Beware the Early Riser
Baby, we have a problem. By now you may have noticed that you are no longer an infant, though you still bless me with the sweet smell of diaper changes and rub applesauce and yogurt on your belly like lotion.
You are a toddler now in full bloom, but you seemed to have forgotten how to sleep. You remember how to do it, right? You close your eyes and it just happens!
I waited patiently, as all parents do, for the magic week when you slept through the night as a newborn. Finally it came, almost four months later. We were victorious!
After that, you were a great sleeper. Every now and then, you woke up in the middle of the night and screamed or you attempted to escape from your crib way too early. But you always went back to sleep.
But now you have me confused.
A few weeks ago, you started rising before 7 a.m., which was around the time you usually woke for the day. But now you hit me with a 6:15 a.m. or a bam -- 5:30 a.m. -- or somewhere in between.
So please tell me, what the heck is going on? It's hard to decipher what exactly the problem is by your cry. All it really says is "GET ME OUTTA HERE!"
Why the 5:30 in the morning?
It is killing me. I can do 7. I expect 7. But now you've gone and changed things, and I'm just not quite prepared for it.
I am sorry that I have been plopping you down in front of the 24-hour preschool TV station that early. I have probably damaged your brain development in some way or committed you to a life of attention problems.
But, baby, I HAD to. Had to, had to!
Did I mention I don't really do 5:30 a.m.?
Your father pretends to sleep through your morning adventures, but I am on to him. He doesn't fool me, and apparently you either, since you climb all over him and recite "DA-DA, DA-DA" very loudly at such a cruel hour.
I have to smile.
I have tried to figure out what is waking you up so early.
Is it the glint of light sneaking into your room when the sun is barely rising? I might try to cover your window in all black. Would that help?
Please let me know.
I'm still adjusting to the new schedule, so forgive the yawns or if I doze off during lunch.
I find myself needing a nap each day, just like you. Naps are nice.
Thank goodness you seem to have adopted a longer nap schedule. Maybe this is the trade-off for the early morning wake-up call?
I hear you crying.
I'm going to wait it out a few minutes and see if you go back to sleep.
I sing a sweet lullaby in my head.
I hide under the covers, pretending I don't hear you.
Please baby. Go back to sleep.
The crying is getting louder now.
There is no turning back.
I'm up. I'm trudging down the hall and into your room, where you greet me with a big "HI!," as if it is 9 a.m.
So it is. Maybe you have turned into an early, early, early riser.
I fear I will be tired for the rest of my life, or at least until you are 18.
For now, I pull you into bed with me and you snuggle up against me and say that cute little phrase: "I wuv you."
Now go to sleep.