I’m still alive.

I’m writing this captain’s log while hiding in a closet. I don’t have long before my wardens (my children) realize I’ve escaped the room. It has been precisely one year since my last update, and that was not an accident. I’ve got two (count em, TWO) toddlers so I’m hella short on time, patience, patience, sleep, and more patience.

So, without any fanfare, I present: A comprehensive list of my daughter’s personality traits:

1. She is a brute

If Ayanna fails to open a rudimentary sleeve of crackers on the first try, rather than ask for help she will angrily bulldoze her way through the side of the sleeve like a jackal and feast on its innards as if she was starring in a nature program about the eating habits of the North American feral toddler.

2. She is adept at murder

Much like her spirit animal the T-1000, she is a relentless murder machine. She keeps her murder skills sharp by ripping the heads off of her grandmother’s flowers at every turn. I imagine she likes to pretend they are the heads of her enemies and she is starring in her own little episode of Game of Thrones.

3. She thinks sleep is for the weak

After finally passing out from exhaustion, to disturb Ayanna’s  slumber is akin to inviting the wrath of an ancient pagan god. LORD HELP ME if I accidentally leave my cell phone in the room with her after she’s down for her nap. I have to sneak into the room all Raiders of the Lost Ark style…sweat dripping off my brow…heart pounding through my shirt…holding my breath until my face turns purple, until I’ve expertly lifted the ancient artifact (an iPhone) from its altar without setting off any booby traps (accidentally kicking an obnoxiously loud toy). Sometimes, I make it out alive. Other times, not so much.

4. She harbors a dark compulsion towards my boobs

Every day, these boobs get a little more grizzled and world-weary in the face than they were yesterday. Somebody call A&E, because it’s time to stage an intervention on my daughter’s behalf. Often while walking the isles at Target, she’s randomly overcome by her lust for boobs. She hastily grabs at my neckline, yanking my shirt down for access. “Nuss!” She demands. “NUSS!” That translates to “nurse” in English. I am NOT trying to violate our local customs on public nudity, so my boobs stay firmly tucked behind my clothing WHERE THE HELL THEY BELONG, and Ayanna swiftly rains her fury down upon my head. I can’t even change my clothes near her without poking her addiction with a stick. She catches one glance of some side-boob and yells “WHY AM I NOT BEING SERVICED BY THOSE RIGHT NOW?” And then I accept my fate.

5. She thinks we are a binary entity

If it were up to her, we would be crudely fused together, her mouth melted to my boob. OR, if she REALLY got her way, we would be sloppily grafted together in such a manner that I would NEVER be able to put her down and she could just ride me around like a donkey.

When they told me I was going to have a daughter, I pictured us mildly like this:

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Genial, pleasant, wholesome

In reality, we’re much more like this:

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Gruesome, off-putting, terrifying to behold

I CONSTANTLY have to remind her that NO, this is not Thunderdome and FURTHERMORE, we are not Master Blaster. But guess who can’t be reasonable? I went from a sentient being to an automaton who is perpetually being piloted around by a one-year-old.

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i can do impressions

here’s my impression of my son:

Brandon – “You think you’re finished feeding me for now? You think your nipples are going to get a moment to themselves to heal? You think this is a game?”

Brandon – “I see you’ve just changed my diaper. It would be a shame if someone were to rapid fire doo-doo inside of the new diaper that’s been on my ass for 2.2 seconds.”

Brandon – “Oh, it’s bath time, is it? I disagree. Because while you’re lowering me into that bath water you so carefully tempered to my liking, I’m gonna drop a massive, soupy deuce right in there. Like, directly in there. Now, clean it up damn you.”

Brandon – “I see you’ve just finished bathing me. It would be a shame if someone were to shit on themselves, getting shit all over, including shit right in the palm of your hand, and now you have to bathe me all over again. Oh, and don’t forget to swirl the shit covered towel in the toilet with your bare hands.”

Brandon- “So. You’d like to do your hair, huh? Well, I hate to tell you this but, you work for me now. And as my employee, if you are not at my beck and call every second that I am conscious, I am going to scream bloody goddamn murder and make the other people in this apartment complex consider calling DCFS on you. And, you’ll NEVER leave me in a room alone without having visions of me rolling myself up over the edge of my crib. Or worse things. All because you just HAD to do your hair.

Brandon – “Yeah, I’m taking a nap. But i’m not so much a peacefully sleeping baby as i am a TICKING TIME BOMB, and you’ll never know what tiny innocuous sound is going to disturb my slumber, SETTING ME RIGHT THE HELL OFF.

Sleep regression: I stab at thee

And we were on such a good roll, too.

oh my god, go away, sleep regression. I didn’t even know you were a thing until last week, and now you’re shaking my confidence in my ability to ACTUALLY BE A PARENT. you’re making me want to throw myself through a closed 3rd story window. be gone, sleep regression.

Since his grand entry into our material plane, Brandon has slept in the bed with my husband and I. Despite advice to the contrary by his pediatrician, I decided to walk on the wild side and co-sleep with my baby. Tangent alert: I didn’t realize what an immediate threat my husband’s habit of throwing bows in his sleep presented to Brandon’s health (dude, could you not elbow our baby), but I also underestimated my own motherly instincts for detecting and deflecting those threats. Even in my sleep. I guess I’m just a bad ass momma-bear like that. One night, my husband was up to his old sleeping antics, probably dreaming about fighting crime or whatever, and threw an elbow that nearly connected with Brandon’s head. Something compelled me to wake up a moment before this catastrophe almost happened, and I caught his elbow in my palm an instant before it made contact. I was like Neo stopping the bullets. Elbow my kid? Not on my watch, my dude. This scenario hasn’t happened since. Everybody gets one

After Brandon hit four months old, I wondered if now was the time to start transitioning him into sleeping in his crib. Not entirely for his sake, but also for mine. Up until this point, Brandon slept directly on top of me and it was really starting to do a number on my back. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hack it as a borderline cripple trying to stankylegg my way out of bed every morning. And since I breastfeed, nothing is easier than rolling over and popping a boob in his screaming maw in the middle of the night so we can ALL get back sleep. Anyway, he was a textbook awesome baby about the whole thing, it took three days for him to get use to sleeping in his crib without getting all pissed off, just like babycenter.com said he would. That third night after he went straight to sleep without protest, i jogged around my crib humming the theme from Rocky, i was like YO I GOT THIS MOTHERING GAME ON LOCK, SON. You could set your watch to his napping & sleeping routine, because he was sleeping like a goddamned CHAMPION.

Then one day…. He was like screw a nap, MOM.
I was like, alrighty…
Then that night, he was like, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. All night long. And into the next morning.
I was like, SERIOUSLY DUDE WHOSE BABY IS THIS?

Wash, rinse, repeat.

After the third night of his not-sleeping shenanigans, I jumped on the internets at 3 in the AM, trying to figure out what in god’s holy name was wrong with my kid. The internet was like, sounds like sleep regression to me, yo.

Sleep regression is a thing that exists, no one told me about it, it is EXCRUCIATING, and all you can do is strap yourself in and ride it out until your kid snaps back to normal.

In other words, sleep regression is the Keyser Soze of baby phenomena. It shows up out of nowhere, messes your whole world up, and then suddenly POOF! It’s gone…