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Perspectives from a morning’s monumental struggle

6 July 2010 No Comment

It is much easier and enjoyable to write about the great times I have with my two-year-old daughter as a stay-at-home father rather than the rough times. Usually, that is at the forefront of my daily experiences.

But not every day is a simple, successful and fun stroll through a summer day. With the events of last night and this morning still fresh in my mind, I’ll list everything that went awry prior to nap time.

I do want to preface this blog post by saying I do my best to stay positive each day, and honestly feel every single day we spend together is wonderful; it’s just there are often some rough moments, as is the case with nearly all two-year-olds. What is unique about this particular day is that seemingly everything resulted in a problem or mishap. I’m sure the other parents out there can relate, and, if so, please chime in as it is comforting to share experiences, even the bad ones.

The preface to this bad morning was a restless night for the entire family. Our daughter took a very lengthy, late nap the previous day (230pm to 545pm) which pushed back her night quite a bit. It turned out be a setup for a rough night. She was resistant at bath time (still not sure why), and slow to ease into her bedtime routine of books, a little milk and laying down.

My wife does this last part of the routine, and after putting her to bed pretty late (around 10pm) it was all quiet – for a few minutes. That was followed by some restless rolling around and, eventually, we heard her knocking on her door.

She simply was not tired. My wife was exhausted from the holiday weekend and trying to rest up for early work. I hung out with her, let her help me with a cleaning project (she handed my stacks of CDs to box up) that had to be done (trying to sell our house & preparing it for photos) and waited for signs of sleepiness.

By 1130, she was obviously tired. I read her a few stories, she fell asleep on my shoulder, but cried when I tried to put her to bed. This repeated itself a few more times, and out of desperation she slept in our bed and I slept on the couch.

Then she got up at 630! Uh-oh. I had slept for four hours, and my wife probably about the same. She struggled through the morning, getting a late start to work. I battled to stay alert and keep her level-headed through her fatigue. I figured if we could get to late morning, we’d get her back on schedule. She did make it to almost noon, slept for two hours and all is now well. But not until these events transpired …

knocking a bowl of keys off the kitchen table
climbing on top of that table while I was gone for about 18 seconds
spilling the cats water bowl
spilling the cats food bowl
pulling the cat’s tail
trying to climb on a chair and falling
hitter her head on the corner of the ottoman
hitting her head on a door frame
Refusing to sit in her chair
Refusing to eat
Insisting on drinking water out of a cup, then spilling it
Kicking and squirming during a very dirty diaper change
taking her diaper off three times
knocking her cereal onto the floor
taking my glasses off of my face

Like I said, not every day is smooth. The love stays the same, but the level of challenge can definitely be raised on some days. I’m just glad I was not hungover like I was the day before (after the 4th of July!) and coffee was abundant.

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