Sunday, February 14, 2010

Groggy Parenting

After a couple of events in the past week or so, it is somewhat amazing to me that parents survive children and that children come out somewhat normal unless you are completely incompetent as a parent.  And I mean COMPLETELY incompetent.  Turns out children are really quite resilient. 

The daughter still wakes up on average once or twice a night.  We don’t know why.  We wish she wouldn’t.  It’s like she just wants to to stumble up stairs, tell her it’s ok and tuck her in. 

The first event occurred on one of these wake up calls.  Daughter was standing at the top of the stairs crying.  This is her announcement that we are expected to come right away.  She’ll make up some excuse like;  “I have to go potty” or “I need a drink”.  Most of the time her excuse is something she is perfectly willing to handle on her own and we remind her of that and shuffle her off to bed.  She tells us night night and the world is right.  For her.

We have grown so accustomed to these events, we can almost do them in our sleep.  As a matter of fact, it’s probably better for me if I don’t completely wake up.  It makes it very difficult for me to go back to sleep.  But it’s a double edged sword.  As I was returning downstairs from this particular event, the stairs fell out from under me.  I’m not talking I stumbled a little, caught myself and continued on my way.  No.  I fell for what seems like 5 minutes.  Realistically, it was only about half way down our stairs.  Thankfully our stairs make a 90 degree turn after a mid way landing.  I fell all the way to the landing.  I didn’t fall quietly but with all the gusto of a stuntman on a big budget Hollywood production.  That’s how I remember it anyway.

I am now awake.  And I should add that I’m not 18 anymore.  I by no means consider myself old, but stuff hurts worse now.  And it hurts longer.  This was no exception.  I was not only awake, but keenly aware of the throbbing in my shoulder.  Did I wake my daughter up?  I waited for the dust to settle and expected her to come out of her room any minute.  It wasn’t to happen.  Ok.  Maybe my wife will come check on me.  I’ll just lay here a minute.  Or two.  Ok, well, I can’t sleep here.  Nothing appears to be broken.  No bones are protruding.  I bring myself to me feet and make my way down the other half of the stairs.  I stumble in to our bedroom and lay down on the bed.  Jayna is chuckling.

The next day was difficult and heavily reliant on Aleve.  All day strong, all day long!

The next event that prompted this post happened just a couple of days ago.  Daughter wakes up with another of her episodes, but this one is different.  It’s a different cry, you know that one that sound serious.  I’m out of bed and half way up the stairs before I am really even conscious.  Daughter is walking out of her room holding her head.  She is sobbing that she fell out of bed.  I pick her up and comfort her.  I asked her if she fell out of bed and she says “yeeeeessss” in her best feel sorry for me voice.  And what do I say?

“It’s ok honey, these things happen.”

The best comforting words I had for my vulnerable little girl are “these things happen.”  The funny thing is, as soon as I said it, she stops crying and says a beautiful little pouty “ok” and curls back up in bed.  Content in the thought that she did and possibly will again fall out of bed.

This is all pretty trivial but I started thinking about what other gems of advise and wisdom I have given her and how that will impact her as a person.  So far she seems to be somewhat put together.  Maybe her resilience will override any missteps Jayna and I make along the way.

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