Can you wake up for a sec? There’s poop on his face.

It’s always stiflingly hot in our bedroom at night.  We can’t open the windows, we can’t even unlock them or Randall and his family will expertly finagle them open with their terrifyingly human little black hands.  And I don’t know if you’ve ever been jolted out of a peaceful slumber by the sudden panicky suspicion that there is a non-human carnivore lurking underneath the skinny jeans in your closet, but I can vouch that it’s an entirely shitty experience.  I’ve had a racoons saunter over to me while I brushed my teeth at 11 at night and I’ve watched two baby racoons skittle around our living room in the wee hours, making grievous mewling noises, and believe me, none of it is anything short of completely motherfucking alarming.

Anyway, we sleep with the windows locked now.  I’m positive it’s only a matter of time before Randall figures out how to unlock the front door and snack on errant cheerio crumbs before he and his family mosey in through the baby gate, but until then I’m not taking any chances.

This is why I went to bed last night at around 10:30, wearing shorts and a sports bra and still sweating profusely.  We have a ceiling fan, and it’s useless, and we do have a fan beside the bed but we can’t use it because its pervasive white noise prevents me from hearing the baby’s cries at night and what if he needs something desperately?  He wails repeatedly every night for no apparent reason, usually three or four times a night, actually, but what if he really did need me one night because a raccoon opened his window and was in his crib with him trying to eat his onesie and he cried, and I couldn’t hear him because of the fan? (Note: baby is not really a baby, he’s actually 18 months old, a toddler, and he should probably not be waking up shrieking several times a night anymore. I know.)

It is for these reasons, and also due to the fact that I drag my iPad to bed with me almost every night to watch shamefully awful TV shows (and then leave it in bed scattered over by Corey’s pillow because I’ve fallen asleep halfway through my show)  that I know I’m not super awesome to sleep beside.

Last night I woke up suddenly at 1:26 am, ponytail damp against my face, sheet stuck to me with the heat of the room.  A familiar high pitched shriek shattered the silence in the house and I flipped to the side and elbowed my iPad:  no Corey beside me.  This isn’t unusual lately, because in addition to my predisposition to sweating and hogging the bed, I’ve also recently started snoring and grinding my teeth.  Lately it’s been so fiercely loud that it prevents Corey from falling or staying asleep, and he migrates to the living room to sleep on the cat-pee couch (which, God, is a whole other story) as I snore, sweat, and grind my remaining teeth down into little powdery nubs in our bed.  Hot.  I know.

I tiptoed into Jude’s room where he stood in his crib, clutching his bedraggled stuffed animal and looking totally agitated.  I shifted his legs and repositioned him in his crib, and patted his tiny butt for five minutes until he drifted off again.  I could have left him, I know I could have, but you can’t judge me for doing this until you’ve experienced the extremely undesirable alternative which is listening to him holler relentlessly for two hours, sometimes more.  Five minutes of butt patting or two hours of wailing?  It’s normally an easy decision.

On the way back to my room I saw Corey’s feet sticking out of Nolan’s bed: Nolan is away with his best friend for the long weekend, so Corey gets to upgrade to Nolan’s cat-pee miniature bed to escape my noise.  Which is nice except for Nolan’s bed totally sucks.

“Corey,” I hissed,”You know what?  Come to bed.  If I start to snore again, I’ll leave to sleep in Nolan’s room.  Seriously.”

He was only half asleep anyway, and he got out of the insanely uncomfortable kid bed and stumbled into our room.  I lay stiffly beside him, concentrating on keeping my jaw relaxed.  I put my head flat on the bed: no elevation, no snoring?

Ten minutes later I woke myself up with a giant snort to see Corey beelining it out of the bedroom again.

“I’m sorry!” I yelled,”  I can’t help it!”

He silently migrated toward the better option, the painfully uncomfortable, tiny pee bed.

***

When the shrieking started again at 4am, I swung my legs over the side of the bed, eyes burning.  But then, for the first time since Jude was born, I swung them back in.  You know what?, I thought,  He’s 18 months old, and this is absurd, waking up 4 times a night to pat his privileged little baby ass.  I work and I need sleep and I am old and this all is going to kill me, our sauna house and our crotchety, sleepless baby, and the fact that I’m always fighting wildlife while my husband sleeps in various uncomfortable places so he doesn’t have to listen to my obscene, involuntary noises.

So I let him cry.  And cry.  And he cried for an hour, wrenchingly, and I eventually fell asleep. And so did he.  Briefly.  So when he woke up again at 5:30 am, wailing piteously, I felt a bit less guilty about just letting him cry it out again.  We all needed sleep.

***

It was light outside the next time he woke up, at 7:10 am.  He was sobbing like his heart was broken, and I finally crept into his room, intent on letting Corey sleep in a bit if possible.

And what I saw was worse than a Mama raccoon washing her hands with expensive shampoo in our toilet at 3am.

There. was. shit. everywhere.

I saw: a discarded diaper, on the left hand side of the crib.  A pile of corn-filled poop, beside it.  A dog-eared stuffie, fecal matter streaked across its face.  And a normally blonde baby with brown stuff that ohdeargod totally wasn’t chocolate on his face. And hair. Suddenly, tearfully smiling at me.  Forgiving me for ignoring his cries for help while he drowned in his own poop.

I picked him up and ran with him outstretched in my arms, gagging.

