I’ve started doing the ridiculous things I used to roll my eyes at when I saw other parents do. Like, lately I’ve taken to wandering into the Peanut’s room after she’s gone asleep and stand there staring at her in the dark like some sort of night creeper. She sleeps on her tummy so I use the excuse of making sure she hasn’t smothered herself or anything, but really I like to just stand there and look at the back of her head, listen to her breathing, and marvel at the death grip she keeps on her stuffed bunny.
That is, till she twitches in her sleep. Then I startle like a nervous filly and back quickly out of the room. OH MY GOD DON’T WAKE THE BABY.
The thing is, starting at 2 pm, I begin the Countdown. You know, til bedtime. She’s on a loose schedule that usually results in bedding down sometime between 6:15 and 7 pm, so I start mentally calculating this from the minute she wakes up from her afternoon nap.
The entire bedtime process is actually fun for both of us. Immediately preceding bedtime is bathtime, and she thinks bath time is THE SHIT. Like, nothing is as cool as bath time. I lay her on the bathmat while I get her little baby tub ready and as soon as she figures out what’s going on she starts freaking out, wriggling all around and squealing with glee. By the time I strip her down and set her down in the tub she has this look on her face like LIFE CAN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS, OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING! We have a pleasant 10 minutes of dumping water out of a cup and splashing away bubbles, and I try to stop her from rolling over onto her tummy in the water. She’s like a greased eel, it takes some energy and a quick hand, I’m telling you.
Then it’s bedtime, and I’m so close to a few glorious hours of trashy tv on the couch with a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs that I can almost taste the tomato sauce. She squirms as I dress her, fusses a bit while we sing songs and close the blinds and turn on her white noise machine. I lay her in the crib and, god willing, she grips that bunny, rolls on her tummy and falls asleep. I tiptoe out, breathe a sigh of relief and empty out the baby tub. Sweet, sweet freedom! Onto The Real Housewives and Catfish reruns!
And then like an hour later I start to miss her. So I creep into her room like a stalker and that’s when the night watching begins.
Seriously, I don’t even know who I am anymore.