Ah, the joys of parenthood. From day one when you first bring home your baby, your lives completely change.
You and your partner have welcomed to your lives this beautiful, peaceful human being and you have no idea what to do. Yes, while you were in the hospital, you had the nurses help you and your baby wasn’t with you the entire time and yes when you get home, you may have friends or family members who share their parenting experiences with you and try to give you tips but now you have this newborn who cries when they are wet, tired, hungry, uncomfortable, or just because they are a baby.
And then as the time goes by, you think you have everything under control. Your child sleeps through the night, eats on a regular schedule, takes a nap, starts to show a personality, and you love every moment of it. You love watching your child laugh, learn how to crawl, hold toys, hold their own bottle and you are so proud. You have a genius on your hands. For the next two years, there are hiccups along the way and some regressions but for the most part things are going well.
Bam! Then last night happens and PFG boy decides to wake up at 1:30 a.m. where he wanders into our room and falls asleep in our bed for a half hour. Everyone slowly falls asleep and things are okay for the next half hour. Then you feel a kick and realize your head is no longer on the pillow and this 3.5 year old is making your queen size bed feel like it is a toddler bed.
Mrs. PFG wakes up puts PFG boy back in his room and we all try to go back to sleep. Then bam, like clockwork for the next two hours on the half hour, PFG boy is back in your room. First it is that his throat hurts and he needs water. Then, he wants to play. Does it matter that it is 3:30 a.m.? No, it is a good time to play.
After four times of putting him back in bed, Mrs. PFG has had enough. I wake up for the 4:30 a.m. “time to get up” and try to lay with him in his bed.
“No! Daddy get out.”
I leave the room after turning off the lights again and what do I hear 20 minutes later? A deep cry. Not a cry of pain but a deep passionate cry. Not wanting him to wake up PFG girl, I go into his room ask him what is wrong and have him abruptly tell me, “No one will play with me.”
It is hard enough to reason with a 3.5 year old when your entire attention is on them but it is nearly impossible to reason when you are exhausted having been woken up every hour for the last five hours. Rather than saying no, you climb into his bed, turn off the lights and say just ten more minutes. This time, you aren’t going to take the risk of getting only 20 minutes of sleep in your own bed. He is stuck with you. He wanted to play with you and now he gets to play your game. The game of sleep.
Ah, the joys of a child who just wants to play!
Have you ever thought, we got this under control. Our child is sleeping through the night, they play by themselves, they eat a full meal and then bam, things go terribly wrong? Share your story in the comment section.