They used to be fun, didn’t they? You know, in college? When you were up all night studying with sorority sisters? Or the cute guy in your Ancient Greek and Roman Art class? Or, more likely, out drinking all night and not sure how you’d get home? Or even if you’d get home?
I would have killed for one of those last night. Instead, I got the life-after-we-decided-to-uproot-our-lives-with-a-child all-nighter. It started innocently enough, with Robbie waking up hungry around 11:00 when Justin was, ironically, cooking dinner. It must have been the scent of rice boiling that wafted up the stairs, tickling my toddlers nostrils. When I brought him downstairs, all he could talk about was rice, melon, and cheese. Which is precisely what he proceeded to eat.
It should have been easy enough. Feed the child. Cuddle the child. And send the child packing. But not my kid. Oh, no. He suckered me. I’m not a novice. I should have seen through the pitiful cries after I put him to bed. I should have stayed strong. But he just sounded so pitiful. And who was I to sleep in my soft, fabulous bed while he wailed from his crib?
So we watched The Smurfs. And The Berenstein Bears. And maybe an episode of Sesame Street. By 12:30, I’d had enough and attempted to persuade my toddler that the Smurfs, the Bears, and Elmo were all tired from playing with him and had gone to bed. I tried to convince him that he, too, needed to get some sleep. Robbie responded with an enthusiastic jump onto my back, squealing with delight when I picked him up.
And then screaming in horror as he realized I was placing him in his crib. Don’t worry. I didn’t fall for it again. I left him there. For fifteen minutes. Until Justin, who actually heard the screams from downstairs, came up to console our poor child. And. Then. Brought. Him. Back.
I heard the door open and mumbled, “You fail at parenting.” Confused and obviously assuming I was talking in my sleep, Justin asked for clarification. Rolling over, I told Justin that, once again, he’d played the role of sucker, hoping this would convince him to deposit the child back in his crib.
No such luck. He cuddled with Robbie until the cherub fell asleep and then placed him in between us. Let me assure you, Justin and I have very different ideas about the success of this move. In our queen-size bed. For Justin, he loves to cuddle with Robbie and sleeps perfectly. This is because the two of them sleep with their backs to each other. For me, it’s a nightmare. Robbie kicked me in the back until 4:00 this morning when I finally took him back to his crib to sleep.
And, yes, he started screaming as soon as I laid him down. I’m not sure when he stopped; I shut our bedroom door and put the air conditioner on high.