This was going to be an updated post from 232, entitled the Long and Grinding Road. However, I have located something even more exhausting than running for 22 minutes with NO WALKING BREAKS THANKS COUCH25K, and that is my daughter's new bedtime ritual.
(Assuming she lovingly reads these posts when she's 23 and still talking to me:)
My lovey lou, I need you to know one thing. Before we get into this latest overwrought diatribe, I will forever ever be grateful at how well you sleep. Since your first birthday you slept through the night, for glorious languid stretches of TWELVE PLUS hours that restored my sanity after that first year when you were pretty much Andrew Dice Clay in a onesie.
I love you in a deep and so-strong-it's-uneasy way when I sneak in your room to be a weirdo at night and make sure nothing disastrous has befallen you since the last time I shoved my face in. Your little warm milky breaths. The sweaty now crunchy hair glued to your cheeks. The few times you've lunged to life, sat up and nearly knocked the next 5 years off my life, and then passed back out.
When you're sleeping I'm not stressing about how much I don't know; there is no frustration; there is only a tangy pink lemonade sweetness in the air that is so thick I feel like I could take a bite and blow a bubble.
When you're sleeping I get the urge to ream and honk on both my nipples to see if there's any milk left. The nook of my right arm is still the strongest part of me, having cradled your little sweet skull for that year.
Which brings me to now. I gave you an inch ONE TIME when it came to fluctuating the bedtime ritual and now you saunter into your room at bedtime like Bobcat Goldthwait at the Playboy Mansion. Smug, in control and determined.
“I need to put brown blankie on this shoulder aaand den princess blankie on thiiis shoulder and DEN LULLABY!”
“I just need to give kisses to my stuff.”
“Can I sing you a song?”
“What happened to me today?”
“I need to call Gramma H and tell her it was rainy today.”
"Can I put...can I put...can I put..."
"I WANT TO CLOSE THE DOOR."
"Who gave me this?"
"Can I call Gramma H and tell her the balloon straw hit me in the eye?"
"Can I have five Cheerios?"
"My Mom said..." (I AM YOUR MOM) (pause) "My Mom said she was mad."
"I want to get in bed with my own feet."
"I'm so excited to see you!"
"How was your day?"
"What does Ariel/Buzz/the fox/Jessie/Gramma T/Gramma H/Elsa/Anna/Grover/Sofia say?"
Finally, FINALLY after cutting you off and talking over top of your half-sentences like a sh-tty Great-Grandma, I get you tucked in, take the few steps to the door in one giant bound and am just shutting the door behind me when you launch one last arrow, sizzling with guilt and cunning, that lands cleanly between my shoulder blades.
“I forgot to give you hugs and kisses.”
SON OF A B-TCH.