(Fair Warning: At the end of this post, you will either feel compelled to a) send me a box of wine, or b) call CPS. My one appeal to you is that if you choose Option B, please be sure it is either preceded or followed by Option A.)
Over the past few days, we’ve been transitioning Maggie over to a toddler bed, for reasons that only indirectly imply she’s at immediate risk for a cervical injury. Her crib is cute. It’s almost a big girl bed. Except she will not sleep in it. She will climb up and over the sides into the bed, jump on it, and run in feverish circles around its perimeter, but she will not sleep in it. Thus, we’ve had to break out the Pack and Play.
The funny thing about the Pack and Play is that she climbs out of it, runs around the room, and then climbs in/over/around her new toddler bed until someone busts in and saves her from herself.
Yesterday at naptime, my husband and I knew our chances of getting her to sleep independently were nestled snugly between slim and none. We tried, and once we heard her little feet hit the floor, we scooped in to retrieve her. We tried to lie her down on the bed to no avail. We brought her downstairs to give her a snack, and that turned out to be a rather noisy mistake as well.
I was leaving the house to get my allergy shot, so I asked my husband to pack her up and I’d take her with me. It helps the other kids get their much-needed rest.
We were in the car for less than ten minutes when she fell asleep. I felt badly about having to wake her so quickly, so I turned around and cruised the highway for a bit. I had planned to pick up groceries anyway, so I headed towards a store that was further away from home so she could nap.
Naturally, she was awake before I arrived. I collected her and placed her in the cart. Still groggy, she smiled and said hello to other shoppers. I gave her a lemon to hold/play with/take a bite out of and throw on the floor, which distracted her for a bit.
“Apple,” she said.
“Lemon,” I returned.
“Apple,” she repeated.
“Lemon. Yellow. This is a lemon,” I told her.
She’d pretend bite, stopping just shy of sinking her teeth into the bitter rind. I thought we may just make it through this trip.
In the frozen food aisle, she intercepted a box of Lamb Saag I was trying to place into the carriage. She was still holding onto the lemon.
“Apple!” she said proudly as she hid her face behind the frozen meal.
I made it over to the prepared food area where she was showered, for the third time, with compliments, to which she responded by sending the lemon rolling across the floor. Not achieving the level of stimulation she apparently craved, she decided to smash the frozen food box on the floor.
I tried again to put the box in the carriage. Intercepted again. We had entered the blood-curdling scream portion of our show.
She had won. The Lamb Saag was mine. I wrestled her back into the car, gave her a few fruit snacks, and continued towards home.
I was mere feet from our exit when I spied unnatural movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head slightly, shocked to find that she had slid out of her carseat and was standing, balanced between her carseat and the one next to her, in the second row of our van. I gasped. I couldn’t breathe. I put on my hazard lights and made my way very carefully to the breakdown lane.
I ran around the car, secured her in her seat again, chastity-belt tight, with zero consideration for the fact that she had to breathe, and continued, flustered, on my way. I never made it for my allergy shot.
Seat belt? I don’t need no stinkin’ seat belt!
After dinner, I decided to take the twins for a walk by the beach. The walk was pretty uneventful, until she became bored on our way back to the car. She wiggled out of her seat belt (these are all on the tightest settings, mind you. I’m no fool), stood up, grabbed my cell phone from behind her, put it to her ear, said, “Hello,” leaned over in front of her, patted her brother on the head, and then let the phone slip behind his back.
“Maggie,” I warned. So, she climbed halfway over his seat, retrieved the phone, and continued to taunt me with it.
“Sit down,” I said, as I stopped the carriage.
She cackled and sat slowly. I secured her in her seat as best as I could. She immediately hopped back up.
I could see the car, and there was 110% humidity outside. I was covered in sweat and my hair was sticking to my face. I just wanted to get in and drive home. She looked forward. She looked back. She walked carefully around in circles in her seat. Telling her to sit down was useless.
I made the next few feet, got both of the twins in the car, where they immediately ripped off their stinky shoes, and headed home.
Bedtime, unusually, was pretty run-of-the-mill, and I was able to get some sleep until about ten minutes to three. At ten minutes to three, she woke up. I brought her to my bed, but fell asleep before I could return her to her room.
I was awakened at five to her dragging her face along my sheets, whining, “Bah BAH! Bah BAH!” I took her downstairs and made her a sippy cup with some juice. We returned upstairs. She writhed for about ten minutes and finally settled with the sippy cup overturned and dripping onto my leg.
I tried to adjust the sippy cup. She squealed. I took the sippy cup from her hand. She squealed louder. I adjusted her and returned the cup. I awoke again at six and returned her to her room.
I was awakened again by the phone. I answered it, and heard her little hooves scamper across her room. I hung up and opened her door.
She looked up at me, “Phone? Phone!”
“Don’t worry. It wasn’t for you,” I said crankily. I picked her up. Her scream tore through the silence of the house as she tried pulling the phone out of my hand. I let it go. I had to pee.
I brought her into our bedroom and handed her over to my mostly sleeping husband, who had just gotten home from an overnight shift.
“Hold her for a minute,” I said as I headed into the bathroom.
And then I heard a dialtone. And then I heard dialing. And then I heard my mother’s voice. And then I heard my husband, completely disoriented, telling her he didn’t know how he got her on the phone.
I brought her downstairs for the morning and just finished emptying the inside of her shirt of pieces of french toast.
And it’s almost naptime again.
I had some errands to do, didn’t I? I must have an appointment today or something…