“Corey!” I yelled to the giant feet in the miniature bed,”There’s shit everywhere and I need your help.”

Corey is used to many things being yelled at him while he’s in a half slumber, and I have to give him credit for how fast he sprang into action, running water in the bath while I scooped up poop with a plastic bag and dumped buckets of Spray n Wash on crib sheets.

Jude smiled and hummed in the bathtub, baby shampoo washing away any telltale signs of really bad parenting.  Thank god he has his Mama to record it on the Internet for him.

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(Sorry baby)

(Stop freaking out every night if you can, though)

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(Thank god, doggies can be washed)

(Also, toddler faces)

18 thoughts on “Can you wake up for a sec? There’s poop on his face.

  1. And Jude, please forgive ME for shaking with silent laughter at your poor poop-filled nocturnes. Not the HAIR!

    K-dogg, don’t worry about that tough cookie, he got you back but good, hooooo boy. That’s a draw, I’d say.

  2. Kristin,

    First, I am so happy to see you blogging again. I have missed your voice and your stories. Really.

    Second, girl, get a window unit, let Jude sleep with you or get a twin bed and push it up against your bed and call it a day. I bet Corey is waking up hearing you bc he isn’t sleeping soundly anyway bc of the heat. Cool that room off, let Jude in, and drift off into wondrous slumber.

    Baby number three for us was so frustrating and confusing until we just said “screw it” and let her into our room. She went on to her own room around 26 months I think? I just couldn’t do another night of numerous wake-ups and when a girlfriend reminded me that my other two didn’t do this, I realized it was just her. I wasn’t doing anything different with her, she just needed something different for a small season.

    I know most people aren’t into bringing their kid into their room, but I was so snappy and cranky at that point (15 months I think we brought her in to our room) that I didn’t know what else to do.

    I know you didn’t ask for advice, but the thought of you guys sweating in bed just makes me so uncomfortable. lol. 🙂

    Anyway, I am so, so, so glad you are writing again.

    • Kel, all super good advice..I don’t know if the window unit would work cause the windows are a bit odd…close to the ground and they push outwards. I dunno about Jude in our room but maybe something to think about. I think he does get separation anxiety. Or else he’s just a tyrant, whoever knows with babies?

    • Reid! Wow, it has been a lifetime. I am so glad to see your email address in my comment box. I hope you’re doing really well – I still remember your kind emails and Jordi almost going to your home. If you’re ever in Van I owe you a beer or two.

  3. Such an enjoyabe, relatable read Girl! I had 2 toddlers that didn’t sleep on their own either. Ever. I kind of hated every parent who had kids that slept through the nite. Especially when they would spout off why their child was a good sleeper. Painful.
    It is a delight to read your Blog – you are gifted and I’m so grateful you share your gift with all of us!!!

  4. Oh man. Thank you for coming back to share this! My tyrant baby is 12 months and wakes with the pointless squawking wails throughout the night. Now, as I lay awake waiting for him to stop, I’ll be imagining him covered in his own poop or being taunted by a family of raccoons! 😉
    I’m with the others, so glad to read your stories again.

  5. I distinctly remember entering my son’s room when he was little to a dirty diaper on one side of the crib, and him sitting on the other side! Thanks for sharing this story with us…it’s definitely a classic tale.

  6. Can I tell you how overjoyed I am to read your posts again!! And yikes that is not a sight I’d like to find any day!!
    Tell Corey to use earplugs, they somewhat help as I’ve recently discovered!

  7. Can I tell you how happy I am to be reading your posts again!!! Poor Jude but more so poor you guys!!!!
    Tell Corey to use earplugs, they somewhat help as I’ve discovered recently!

  8. My first baby is due in a few months and sometimes I look around our new, beautiful home that we built a year ago and almost want to apologize to the walls and floor for the terrifying amount of bodily fluids that are surely going to come their way.

  9. I hope you don’t mind that I laughed hysterically at your story. I’m no mommy expert but my guess is Jude did the poop trick to punish you for not coming to his beckon call. That’s why he was so happy and forgiving when you arrived. Don’t feel bad. My youngest son was up for a year and a half to eat every night. No matter how much he ate during the day he was always hungry at night. For the raccoon thing, they scare the crap out of me too. I was sitting on the porch and this cat from hell looking thing was walking, yes walking up to me. I screamed and tried to get inside. The screen door sticks so I was having trouble opening. After I got it open far enough my cat ran outside. I finally got inside. The whole time screaming for my fiance. All I could get out was “raccoon, cat, outside, HELP!” Something along those lines. The raccoon was calm this whole time and walked towards me hands out. The cat was calm until Andy picked him up. He must of felt he could protect himself better on the ground. He got a few good swipes at Andy before he got him inside. He also had to yell at me to close the screen door so other cats don’t get out. As you can see I do very well in a panic.
    The raccoon hung out for a while until he wasn’t going to get any food from us. We live in a small town between Vancouver and Whistler so we get a lot of wildlife. I heard that people bring raccoons into their houses and feed them like pets. We also had a bear go from house to house knocking over recycling bins, he was smart enough to know the garbage bins were locked. He got down about 5 houses before someone shooed him away. I must confess I am more afraid of the raccoons than the bears. I haven’t ran into a cougar yet and hope I never do.
    There are devices, I don’t know what to call them but they put out waves that sound very high to cats, racoons, rats, … or sprays you can put around your windows and doors. Best of luck!

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