The first time out, you are Perfect Parent. You read books, cry a lot, wonder what happened to your life, cry some more, read more books because someone HAS TO HAVE AN ANSWER...right? Sleep Schedules and Poop dominate conversation. In fact, sometimes you get pooped on while discussing sleep schedules and for some reason...it doesn’t really seem that gross. There is poop on my hand and I am okay with it? While I fumbled through the first few months of being a new mom, there was one thing I did do PERFECTLY: The Sleep Schedule. No matter the pain it caused me, no matter if my son cried and wanted love and affection, that kid was going to SLEEP. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was allowed to fuck with my sleep schedule. What happens if they mess it up and He.Doesn’t.Sleep? I would surely jump from kindofalmostcrazy to OMGIAmNowCrazy. My mom called me the Nap Nazi; Husband rolled his eyes and took long, deep breaths. But by the time he was four months old, my son was on two perfect naps a day and slept 12 hours a night and I didn’t hear anyone complaining about THAT. The fan must be on. The room must be dark. The music must be on low. We speak in hushed whispers and walk on tip toes by his room.
Flash forward to second time out; you are Making it Work Parent. You now realize infants are incredibly easy compared to two year olds. You want to sleep? Great. Not so much? Okay, we’ll try again later. Nurse a baby while making a grill cheese sandwich? No problem. You just puked up on my shirt? I’ll change it later. (Maybe.) And while my daughter did eventually get her two naps and twelve hours, I did not force it upon her; I just let her lead me-a lesson I wished I had learned the first time out, but that would not be Perfect and I could not deal with that.
My son has planned his bowel movement to correspond perfectly with my daughter’s nap-time. Instead of a quiet, dark room filled with lullaby’s, her nap-time routine often sounds like this:
In the great green room-DON’T GET PEE ALL OVER! POINT IT DOWN, PLEASE!-there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of-WHAT? JUST WAIT. NO I’LL WIPE IT UP WHEN I’M DONE!-the cow jumping over the moon. And there were three little bears sitting on chairs-I’M READING TO YOUR SISTER! I CAN’T CHECK RIGHT NOW! JUST COME HERE! And two little kittens and a pair of mittens. And a little toy-house and a young mouse-YOU MISSED SOME! BRING ME THE TOILET PAPER! And a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush and a quiet old lady who was whispering hush. OKAY, LOOKS GOOD. GO FLUSH AND WASH YOUR HANDS PLEASE. Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. I DIDN’T HEAR YOU FLUSH! Goodnight light and the red balloon. Goodnight bears-FLUSH PLEASE!-Goodnight chairs. Goodnight kittens and goodnight mittens. Goodnight clocks and goodnight-WASH YOUR HANDS! DON’T FORGET SOAP-socks. Goodnight little house and goodnight mouse. Goodnight comb and goodnight brush-I DID NOT HEAR THE WATER GO ON! WASH YOUR HANDS!-Goodnight nobody. Goodnight mush and goodnight to the old lady whispering hush. PUT YOUR UNDERWEAR ON, PLEASE! And goodnight to the old lady whispering hush. Good night stars, goodnight air-UNDERWEAR PLEASE! WHY DO I HAVE TO ASK YOU FIVE TIMES TO PUT YOUR UNDERWEAR BACK ON? Goodnight noises everywhere.
Kisses, hugs, sweet dreams... PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE! I’M PUTTING YOUR SISTER DOWN! Nighty night, angel. Now don’t wake up for 2.5 hours.