Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm a terrible mother

First off, I have to share this with you. Punkin is just the teensiest bit hooked on Ariel right now. That girl loves her some Ariel. We've watched our copy (well, it's actually my copy. Ahem.) of The Little Mermaid so many times we can all quote it word for word. So, we're having a Little Mermaid themed party this weekend and I got her an extremely soft Ariel fleece blanket as part of her birthday present. Today at pre-K Bubba drew about a thousand birthday cards for Punkin's birthday. Here's my favorite.

Any guesses who this might be? I think he captured her red hair quite nicely. That boy is sooo sweet to his sister sometimes. (Since several people have commented about Ariel's beard in the above picture I'll put my two cents in -- I think those are supposed to be red lips, but with Bubba you can never be too sure!)

So, anyway, speaking of Ariel. I'm a terrible mother. How are those two related you ask? Well, see, every now and then, Punkin wakes up in the middle of the night and she just won't go back to sleep. I try everything...rocking, bringing her to bed with us, snack...everything. Nothing doing. She's just up. And she NEVER, NEVER, NEVER does this on the weekend. Oh no. That would be too easy. She has to do it on a work night. When I have to get up at 5:00 in order to get everybody out the door by 7:15. On nights when I actually need my sleep. One night, in sheer desperation (and probably sleep deprivation) I did the only thing I could think of. I set up her pack n' play in the living room and put on The Little Mermaid and then I went to bed. When I got up to check on her about an hour later, she was sound asleep and slept there quite peacefully the rest of the night. Now I'm not proud of this behavior of mine, but it was all I could think to do.

On Tuesday night, just as I was drifting off to sleep (around 10:30), Punkin started crying. I can usually tell if she's going to settle herself back down or not and this time seemed like a "no." So I went to her room and tried to pat her back a little, but that was not good enough for her. I picked her up and sat and rocked her for a few minutes until her breathing slowed. I put her back in her crib and went back to my room to sleep. It seemed that I was just dozing off again when...."Mommy, mommy, mommy." Up I go again. We do the rocking thing again. But this time when I put her down she didn't go quietly. She didn't just cry, she screamed. I didn't want to her to wake Bubba (I didn't need TWO children awake in the middle of the night!), so I brought her into bed with Mr. Daddy and me. "Hi Daddy" she crowed as we walked into my bedroom. This doesn't bode well for any actual sleeping getting done. We lie down. She sits up, looks around. She pats my face. She puts her legs outside of the covers. She puts them back in. She rolls over onto her stomach. She rolls back onto her back. We do the leg thing with the covers again. She pats my face again. She says "It dark in here." This is obviously NOT working. She is not sleepy at ALL.

By this time it's like 12:30. Again, I'm desperate. So out comes the pack n' play and The Little Mermaid. I plonk her down and start the movie and stagger back to bed. Around 1:30 I hear her shout "Hey" but then nothing else. I figure the movie's over but figure now that it IS over, maybe she'll go to sleep. I go back to sleep. Around 2:00 I wake up and it's soooo quiet. Is she asleep? Did it work this time? I need to know if she's asleep because if she's not, there is going to be some SERIOUS crankiness come Wednesday morning and I want to be prepared for it.

I tiptoe down the hall. The only light I can see is the light from the television. Wait. There's someone sitting on the sofa. My brain is so sleep addled that it takes me a minute to realize that's Punkin! On the sofa! NOT in her pack n' play! And she has my cell phone in her hand (probably calling DFACS). I seriously cannot process this. How did she get out? She's never done that before. She hasn't said a word so far and neither have I. The whole thing is very surreal, with the blue television light and neither of us talking. I lean down to pick her up and realize that she has taken her pajama bottoms off. And not just her pajama bottoms but her diaper, too! And she's peed ALL OVER the sofa cushion! And she's still wide awake.

At that point, I had just had it. I took her to her room, threw another diaper on her and put her in her bed. If she didn't like it, she was just going to have to deal with it. I had had enough. And then I had to go clean up pee! At two in the morning! Five o'clock came VERY early on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday I got my self a little freaked out thinking about how she could have been wandering the house. A friend assured me that some kids wander the house at night. But then I thought about how dark the rest of the house was and I seriously doubt she did much wandering. I mean, if she was going to go anywhere, surely she would have come to my room to get me, right?

Needless to say, the pack n' play is no longer a viable option for future sleepless nights. If anybody has an idea for me please share in the comments. And if anybody calls DFACS I'll deny it 'til the day I die. Nobody else was there but me and Punkin'. And she's not talkin'. Yet.


Mir said...

I forgot to tell you that I actually have the solution to your dilemma. Go to this post and look for the picture links towards the end. Two models to choose from!

Lulu said...

Okay, first of all, I didn't know that Ariel also had a red beard. Very creative, Bubba! And very sweet of him to do this for his sister.

Secondly, um, I think I've changed my mind about switching out GR for your kids during UGA football season! Lulu needs her sleep. :-)

Actually, I sooooo wish that I had some prolific advice for you. It's been so long since I've had a little one, but I'm quite sure that I would have handled the situation the exact same way. That and a little bit of Benadryl. JUST KIDDING!

From what I've read, you are a wonderful mother, and sometimes you just have to do what you can do to make it through.

Laurel said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better my son is a wanderer. We never find him in is bed in the morning. He's usually in our room or his sister's room by morning. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, we wake up to lights on in the house. It sort of freaked me out, too, but he isn't up to monkey business. He's just looking for a friend to sleep with or going potty.

As for advice...I love the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." It has worked great for my kids. Both good sleepers now.

Lastly, does Ariel have a beard in that drawing? That's funny.

Sophie said...

Well, that's not called being a bad mother. That's called shooting yourself in the foot because now she has learned that if she isn't sleepy, it's PLAYTIME. Don't ask me how I know. It's too painful to relive. Read this book: Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi Mindell. A link to make it easy on your sleep-deprived self:

My daughter is nuts about Ariel, too! She has firmly requested that we too have an Ariel themed birthday party. In November. I'm already sweatin' it. Please, please, please - share your ideas!

precarious tomato said...

Duct tape? They say it fixes everything.

Other than weighting the seat of her diaper down with ball-bearings, that's all I got.