Remember how I said one of the reasons I'm Mommy In The Dark is because the only time I have to write is that short window between when the kids (theoretically) go to bed and when I finally succumb to my daily exhaustion? Well, bedtime went to absolute shit and so, regrettably, did this blog.
Its nearly impossibly to write anything comprehensible while breastfeeding a baby who is also simultaneously giving you a dental exam and ripping out single strands of your hair. And that is pretty much what my evenings have looked like for the last few months. To elaborate, I have prepared a brief synopsis of the sleep schedule I have carefully developed (patent pending).
6 PM: Hopefully we are eating or about to be eating dinner. The kitchen is a wreck from dinner preparation. The baby is crying because I simultaneously cannot hold him, make his food and feed him his food. The toddler is doing couch gymnastics while watching some sort of show on Netflix that blessedly auto-starts each episode so I can basically ignore him unless I hear an unusually loud thump.
7 PM: The baby gets a bath and the toddler gets a sniff to see if he needs to be thrown in too. Half the time we don't have any baby soap so its basically a rinse. I stupidly ordered a sand box for the summer so now the tub will forever and always be slightly gritty.
7:30 PM: Wrestle children into pajamas. WHY do my children hate getting dressed so much? The toddler sprints away from me instinctually when he sees me holding up any sort of fabric. I don't even think its a conscious choice. The baby screams so loudly whenever I dress him that my mom made me talk to the pediatrician about potential shoulder issues. Turns out he just hates getting dressed.
7:45 PM: Perform the medieval torture that is brushing and flossing the toddlers teeth (which we have done every night since he was a baby and have been rewarded for our efforts with three cavities that need to be filled). Make him go the bathroom. Beg him to go poop for Christ sake (refused). During all of this the baby is usually sitting on the bathroom floor wailing "mamamamamama!" while clutching my legs and biting my knees. It really sets the mood for the rest of the night.
8 PM: Hopefully, if neither of the children have succeeded in their avoidance shenanigans, we are reading books, singing a few songs and then turning off the lights. This happens about 1% of the time and usually means they are both going to wake up sick. (Did I mention my children share a room? People always ask me how that is going. The answer is pure hell.)
8:15 PM: Baby wakes up just as my neck muscles start to unclench and immediately commences imminent death level screaming which causes the toddler to also start yelling for me in the time it takes me to sprint up the stairs.
8:15 - 8:45 PM: Try to get the baby back to sleep while hissing for the toddler to stop talking loudly about the weapons he wants santa to make him. Alternate between breastfeeding, walking around, lunges, and climbing into the crib to accomplish goal. Silently ruminate on all of the unsustainable sleep associations the baby will obviously now have until he is 23.
9 PM: Start doing something that might be potentially relaxing or productive; watching tv, reading, writing, cleaning, laundry, bathing... I have a catalog of varied interests and hobbies that I enjoy in my spare time.
9:15 PM: Baby wakes up just as the show gets good/my Kindle is charged/I've finally found my computer/I've lugged all the cleaning supplies up from the basement/the washer is half full/I have shaved one leg.
9:45 PM: Baby is back asleep but the prolonged time spent in a dark room listening to a relaxing noise machine has left me unreasonably sleepy and lacking in motivation to do anything but phone zone while laying in bed.
10 PM: Rally and head back downstairs to reclaim the night. Attempt to restart earlier endeavor.
10:15 PM: Baby wakes up.
10:30 PM: Baby wakes up.
11 PM: Baby wakes up.
11:30 PM: Baby wakes up and I lose all will to enforce crib sleeping and bring him into our bed. Lay next to him as he mouth breaths directly into my face and clutches a lock of my hair to ensure I don't try to get up again.
12 AM: Convince hubby to lay with the baby while I frantically finish up only basic necessities. Shower quickly if deodorant reapplication is no longer sufficient. Wear dirty pajamas in latest project to reduce laundry mountain in the basement.
12:30 AM: Finally lay in bed ready to fall asleep. Check phone one last time and immediately get anxiety due to mental sleep duration calculations. Start to drift off just as the baby wakes up to eat (again). Repeat for the next 7 hours.
7:30 AM: Toddler wakes everyone up by screaming "WHERE'S DADDY?????!!!!" and telling me he is going to fight me if daddy has already left for work.
I know what you're thinking: "holy shit that baby needs to be sleep trained!" I agree. I totally agree. Something has to change or we are going to have to hire a night nanny (or at least find a dog like the one in Peter Pan). But unfortunately the baby was born with unusually large adenoids that don't allow him to breath properly through his nose. As the night progresses and he spends extended periods of time laying flat his back, the congestion gets worse. Nothing is more sad than hearing him gasp for breath and startle himself out of a deep sleep, again and again. So I go up there and comfort him, again and again. It is mentally and physically draining but its basically what I signed up for so I do it without (excessive) complaint.
So please light a candle for the patron saint of the ear, nose and throat doctor. Because I would really like to get some sleep so I can get back to all of my interests, like this blog, and washing my hair, and taking the trash out in a timely manner. Maybe one day I'll even clean out the basement storage room. Like I always say: "Dream big!!!"