Last night was a first for us.
I’ve heard rumors of this sort of thing, but never experienced it first hand. Until now.
Of course, I’m talking about the toddler middle-of-the-night wake up. As in wake up for the day.
It started innocently enough. At what I’m guessing was around 3:00 a.m., I heard her singing over the monitor. I can only guess that it was about 3:00 a.m., because I refused to look at the clock. For me, there is just something about seeing the time in the middle of the night – I hate it. Once I know what time it is, it’s like it gets seared into my brain, and I become obsessed with it. With how long I have left to sleep. And then how long I’ve been awake. And then how long I have left to sleep….it’s a vicious cycle.
But back to the singing.
The song, of course, was the Baby Einsteins theme song.
The singing didn’t initially cause me much concern. It is not uncommon for Desi to wake in the night, sing or talk to herself for a few minutes, and then fall back asleep.
Sure enough, after a short while the singing stopped. Silence. Until…
I lay stiff as a board, as if playing dead could somehow trick a kid who’s calling me from down the hall.
I recklessly glance at the clock. 3:39 a.m. Damnit.
The calls continue, gradually increasing in intensity. Eventually, I accept that resistance is futile.
I pad down the hall to her room and peek in. She’s sitting up in bed.
“I want to sleep in mama’s bed.”
I feel momentary relief. This is a doable request. In general, Desi is a good sleeper and likes being in her own bed. Every once in a while, though, she’ll wake up in the middle of the night and ask to come into bed with me. Once there, she’ll usually fall promptly back asleep, sandwiched between me and an often none-the-wiser Scott.
I change her diaper, gather up her bunny, and head back to our room.
Stop looking at the clock.
But I can’t.
And then, the requests begin. In a whisper, of course.
4:04 a.m: “Mama – I need another pillow.”
4:15 a.m: “Mama – I need your pillow.”
4:21 a.m.: “Mama – I need some apple juice.”
Stop looking at the clock.
4:44 a.m.: “Mama – I need some milk.”
4:50 a.m.: “Tickle my tummy.”
4:58 a.m.: “Your hair is touching me.”
STOP LOOKING AT THE CLOCK!
5:09 a.m.: “Where’s bunny?”
5:20 a.m.: “I need to watch Curious George. Can we go downstairs?”
I give. I’m defeated. So downstairs we go. Where we proceed to watch 3 Curious George episodes in a row. I doze on the couch. She sits up next to me, inexplicably riveted by shows she’s seen literally 100 times. She laughs out loud. She announces every time a new character pops on the screen. She talks to the television, warning George about what’s going to happen next.
She’s in a fantastic mood.
“Desi, how are you so cheerful and awake right now?” I ask, half talking to myself.
She looks at me with a giant Cheshire Cat-style grin.
“It’s a mystery!” she exclaims, and laughs.
I didn’t even know she knew that word.
The mystery didn’t last long, though. Julia sent me this picture at about 10:00 a.m.
Funny enough, I felt like doing the same thing at my desk.
But ended up doing this instead.
She’s lucky she’s so darn cute.
Is it my bedtime yet?