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August 4, 2009

I’m going to spill a secret, something I’ve admitted to few people (especially other moms). In fact, if I had a little more time and more creativity, I’d achieve catharsis in a more anonymous way by scrawling this on a postcard and sending it to the Postsecret website

Here is what my postcard would say:

I make my husband put my son back to bed almost every time Blur wakes up in the middle of the night – and I have for the past two years. 

Keep in mind that Blur has never been a great sleeper. He wakes up a lot.

The truth is, I’m a beast when dragged from slumber anytime between the hours of midnight and six a.m.* I bump into walls, stub my fingers and toes, mutter to myself, and get really really frustrated really really fast. I’ll do anything else with little to no complaint: I will readily wash dishes, sweep floors, vacuum rugs, scrub windows, make dinner, do laundry, clean up poop and puke, dust the blinds, feed Blur, play with Blur, change Blur’s diaper… but somehow, like some sort of stereotypical 1950s sitcom dad, I struggle with middle-of-the-night wake ups. It’s my Achilles heel, my kryptonite. Heck, Oprah could shake me awake to tell me I’ve won a trip around the world and I’d still get pissed off. Maybe it’s a physiological thing. Maybe I have some sort of unnamed disorder. 

Luckily, WAHD saves the day (the night) every time. He’s a master at getting Blur to go back to bed. WAHD doesn’t particularly enjoy this duty, but unlike me, he does it without melting down. He says (with some resignation) that it’s easier on everyone to leave me be. Technically, since WAHD and I both work from home and neither of us has to get ready to leave the house each morning, I suppose it doesn’t matter. Someone needs to do it; he’s the better parent for that job. I still feel guilty. Being able to soothe your kid back to sleep seems like a touchstone of good mothering. Instead, I’m sprawled out under my sheets with my ears plugged.

So that’s my secret, and why I will never, ever be in the running for a Mother of the Year award.

*I would like to add, though, that when Blur threw up at 4 a.m. yesterday, I somehow managed to bounce out of bed, clean the carpet again, and get Blur to fall asleep for another hour. So that’s progress. By the time he’s ready for Kindergarten, I should be just about there.

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