After 45 minutes of rocking and singing she finally fell asleep in my arms. I gently lowered her into bed, while still singing, and before she even hit the mattress her eyes popped open and screaming ensued. Picking her back up immediately and continuing to sing I rested her head in the crook of my left arm (she refused to lay on the right arm like she usually does) and held her legs with my right hand. I finished that round of singing and headed into another round of humming “The Ants Go Marching“. She was asleep ten minutes into the whole fiasco, but not deep enough to stay that way when put down. I made it through the humming and gently laid her back down silently praying that she would not make a sound so I could go rub my sore and tired body prior to going to sleep for a couple of hours (if I was lucky), before my precious daughter would destroy the evening and wake up screaming. I must’ve rubbed the right charm because she landed on her mattress, rolled onto her side, and started snoring. It wasn’t a perfect charm because the night was just getting started.
I tiptoed down the creaking hall and out in to the living room where I reclined on the couch next to my wife. We took the childless opportunity to be intimate – intimately alone, watching television in silence. After a show or two we retired to the bedroom and tossed and turned until, just as we were both passing out, the whining began. Sometimes the whining stops and the two-year old goes back to sleep, so we waited and pretended like we were asleep, not hearing the noise that makes our skin crawl.
All went silent and the silence led us into a false sense of calm. REM sleep never came, but the screaming for mommy did. My wife got up and brought her to our bed because we know from previous nights that attempting to put her back to sleep in her bed was a lost cause. She was still not fully awake (my daughter) and so mommy put her in bed between us (her usual spot). Sleep was not the toddler’s intention, that was made clear with a head to my jaw and a foot, or two, to mommy’s throat.
When our daughter calmed down enough to engage in some form of communication she was asked what she wanted to do. It was like I scripted her response. “Mickey Mouse mommy, turn on please.” We fought and fought, rubbing her back, humming and singing to her. Nothing worked. Have you ever tried reasoning with a two-year old? We never learn that lesson, so I tried reasoning with her. I could’ve tried to blow out the sun by expelling gas from some orifice on my body for all the good it did.
I fell asleep at some point and woke up the next morning with a tired wife and a zombie child who ate Mickey Mouse cartoons instead of brains. I tried to let my wife take a nap, but that worked out almost as well as me staying awake to take care of the toddler last night.
I feel sorry for my wife and I feel frustrated by the situation because I have no control over any of it and there is absolutely nothing else I can do.