Robbie knows that my purse goes with us whenever we leave the house. In fact, sometimes he will grab my purse, sling it over his shoulder, and proclaim that he is “ready.” However, he has recently discovered that purses not only indicate that it’s time to leave but that they carry valuable items. You know, the important stuff. Trains. Smurfs. Snacks. Diapers.
And now Robbie puts his own belongings in there. This morning, Robbie thought he might want his juice for later and handed it to me on our way out the door, saying, “Purse, Mama. Please.” I didn’t realize, though, that Robbie had already put some valuables in there. No, not until I was at school and started digging around the bottom of my purse for a pen. That’s when my fingers wrapped around something soft and slimy.
Almost afraid of what I was going to find, I slowly wrapped my hand around the item and pulled it out of my purse. And there it was. An old, peeled banana. Sure, it was probably only four hours old. But those suckers age fast. Disgusted, I threw it away and continued looking for the elusive pen. Unfortunately, Robbie appeared to have not been in the mood for bananas, as I quickly uncovered the other slimy half. And a half eaten apple. Bon appetit!
Justin’s traveling a lot with his new job. He’s always traveled a lot. Actually, distance has played a big part in our relationship for the past nine years. Justin moved 475 miles away two weeks after we started dating. He traveled some with the Air Force and even more with Bose. But it gets a little more difficult at Robbie gets older. And, as it becomes more difficult, I become less patient.
I try to be patient with Robbie because I know that it can’t be easy on him. After all, I’m not just stuck with him with no relief day after day after day. He is also stuck with just me. There’s no Daddy to run to when Mama is being mean and horrible.
Most of the time we get along pretty well, but it’s been just the two of us for six of the past eight days. Robbie has moved beyond just saying my name or whatever word it is that he wants me to hear. He screeches it. Yesterday it was a particularly rousing “ping guo” (apple). At one point, it was so high-pitched that my ears started ringing.
But, in good news, Robbie is back to sleeping twelve hours a night and going down without a fight. It’s actually the one thing we don’t currently disagree on. In fact, after we read a book, he hops off my lap, heads to his crib, and says, “Rest, Mama. Ready. Night night.” And, Justin comes home tomorrow night. Granted, it’s for less than 36 hours. But still. It’s a buffer – for both of us.
We all know that Robbie gets in his phases… And last Friday was no exception. While we were outside (finally) cleaning up from Hurricane Irene, Robbie got a very special present from Leyli. I’m not even going to make you guess because you will never get it. Never. Unless, of course, your guess was a pink panda bicycle helmet. Because then you would be correct.
Robbie put it on to make sure it fit and left it on for the next four hours. He ran all over the house, taking care to run into walls and doors and tables because, well, he could.
Our helmet fun continued Saturday morning for a little Xtreme Potty Training. After all, you never know when you might take a digger off the toilet. And it must have worked because he used the potty twice.
I’m sure you’ve all been dying for an update on my life, since I’ve been gone for five days. Over the weekend, Justin and I went to Durham, North Carolina, for a wedding. You read that right. Justin and I. Robbie did not go. He stayed with Zhining for the weekend, which I think was the best way to go for all of us.
Apparently, it was definitely the best way to go for Robbie. When we got to Zhining’s house on Monday morning to pick him up, he refused to come with us. He and Zhining were ready for a walk and he wanted absolutely no part of coming home with us. After all, with a weekend like his, why would he want to leave?
Chinatown for lunch on Saturday with his best friend Addie and her parents – you know, all the delicious foods that his parents refuse to feed him. Chinese church and Sunday school on, well, Sunday. Chinese opera rehearsal. Yes. He went to a Chinese opera rehearsal. And he practiced, singing right along with the rest of the company.
Eventually, after a walk around the block, Robbie agreed that we could unbuckle him from the stroller. Even then, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with us. It was a full hour before we got a real hug and kiss from him. And then he asked for ‘Neanne. Of course…
Last year, when Zhining came back from China, she brought a pair of “authentic” Chinese pajamas. They were too big for Robbie until this summer, and, out of laundry and desperate for him to sleep in something, I pulled out the Chinese pajamas. And he now sleeps in them every night, regardless of what other pajamas he is in. Tonight, he brought them over to me and insisted they be put on over his ‘copter pajamas…
Robbie will be spending the weekend with Zhining while Justin and I travel to North Carolina for a wedding, so I’m going to make sure to have his ‘Inese mammas in the bag.
I am beyond exhausted, having not slept more than five or six hours a night for the past week. I haven’t had this little sleep since Robbie was seven weeks old. Some of it is my issue – the tossing and turning once I’m in bed. But a great deal of it is Robbie’s.
Let’s take last night, for example. He took a bath and was in bed by 7:30. Not too early. Not too late. Just perfect, actually. And it was, for about an hour. Then, all I heard was, “Mama! Maa-maa! MAAA-MAAA!” To which I would respond, “What?” And I’d get any variety of response. “I want water.” “Car. Boo boo.” (The car had fallen – been thrown? – over the side of the crib). “Love you. Night night.” And on. And on. And on.
He kept this up for five hours. I’m not kidding. Not exaggerating (yes, I’m known to do that). I finally went to bed around midnight, and he was still playing in his crib. Well, maybe not playing. More throwing everything out of his crib. For the first time in a month, he slept in an empty crib with room to stretch out.
But that didn’t last for long. I woke up around 5:45 and desperately had to go to the bathroom. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t ignore it any longer. And, I wanted to get that last 90 minutes of sleep. I crept out of the room, snuck down the stairs, and had almost made it back up the stairs when I heard him. He pulled himself up and started right back into the “Mama! Maa-maa!”-ing.
That was it. There was no going back to sleep for anyone. Robbie was not in the mood to be dealt with – and, in all honesty, neither was I. I left him in his crib watching Sesame Street and tried to go back to bed. It didn’t really work.
Tonight, fortunately, Robbie was down for the count about fifteen minutes after I put him to bed. And now I’m ready to take my turn at trying this whole sleeping thing. I’ll let you know how it works!
Robbie woke up around 10:45 Monday night with a nightmare. His screaming had me running upstairs and grabbing him out of his crib to fix whatever was wrong. He kept telling me, “Dream. Dream.” I don’t know what it was about, but it must have been pretty terrible. There was no way Robbie was going back into his crib; he panicked when we even went near it. So, I settled him in my bed, convinced him I would be right back, and rushed through my shower to get back to him (I’d been running – no way I was getting into bed that gross!).
We cuddled up, watched The Smurfs, and went to sleep. Until about 3:30 when I was abruptly awoken by a slamming sound. Before I’d even had time to register that something had happened, Robbie screams started. But not from the bed. From far away from the bed. And down. Like on the floor. I threw the blankets aside, leaned over the other side of the bed, and saw Robbie lying prostrate on the ground and perpendicular to the bed.
I must not have been thinking rationally because I grabbed Robbie’s ankle and pulled him toward me. Not really a move I’d recommend, as it only intensified the screaming. But, somehow, I managed to get him collected into my arms and calm him down. Somewhere along the line, we both fell back asleep again. Not before I remembered to stack pillows on the other side of the bed, though. This did prove to be a disadvantage, though, because Robbie kept migrating to my side of the bed.
It wasn’t until we woke up in the morning that I realized how bad the situation was. Don’t panic; it wasn’t that bad. I did find blood on my shirt in several places, though. And Robbie sat up around 6:30 and told me he had a booboo on his tongue. He seems to have recovered nicely, and I’m eager to finally have a good night’s sleep without any screaming. So, here goes nothing…