Cross-posted from Cherry Blossoms The Blog.
One night early this summer I sent the following text to a friend:
How baby loses his [poop emoji]: epic toddler meltdown.
How Heather loses her [poop emoji]: impassively waiting it out and standing her ground, completely unphased by the histronics.
Tonight I discovered I’m a psychopath, who else could be so emotionally detached?
Each of us as parents has strengths and weaknesses. No one person is perfectly good (or even perfectly competent) nor is any of us perfectly bad. At best we are all trying, and hopefully when we fail we pick ourselves up, reevaluate, and try again. I can very honestly admit that establishing healthy sleep patterns in little ones is my biggest weakness, and somehow I’m getting worse over time instead of better. (You’d think I’d learn a thing or two along the way but no, my toddler is a much worse sleeper than his oldest brother at the same age. Or any age.)
How I stumbled backward into the terrible sleep impairments I found myself earlier this summer isn’t really important. Just know that in my baby’s first 18 months I broke every single rule. It was no secret why he wasn’t a good sleeper, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t motivated to improve things. After all, I was exhausted.
Even on the night I decided to fix several wrongs with our current sleep pattern I approached and executed my plan poorly. It wasn’t even a well-thought-out plan but an act of sheer desperation and a battle of wills. You will stay in bed, child, because it is bedtime and not playtime.
So there I was, blocking his way off his bed while he exercised all his powers of cuteness, of tantrums, of gymnastics, or sheer force, to try to escape. He cried, he wailed, he shrieked. I did not cry. I remained calm and I repeated what I had said all night, “it’s nighttime sweetheart. It’s time to go to sleep now.”
In my heart I felt nothing. As the wailing went on for what seemed like hours or days or weeks or years I had a moment of clarity. That’s when I sent the above text to my friend.
I stumbled across a facebook quiz a few months later, which confirmed that I am indeed 100% psychopath. The commentary detailed that I shouldn’t feel completely without hope and maybe I can make adjustments to live as a contributing member of society.
The moral of the story folks is don’t be like me. Or maybe it’s that a lack of sleep will turn you into a psychopath. Or maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t believe everything we read on the internet.