(I realize it has been ages since I last wrote. There was the beginning of Fall, Halloween, a hurricane, Thanksgiving… But I guess there is no time like the present to write when the moment strikes.)
Kids say the funniest things – especially at bedtime. After they’ve been tucked in. Their 3,406th request granted. A drink of water, stuffed animals reorganized, monsters chased away, one more kiss. It’s when they are in the process of actually falling asleep when the “awake dreams” begin…
(10 minutes after Cory and I left their rooms)
Ryan: “Mooooooooooooooooooommmmmm! Mommyyyyyyyyyyy!”
Alexa: “Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmm! Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaam!”
I make my way up the stairs and into Ryan’s room. He’s the easier one to deal with at bedtime.
Me: “Yes, Ry. What’s wrong?”
Ryan: “I had a bad dream. You left me on a rocket ship but you lost your pocketbook and your chopsticks and your lips really hurt and you had no money and you couldn’t find me.”
(Just to help you out – chopsticks = ChapStick)
Me: “Honey, I would never leave you on a rocket ship. It’s my job to take care of you and to always know where you are. And if I lost my ChapStick, I’d just get another one.”
Ryan: “But you have no money!”
Me: “So I’ll have Daddy buy me some.”
Ryan: “Well, you lost your pocketbook but you can get chopsticks from a friend. Like you can borrow her pocketbook one day and use her chopsticks and then she’ll take it back the next day.”
Me: “That sounds like a great plan. Okay, I have to go to your sister now. She’s screaming and it’s making my blood boil.”
Ryan: “Okay, just promise you will never leave me on a rocket ship.”
I start down the hall to Lexi’s room. I hear her begging me to come in. For some reason, her screams affect me in a way that Ryan’s never could. With Ryan, I was steadfast – I meant what I said and I stuck to my word. With Lexi, the sound of her sobbing pulls my heart into a million painful directions. She really makes you believe that she needs you. Books, experts and the like will all tell you to go to your child. There aren’t a lot of cry-it-out fans out there. We did it with both kids. Lexi is 2 1/2 and takes great naps but takes way too long to sleep at night. We’d skip the naps, but she still needs them.
Lexi: “I hurt my ear. I need cream.”
Apparently, cream fixes everything. Cream even trumps a kiss. I go to get the cream, and she demands to put it on herself. The application isn’t perfect – there is cream all over her ear and some on her hair.
Lexi: “Okay, Mommy. I better now. Thank you.”
I get a wet kiss. She gives the BEST kisses.
Me: “I love you, sweet girl. Now lie down so I can put your blanket on.”
She doesn’t listen.
“Lex, lie down or I’m going to have to leave without tucking you in.”
Lexi: “Okay, Mommy.”
She’s still standing. Actually, she’s bouncing up and down.
Me: “Okay, good night Lex. Sweet dreams. I’m not coming back to put your blanket on. Love you.”
Lexi: “Mom-MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Mom-MEEEEEEEEEE! My blaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnket!”
I go downstairs and proceed to listen to her sobs on the monitor for 15 minutes. Eventually, Cory finishes in the gym and comes in. I make him go upstairs, because I didn’t exactly promise that HE wouldn’t come in.
I watch them on the monitor. She tells Cory that she bumped her head and needs cream on her head. Even I laugh at the ridiculousness of it. He tells her that she doesn’t need cream on her head but he rubs and kisses her head and wraps her in her blanket. She doesn’t buy it. I watch as she repeatedly touches her head and begs for cream. Cory tells her that she needs to lay down and he’s not coming back.
The door shuts and now I’m sitting here, I can feel parts of my body clenching in discomfort and I am having trouble breathing. Cory acknowledges how hard it is to listen to this, but we really need to stop this constant going in to pacify her. It’s not like we go in more than 2 or 3 times, but still – we’re being taken advantage of and we know it. I decide against telling Cory that I rocked her to sleep last night when she wasn’t asleep by 10:30. I guess thinking about it now, she’s gotten worse over the past couple of months.
I know we need to do something. I just hate this with every fiber of my being!!!!