Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Throttling Casey (or why my Mother in Law Saved the Day)

Today was one of those days. You know what I'm talking about. One of those days. At one point, as I was heading out the door with Marcie in tow and Casey blocking the exit, I actually said to Casey: "You know. You had me up three times last night. Three. I am not in the mood for your attitude, and I don't have time for you to stall. You owe me. Now move your bottom out that door. Now." I didn't yell. But he got the tone. Thankfully.

It all started around 1:00am this morning. That was the first time Casey came to sleep in our bed. Following Super Nanny's advice, I walked him back to his bedroom (much to his dismay). I told him he was a big boy and could sleep in his own bed. I laid down with him until he fell back to sleep. I headed back to my own bed around 1:15am.

Then, around 2:15am, Casey was back in my bedroom. Too tired to fight it (and against my better judgment-- and more importantly, probably, against Super Nanny's advice), I let him climb in bed with me and Jason. I slept in the middle.

Until around 3:30am. That was when Marcie woke up screaming and calling out "Mama" and "Mommy." I let her screech four times, and then I crawled over the top of Jason, and padded to her bedroom. I spoke to her in soft, soothing voices and patted her on the back. When she stood up in her crib, I picked her up and laid her gently back down. (This, by the way, is not an easy feat for a woman only five feet tall. I can barely reach over the bar and touch Marcie if the bar is all the way up-- I can't actually lay my hand flat on the mattress-- my arms just aren't long enough. And if I lower the side of the crib, then inevitably after she calms herself and is almost back asleep, when I raise the arm again, she wakes up.) I rubbed her back. I sang a little. Eventually she began chewing her lovie blanket. And I tiptoed out of her room and back to my bed. Where Jason and Casey had managed to take up all the space I had once occupied.

It was now some time around 3:35am. Maybe 3:40am. I picked up Casey and carried him back to his room. Covered him up with his blankets, and returned to my own room, where I crawled into the warm spot where he once lay. Casey didn't wake up during the transition.

Just before 5:00am, Casey was back in my room. This time he brought all his sheets and blankets with him. I went to pick him up to return him to his bed and was startled even more awake by how cold and wet he was. Yup. Wet. Great. I explained that we had to go back to his room to change his wet clothes. He begged me to let him just get in my bed. I promised him he could sleep in my bed after he changed, and he finally agreed. We returned to his room, in the dark. We pulled off his nighttime pull up and put on a new one. We picked out his snowman pajamas, and I walked him back to our room, where he crawled into bed.

I proceeded to strip the sheets, say a silent thank you to my mom who gave us rubber bed liners so the mattress wouldn't get destroyed by nighttime urination, place all the damaged linens in the washer and run the wash. Then I gently shoved Casey into the middle of the bed and rolled over to try and sleep. It was 5:15am. I wondered if it was even worth the 45 minutes left before my alarm clock would go off and decided 45 minutes is still 45 minutes.

Of course I didn't get up at 6:00am like I'm supposed to. I woke up at 6:20am instead. And hopped into the shower. Then put on make up. By then Casey and Marcie had awoken. I threw my bathrobe and went to change Marcie. Now it was 6:30am. Marcie insisted on playing with her giant stuffed giraffe pillow, which she called "baby" over and over again. But she smiled and giggled and cooed at me. So that was nice.

I returned to my room with Marcie and asked Casey if he was ready to get dressed. Of course he told me no. I said he could get dressed first or brush his teeth first. He told me he wanted to read. So I told him he needed to go to his room until he was dressed. I followed him in and tried to cajole him into changing out of his pajamas. But to no avail.

I left again to get dressed. Then I heard him in the family room-- flipping the dog's crate over. With the dog inside. I marched (yes, marched) into the family room, grabbed Casey's wrist and walked him back to his room. I told him that flipping the crate was inappropriate behavior. And he told me he was mad at me. Great.

Finally I explained to Jason I needed his help so I could get off to work at some semblance of a normal time. Jason was in Casey's room less than five minutes and Casey was dressed. In a short sleeved shirt and a pair jeans with holes in both knees. I didn't have time to argue. I packed a change of pants, socks, and shoes into Casey's school bucket, buckled the kids in their car seats, and headed off to Jason's mom's house. On Wednesdays I drop of the kids there and she takes Casey to private speech therapy before depositing him at school. After the therapy and before school they usually look at ducks.

But on the way, it started to rain. Gush. Pour. There was a lot of water. And I began preparing Casey for the possibility that it would be too wet and muddy to visit the ducks-- for the first time in a year. When I pulled up, I had a mental plan. There was still a downpour outside, and I just had my one umbrella. Not even the golf umbrella- just a regular one.

But I had barely cut the engine when the garage door opened and out steppe my mother in law-- with an umbrella! She met me and Casey at the car door and walked him back into the garage while I walked to the other side of the car to retrieve Marcie. It was such a relief, that seemingly small act of help.

I have often commented to people that one of my mom's best qualities and Jason's mom's best qualities is their ability to anticipate other people's needs on moments of small crisis and in moments of great exhaustion. When Casey was born, they would appear and laundry would be done and bottles would be washed and food would be prepared. It just happened. I didn't have to ask. I didn't need to cry or pout or beg. They just anticipated.

And that's what Jason's mom did today. And despite my lack of sleep. And my total frustration with Casey's newfound independence. And the cold, wet, cloudy weather-- she was there for me. Like a ray of sunshine in my otherwise gray morning.

1 comment:

Julie said...

That made me teary-eyed. What a treasure you have in two such wonderful Grandmas!