Home > City mama, sleep deprivation > Screaming with my fist in my mouth

Screaming with my fist in my mouth

Yesterday, for reasons that completely elude me, The Child refused to nap. She insisted on nursing, but would not fall asleep. From 11:45 until 2 I tried. Finally I gave up (please understand, those few words fail to describe the frsutration of those two hours). At 3, she climbed into my lap, demanded to nurse, and went to sleep.

With Daylight Savings looming on the horizon this weekend, I shouldn’t have let her sleep. But I was at my wits’ end and needed some downtime. She woke at 5. The Husband got home late — 7 o’clock — and she was asleep less than an hour later, so not too much later than usual. Maybe an hour.

She slept late this morning, well past 6, and I had playgroup. Usually we do playgroup at my place, but since The Child has been having grand guignol histrionics every time one of the other kids picks up any of her toys, we moved it to V’s house for this week.  She did fine, happy and playing, right up until we left. It was about the time for her nap, maybe 15 minutes later, but she decided to have her worst temper tantrum ever.

We’re talking flailing, flopping, screaming, “I WANT BABBOOON! MY BABBOON! BABBOON!” (balloon) I had to juggle her into her jacket, wrestle her near-liquid self down the stairs (along with two very full, heavy bags), into the car, drive home, out of the car (which is in and of itself a seven-part excercise) and up into the house. Everything was an argument — I want to watch the cars! I want to go that way! Nnonononononono! THAT WAY!” I had to make three trips up the back stairs because it wasn’t safe to carry her wildly spasaming little 35 pound body up the narrow steep steps with something on my shoulders.

Finally, at 1 o’clock, I got her settled onto my lap to nurse. She would occasionally start sobbing and make ridiculous demands. “WANT TRUCK!” or “BABBOON!” or “DIAPER TIME, MOMMY!” Finally, I got her to sleep.

Then, when I put her down in her crib… she woke up.

And she’s still awake. I tried nursing and she pinched me. I tried letting her play, she demanding BOPPY (our word for nursing). Finally, teeth gritted, tears of frustration streaming down my face, I put her in her crib and closed the door. None of our neighbors are asleept at 1 in the afternoon. I was going to try cry-it-out for the first time, damnit.

Of course, she’s not crying. She’s in her crib, happily, playing. I’m ready to beat my head into the wall, but she’s fine. (Now that I type that, she’s started demanding her froggie boots and to get down, naturally). I don’t know why I get so angry and frustrated, I think it’s just that the only time I get to be ME, not mommy or wife or daughter or friend or anything else, but just ME, is that brief nap time.  45 minutes a day isn’t a whole lot of time during which to maintain a sense of self, nurture a soul.

And when I don’t get it, I go a little crazy.

It’s 60 degrees out. Maybe I’ll go for a walk. I suppose I have to take The Child, too, though. And I don’t think I’ve got that kind of energy.

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  1. Juliet Bravo
    March 5, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    You know, if you ever really need some time, I am happy to babysit for an hour! I am pretty sure that she’d be fine playing with the cub for an hour here or at the library, and you could get some time to yourself. Who knows, if it works out, I might even ask you to return the favor 😉

  2. C'tina
    March 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    You get so angry and frustrated because it Would. Be. So. Simple. If. She. Just. Listened…and to get ANYTHING done you have to jump thru countless, meaningless hoops contrived by the little one. It is MADDENING! GOOD FOR YOU for putting her in her crib. Hopefully she will come to need/enjoy her alone time as much as you do. It’s really good for them to have their own ‘quiet time’…although my 6 year old still needs attention, because his quiet time in his room is when he decided it’s potty time!! Beats the alternative, though, I say! 🙂

  3. March 5, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    God, I turn into a ball of panic when my son seems like he won’t take a nap–and we end up doing the late afternoon thing. I swear I lost a little piece of my soul when he gave up two naps a day, so I totally get your groove here.

  4. March 6, 2008 at 1:24 am

    I googled “Dark side of the mom” a while back to see if the name was taken and ran across your blog. Been lurking for a while but when I read this post, I felt like I had to chime in.

    Don’t beat yourself up. I get majorly frustrated too when my little monkey won’t “go down” as my DH and I have come to call it. I usually put him in his crib, let him stand holding onto the rail (he’s at that age where he’s starting to cruise and likes this), then I go into my bedroom and wait until he gets fussy. Sometimes I get 3 minutes. Sometimes it’s 20 if he’s content playing in there but it’s usually enough for me to grab some caffeine and recharge. Plus, if she’s just playing, then oh well, maybe she’ll go to bed easier later in the night.

    Having someone take The Child once in a while would help too. I didn’t realize the value of this until very recently. Neither DH or I have family very close and most of our friends have their kids in daycare so they can work full-time. I finally decided that it was worth it to find a P/T in-home daycare situation where I could leave my son for a few hours so I could get work done (I work from home). And it’s been such a relief! Even though I’m working, it’s nice, like you said, to have those moments of just being YOU.

    Good luck!

  5. March 6, 2008 at 6:11 am

    my first born NEVER napped. and never slept through the night. i used to go to work or to see clients so i could get ‘downtime’ for me. solution? find someone, anyone to stay with her for a 2-3 hours once a week. not to go out with your spouse or out with friends. so you can go out WITH YOU!!! if you need grandparents or friends or to trade child care just find a way. and DON’T feel guilty. you are on call 24/7/365. make it 24/7/313 and 21/7/52. i was there. if i live anywhere near you, call me (orlando, florida?)

  6. March 9, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    She just turned 2 right? 11:45am seems kind of early in the day for a 2 yr old to nap. I’d try between 1-2pm.

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