By Danielle Sherman-Lazar of Living a Full Life After ED
Ever wish the doctor prescribed baby Xanax for sleep issues? I do every freakin day. Then I could give a big middle finger to sleep consultants and their crying out torture tactics. I. Can’t. Do. It. I mean, adult Xanax and a nice big glass of vino works nicely for this mama.
By the way, I am still feeding my ten-month old a 3 am bottle. I know. I. Am. So. Bad. The doctor told me not to give it to her on our last visit. “Let her cry,” he said so blasé, like it was the easiest thing in the world, as I gave him every excuse for why it is impossible to make that happen. But she must have listened in because now she shrieks, “Mama bah bah,” which basically turns my heart into silly putty, and all I can do is act like Alexa responding to a command–get the bottle and lightly rock her back to sleep. But I digress.
After I put her in the crib, I look into The Nest baby monitor and I swear I see her applying pink paint under her eyes, probably to camouflage with her pink crib sheets. I mean, my little baby girl is smart like that. Then she does a split. I am always impressed with how limber she is, as I see her stretch–left to right, repeat. Getting. Ready. For. Battle.
Here are some of the bizarre-o things my daughter does to go to war against her afternoon nap.
Phase 1: Murder of the WubbaNubs
I watch my ten-month-old daughter through the baby monitor. She sits herself up in the crib and gives the camera a mischievous little smile. Was that intentional?
She has one WubbaNub (Wubba) in her mouth but takes another one and holds it up in the air, staring at it as if doing some strange yoga pose. Her little arm stretches out so wide—Stretch Armstrong long–taking a good look at it. Yes, mom before it dies. Sweet Vivie, did I hear that right?
The black tie (tuxedoed) penguin is the Wubba-in-hand. That means he is getting tossed first. At least he is dressed well for the occasion, I think. I then see him spin backwards from her hand and boom, or more like kablam, hit her nursery floor. I’d give him a seven out of ten on his nosedive form. Let’s face it, I have seen better in my time as a mama to Viv.
She looks in the camera, her big brown eyes happily glittering with that sparkle that makes strangers on the street smile, also like she knows she has an audience. Does she? Then, she gives herself applause. Proof. Like, awesome dive, Mr. Wubba penguin. Or, I am a sociopath baby and all Wubbas must diiiiie. That’s her mama’s sick-o humor, but yes, I think she feels the Big Brother vibe of the green light above her crib.
Then it is Ms. Pink Teddy bear Wubba. I swear I see the poor Wubba say a little prayer before she is launched into the air through the crib bars and hits the floor. Bye bye, wubba number two. This goes on six more times. She sleeps with eight Wubbas. Yes. Take. That. In. Because on top of her sleep issues, Vivienne is a Wubba addict, or more like a cuddling addict who is not allowed to sleep with stuffed animals yet. Also, come on, we all do much worse than Wubbas and cuddling as we get older to judge. Well, at least I can speak for myself.
This goes on until all Wubbas are on the floor and Viv is left alone, looking down at them like job well done. Or, how do I get them back here? I actually may need to sleep, I mean, eventually.
Phase 2: The bar-crawl
This is where Viv looks out of the crib and hits the crib bars like she is playing a prison game. Then she lunges herself against them and crawls to the left, then right, hitting the bars as if she is planning her escape. She stares off at times into the dark, like a ninja deep in thought. Then she starts hitting the top of the crib again and again. Pulls herself up and pensively stares. Then the whole routine is performed again. I go in and get her Wubbas for her.
Phase 3: Group chat with the Wubbas
Sometimes, when I go in to replenish the Wubbas, I take her out, thinking maybe I put her in too early. Plus, she’s cute and I want to play with her. Wrong! She is so cranky and rubs her eyes, climbing me like an overly attached puppy, rubbing her eyes against my chest. Not her finest moment. So I do what any sane mama, prison-guard, would do–put her back in sleep-jail. Then she and the Wubbas huddle up, in a close mass, having covert discussions.
I hear her “dada ahhh ma dahhhhh.”
All the Wubbas nod in agreement.
“Mama yaya dadada.”
Then they all break and the plan is put into action.
Phase 4: Screaming my lungs out to make Mommy get me.
This is why afternoon naps got me like AHHHH.
Phase 5: The I-just-got-shot-in-the-leg-and-I-am-exhausted-but-must-keep-going-on phase.
She army crawls, taking her last awake breaths while hysterically crying, along the mattress of the crib. This is her last ditch effort. Maybe Mommy will get me. But. I. Am. So. Sleepy.
I tap my fingers against the couch while thinking, trying to distract myself and not go into her room. Then she will win and she’s tired!
I look down at the monitor. Sound is now off as I can’t listen anymore to her and her manipulative Wubba gangs’ screams. She is wrestling a Wubba, fighting to keep herself up, begging with her little hands. I wonder whose struggle is greater right now, hers or mine. Is her battle kind of my battle because I want to save her? That’s irrelevant at this moment. Mine.
I get up off the couch to save her from the sleep monster or whatever she is experiencing and then I hear the buzzing of my phone. It’s a text from my husband at work spying on the cameras like the undercover Russian spy he thinks he is. Clearly, he’s been watching too much of The Americans.
“She’s going to fall asleep. Wait two minutes.”
Then lo and behold, my little angel is sleeping. And gosh, she is beautiful when she sleeps. Life. Is. Good. Her little butt goes up in the air and I even think for a second about having four more just like her. And we all win. Even those damn Wubbas. Only to be snapped back to reality that we will need to do this again tomorrow afternoon. (Insert see-no-evil monkey emoji). With that realization, maybe one baby is fine for now. Because, did I just see her move: NOOOOOO.
About the Author
Dani is four years in recovery from anorexia and bulimia, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to a nine month old. Hobbies (when she has a minute to breathe!) include reading, writing or blogging, anything on Bravo (she is not afraid to admit her reality-tv/Real Housewives of Anywhere addiction) and the occasional workout. She has been published on Bluntmoms, The Mighty, Project Heal, Beating Eating Disorders, Kveller.com and Humorwriters.org. Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED and like it on Facebook.