I’m sitting here thinking back to some of my not so good moments as a teenager (sorry mom!) and I can only think of one time that I snuck out of my house in the middle of the night. I was 16 and was out of school for the summer. We lived in a two-story apartment that had squeaky stairs and an even louder screen door. As quietly as I could I crept passed my moms room and down the stairs…so far so good. I unlocked and opened the front door…still good. Now came the real challenge. The screen door that needed to have 2 cans of WD-40 sprayed all over it. As slowly as I could I began to open it, stopping after every inch to listen for my mom. After a few quiet squeeeeaks I managed to get it open just enough so that I could slip through. BOOM! I was off! I got in my car and drove off without turning my headlights on. A few hours later I returned home the same way and till this day I have no idea if my mom actually slept through that whole ordeal or not. That was the first and only time I snuck out…that is until I had a child.
Alexa started sleeping in her own room when she was 8 months old. It was such an accomplishment to be able to rock her to sleep, lay her down in her crib and sneak out of the room without her waking up. It was so much easier to unwind knowing she was safe and sound in her crib…in her own room down the hall…behind a closed door…away from any noise that I might make. Putting a sleeping child down is like handling a bomb that could go off at any second. When a child is asleep in your arms, it is a known fact that you cannot burp, talk, laugh, cough, sneeze or even fart. We are all too familiar with that death glare you give someone when they speak even one decibel too loud while in the presence of your sleeping child. Waking up a sleeping monster, I mean child, is considered a felony to a parent. You best believe that if you wake my child up, I will purposely let my dog shit all over your yard and not pick it up Carol! I don’t even have a dog, but I sure as hell will find one.
As she got older we went from rocking her to sleep to patting her back until she fell asleep. After I knew she was in dreamland, I would quietly AND slowly tip toe to the door, open it, tip toe out, close the door behind me, and tip toe away, letting out the biggest sigh of relief. It was at that point that I was able to breathe again. Holding my breath while I snuck out was a must. What if I breathed too loud and woke her up?! I think us parents were doing the mannequin challenge yearsss before it became popular. How many times have you been walking away from your sleeping child and they cough or move and you suddenly freeze half way through your step and stay still so they don’t see that you are trying to escape? *fist bump to you because I know you know what I’m talking about*
6 years later and I’m still having to be a ninja in the night when I’m sneaking out of her room, trying not to trip over or step on her toys. I’ve gotten smart now and before we get in bed I make sure the pathway from her bed to the door is clear. I can’t risk tripping over her cash register toy and having “clean up in isle 3” come blaring out from it. Our routine now is that we get in her bed, read a book, say our prayers and then I pat her back until I hear her start snoring. Sometimes I lay down too close to the edge, so when I roll over onto my back to sit up, I end up rolling off the bed. Not the best or quietest thing to do. When I’m lucky, my cat-like reflexes will kick in and I’m able to put my foot down to catch myself, but then I’m left there in the most awkward position basically doing a spread eagle. What a site to see…or not.
Just the other night I was laying there doing a one-handed drum solo on her back when I decided it was time to make my grand escape. I stopped patting…moment of truth…she didn’t move or say anything. Sweet! Now time to ninja my way off the bed and out the door to go watch some Tosh.O. For what ever reason I was laying on my stomach this night so I carefully slid off the bed into a kneeling position. As I was trying to get my balance to stand up, the unthinkable happened. She lifted her head and said “Mom, what are you doing?” OH NO! Whyyyy? This can’t be happening! I had just put in 20 minutes of work putting her to sleep. I quickly started patting her back again and said “Shhhh, go to sleep” to which she replied “Mom, you’re not even on the bed, you’re sitting on the floor. I can see your head” DAMNNNN. I was caught. Busted. Monster child strikes again. I stood up in my defeated state, got back in bed with her and she latched on to me. She wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going anywhere for a while…and I didn’t.
-Just look at how crazy she used to sleep-
Believe me, I love my daughter to death but the feeling of relief that comes over me once she’s asleep is just the best. It should be a celebration once the monster child has been put down for the night. No more fake crying or sassiness (I wonder where she gets it from). No more of me saying “Stop, don’t do that.” “Leave the cat alone.” “Get out of my makeup”. I now have this thing called “quiet time” that I’ve become so unaccustomed to. I can shower without her climbing on top of the toilet trying to throw cold water on me. Or even better, I can take a BATH and just sit there in the tub in peace. I can eat something and not have to share it. After an accomplished escape from her room, I usually go sit on the couch and watch TV, but sometimes it takes me a while to realize that I’m still watching cartoons. There’s no voice in my head that says “Hey dummy, your child is asleep, change the damn channel.”
I actually started this blog the other day and as I was typing, Alexa was laying on me watching Henry Danger. It was one minute until the show was over, which meant it was 1 minute until we started our bedtime routine. Yes, it may have been 1 hour past her bedtime, but hey, momma was trying to finish this blog. She had been super quiet for a while so I looked down and saw that she was passed out. I used my Orange Theory muscles to pick her up and started making my way to her room, stepping on a cat in the process. The cat meowed and I cussed under my breath, but I managed to get her into bed without waking her up and without killing a cat. I’d say that was a double win for me that night!