I don’t know what it’s like to raise a child who consistently sleeps through the night. Once we entered potty training, Charles started waking himself up to pee once a night. Now, he wakes up to come into our room in the middle of the night, waking later to pee. I don’t know how well Tony sleeps with a toddler snuggled in his arms; maybe he is just so exhausted from working long, hard hours that he doesn’t notice. But Charles does not snuggle with me… instead, he prefers to sleep on my face, or put his feet into my back, or scootch into me until I practically fall off of the bed. Needless to say, I am getting pretty tired of this.
Some babies are born who sleep through the night easily from day one (or almost sleep through the night, as my friend’s 7-week-old now only gets up once per night to feed – I can’t even imagine how heavenly that would have been). Charles never did this, and we continue to have our ups and downs with sleeping. I imagine that there are people out there who think that we, as parents, are doing something wrong, and at times I have struggled with this thought myself, but that simply isn’t the case. We aren’t teaching Charles to get up multiple times per night. He just does. And so we guide him back to bed after letting him get in with us for a bit (because I don’t know why he wandered into our room, and if it’s for comfort, I want to give him some before sending him back to his bed). Or, if it’s late enough in the morning, we let him fall back asleep with us, where he will usually remain until well past 7 am:
I was so proud and excited for a couple of weeks that once Charles decided to potty train, he just did it, with no accidents and no fuss and no problems. And then, this weekend, he regressed a bit. We went to McDonalds (there is a playplace where he can wear himself out because, let’s face it, I’m not up to chasing him around in the backyard, and it was raining, so please don’t judge me for feeding my child crap) and he went to the playplace while I stood in line. He had gone potty before we left and as soon as we got there I asked him if he needed to go. “No potty, mommy!” As soon as I got our food, he came up to me, absolutely soaked. The poor kid. I took our food to go and broke down into tears as soon as we got to the car. Because he didn’t get to play at McDonalds and he loves it there, and because he didn’t take a nap because he wasn’t worn out, and because I had just spent good money on food I don’t really like because of the benefit of the playplace which we would not get, and because I didn’t really know what to do with him for the next couple hours or really even the rest of the day because my plan had included lunch, wearing out at the playplace, and nap in the carseat before we made it home, thus leaving me time to clean my filthy house and prepare dinner.
The next day we went to Jungle Playland, armed with two changes of clothes, and it was a disaster of a different kind (the potty thing worked out okay, though we did go through one extra pair of pants). Charles is small and loves running around there, but I lose track of him and I don’t fit. I can’t go up into the play structures and find him to make sure he’s okay. Turns out he got stuck at the top of a very fast, very dark, very long slide for, like, 20 minutes on Sunday. Finally, some older child helped him down. But still, I can’t go there anymore alone.
The potty training thing has to do with him ignoring his bladder until the last possible second. Then he rushes to the potty and goes a little bit in his pants, the rest in the potty. The pants, though, are wet enough to need to be changed. Which then puts him into a frenzy because he would rather play, he doesn’t care about being wet.
Overall, though, he is doing super well. I think I have to be more vigilant about taking him every hour or so until he gets the hang of it even better. He has mastered pooping in the potty because he likes to look at his “big poops, mommy! Two big poops!” So at least there aren’t any smelly pants to change.
In all, I am still very proud of him and I recognize that this is a process more than a feat to be accomplished in one attempt. Overall, though, it leads to frustration for me because I am going it alone and I find myself more limited with every day. I want to enjoy my son, not resent that he won’t do things exactly as I want him to, that he’s not perfect every second.
Except that he is perfect.
He told me this morning that he wants a baby sister.