best non-nap I've ever had.

Every parent reaches his or her breaking point, and every parent deserves a break. The lucky ones have a network of grandparents, friends, and babysitters at the ready to provide that much needed pause. The rest of us find ourselves waiting (sometimes desperately) for that moment of solitude that with kids becomes so elusive (remember when going to the bathroom was a private affair?).

But sometimes when the unexpected happens (as it so often does), it helps to remember that what we so desperately crave can be found in places we might not usually think to look. It happened to me. I found peace, comfort and strength in a non-nap with a wriggly, wiggly non-baby.

It was just one of those days.


  1. I just read this article on It was exactly what I needed this morning. Thanks! It's always good to remember how sweet and fleeting these days are.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Lorri! I heard someone say "The days are long but the years fly by" and that sort of sums it up... some days are just tougher than others, aren't they?