Monday, October 01, 2007

Middle of the night wakeups. That's what's keeping me from moving the Toddler to a Big Girl Bed. Let's be honest, folks, it's not about the transitioning or about losing my baby girl. It's all about wanting to be able to have the security that she's still in her crib. Even if she wakes up playful or curious while I'm still trying to grab a little sleep. I want that security. I read about an experienced mom's battle with sleepy eyes and slumber parties a few minutes ago and found my comment on her site turning into a huge post thing for me, so I moved on over. -sorry for starting to get carried away, Lisa, but thanks so much for the spark of this post!-

Last night we had a wakeup. Toddler had a nightmare, I think. That seems so nasty to say, that I don't know if she's had a nightmare or why she was so upset, or any of that. This would be a direct result of her unwillingness to communicate. If she would use her words, I might know. If she would have been quiet enough to possible communicate with us last night I might have been better able to act appropriately. Instead I found myself doing what all mothers have done everywhere since the beginning of time. I held her in my arms and made little shushing noises until she was calm and asleep again. This was made easier by the way she clung, leech-like, to the left side of my body from thigh to neck, refusing to loosen the deathgrip until she was in her bed again.

We struggle with communication, still. I start thinking that we'll always be wondering about that. She doesn't tell us she's hungry or thirsty or needs to potty. She climbs bodily into our laps with her books, or thwaps us with them gently to get her way, only rarely deigning to use her words to request. We make as much as possible of her day about getting her to use the words. Books have become a battle. Toys are a battle. Staying dressed is a battle. I refuse to let food become a battle; both as a recovering eating disordered person and as a mother I get horrified at the thought of withholding food from my hungry daughter. I realize that if I got tough on that issue it would be a hard couple of days and then a breakthrough. I'd also know that I'd be letting/making her go hungry, and I will not abide that. It's one of my lines in the sand. "There, don't cross that line. I mean it. Don't cross it. Or? Or what? I don't know. But I'll draw another line. Don't cross that line."

Parenting is hard. No one promised a rose garden. It has sweet moments and hard moments and I don't know how or who balances those out. So far I'd have to say the sweetness overwhelms all hardness. That's the thing that gets me out of bed every day.

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