Monday, October 04, 2004

I Have a 26-Pound Problem

I am fairly unflappable, though I do admit to the occasional flailing of arms as I say with gritted teeth, "I am losing my mind!" But I am stoic in the face of exploding diapers and shattered glass and odd noises in the black night.

But add a mere 26 pounds of sugar and spice and everything nice and my sturdy demeanor begins to crack. Babygirl just completed Day Five of a Nap Strike.

If I could find the bargaining table, I'd be there. I'd give her as many paid days off as she needs. "No problem. I'll throw the books on the floor myself. You don't need to come in on Mondays. We'll find someone else to smear food on the high chair tray."

Money? More money? More benefits? No problem. I'll double her pay. No! Triple it! Free doctor's visits! Free toothbrushes! Whatever it takes! You want a better job title? "Crown Princess of Peeing in the Potty"? "Supervisor of All That is Messy"? Flex-time? Just let me know. I will make it happen.

Why? Why, oh why, oh why? Why has she stopped napping, when she very clearly needs a nap? Yesterday, she did fall asleep for an hour in my bed, but unfortunately, so did I, so how did that help me? Today, we "napped" together on my bed, but as I half-hallucinated, half-dreampt, she thrashed and kicked me in the stomach and knocked her cement head into my nose.

I can do a lot of things. I can make pie crust from scratch. I can sew a Halloween costume. I have a ham radio license, which means that at one time I could copy Morse Code at the rate of 13 words per minute.

But I cannot tolerate this lack of naps! Lack of naps means lack of breaks. Lack of breaks means I stay up too late. Staying up too late means I wake up exhausted. Being exhausted means I am crabby. Being crabby means I am an irritable mother. Being an irritable mother means I am a failure as a human being. Being a failure as a human being means I should sign up for Extreme Makeover, but I can't because as I may have mentioned, Babygirl cannot be away from me for even one moment or her head comes popping off. Imagine six weeks away, getting revamped, coming home with a tummy tuck and a new nose. By then, my entire house would need an Extreme Makeover or a Clean Sweep, and my husband would probably have appeared on A Wedding Story by then with his new bride.

You can see my dilemma, right? Babygirl needs to nap. Babygirl refuses to nap. Tonight at 6:30 p.m., Babygirl was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I said, "Okay, let's go put on your diaper and jammies," and she said, "No! No diaper!"

I went to her room anyway and, of course, she followed me because I am the magnet and she is the metal. I sat on the floor, spread out the diaper and invited her to sit down. She stomped her feet in rhythm and cried while I watched with an impassive look on my weary face. I have such dark circles under my eyes these days. She carried on, screaming, marching her displeasure. She threw the diaper. Occasionally, I mentioned how I'd like to put on her diaper and jammies and that there would be "mama milk" when she cooperated. This infuriated her, so she shrieked more.

Then she hit me.

So, I picked her up and plopped her into her crib and walked out.

I sat on my bed for exactly two minutes while she exploded like they tell us Mt. St. Helens will do any second. (Those harmonic tremors? That was my daughter, not the mountain.) When I returned to her, she was compliant and allowed me to diaper her and zip on her lavender pajamas. She was in bed by 7 p.m.

Yes, boys and girls, that means I was with my darling daughter for twelve solid hours. This is my 26-pound problem.

And in only eight hours, it begins again. Oh joy.


Blogger Tina said...

"No problem. I'll throw the books on the floor myself. You don't need to come in on Mondays. We'll find someone else to smear food on the high chair tray."

LOL!! I wonder if there is a way to really work this out...

Don't underestimate that napping together thing...I still think it is better than nothing at all.

Of course there are no solutions for you...but I totally relate!!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Alesia said...

I so understand and feel your pain. Although Nap Strikes are no longer allowed here, you are dealing with a two-year-old and probably cannot do what I have finally done to solve the problem!! Anyway...GOOD LUCK! (BabyGirl...give your Mama a break!!)

9:06 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

Wow, naptimes are so important aren't they. I feel for you. I have a 10 month old son who is not taking many naps during the day at the moment.
Hope things improve soon. (hugs)

Cath x

9:54 AM  
Blogger QQ said...

Ben has decided that he has a choice about naps now. other two children napped until at least age 3. I am soooo not ready for this.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Itchiban said...

My nephew is like this...especially when his dad is not home...he always fights taking his nap to irritate his mother and/or myself...It's as cute as it is annoying...

11:16 PM  

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