What is relevant is that I act like a pre-schooler when I'm tired. I know because I have a pre-schooler and I am often horrified at how much my behavior mirrors hers when I'm desperate for sleep. Today, she threw herself on the ground and cried when she saw that I had cut her face and Faith's face out of a picture so I could put them in the locket the Husband gave me as an anniversary gift.
I told her that we had another copy of the picture. I told her that I wanted to have her picture with me in my necklace so I could show people my beautiful girls. This did nothing to mollify her. "You broke the picture!" she yelled between sobs, "I wanted two of that one! I'm frustrated that you cut that one!" And then she threw it on the ground dramatically. And then Dr. Mommy prescribed a nap as a remedy for irrational tantrums.
It's not pretty when a four-year-old loses her mind over something completely innocuous. It's far uglier when a 30-year-old mommy does the same thing. This is something I've learned.
Anyway, back to the fight I'm in with Faith. Why am I in a fight with my 17-month-old? Well, I'll tell you.
She was awake from 1:30-4:30am this morning for no discernible reason. It's one thing when a child wakes up in the middle of the night and either through scientific experiment (putting my hand on their head to check for a fever) or through blind trial-and-error (new diaper, offer a drink, pat the back, wipe the nose, sing a song) I can figure out what's going on and fix the problem. It's quite another when a child is awake and hollering and no solution emerges and eventually after all the bumbled trouble-shooting the child is then too stimulated to settle back to sleep even if the initial problem had been remedied. Such was our reality last night.
The Husband and I took turns trying to soothe and pacify the Yeller, but to no avail. She shoved the bottle away in angry defiance. She flopped around in our arms when we tried rocking her. Thinking she might be teething, we tried Tylenol which she slurped up and then went right back to her screaming. Afraid she would wake up Lila, I brought her into our room and put her in the pack-n-play thinking maybe she just needed to be in the same room as we were. That...didn't work. At all.
Around 3:30am - after enduring two hours of noises of objection that ranged from fussing to all-out screaming - I was starting to have those thoughts that set off warning bells in your head and tell you to stay away from your children lest you rip their arms off in a Hulk-like explosion of sleep-deprived anger. When I expressed such thoughts to the Husband, he wisely took over sole placating duties and took her for a car ride which calmed her down enough to finally go back to sleep.
And more importantly, I got to go to sleep.
This morning, I woke up still a little bit angry. Because, you know, the whole I'm-really-mean-when-I'm-tired thing. The Husband was already up getting the kids breakfast because...I really did marry the very best one. And so when I emerged from my room, Faith was happily shoving blueberries in her mouth and she looked up at me and grinned.
Didn't she know we were in a fight??!!
So I sighed and I kissed her on her forehead and said, "I don't feel like I love you right now, but loving you is a choice I'm making today."
And she said, "A-ba-da-ba-da-ba." Which means, "I'm so sorry I kept you up last night Mommy. I'll never ever do it again."
At least I hope that's what it means.
|She certainly looks sorry, doesn't she?|