Jules Cried Her Eyes Out Tonight
My husband is off at a Beaver footbal game tonight, so I pictured a mellow evening with Josie, age 2, and Julia, 9 months - followed by an early bedtime for them and a couple of hours reading in bed for me. HEAVEN!
All goes well until Julia's bedtime, and she starts screaming her head off. This is not normal for her, but she's had a cold and she's gotten a little clingy and fussy. So, with my "Healthy Sleep Habits" training in mind (and it really does seem to do them good most of the time!) I let her cry. And cry. And cry some more, until I could stand it no longer. I got her out, held her, kissed her all over her sweaty, teary little face and felt like a complete asshole parent. I gave her milk and after a while, put her to bed again. And she starts wailing immediately, not assuaged in the least by my presence, my tummy rubs, my cooing and singing. Though 20 minutes later she was out from sheer exhaustion, as I write this, I can hear the remains of her trauma through the monitor: a sporadic little sobby "hic!" that reminds me, from her sleep, of what I put her through.
And I'm smart, and I can be tough, and I know they get overtired and sometimes need to release that frustration or exhaustion or whatever, but DANG if it doesn't just kill me. My chest hurts, my stomach is tight, and all the wind is out of my sails. It's still amazing to me, the second time around, how much power these little creatures have to make me feel like the archtype of Blissful Mamahood or like the worst mother in the world, whose kids will stop hanging out with her as soon as they are mobile.
It's scary, but also delicious in that it is literally the stuff of life. It doesn't get any more intense than this.
Ok, now I'm exhausted. Good night.