Nighttime is not pretty in our home. It didn’t used to look so ugly. Back when Zoey was one, she had been sleep-trained for several months already and when we put her down to sleep in her crib awake yet sleepy, she quietly went to sleep without crying. Now she is the moody 3 1/2 year old who cries every night when we put her to bed or she gets up every few minutes to go pee or she comes running to the kitchen. This was our conversation last night:
Zoey: “Mommy,” and then a long pause because she really has nothing to say to me, she just doesn’t want to be in bed.
Me: “Yes, Zoey?”
Zoey: “Ummm,” with another long pause while she tries to think of something to say, “my eye hurts.”
Me: I say to her, “Maybe it hurts because you are tired and it’s now an hour past your bedtime. Go to bed.” But really I am thinking, Go the F**K to Sleep. You’ve heard of this book, right?
God grant me patience. I want nighttime to be a calm, relaxing, quiet time of night when my lovely children drift off to sleep while I sing lullabies to them and rub their backs. Instead I do all that as Zoey cries and screams and wakes Zane up who then cries and screams and I get the hell out of their bedroom as fast as I can wishing them good night and telling them I love them. I’m comforted by the thought that this is just a phase in their very short childhood. This, too shall pass. Thank you God. And tomorrow, or maybe next year, I can finally be the mom I always thought I would be–getting my angels to drift off to sleep without a peep.