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Potty Training at Night or How I am Learning to Love the Dark

I seem to have accidentally stumbled into night time potty training.

We started day time potty training almost a year ago when Beans turned 2. She picked up on the peeing immediately. We have had maybe 4 accidents in that time and all because she was too busy playing and didn’t want to stop. Lately she’s even been really good at putting her toys down and running to the potty.

Poop had been a different story. It has taken her longer to figure that out. She seems to have mostly gotten the hang of it lately. And for that I am beyond thankful. Cleaning poop off a nearly 3 year old is beyond gross.

But now. Now she’s getting herself ready to stop wearing Pull-Ups at night. And I am not so grateful. Which is awful, right? I should be grateful. I should be happy that my kid is listening to her body and become more independent. Right?

But I’m not. I am so tired of waking up two or more times every night to the loud yells of “Mama, I need to pee” or “Mama, I really need to poop” or the best combo of “Mama, Mama, mama, I need to pee AND poop”. Which right now does not really mean “I need to pee and poop”. What it really means is “I have peed and pooped and now you have to deal with it”. Which means that in the middle of the night I am zombie walking to her room, changing her pull-up by the light of the washing machine controls bringing her back to her bed and trying to convince her to go back to bed. I have too many bruises on my shins from that fucking table in the hallway that I can’t see in the dark.

I am tired. I am tired of getting poop on my hands in the middle of the night. I am tired of not sleeping through the night. Here’s where you might think “Why don’t you enlist your so called wonderful husband to do some of the night duty?” If you are thinking that then you don’t know my husband. Adam may not hear every time she gets up but if I wake him up he will jump at the opportunity to step in. The only problem is that I spend that whole time awake, listening, waiting for him to get back to bed so I can go back to sleep.

So, what’s the silver lining? She’s learning that it’s uncomfortable to sleep in pee and poop. Which means that pretty soon she will wake up before her body takes over. Which means that soon she will stop wearing pull ups to bed and I can stop buying them and destroying the planet with them in my garbage.

What it doesn’t mean is the end of night time calls to the bathroom. She’s 2. She can’t fucking go to the bathroom on her own. I wouldn’t trust her to be allowed to leave her room in the middle of the night on her own. She would just go downstairs and play. And what if she fell down the stairs? Or what if she decided the tool and medicine cabinet looked especially enticing in the dark? What if she decided she needed to sleep in our bed and then I would really never sleep again.

So, what’s next? I guess powering through the night time wake-ups. It’s technically better than having a newborn. And I will take technicalities.

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Fuck Nap Time

It sucks. It sucks so much.

My kid is awesome when awake. She’s joyful, funny, silly and adventurous.

But when it’s time to take a nap she turns into the worst kind of beast.

I always hold out hope that nap time will go well. She holds still while I change her diaper. She drinks her bottle without fussing while I read her the same ol’ stories (I could recite Welcome Baby in my sleep).

And then I try to put her to sleep. And how dare I?! How dare I try to get my kid to nap when she’s tired. I walk her, I bounce her, I rock her, I rub her back, I say “shh” so many times it has lost all meaning. She still will not go to sleep.

So sometimes she gets to cry to sleep. And that makes me feel like a bad mom. I cry outside her room while she cries inside her room because I can’t do anything to calm her down. She just needs to fall asleep and I’m distracting her not helping her. I cry outside her room listening to her cry “mama” knowing that if I go back in there right away she isn’t going to go to sleep. She is going to cry louder and harder and wake up. I know that if I just wait 5 minutes I will hear her calm down and relax and finally go to sleep. But those 5 minutes are the fucking worst. I feel like I’m failing her. I’m failing her in that moment.

Bedtime is ok. For some reason bedtime is fine. Sometimes a few minutes of crying but it’s not really crying. It’s more like whining. Which is totally easy to listen to . I can listen to the sounds of her whining to sleep any day.

But the crying at nap time. Will nap time ever not be like this? Probably. Does it suck right now? Fuck yes.

 

 

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Of Course.

Of fucking course.

All week little Beans has been having a rough time going to sleep at night. Sometimes I’m in there from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm being a human pacifier, burping, changing diapers, calming, watching The Guild on YouTube. I have been in and out of the nursery every night this week. All I have wanted was to have enough energy to play a game with my husband. Or even have a conversation where I can pay complete attention.

Aaaaan of course. It is currently 8:45 pm and Beans has been asleep in her own crib for an hour. An entire hour. Aaaaaaand of course Adam is out tonight. The one night he goes out in the last two months without me and I have been out of the nursery since 7:45 pm. That has been unheard of!

I wish I had any ability of foresight with this. I could have invited my friends over for some drinks. At least then I wouldn’t be drinking this beer alone.

Not that there is anything wrong with drinking a beer alone.

I wish I knew how I managed this. Maybe it’s the lack of naps today. Maybe it’s the fresh air from the evening walk. Maybe it was Goodnight Moon. I will never know and likely never be able to repeat it.

I’m wallowing in my own self pity and my baby’s ability to have the worst timing in the world.

There was a little bit of good tonight.

I am watching Girl, Interrupted. I did not watch it as a teenager and can only assume that it is because of all the language and dangerous escapades and serious lesbian overtones. Youth Pastor Daryl would never have approved.

I got to have a really nice, long conversation with one of my very best friends. Long distance relationships are hard. She lives on the opposite end of the country and I miss her a lot. All the time. I wish we could spend so much more time together. But I will survive with long, hilarious, heartfelt phone calls.

I gave myself a mini-pedicure.

The most important one – I relaxed. I didn’t spend my “alone evening” cleaning or tidying or doing laundry. I just sat down, turned on this great movie and ate my pizza and drank my beer. I relaxed.

Adam’s going to be so mad he missed this quiet evening….

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I am Indiana Jones and the Struggle to Make my Baby Sleep

All is calm as I watch her doze off. Her eating slows down, her eyelids droop, her crazy free hand stops grabbing fist fulls of my boob.

I think she is asleep.

I must wait patiently for the exact right moment to begin. Too early and she will go right back to eating. Too late and she will just wake up and skip this nap.

I think she is asleep.

Alright. She’s asleep. Slowly slide my lower arm under her body. Place my outer arm on top of her body.

Still asleep. Keep going.

WAIT. She started nursing again. Alright. I guess I’m here for another ten minutes at least.

Alright. Asleep again.

Place arms strategically. Very carefully try to stand up. USE YOUR STRONG QUADS, NAOMI! OK, you’re up. Now slowly move towards the crib avoiding the squeeky floor board. No sudden movements.

Oh, thank god. She’s still asleep. Slowly…. SLOWER, lower her into the crib. Oh man, she’s rousing a little. Keep your arms under her while she lays there and wiggles. Good, good. She stopped moving.

You can do this. You’re almost there. DON’T BLOW IT NOW!

Alright, now, slide your left arm out and place it firmly on her chest. Hold her steady while you slide your right arm out from under her. Gently lift your hand off her.

She looks calm, relaxed and asleep. Turn on the monitor, back away and creep out the room. Open the door, step lightly to not squeek the floor boards too loudly. Close the door gently.

YOU’RE OUT! YOU DID IT! Go get yourself that beer and finally sit down to eat some dinner with your husband.

Finally food and…… God fucking damnit. She’s crying again.

Let’s do this again. Probably two or three more times.