It’s happening again. Though I am trying to deny that it is and I am wrapped tightly in a cocoon in my cozy bed with pillows over my head, it is happening again. After merely 45 minutes of naptime, my toddler has awakened in a fit of wails that sound as though she has been stung by a bee – multiple times. This would really not be a problem if this were an isolated incident; however, it’s now the third day in a row in which the bees have stung and I am tired. Yes, I know most moms use naptime to get other things done around the house however, I am now carrying my second child and in the first trimester. Need I say more? I still feel like I am running through Jell-O and can barely lift my head off the pillow. Everyone who talks to me sounds like they are speaking in those slow motion voices that were rumored to contain subliminal messages in the late sixties. This whole pregnancy thing was much easier the first time around but now I have the love of my life, a two-and-a-half foot, 22 pound, tiny Napoleon that demands energy that I did not have to expend the first time around. As the wails continue, I hear the voice of that Ferber guy saying you must let them cry it out and part of me knows this might be true. However, the real part of me, the part that is a mommy, simply can’t do it. I lay there for a little while longer…Maybe it will stop.
My nap companion, along with the 12 week old embryo developing in my body, looks sadly at me with dark brown eyes and seems to feel exactly the same way I do. She yawns and lays her head down on my shoulder as if to say “I agree with the Ferber guy – let her cry”, but then this may not be the most reliable of sources. After all, our 80 pound bundle of joy is our first-born even though she has four legs and tends to prefer lamb and rice kibble over ravioli and chicken nuggets. Though she does love her baby sister, there is still a longing that I see sometimes in her eyes that yearns for the glory days – the days when she was the baby and could demand that we throw a ball for her or take her for a walk.
As to be expected, the wails have now escalated and I tell that Ferber guy to do something that I can’t print here…Though I am tired and somewhat peeved, I go straight to her room and, sensing that she is still tired and possibly had a bad dream or her teeth hurt or she was lonely or whatever, I take her back to my cocoon. Yes, I hear the anti-family bed advocates yelling loudly at this point but I tell them the same thing I told Ferber and climb into bed. My first-born gives me a lazy, disdainful look that communicates what Ferber would probably say back to me: you sucker. She puts her head back down in an attempt to stop the madness while we get situated and I start my meditation of begging to get my child to sleep.
It actually works. Just seven short minutes pass before my mini-Napoleon is fast asleep and my first-born is as well. I lay there with eyes wide open, letting go of my frustration and gazing upon the sweet face that is now so at peace with the world. It is a Tuesday afternoon and I know where my child and sassy first-born is at this exact moment and I realize that this won’t last forever. There will be a time when it will be strange for me to go in and lift my child from her bed if she has a nightmare and have her sleep on my chest in an attempt to calm her down. There will be a time in the very near future when she will not even want to be seen with me – I will have to drop her off at the mall three blocks before the entrance so no one can see that she has a mother. There will be a time when I will not know anything and I am sure that at least once, she will roll her eyes at me. So I guess for now, I am happy that I decided to tell Ferber to…well, you know. My baby, who will always be my baby, is where she needs to be and so am I.