Night Terrors…


I love my son.  But I have not liked him much in the past 28 hours.  Except for when I dropped him off at daycare this morning.  He has been a terror.  Don’t believe me?

Last night, there was so much screaming during bath time that Justin could not hear me talking on the phone over Robbie.  And then Robbie went to bed easily.  I thought I’d been successful, and actually had the nerve to praise myself for recovering from bath time without losing my temper – and managing to get Robbie fully cleaned in the process.  A feat difficult to accomplish with a toddler grabbing your waist and trying to climb up your body while covered with suds.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of going upstairs to get something around 9:00 last night.  Even now, I have no idea why I went upstairs.  But it was definitely my undoing.  Robbie didn’t stop screaming until some time around midnight.  He wanted more cereal.  He wanted new water.  He wanted more books.  He wanted me to fix the book that had a boo-boo (you know, the one he had ripped the cover off).  He wanted a new diaper.  Twice.  Both actually legitimate requests.  He wanted lotion on his bottom.  Not actually necessary.  Nor timed with the diaper change.  He wanted to brush his teeth.  At 11:30.  He wanted Smurfs.  He did not want the Smurf blanket, though.  That sent him into a new round of hysterics.  And then he wanted the Smurf that he dropped over the side of the crib, despite my pleas and warnings not to do so.

At midnight I gave up.  I couldn’t cuddle or console anymore.  I couldn’t tolerate the sound of his screams or “Mama!” for another second.  And, except for his screaming, he was fine.  Clean diaper, adequate toys, freshened snack and water.  So I shut my door, turned the air conditioner on high, and tuned in to The Golden Girls.

I’m not sure that Robbie actually slept.  When I woke up at 5:00 to go to the bathroom, his head popped up from his crib, a Smurf grasped in each hot little hand.  And then the screaming started.  Another diaper.  More water, which was promptly hurled onto the floor.  Desperate for a little more sleep, I brought him into my room, made the dog scoot over, and assured Robbie that all of his televised friends were fast asleep.

And then he collapsed on me and grew heavy with sleep.  Eventually, I rolled him over, and he came right back to me, curling into my side.  Soft sighs of sleep and contentment as he nuzzled in closer.  And then, for the two hours he slept, I did like him.  And I felt guilty for my own crying and screaming that had served to harmonize his cries of (unnecessary) agony.

But not too guilty because he was up and jumping on my back at 7:39.  And screamed his way through bath time again tonight.  But I’m thinking of getting him for a little cuddle time.  After all, I like him best when he’s sleeping.  Unfortunately, there’s always the risk that he’ll actually wake up.  One I’m willing to take tonight.


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