The kid-and she is fast becoming a kid- has been conking out in the most unusual of circumstances as of late. Yesterday, it was in her high chair, mid-meal, with her face stuffed with crusts of bread. I had my back turned, as I generally use the time she is strapped in her chair to get going on dinner, while she is unable to interrupt save verbally.
I turned around to dish out a few morsels of cheese to find her dead to the world. Of course, I flipped out, sure that she might just be dead, airways blocked with spongy, saliva-soaked homemade organic bread, cemented with misplaced parental priorities, but no, she was breathing and her head was lolling around in the same fashion that mine did during my college physics courses. She was fine, just out.
She did the same thing today, just more dramatically and with more interesting repercussions. She was milling about the apartment, having me pick her up/ put her down about 127 times an hour, when she decided to trundle off to the bedroom to pull each and every book off her bookshelf and spread them all over the floor. We call this “reading”.
This is fine. Mom lets her do this too, as we both understand that the cost of having to pick up the books is well worth a few blessed moments of silence , the only significant difference between us being that mom actually picks up the books later on. Still, it’s accepted in our household that she is “reading quietly by herself” even if she is actually “chewing all the corners off her library books.” I worry about what the librarians think of us.
She was ‘reading’ by herself. I was ‘contacting business associates’ on ‘Facebook.’ It was silent in the other room, which is a much worse indicator than normal toddler destruction. I jumped out of my skin-suit of bad-internet-parent reverie to find her….out. On the floor. Like a light. Actually, not like a light at all.
She, as per usual, had taken every book of the shelf. The she then had taken out her cardboard alphabet letters. Somewhere around “P‘ though, she just zonked right out, belly-down and spread-eagled, looking like a shipwreck survivor in a bowl of alphabet soup.
The first moral parenting quandary was whether or not I should move her to the bed. Easy enough, as she would almost certainly stay asleep. Second quandary, though was more difficult. Turns out she stopped at ‘P‘ because ‘P‘ stood for ‘Poop‘. She had laid a monstrous poop in her diapers, the kind that threatens to geyser up her butt-crack and out the diaper, causing what is known in the nuclear power industry as a ‘containment issue.’
I couldn’t let her sleep in her poop…could I? No no, I was pretty sure there were infection issues, outside of the fact that it’s just nasty and wrong. Still she would almost certainly wake up. She hadn’t slept properly for days, what with new teeth coming in, and to be fair, neither had we, hence my bleary-brained thinking. Thankfully, I decided on the right thing. I figured I might be sacrificing the afternoon nap, but I had to try.
Now, tired is sleeping right through someone disrobing you, applying cold wipes to your ass and genitals, re-clothing you and NOT WAKING UP ONCE, which is why university administrators crack down on keg parties. I’ll worry/remain in denial about that one when the time comes, but for now I get to put a check in the ‘ dad doesn’t suck’ column. I think. We still haven’t slept much, so I can’t be sure about being self-congratulatory , but at least I have earned the luxury of typing as Mom waits breathlessly- I can hear them now- in the other room, waiting for the next bout of narcolepsy. Remember when we all used to call this simply “going to bed?”