Toddler taming, naptime nightmares and poo, lots of poo

This week has been less than ideal…which is a parental euphemism for horrendously hellish. Yes, I know it’s only Wednesday but I’ve already felt the urge to put my head in the oven and turn on the gas about 52 times.

I dragged my exhausted lardy butt out of bed at ridiculous-o-clock on Monday to be greeted by Moo’s usual Weetbix throwing and toothbrush refusal. By 9am, it became clear that any attempt on my part to take my eyes off him would be met with destruction.

While trying to get Hugo down for his morning nap, I returned to the living room to find that Moo had fed Wilbur (the dog) four chocolate biscuits, decorated the floor with Krummies breadcrumbs and Superglued his hands together (with the glue I was using to fix the three ornaments he broke last week). The good news was that Wilbur managed to digest the bikkies without throwing up and my nail polish remover freed Moo’s hands with minimal screaming (thanks Google). In retrospect I probably should have left his hands stuck together because in the arvo he ate half a tube of hand lotion for entrée then took one bite out of each apple in the fruit bowl for main course which resulted in him pooping out an apple sticker.

As most parents with littlies would know, naptime is the peaceful sanctuary amidst the chaos when you get to sit down, drink a HOT cup of tea, watch something other than the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and exhale. As suckers for punishment, Lach and I moved Moo from a cot to a single bed over the weekend. As a result, our easy pre-sleep routine has turned into a nightmare. Instead of putting Moo into his cot with a kiss and him rolling over and going to sleep, we now have to repeatedly place him in a horizontal position only for him to pop up like a jack-in-the-box and climb out of bed straight away while either crying or laughing his head off, sometimes doing both simultaneously.

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On Monday it took three stories, 30 minutes and 45 lie-downs to get him to sleep…and then instead of sleeping for 3 hours, he slept for 40 minutes (thank you Melbourne thunderstorm). While trying to get him to go back down, Hugo woke up screaming which resulted in me running from room to room alternating between rocking Hugo back to sleep and putting Moo under the covers…over and over again. After an hour, I gave up and Hugo ended up sleeping on my shoulder while Moo watched Sheriff Callie’s Wild West and tried to ride Wilbur around the living room like a horse.

Only one word can describe Tuesday: crap. The daily poop count was Moo: 5, Wilbur:3, Hugo:2. As a result of his overzealous bowel, Moo ended up with nappy rash and the poor bubba screamed every time he sat down so I had a 13.5kg Velcro toddler on one hip and a 7.6kg nearly 4-month-old on the other. Hugo is a poopcrastinator and likes to spend 3-4 days working on a poonami before it explodes down his legs, up his back and all over me. While I was dealing with his epic evacuation, a bored Moo decided to decorate my iPod with black permanent marker and unpack the contents of my handbag and three kitchen drawers. By 11.30am I was praying that naptime would improve…but it got worse. It took 45 minutes and 65 lie-downs to get Moo to stay in his bed and go to sleep. Thank Buddha once he was down he slept for two hours and I had a chance to rest my back and cry into a bowl of cold oats.

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In the arvo I thought I would escape the mess and take the boys to the park. After an altercation with a fellow toddler over whose turn it was to go down the slide, Moo perked up and had a ball…until Hugo started squirming for a feed and I had to hall my titties home. Leaving the park was not high on Moo’s preferred list of things to do so after throwing his babyccino all over the sidewalk, he spent the 30-minute walk home screaming blue murder while passers-by gave me sympathetic looks laced with a side of judgement. Needless to say I have never been more relieved to hear Lach’s key in the door when he got home from work. I was even more ecstatic to see his wine club delivery on the porch.

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After watching half the Dancing with the Stars finale with a breast pump and a glass of Pinot, I fell into bed at 10pm only to be woken by my hungry cherub at 11.30pm, then 1am, then 3am…

Today I had said, “Please stop putting your car in the scrambled eggs” 13 times before 7am…

Thank God they are cute.

Disclaimer for the mummy trolls: Yes, I know I am lucky to have conceived two gorgeous, healthy boys and am very grateful. Yes, I love them more than anything. Yes, I know there are people having faaaaaar worse weeks than I am. No, I would not change anything about my life. Sometimes one just needs to vent. Yes, I feel better now. 

Where for art thou sleep?

Free to a good home: Baby boy. Comes with built-in alarm clock guaranteed to go off every hour from 1am. Mute button faulty. Repair doubtful.

Sleep is one of my favourite past-times. I love curling up in fresh sheets, nuzzling into my over-priced chiropractor-approved pillow and dreaming about Colin Firth exiting the water in Pride and Prejudice the miniseries. Sleep is like finding out that a chocolate Tasti D-Lite contains only 70 calories. It’s like flipping through New Idea and discovering Heidi Klum has stretch marks, saddle bags and crows feet. It’s like being told your cheating ex ended up with an obese bogan who infected him with gonorrhea. Ultimate bliss.

Dear God how I miss it.

It’s ironic that I decorated Moo’s nursery in owls because he has proven to be a big fan of the nocturnal lifestyle. In eight months I can count the number of times he has ‘slept through’ on one hand which has left me feeling (and looking) like a pensioner who has lost their passion for the pokies.

This morning Moo was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 4.55am after calling for cuddles at 1, 2 and 3am. Boob used to get him back to sleep relatively quickly but now, after 30 minutes of hydration he looks at me as if to say, “Let’s get up and watch ads for the Ab Circle Pro”.

I’ve followed the books, introduced a strict routine and done the self-settling thing. I’ve Googled the gigs out of the issue, rung helplines, joined support groups and taken on every bit of ludicrous advice thrown at me from friends, relatives and the 60-year-old childless Italian lady I run into at the coffee shop every second day. Yes, I’ve cut out yoghurt and bumped up protein, added fifty layers of bamboo blankets and cranked up the oil heater, changed the mattress protector and sweated on a muslin cloth then placed it in his cot. I’ve patted his tummy while counting to 500, chanted Tibetan sleep inducing hymns and prayed to Morpheus, Buddha and the Easter Bunny.

I’d love to say I’ve coped with eight months of sleep deprivation with zen-like serenity but the truth is, I’ve oscillated between Ms Rational and a crazy, ranting “sterilise me now” psycho. I mourn the stamina of my twenties when I’d drink my bodyweight in cocktails till 4am, sleep for two hours and skip to work fuelled by caffeine and Tic Tacs. These days if I get any less than a four hour block of slumber, I get a lazy eye and can’t manage much more than shuffling through the day in my slippers and watching repeat episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.

On the opposite end of the strung-out spectrum is my husband who handles the lack of sleep with the patience of a celibate Christian looking for love. He just nods as I rant about the pros of China’s one child policy in the middle of the night and says, “Babe, he’s a baby. He’ll sleep eventually.” I’ve done extremely well marrying someone who is the calm to my crazy. Encouraging him to take on a new job that requires him to travel overseas a lot was probably not my finest decision. If he asks any of you where his passport is hiding, please don’t tell him it’s at the bottom of the nappy disposal bin.

People tell me Moo will sleep better once he turns one. Until then I’m going to try and cherish those early morning snuggles because I know I’ll miss them when he’s a sullen 16-year-old passed out on the couch stinking of UDLs. And let’s face it, sleep is a fair trade off when you peer into the cot and see your bub beaming at you with squeezy cheeks full of dimples…even if it is 4am.

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 Moo partaking in one of his least favourite activities