So Em and I were laying in bed tonight and we were talking about the past week, which has been her school vacation. She made a comment and I said the very typical "I can't wait until you have a child of your own...You'll call me and I will be all "She won't sleep in her bed? Isn't that awful...now I am going to have another glass of wine...Click." mother response.
She laughed. "You make me sound like I am a demon child", she laughs.
"Oh, honey - Why do you think I wrote it all down in a blog? So I can remember EXACTLY what it was like..."
"Like what?", she challenges.
I pull up the blog. I roll to 2005 and I begin to read. She laughs. She laughs until she weeps as I read the adventures of Emily, Dawn and Terrance.
At the end of the third blog post, she pauses and says "Well, I guess I was Kind of a demon child."
and this was what I read to her:
My morning has started like countless other mornings. I wake up – the alarm is on and NPR is wafting toward me. I have intentionally put the radio/alarm clock on the OTHER side of the room on a high shelf. I do this because if it were next to me I would turn it off. I know this about myself. I admit it. I have to outwit my reptilian self in the wee minutes of my awakening. And Yes. I also set the alarm clock 20 minutes ahead of the real EST to fool me into thinking I am waking up early….only to lay in bed for 20 minutes coming to conciousness. If you look closely, you can see the faint “L” on my forehead.
That is when I realized that my daughter was kissing me. At first, it was sweet. A little kiss on my arm. A little kiss on my back. Then it became torture. This is for two reasons. I don’t like to be touched in the morning. I want to wake up slow and get myself in the shower. The second reason is that she was doing this to wake me up. And yes…I know it SEEMED sweet, but it wasn’t - it was evil. She knows that she can’t turn on the television until I am awake and having snuck successfully into my room YET again ( for the eight billionth time in her life) she now has the goal of watching some ungodly loud show at 6:30 in the a.m.
As soon as she has determined that I am awake, even if my eyes are closed and I am pretending to be sleeping, she starts the rambling:
“Mama. Daddy said I could come into your bed last night. He said it was Ok. Mama, daddy said it was OK that I come in your bed. Mama? Mama, Daddy said OK.”
Now – let me give you the background on this. Getting into and sleeping in our bed has been Emily’s #1 life goal. We have tried a variety of tactics, which have failed. These include a gate on her door and a gate on our door (she kicked them down) Locking my door at night (until I forgot one night), we ferbered her as a baby and she outlasted us after 4+ hours of SCREAMING. Loss of priviledges, loss of her bitty baby…. you name it. And where does she end up? Next to me in my bed. She is the master. Last night Daddy told her (as she produced a hail of tears) “No Chinese food for dinner tomorrow night if you don’t stay in your bed tonight”
She wants to confirm with me that Daddy gave her permission, so this negates his threat of taking away Chinese food for dinner. This is her first concious thought.
“Mama, Mama, can I turn the TV on? Mama? Can I? Can I turn the TV on? Mama, Mama – can I watch TV? Can we turn the radio off? Mama – can we turn the radio off?
I hate the TV on in my bedroom in the morning. I actually resisted having a TV in the bedroom at all, as I think it is a little funky. I gave in about 8 years ago. BUT no TV when I am sleeping – or falling asleep. I like it quiet and dark. I prefer to read in bed, or play video games.
It is 6:43 a.m. and I am already feeling beaten into submission. I roll over to get away from her. She scoots over like a lamprey and re-attaches on my back. I am now on the very edge of my bed. Finally, I can take it no more. I sit up; take my med’s and wanders to the bathroom.
“Mama, where you going? Mama?”
Our entire house cannot be much more than a thousand feet of space. There are a total of 4 rooms: The Living room/Kitchen, her bedroom, the bathroom and our bedroom. That is it. It is not a palatial estate.
I murmer and move to the bathroom. She bounds out of bed and leaps into her father – who is on the couch. I am now in the relative safety of the bathroom. While this sanctum is occasionally breached now, it’s integrity remains intact today. About a year ago, I threw a fit because as soon as I said I was going to the bathroom, her little ass would dart past me and throw herself on the toilet. Without fail. I would be standing speechless in the door of the bathroom watching my daughter smile at me, on the only toilet in the house. I finally flipped out. I now enjoy a child free bathroom experience.
But today, as she is bouncing off the walls, and my husband is grumbling and I am just trying to get pantyhose on that isn’t ruined and find something I don’t have to iron, and get her clothes laid out on the bed and maybe do her hair if I have time, and pack her a snack, and make sure that all things are in her backpack, and get her medicine in her, and do my hair so that it looks vaguely presentable, and now my husband is in the bathroom with the door shut and my eyeliner is in there, so I either go to work without eyeliner OR wait until he finishes to run in and put eyeliner on, and Emily is asking my about a fruit roll up she mysteriously produced since I don’t allow this level of fake food to be purchased and consumed, and I finally grab my purse and get out the door after blowing kisses at my husband and kissing my still chattering child, and close the door.
I get into the silence of my car and smile. I love going to work.