My dear, sweet, angel 2-year-old has developed an adorable new habit – getting out of her bed 1.5 million times a night. It’s so cute I could just burst!
Or complain about it loudly to anyone within earshot. One or the other.
We’re on Holiday!
It all started when we went on vacation and decided that Norah was going to be too big for the Pack ‘n Play. “Let’s just put a twin mattress on the ground with a bed rail,” we said with the hope and naivete of the first time parents we are not.
In a not so shocking twist, by the end of vacation we had successfully undone all sleep training we’d attempted over one and a half years. Norah really enjoyed her big girl bed, but after a couple days learned that she could get out of the bed whenever she wanted. And then climb into our bed. It was vacation, and it was a gigantic bed, and she’s like really cute, so we let it slide.
Because we are brilliant.
Home Again Home Again
Then we got home, and things went down hill FAST.
The moment Norah was lovingly placed back into her crib, she looked up at us with amusement, and easily hurdled over the crib railing. Like she wasn’t even trying. Stuck the landing, tens across the board.
“Maybe she’ll just climb out that one time,” we whispered into the universe trying to invoke The Secret.
Apparently, it takes a little longer for your hopes and dreams to be heard in the universe because 90 minutes later we were still trying to get Norah to sleep in her crib that night. There were lots of tears (her’s and mine). And wine (all mine.)
Big Kid Bed: The Sequel
The next night, against our own best advice, we took the railing off her crib and suddenly Norah had a big kid bed. “Hooray!,” said no one. “This is so exciting!,” no one cheered.
Our lack of enthusiasm was rewarded with our low expectations being met. Actually they weren’t even met. We had set the bar too high.
Apparently Norah heard me smugly tell someone that “I didn’t need that much sleep” and saw this as an opportunity to establish her dominance in the family. She came out of her room every hour on the hour, like precious, maddening clock work. There’s a career lesson in here about taking an opportunity when it presents itself. There’s another one about staying humble. I would write more about them, but I can’t see straight from exhaustion.
To be totally fair, Norah’s being relatively considerate about the whole thing. One of the times she got up the other night she snuck into our room like a ninja and woke me up by standing three inches from my face. Then she started to walk away. I got up to tuck her back into bed and she looked at me with a baffled look on her face and said “Mommy, go lie down.” Then she casually walked into her room and went back to bed. You have to love an independent woman.
You Dead, Mon?
Meanwhile, my male offspring has gotten really into talking about things being dead. And Jack talks about it the only way 3 year olds know how. Rapid fire questions.
“Is that fish dead? Did that squirrel not pay attention? Is that why he’s dead? When do things get dead? Is the couch dead? That guy is old – is he dead?
It’s been weird.
At the same time it has forced me to face mortality and come up with an adequate answer to the “when do things get dead?” question. What I’ve decided to go with is that people die after they are very sick or have lived a nice long life and done everything they’ve wanted to do. And squirrels die because they don’t look both ways when they cross the street.
Of course there is much more to death than that, and it’s important to talk about the hard stuff, but my kids are still super young so we’re going basic for the time being. Plus, for my own mental health I like framing life in a way that gives us some semblance of control. Ideally we get many years to accomplish all the things we set our mind to and then have a say in when we peace out.
Sleep When I’m Dead
I know that’s not really the case though. At some point our number gets called, and as much as I’m incredibly uncomfortable with it, that’s largely out of our control.
Of course sleep is an important part of living a healthy and long life. And to a certain extent we do control that. But I think I’m kind of okay with not getting my full eight hours in right now. I can function on less, and there’s a lot I want to see and do during the waking hours. Not necessarily at 2:30am, but honestly without those sleepless nights I would have missed out on some laughs for sure. I definitely don’t want to miss out on laughs. Hearing them, having them, or writing them.
So I guess if Norah wants to keep visiting us in the middle of the night, then I’ll sleep when I’m dead. And if Jack wants to ask five trillion questions before 8am, then I’ll sleep when I’m dead. And if I want to write a book worth reading, then I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Whenever that is.
Pass the under-eye concealer, please. Mama’s got some stuff to do.