Monday, November 26, 2012

Abu Ghraib has nothing on my one-year old

She seems so harmless here...
I'm thinking of sending the 15-month down to Langley for some intense training on eliciting confessions out of terrorists.  She has a unique way of sleep torture that she is currently using on my husband and I, but I think that her talents could be better used in a proper facility.  I mean, there's a reason that sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  It works.  ...and my little girl has some mad skills.

She starts by several sessions of night waking 2-3 times each night.  She then gives you a taste of only one waking that is very short, and she easily goes back to sleep.  Finally, there is one morning that you wake up at 7:30am feeling strangely rested, and you come to the slow realization that she has slept through the entire night.  Erroneously you think, "things are on the right track."  In fact you get another night just like this one, and you begin to feel like this is the end of a sleepless era.

... but, don't mess with her.
D'oh!  You just jinxed it.

The next night and the week thereafter, it's 2-3 wakings in a night.  You see, she gets you rested and out of the swing of being unendingly tired.  Just as you get used to sleeping again and feeling like a human being, she slams you again with sleep deprivation.

The only thing keeping me from sending her down to Langley to hone her skills, is that unlike some children who get teeth two at a time at regular intervals through the age of 2, my child's body feels the need to present all the teeth at once.  ...and apparently, it hurts.  Another blogger I know likened it to imagining if your tibia slowly started to grow out of your skin.  Though I've no direct experience with this, I can imagine that it would hurt.  A lot.  So, I have some empathy.

Some of her sleep torture techniques are saved for when we are away from home as we were for this past holiday week.  My little one does not have adaptable sleeping habits, and I always enter into a trip as if she does.  If I remembered each past trips sleeping debaucles, I'd never really travel until they were 10.

You know that a particular night is not going well, when in the middle of the night you are reciting the words to the Samuel L Jackson narrated children's book, "Go the F*** to Sleep," in your head.  When this happens, I know that it's time for Dad to intervene and give me, and my breasts, a break.  These are not the mom thoughts I want to have...  Harper, in that moment, has unleashed my Mr. Hyde.  It is not pretty.

So, here's my offer, if you want to get some solid info out of your teenager about their escapades last weekend, while at the same time scare them into safe sex, I'm renting the 15-month-old out for a low, low price, if you act now...  but wait there's more!  I'll throw in my 4 year-old who sleeps well, but joins you in the middle of the night from a bad dream, and then proceeds to kick and slap you in his sleep as he rests perpendicular to your bodies.

That'll really scare 'em straight!  Any takers?  I'm even open to (and encourage) a full weekend!

I know I'm not the only one with sleep issues... care to share?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving, and this is the platform where I normally write about something my kids have done that just might put me straight into the looney bin if I didn't share it.  However, I just read this blog from a mom who has six kids, has been blogging for 5+ years, and she's been through a tremendous amount of changes in those years.  I'm sure there were days that felt like they'd never end, or that she'd never get her kids through puberty.  But as I read her blog today, I realized that with all the worry, frustration, lack of money, harried mornings, sleepless nights, little tiny hugs, giggles from the back seat, smiles at just the right time and more...  life just continues to plod on.  Even when there doesn't seem to be an end, there is.  For good and for bad.  The toddler will go to elementary school, to Jr. high, and to high school (knock wood), because we just can't stop time.

So, today I would like to reflect on some things I'm truly thankful for:

  • My husband, for so many reasons, but who, without him, I would have cracked up long ago.
  • My son, who randomly says "I love you mama," just before asking me for ice cream.  (Guess I don't have to teach him the theory of "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar".)
  • My daughter, who, right as I'm about to strangle her for screaming for one more thing, shoots me the best, most amazing smile every time.  (I mean, do these kids have survival skills, or what?!?)
  • My mom, who I finally understand why she didn't take that job that would have had her gone for months when I was little.
  • My dad for his sayings that I pass on to my children now.  The most recent mantra being, "Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated."  For future use, I've banked, "For every beer your drink, drink a glass of water." --- sage advice when sending them to college (knock wood).
  • My step-mom for being the go-between me and my dad when I was a teenager.  We had a relationship because of that.
  • My sister (who is technically a "step") for making me a sister and a friend after a fairly rocky start.  I depend on her as if we were blood, especially as my parent sounding board.  (Anyone who has weathered a child who painted the wall with their poop has some valuable advice to give.)
  • My aunt and uncle in South Carolina, my aunt and uncle in Mississippi, my husband's family, and my extended family from my step-parents for continuing to create a family filled with love for my children.
  • My dog Finlay, my fur child, who never lets me be in a room alone... even, and especially, the bathroom.
  • Finally, to the step-cousins who let us stay with them for this Thanksgiving holiday in Atlanta, GA, out of the goodness of their heart, not obligation.  (Unless, there was deal struck between their family and mine that we don't know about.)

I'm thankful for all of the above and more.  I am blessed.

What are you thankful for?