And Then There Was 2

Everybody warns you about the sleepless nights.

When you’re eight months pregnant and spending most of the a.m. hours waddling into a bathroom, you’ve got this voice in the back of your head telling you, “better get that sleep now honey, because once the baby comes . . .”

The first night they sleep all the way through, you don’t.

You’re just on the edge, waiting to jump to your feet at the first hint of a whimper.

The second night, you consider rigging a mirror in the crib to test if they’re still breathing.

By the third, you’re a seasoned pro.

You sleep, with one ear wide open for the faintest cry.

From that night on, nothing can faze you.

You laugh in the face of teething.

You tell the common cold to kiss your toes.

Then it all comes tumbling down.

Your child hits 21⁄2 .

They learn the two most frustrating words in the English language.

“I’m scared,” they tell you.

“Scared of what?” you ask.

“Mommy, I’m scared,” they reply.

“Scared of what?”

Can you see where this is going?

I used to use the hour or two between Jillian’s bedtime and my own to get things done.

Fill up the dishwasher. Wipe down the counters.

If she was good and tired, I might even get in a few pages of a good book or file away a few photos from the leaning tower of snapshots that’s taken residence in my living room bookcase.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for some mindless filing.

Couple time in the Sager household has been replaced by the tag team.

I take Jillian to bed, read her three to four stories, and try to tuck her in.

But as the hours tick by, my dulled wits are no match for those of a 2-year-old.

I call in reinforcements.

Then it’s Jonathan’s turn to have a go at “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Biscuit Goes to the Park.”
I crawl into my bed and lick my wounds.

I have gone three rounds with the monsters in the closet – banished by my Bath and Body works “safe spray” – and lost my voice to “Goodnight Moon.”

I’ve kissed Daisy and Snow Bear and given “five” to Pooh Bear and monkey.

I’ve cuddled and snuggled and kissed and cajoled.

I’ve given voice to Max and his wild things and bid good night to every object in Jillian’s room.

And while the fire alarm could sound down the street and she’d be none the wiser, if I get up to use the bathroom it will start all over again.

So I’ll just lie here and wait until morning.

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