Tag Archives: sleeping

The one about a crazy two year old and a mother’s love


Ok, I completely understand that Hannah is going through some serious changes. She started school, gave up her dummy and went off diapers all in a very short space of time. Challenging and scary for any two year old, I totally get that. I get that she is also at an age where the tantrums are at an Oscar award winning level, and that’s completely normal. I even understand her need to show off her newfound independence with everything from dressing herself, feeding herself, drinking out of a glass to a million other things she now thinks she can do – and I try, tryyyyyy, to be as patient as possible with her as she navigates her looooooong way around all these tasks.

So when she acts up, I get that too. I mean there’s a lot going on here, even for me, so for her and her little mind it must be like X 10000000. But this last week has been rough. The crying… OH THE CRYING… for everything! I can’t reach my toothbrush, let’s cry! I can’t find my shoe, let’s cry! I don’t like that t –shirt, even though I chose it myself last night, let’s cry! I can’t find that crumb of bread that fell off my sandwhich, let’s cry! I can’t stand watching Telly Tubbies anymore, let’s cry! Liam is bigger and stronger and has more capabilities than I do, let’s cry! This colouring pencil is the wrong shade of pink, let’s cry! I just feel like crying even though I can’t find a reason to, let’s CRY! OH MY SHATTERED NERVES!!!

Again, this is normal. Liam went through the crying phase. Totally normal. But boy, it’s doing my head in. We take her to her room, deposit her there and tell her she can come out when she is done crying. This worked for a little while. Then she realized, hey wait, I can open the door myself, I do not need to sit her by myself and cry, I can go out there and torture those suckers with my crying, yay! So out she comes and we ignore her and scream loud above her cries in order to be heard. It must look like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest… a child going ballistic in one corner while the rest of the family eat their dinner, exchanging rather LOUD pleasantries above the screams.

She has also decided that she doesn’t want to put herself to sleep, someone needs to lay with her. Now if you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll remember that Hannah decided she wanted to put herself to bed in September last year and we have not had this issue ever since. I’d say good night, switch off the light and off she’d drift to dreamland. No problem. Last few nights she has yelled for someone to come and lay with her. Marched out of her room a few dozen times crying and insisting that someone pat the baby to bed. First day or two, I did it without a problem… I mean the kid had just started school, and maybe she was experiencing a bit of separation anxiety. But now I just feel like we are creating a bad habit and regressing on the sleep thing. And besides, I have gotten used to my whole evening being free to do the things I like doing – playing on my phone, watching mindless TV, eating junk food, you know… I do not want to go back to laying in the dark, and hiding my phone almost under my boob so that it doesn’t distract the sleepy princess. I know, I know, she is only going to be this young for so long, but I also know how quickly bad habits are formed because we feel sorry for our little angels. Last night Sharon and I were chatting on Twitter, and it’s true what she said.. little people can be big manipulators. Now I am not saying that Hannah’s behaviour is not warranted, given the changes she has and is experiencing, but I do know that she has us wrapped so tightly around her little finger that I wouldn’t even notice if my little angel was deliberately trying to take my precious free evening away from me just because she knew she could.

Anyway, last night it was boiling hot and she was laying practically on top of me all sticky from the Peaceful Sleep lotion and I grudgingly put my arm around her and couldn’t help that warm and gushy feeling as the oxytocin pumped from my adrenal glands. You see, this is the problem! How can you not love this crying yelling whining lump, when the very fibre of your being betrays you when she comes near. I want to be mad but the minute she has me under her spell – even though I KNOW I’m under her spell – I can’t break free of that little finger that I’m wound so tightly around. If that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is. If you don’t believe there is a God who especially wired us this way, then I just don’t know.

Just sleep and stop crying so much, child! You are driving your mother completely batty. I adore you, am completely in love and besotted with you, but you don’t need to flex your baby finger to get my attention, I am now and forever will be at your service, so give me a break ok?

Operation: Bye Bye Cot


I’d like to compare the taking down of Hannah’s cot, to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, but I do believe that that would be insensitive for many reasons. So I won’t. But what I will say is that the emotion we I felt as I disassembled her cot, was almost the same. Not quite, but that’s the comparison I’m using so humour me please.

