Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Parenting Hardships 101

Last November, the 2yo decided sleeping with Momma was better than sleeping in his own bed.

Last night was ruled to be the night he returned to his own bed. I agreed to the edict. He didn't. Let just say that things didn't go smoothly.

What's not smoothly, you ask. Well, have you ever left your child or someone you love crying as their heart has been broken? Was it your fault? Was it over something that was within your power to fix, but you decided not to?

The baby monitor was set-up so I could experience every scream of agony, every wail, every plea. Since he has the tendency to throw up during fits of this sort, I did give in and check on him, twice. Nanny 911 be damned.

He hadn't thrown up, so I was somewhat re-assured that he wouldn't, if he continued in his current fashion. He would stop, and I think, finally. But no, it was only to catch his breath or gag silently before the screams began again.

If you live next door to us, sorry about that. You should anticipate a repeat performance tonight.

As I listened to him, I cried too. I felt just as awful, just as sick to my stomach. Not because I missed him, mind you. Because I was the source of his despair. It seeped away, bit by bit, to rage. What was the big deal, really, of sleeping in your own bed? He asked for his brother's bed, the futon, the couch, the puppies bed. Anywhere but his bed. Is it really that effing difficult to sleep in your own room?

He has a night light, toys, books, a desk light, blankets galore, everything that I have in my room. He could play. He could read. Hell, he even had his tape player loaded with a Blue's Clues Nighttime cd to listen to, just like we in my room. What's the problem?

The screaming stopped. In a perfectly reasonable voice, he calls, "Mom?" over and over again. Any fantasy I've every had of crowds chanting my name over and over again has been deleted from my memory. I didn't answer. It might be a trick.

I don't know what it was, but I found him on the couch this morning. Head tilted back, baby snores and some not so baby snores. Curled on his side, as he is often to do. Asleep as if nothing was wrong and the 90 minutes preceding his slumber hadn't been spent moaning and wailing like he was dressed in sackcloth and ashes.

If you'd like to teach your teenager the truth about parenting, let me know. We've got the most effective birth control package ever.

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