About ten days before Christmas, Charlotte discovered that she could perform Cirque Du Soleil from the bars of her crib. The next day while I was at work, Catch converted the crib back to a toddler bed. You may recall that we attempted this several months ago and it was a total fail. Spoiler alert: nothing has changed. The toddler bed is still completely unacceptable to Charlotte.
We spent a number of nights lying on the floor next to her bed as she fought sleep and pleaded with us to put the bars back on. One night, I dared rest my head on her mattress and she sat up in bed and demanded, “ON THE FLOOR, MAMA. Mama sleep on the floor.” The days are a bit of a blur at this point, but that incident may have been the last straw for me as there is now a full/double size mattress in the place where the crib once was.
Charlotte is still not a fan of her bed, although at least this way I can lie next to her IN bed rather than on the floor.
We thought we did it right. We took her out and let her choose her own bedding. (Frozen—big surprise.) We involved her in the mattress selection. We talked it up and made a big deal out of how wonderful and exciting it all is. It’s still a no-go.
With the crib, we had our bedtime routine and after I sang You Are My Sunshine and we said our good nights, we would close the door and she’d put herself to sleep while we had some desperately needed down time before bed. Those days are gone, now. We both have to spend about an hour (+) lying there with her while she fights sleep with every fiber of her being. She sings songs. Makes random observations. Asks weird questions. Demands a drink of water. Untucks herself and then demands to be tucked back in. You name it. Eventually, she will start to get sleepy and demand that I snuggle her just so only she can’t articulate what it is she wants, so it becomes a frustrating battle of No, I need your other hand, mama. No mama, the other arm to snuggle you. Put your arm out to snuggle mama. No, the other arm. Until I end up twisted like a pretzel in the most uncomfortable position possible so that each of my hands is cupping her face just so with my “other arm” putting just the right amount of pressure around her middle.
Once she falls asleep (took 90 minutes last night) I gently untangle myself from her snuggle setup and Catch and I quietly creep to the door. She will sleep on her own until she wakes up screaming for me around midnight. At that point, I usually end up falling asleep in her bed with her and stay there until morning. She’ll wake up a few more times but I’m right there, so it’s relatively easy to calm her down and get her back to sleep.
Basically, this feels like having a newborn again. My body is sore, and I am exhausted. The mattress we got is perfectly fine for a 30 pound 2 year old. It is less fine for a thirty-something, overweight mama.
Also, she won’t nap in her new bed, so pretty much the only naps she took over the holidays were in the car. Yay.
So, sleep is crap. We are all overtired and cranky… why not add a good solid dose of the holidays? Sugar and presents and people and places and non-stop excitement are REALLY great when you have an overtired, overstimulated 2 year old. It has been a living HELL. I have never been SO over my kid before. I just can’t. By Wednesday last week, Catch and I were both counting the minutes until we could go back to work. We are DONE. She has been an absolute DEMON.
That’s not to say that Christmas didn’t have its moments. We did have a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time with a lot of family, and we all felt very loved. When Charlotte woke up on Christmas morning and exclaimed, “Santa ate the cookies!” my Grinchy heart grew three sizes.
My mom put together a dress-up/treasure box for Charlotte and it included a lot of my grandmother’s old costume jewelry, which was so unexpected and cool. Catch’s cousin in Washington sent Charlotte a frozen karaoke machine, and I don’t think she possibly could have sent a more appropriate gift to my kid. She is in love with that thing. She rode her Power Wheels Jeep at Oma & Opa’s house. Played with her baby cousin. Went to her first birthday party. Had a play date at the zoo with her friends from school. Had some one-on-one time with Nana, who was beyond excited to give Charlotte some gifts that she could not have been happier about. There was a trip to Disneyland that was filled with wide-eyed toddler amazement. She saw a movie in the theater for the first time and LOVED it. We enjoyed a prime rib dinner with my parents on New Year’s Eve while our overtired, slap happy kiddo entertained us with her “Happy New Hear!” exclamations and general silliness.
We may be starting 2018 a bit tired and slow, but I have no doubt that we’ll get through this hurdle just as we’ve made it through all the others.