We had been talking about it for a while. Hannah had been sleeping in the double bed in her room for the last two months or so, so it wasn’t like her cot had any use or that she needed to be “weaned” from it. Zoleka would still put her down in her cot for her day time naps but that too was more due to habit than necessity. I also felt that Hannah was restricted in her cot; she is a wild sleeper, and I wanted to give her room to thrash out in her sleep if she wanted to.

The reason we didn’t do it sooner, is because it’s a BIG deal and I wanted to give the ceremony all the pomp and glory it deserved. Taking down the cot – for mother and child – is a momentous occasion. Any mother will tell you that. Any mother can attest to the fact that the coming down of the cot, is a major milestone in the life of her little bunny. The move from cot to bed almost always signals the move from baby to big girl or boy. We even speak to our children in that vein: “wow, you’re a big girl now! you sleep in a big girl’s bed!” I know my hesitation was because I knew this was probably, and most likely, and almost definitely, the last cot I would take down. Ever. There are no more babies. I won’t have to fight with my husband, as I tower over him with a huge belly, shaking the directions in his face as he battles to put it together (and we have camp cots, they aren’t that difficult to assemble), I won’t ever stare in wonder at the empty cot, all decked out in new fresh linen, with cuddly toys planted in the corner, as I wait for the pink squishy baby to be born. Or stand over my baby’s cot, winding a mobile to shush her to sleep. For me, that cot symbolises my pregnancy, my birth experience, MY BRAND NEW LITTLE PUDDING who used to look lost in that big open space of frilly linen; it represents sleepless nights when the cot stood empty because I paced with a restless baby in my arms sometimes from dusk until dawn. The cot reminds me of how HARD it all was, but also how quickly it has all come to an end and how rewarding it all was and how accomplished I feel for making it through ALIVE, and the kids are still alive too (!!) … the baby-baby days are over. I kick myself every time I use this corny sentence but it’s true: they grow so fast!

So for me, it was more a case of saying good bye to one of the best things I’ve done in my life: raise babies into toddlers. It may seem small, insignificant and silly – I mean it’s only been three years – I can hardly call myself an accomplished mother, I’m still new at this actually, but I do believe that these three years have probably being the most difficult, the most heart wrenching, the most rewarding, the most AMAZING years of my life. To conceive in itself, is a miracle, people brush off too easily how intricate and complex and remarkable it is to actually conceive a baby. To carry this baby in your womb for 9 months and to bring him or her to birth. To watch this pink ball of love-mush grow and develop into a walking, talking being with a personality to boot, and, as a mother, to be super instrumental in that WHOLE process – come on, that’s bloody miraculous! I think the move from babyhood to toddlerhood, is as significant, if not more so, than any other stage in development. To think that in two short years your ball of mush learns to eat, walk, talk, feels emotions like love, sadness, hurt and pain, knows faces and voices – there’s not that level of growth in such a short time span, for the rest of their lives. The growth which takes place in these two years (two being the general age that your child will be labelled as a toddler and no longer a baby) is astounding. So when they reach this age and you look back and marvel at how far they and you have come, it does make one emotional! And for me, the cot is symbolical of ALL of this! So I trust you now understand just how big a deal the taking down of my last born’s cot was for me. Not so much for her, but definitely for me.

Hannah has handled the move from cot to bed, with such ease; she really is a super star. She giggles when I ask her where her cot is and tells me “cot gone” and swipes her chubby arms from side to side to indicate “no more.” She loves that she is able to get off the bed and waddle over to us in the mornings, without having to yell for someone to take her out of the cot. She loves to jump-jump-sugar-lump on the big bed, and most importantly she loves that she is one step closer to being more like her brother. Big girl and boy! The room looks a bit bare without the cot, so I’ll have to find something cute to fill that spot – because less is never more with me. In fact, Hannah’s room doesn’t look anything like a little girl’s room because it also serves as a guest room when we have visitors. So perhaps I’ll use this as an opportunity to girly-up her room a bit – but not too much because we have to be out of this house by August, remember.

So that’s a wrap folks! Cots, prams, feeding chairs, walking rings, Bumbos, bouncy chairs – ALL GONE. My toddlers are toddling along, and my baby checklist is fast reaching completion. Next stop: Operation bye-bye botty. Watch this space.

 

Liam in his cot
Hannah in her cot
Get me out of here!