It was the end of a long beach day.
The kind of day where the sun and chlorine have drained every ounce of energy from your body, and you just can’t wait to get out of your bathing suit and into an oversized T-shirt. On a day like this, sleeping is wonderful, magical.
We were staying at my parents beach condo and Colt was in his Pack-n-Play in the master bedroom. He never sleeps that great away from home, and I can’t blame him really. A Pack-n-Play is really a Cold-n-Not-So-Comfy square sleep box.
We put him down at 8 pm and after 45 minutes of blood curdling screaming, he finally gave up.
As a parent, the goal is always sleeping.
Your bedroom becomes a desert mirage. Sleeping-in? A distant memory. You start thinking differently. Tactically.
Should I give him water? No, milk will make him sleepier.
Should we take him for a walk in the stroller? No, let’s go to the park and wear him out.
Should I put him down now? No, give him a bath first to relax him.
Have his teeth been bothering him? Not terribly…but let’s give him the Tylenol (just in case.)
This is Sleep Strategery.
So Colt went down at 8, and we snuck into the bedroom around 11. Gracie the dog, followed. The door creaked loudly for the first time ever.
Colt stirred. We froze.
We commenced creeping and silently pulled up the covers. Gracie jumped up, curled into her usual spot and settled. Ahhh. Success.
What’s that? Gracie suddenly attacked by fleas? She popped up and started itching her face with maddening urgency. It felt like 10 minutes of cacophonous scratching. I whisper-yelled at her to stop. But she also had the sudden urge to sneeze.
I looked over in the dimly lit room. I made eye contact with Colt. He was now fully alert, standing up.
Wait for it… Wait for it….
And the screaming ensued.
Ok Ok Ok, I grabbed him and hoisted him into the bed. Gleefully, he snuggled down next to me. For the 20 seconds that he was still, I was in heaven.
But reality set in.
A two-year-old will not spoon with you.
He twisted his body like a pretzel around Gracie with his feet at my head. Sleepily, he kicked me in the face.
Would anyone else like to join the fun? I thought. Should we also invite the neighbors to climb into this Queen-sized bed, which now feels like the extra skinny twin bed from my dorm room days in college?
The minutes turned into hours, and somehow the Karate Kid fell asleep. I was still awake, bobbing and weaving the blows.
Todd of course, was sleeping soundly, because unless there’s a nuclear bomb in the bedroom, what’s the problem?
Finally, exhaustion took over and I started to doze…
Oh, Gracie has to pee? Are you f*^%ing kidding me.
I felt the urge to cry. I begged the Sleep Gods for mercy.
Two hours later, the whole family was awake and Todd was cheerfully making breakfast. He looked so bright and shiny.
Luckily, the Bacon Gods blessed me, and I soon forgot how tired I was.
I refocused on my next goal – the afternoon nap.
Better get Colt to the pool, I thought.