I am writing this on four hours of sleep, next to my vanity and jewelry box that have both been covered in lip stick, typing on my lap top that is also covered in lip stick, while the gentle kicks of a toddler connect with my legs. Said toddler also had four hours of sleep, spent the day running full speed through the house shrieking “no” at the top of her lungs, with only a paltry thirty minute nap six hours ago.
She looks no worse for the wear.
I look like I’ve aged about ten years since last night.
I am done, I am spent, I have nothing left to give, and I have to do it all over again tomorrow.
Apparently, this is two*.
And apparently, this is not as bad as it gets. As everyone so generously and lovingly and obnoxiously keeps telling me, it only gets worse at three. To that I say… well, duh… because as of three weeks ago I thought I had an idea what I would be in for at two, butnow I know that I was wrong. Now I know better…
I know it gets worse because three weeks ago when I was getting my daughter ready for bed I noticed that her sheets were wet. I pulled the sheets off to replace them and discovered that the mattress pad was wet as well. As I balled up the sheets to throw them into the hamper I saw the huge orange stain on the rear side of the sheets, on the portion that is covered by the wall. While investigating that I discovered a pile of soggy pizza flavored goldfish crackers laying in the cracks of the bed. They were in a spot that granted me just enough access to ascertain that they were, in fact, soggy, but that did not afford me the opportunity to actually clean them up. Which was for the best because as I was leaning over to try and wriggle my fingers between the bed slats my foot crushed down on something crunchy. Apparently there were Cheez-It crackers under the crib. I spent the next thirty minutes cleaning up an apparent stock pile of toddler snacks while my daughter ran up and down the hallway yelling her name over and over again. You know, while she was supposed to be winding down for sleep. Sleep did not come for quite some time after that (for either of us) because this night also marked the beginning of
her apparent ascension into some sort of demon that does not require sleep to function the two year sleep regression.
I know it gets worse because up until last week my daughter had no clue that she could open the drawers to my vanity on her own. She had no clue that she could use this ability to have unfettered access to my make-up collection which would allow her to wield lip stick and eye liner as only a tiny artist would, which is to say, to cover every available surface. Neither of us knew it until she came running into the kitchen where my husband and I were getting lunch ready to show us her red stained fingers. Now we know, now we all know.
I know it gets worse because I have spent the last three nights in a row begging, pleading, and admittedly, crying a little bit, trying to get my daughter to sleep. I rocked her for three hours straight one night only to have her eyes pop right open as soon as I placed her in her crib. Once I gave up and brought her into our bed so that I could finally try and get some sleep, she rewarded me for my submission by waking up every hour. EVERY. HOUR. I feel like an inmate at Guantanamo right now, and she’s successfully breaking down my will power with some sort of sleep deprivation, mind control, power assertion thing. And she’s winning, by god, she’s winning.
And she knows it.
Yesterday over lunch she quietly called out to me. I looked over at her in her high tray as she picked up the last strawberry that was sitting there. While looking me square in the eye she wrapped her tiny little fist around the strawberry, crushing it. The red juices and pulp squeezed out from between her chubby fingers. It was as though she was holding the still beating heart of her enemy and enjoying the satisfaction of squeezing the final bits of life from it. After she was done, she shook her hand to rid herself of the remains (which naturally landed all over me), and softly said, “All done.”
I get it, I feel finished too, kid.**
I am simultaneously frustrated, cowed, and impressed. If this is any indicator of things to come, she has a bright future as a merciless dictator ahead of her. Either that, or a future serial killer. Either way, I think she’ll be quite successful, and really, isn’t that what we all wish for our children?
In the meantime, I am just going to continue to struggle through each day and keep repeating to myself the mantra which every parent I know has given me, It only gets worse.
Well, everyone except my mother-in-law, who so
foolishly kindly offered for me to bring her over there for a few hours.
We’re on our way, grandmo! WE. ARE. ON. OUR. WAY.
*My super advanced goblin child isn’t yet two years old, she is still just over two months away. She’s just really ahead of her time with her power trip/assertion of will/desire to crush my spirt. Like I said, she’s super advanced.
**This is all written in good humor. I love my little goblin and cherish every sticky hug, slobbery kiss, and softly whispered, “I you” (I love you). Also, for the love of god, I know it gets worse and I am appreciating NOW as much as humanly possible. Please, no more reminders of what I have to look forward to. Please.
For more from Lauren Wellbank, follow her blog at https://lakewi.net/ and like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lakewi/