Strange Encounters with Sleepy Toddlers

My precious firstborn is rarely the type to do things by the book. She was born 15 days after her due date (I KNOW I KEEP MENTIONING THIS, probably because I’ll never get over it), she never crawled except in secret, she could eat an entire adult meal before she had any teeth, she took forever to talk but currently will not stop talking, and she has never had one single ounce of separation anxiety. While other children were missing their moms and agonizing over being away from them in the nursery at church, Adelaide would barely tell me goodbye. Basically, if it’s going to mess with my mind, Adelaide is into it.

However, one solid benefit to her “not-going-by-the-book”-ness is that she sleeps like a rock every single night and never, ever gets out of bed. For over three years, she has waited patiently for me in the morning, and if she were the only other person in the house, I would get tons of sleep. Well, until this month.

A few times over the past month or so, she’ll wake up whimpering in the middle of the night, demanding that we remove random items from her room. “The crown makes me sad!” she’ll sniff. So a play crown, a polka dot hat, and a few other items that inexplicably provoke sadness are banished to the hallway, and everyone goes back to bed.

Eventually, she took it upon herself to personally remove the sadness rather than supervise her parents, which felt kind of like progress, except that we went to check on her, couldn’t find her, and then realized she was sitting in the dark on the love seat in the living room under a polka dot blanket, like a little wiggling ghost who about made us pee our pants. “Hi,” she says. We pass out.

Other recent nights, she’ll decide regular sleeping attire is unacceptable, perhaps the absolute worst idea on the planet. She’ll then determinedly and elaborately accessorize her pajamas, perhaps with cat glasses or with dress shoes and a tutu. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but it is difficult to sleep comfortably in dress shoes and a tutu especially if you are the type of gal who insists on sleeping with four hundred stuffed creatures. The discomfort upsets her, but forgoing the dress shoes and tutu is OUT OF THE QUESTION. My best advice to you is to not mention it. Obviously, I learned this the hard way. She ended up in bed with us.

On one of these “I must be the epitome of toddler glamour while I sleep” nights, Adelaide wore adult-sized watermelon socks over the legs of her pajamas and toddler-sized purple socks on her hands. She woke up devastated because a devastating thing happened: the purple hand socks had fallen off. She wakes me up sobbing, “My socks fell off! My socks! My socks!” I am disoriented and sleepy and fumble through my comfort attempt with confusing words like, “It’s okay to be sad when our socks fall off our hands,” and “I love you whether you have socks on your hands or not,” and “Sometimes bad things happen to good people.” We dig around the covers for her socks, place them on her hands, and she falls asleep with a satisfied smile on her face and purple hands tucked under her adorable face. 

Later that night, Luke wakes up to Adelaide creepily stroking his face with one purple sock hand. Bug-eyed Luke says, “Adelaide, what are you doing?” and Adelaide whispers, “Hi.”

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