It’s pretty hard to complain about things these days. Things have been good lately. Almost too good.
Ellie eats well, sleeps at night and even takes naps. Ellie wouldn’t take regular naps for the longest time. She would beat me down and beat me up. The next day she’d do it again and I’d let her.
In the early spring, I finally decided to put the smack down on her and I won. You can read all about that weeklong epic battle on my blog for the details if you’d like. (You already know the ending, but the brawl sure did produce some unexpected events.) But since I won and she has been napping now, I feel like I’ve been on Easy Street.
Sure there have been some speed bumps along the way, but nothing major. Nothing that has me worried to be alone with her for long periods of time. But like I said before, things have been good, almost too good.
Ellie had stayed at grandma’s house on Sunday night. My dad and I were doing some noisy work on the house and didn’t want to cut the day short. Ellie usually goes to bed by 8:30 p.m. or so, but for some reason, she didn’t go to sleep until 10:30 p.m. at grandma’s. And she woke up early at 6:15 a.m. I was thinking I may be in for a treat when I went pick her up in the morning. But I wasn’t worried because even her “bad” lately hasn’t been too crazy. But Easy Street needs to break at some point, right?
When I went to pick her up, my mom just said “good luck.”
Ellie looked at me and smiled and grabbed my hand to walk towards the car. Good luck? That’s just my mom being my mom. She tends to worry about things much more than I do. Aaah, she’ll be fine, I thought.
Things were fine until after lunch. If she refuses yogurt or any type of fruit, that means she’s full, which is exactly what she did. That’s why I was surprised she was begging for crackers as soon as she came down from her high chair. But she didn’t want crackers, she wanted to force feed them to me. “EAT IT, NOW!!!” And when I politely declined, that is what started the beginning of the end of Easy Street.
She cried and whined and ran into the other room.
“I can’t believe you wouldn’t eat the food I was shoving into your face! JERK! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!”
It was definitely nap time.
When I picked her up to go upstairs, she cried like she was next in line to meet Mickey Mouse and I yanked her away. “AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!”
She was kicking and screaming and swatting at me. Whoa, this is getting serious. We got to her room and she freaked out. She ran around the room crying. She didn’t want a book, she didn’t want a hug, she didn’t want anything, but she wanted everything. She’d run over to me, push me and cry, and run away. Then she’d run up to me and cling onto me while crying and run around the room angrily bawling.Â “I’m so freaking tired I don’t know what I want!!!”
I don’t do well with confrontation. I like to diffuse the situation as soon as possible, but this was out of my league. I was inexperienced with Ellie’s first full-blown without a doubt, toddler tantrum. It was like she was turning into a werewolf. I could see the transformation right before my eyes. I was fearful, like I should play dead until she moved on to other prey.
When she started pulling all the books off the bookcase while crying, I figured maybe I should get her in her crib. Her “cage.” I needed to tame the beast. I needed to move swiftly so she wouldn’t hurt me. I grabbed her quickly and put her in the crib and ran across the room and sat in the chair and just watched.
She paced the crib back and forth snapping her jaws like a caged animal. I needed a silver bullet. This was my chance to make things right. But somehow the full moon changed and she started to become herself again. Gradually, I was able to talk to her and pick her up to soothe her. We talked it out a bit and she just wanted me to hold her.
I was able to get her to fall asleep in my arms, but when I went to transfer her to the crib, it was a no go. She wanted me to hold her. But I didn’t want to sit in that chair anymore and it was too risky to leave the room. So I lay on the floor with her. I was on my back, and she was on my chest with her face nuzzled under my chin. Okay, maybe this wasn’t so bad.
As I lay there thinking about how long it had been since she fell asleep in my arms like that and how I used to battle with her every day for a nap, I fell asleep, too. After about 10 minutes, I needed to move though. I’m a side sleeper, not a back sleeper. I thought I could slide her onto my arm so I tried the ol’ hug and roll method. While half asleep, she crawled back up onto my chest.
For a moment I had contemplated going in the crib with her, but I had been there, done that before. I needed to make a choice; stay or leave. In a flash, I picked her up, put her in the crib before she could really wake up to notice anything changed, and quickly ran out of the room.
And just like that, my Easy Street had come to an end. I knew things wouldn’t be the same anymore after that. I had caught a glimpse into the future. At least I will be prepared for the next one. One can only hope.