Sleep regression. I had forgotten all about it.
My father calls it a state of temporary imbalance.
I call it living torture.
Cam, at 14 months, has suddenly decided he hates to go to sleep. He throws his stuffed dog on the ground and screams for it. When I go in to give it back to him, he throws it down again. I've let him cry. I've soothed him. I've taken the dog away. I've hidden it. I've rocked him (Cam, not the dog). I've sung. I've read. I've fed him. I've put lights on. I've turned lights off. I've watched minutes turn into hours.
I've rubbed his stomach. I've rubbed his back. I've rubbed my aching temples. And when he finally falls asleep, I slump down on my bed and punch my pillow.
I know the stage will pass, but I marvel at how much of this I blacked out. This is when things get dicey. This, when your child is age 1 to 3, is when you find out what you're made of.
It's also when the guy at the liquor store starts giving you the You again? look.
So when Chuck asks me for the umpteenth time what I want to do for Mother's Day this is what I tell him: I want to drive to the woods—alone—lay out a sleeping bag in the back of the Beast, lie in a ball and sleep and cry. He and the kids can stop by for coffee but the sleeping bag is mine.
A few years ago, when the idea of Mother's Day was still new to me, I might have felt horrible guilt for admitting that I just want to be alone for Mother's Day. But now I know the truth: Everyone experiences a state of temporary imbalance. Even mothers. And even on Mother's Day.