Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sleeplessness, poop explosions and all the awful things

That’s what I get for writing all niceties and pleasantries yesterday: horror today.

First, there was Will’s wake-up time: 5:50. He was wide awake, raring to go and determined to eat some breakfast. We knew he’d be exhausted later but there was no getting him back to sleep.

Then there was the public poop explosion. Little Owen (who once produced little poops, about 12 of them a day but has now evolved to two or three mighty blow-outs) decided to save one of the big ones for the checkout lane at Publix. He was in the front pack, I felt sticky warmth on my hand, saw it on the floor and…. Enough to say that the clean-up crew had to be called while I, always the under-prepared mother, bolted to the car with groceries and poopiness, because I’d forgotten to bring along an emergency change of clothes. So Owen sat on a spare grocery sack in his car seat until we got home, cleaned up and regained our sanity.

Later Will woke up an hour into his afternoon nap, which often stretches two hours after an early rising and a morning at school. He was too tired to get up and too tired to go back to sleep so he just cried inconsolably for 40 minutes. Didn’t want to be held, didn’t want to be left alone, didn’t want to be talked to, didn’t want silence. Owen, who was just beginning to get drowsy, decided to cry alongside Will rather than going to sleep himself. We were all overtired.

I had looked up the remedy for early wake-up times in our sleep bible, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child,” (the very title of which seemed to be screaming in my face: “Horrible mother!” as I confronted the cover wearily tonight). Counter-intuitive though it may seem, sleep guru Marc Weissbluth says the cure for an early wake-up time is an earlier bed time (try 20 minutes earlier, he suggests, but stick with the same routine). So we try it, but for the first time in weeks Will decides to try to change up the routine, requesting more books read by mama after he got his quota from dad. When we gently explain that we’re sticking with the ritual (consistency seems to be the only hope for Will), he cries. And cries and cries. Until 20-minutes-earlier-than-usual-bedtime turns into 20 minutes later.

As the crying persisted, I snuck into the bathroom to give Owen his nightly bath (which is pure joy for him). As I was sliding a washcloth under his chin he let out a little series of honest to goodness laughs – his first ever. And his little moment of giddiness was more than enough to make me laugh at the whole sorry day myself.

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