I Probably Shouldn’t Drive My Excavator Today

My friend Christy is a baker.  She bakes in response to every single mood she has.  If she’s happy, she bakes.  If she’s down in the dumps, she bakes.  If she’s at home with a sick kid, she bakes.  If she has just won the Power Ball Lottery, she’ll want to get a cheesecake in the oven before she drives into town and collects the hefty check.

I do not bake.  I figure that Sara Lee’s spiritual gift of baking should be celebrated.  It doesn’t take any time at all to thaw a frozen pie packed with cookie crumbles and whipped cream to a degree that it can be sawed through with your best steak knife and served on fancy dessert plates to your friends.

So really?  When I baked Rolo-filled chocolate cookies before church on Sunday morning, Hubs was confused.  And yesterday, when I made HOMEMADE STINKING TOFFEE, Hubs wondered if I was a Stepford wife.  And, people, I’m not going to lie to you; apparently I, too, have the gift of baking, because SWEET MERCY at all the YUM YUM involved with the toffee.  It was so good, in fact, that when I sat the pan on the deck to cool yesterday (what with the great out-of-doors being even colder than the temperature Hubs has our refrigerator set at), a squirrel attempted to climb the patio table and help himself to some OH, HOLY MOTHER OF  COUSIN ROCKY!  BROWN SUGAR AND MELTED BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE!!! goodness.

Thankfully, I rescued the toffee before harm could come to it, and it wasn’t a second too soon.  Cat 1 came unglued (UN! GLUED!) and began throwing herself at our glass deck door.  I thought she was having some sort of I’M JUST GOING TO DIE NOW seizure, right there in our dining room, but then I saw the squirrel, and thank you, Cat 1 for the RODENT-IN-THE-DESSERT alarm system that you activated.

I don’t know why I even bothered to tell y’all this, except that it’s the biggest news we have around here at the moment.  I baked.  It’s almost equal to the fact that the tabloids are issuing alerts that Princess Kate may be shopping for maternity clothes now.

(Hubs doesn’t consider that news.  This isn’t surprising, considering that Hubs’ primary news source is ESPN.)

The other news that’s going on here is that Thing 2 has decided that this sleeping-through-the-night routine has become boring, and, OH, I DON’T KNOW, maybe he should just spice things up a little by BEING AWAKE AT NIGHT again.

It’s no secret that Thing 2 was a horrid sleeper as a tiny baby.  Horrid.  There are not enough horrible adjectives to accurately describe the level of BAD SLEEPER that Thing 2 was at, back in the day.  His idea of a good night’s sleep meant that he only got up eight times instead of ten.  Hubs and I were at a sleep-deprivation point that should have come with driving restrictions.

And then on August 3rd, a date that will live on in my mind forever and ever, Thing 2 went from being up seven to ten times a night to… miraculously sleeping all night.  There was never any OH, HE’S STARTING TO GET BETTER AT THIS, AND HE’S ONLY GETTING UP THREE TIMES EACH NIGHT NOW.  No.  He was up a minimum of seven times a night, and then blam!  He slept all night on August 3rd.  Hubs and I thought that perhaps things weren’t quite right in his crib that morning, and I made Hubs go in and check on him, because my heart couldn’t take it.

Thing 2 was fine.  And then he slept all night long on August 4th.  And again on August 5th.  And he pulled it off on August 6th.  We kept holding our breaths, waiting for our good fortune to crumble, but IT JUST DIDN’T!  Thing 2 became an all-night sleeper, just like that.  August was so good to us.  Hubs and I felt like brand new people who could operate heavy machinery again.

September was exactly the same.

By October, Hubs and I were even daring to stay up until 9:30 at night, watching a movie together, because we knew we’d get to sleep in until 6 AM, with no middle-of-the-night wake-up calls.

And then… over Thanksgiving break… Thing 2 decided to give all that sleeping up.  Every night over break, he was up for two hours straight.

And he did it again last night.

He’s been pulling off a lot of 2:00 to 4:00 AM sessions, a couple of 3:00 to 5:00 AM time slots, and, last night, he was up from 10:30 to 12:30.

This is not working out well for Hubs and myself, mainly because Thing 2 has developed a pattern, and we’re afraid it’s going to become the new normal.  He wakes up sobbing.  And it’s not the I’M KIND OF ANGRY crying; it’s the I’M AN UNFED ORPHAN SITTING ON THE STREETS AND I’M SO HUNGRY AND HOMELESS kind of sobbing that breaks your heart plum in half.  So, I go into his room and scoop him out of his crib each night.  He snuggles into me.  It’s honestly a little piece of heaven, with his fuzzy hair rubbing against my cheek, and his soft baby breath on my neck.

That is how we get this party started every single night now.

I rock Thing 2 for thirty minutes, and Thing 2 simply says, “This is great.  I love rocking in the middle of the night, but I’m not going to close my eyes for anything.  I will just lay here quietly in your arms and STARE AT YOU.  I won’t even blink, for fear that you’ll take it as me falling asleep.  Because?  Did you hear?  I am NOT sleeping.”

After thirty minutes, I realize that the baby is content, but wide awake.  And that is when I put him back into his crib and I go back to bed.  Only Thing 2 is no longer content, because he spends the next twenty minutes standing up in his crib, screaming like his left foot is caught in a steel bear trap, and he’s covered in thick honey and ants.

After twenty minutes of this, Hubs and I begin thinking about the liquid Benadryl we have in our bathroom cabinet for peanut-allergy emergencies with the boy.

(Oh, settle down, Department of Family Services!  I said we just THINK ABOUT the Benadryl; we haven’t acted upon it yet, and you can’t arrest anyone for their THOUGHTS.)

(If that were the case, Hubs would have been incarcerated a long time ago, because he secretly thinks about having lasers shoot out of his eyes that would vaporize people who can’t operate a four-way stop to his level of satisfaction.)

Usually, after twenty minutes of full-on screaming, Thing 2 begins to cough and gag and dry heave, because you can only sustain that degree of screaming for so long before your throat feels like roadkill.

And that’s when he says, “Oh, well.  I tried to get their attention.  I guess I’ll just spend the next hour and ten minutes talking to myself in my crib.  I’ll stand up and yank my mobile around.  I’ll wrestle my blanket.  I’ll throw my binky out.  I’ll kick the wall in merriment.  I will be happy, but I will be LOUD and NOTICEABLE and HEARD for the next hour and ten more minutes.”

And then Thing 2 spends some time yelling the only two English words he can say:  “Dad-dad-dadeeee!  Dad-dad-dadeeee!” and “Tee!  Tee!  Tee!”

(He’s verbally summoning his dad and the kitty [“Tee!”] to come play with him.)

(Even though I work on it DAILY with him, Thing 2 has insisted that he’s not going to learn to make the sound for M and Mama until he’s fourteen.  He’s perfectly content with yelling for his daddy and the kitty, thank you very much.)

And then, after a full seventy minutes of him happily carrying on in his crib, Thing 2 just lays himself down and PRESTO!  Falls back asleep.

So really?  That’s all the news that I have to report to y’all tonight.  I’m flat-out exhausted from Thing 2’s new nocturnal lifestyle.

If I was Christy, I’d go bake something, but I’ve already extended myself to TWO baking episodes this week.  Come to think on it, maybe I’m exhausted from all the MELT THE BUTTER and STIR IN A CUP OF BROWN SUGAR and BEAT AT HIGH SPEED FOR TWO MINUTES and BAKE AT 350.

Baking takes it out of a girl.

I don’t know how Sara Lee keeps it going.

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