Sleeping With the Devil


It was supposed to be a bonding experience for Sophie and me. It was her naptime, and I wanted to relax a little too. After all of us returned home from running errands and having lunch, we went upstairs so that she could nap next to me in our bed.

She predictably resisted at first. Not in any hysterical way, just her usual grunts, groans and random babbling (which increasingly includes interludes of recognizable words). This always cracks me up, because one minute she’s all chatter, chatter, chatter, and the next minute I hear the steady rhythmic breathing of a sleeping toddler.

After some reading on the computer, my eyelids became heavy, and then I too was asleep. That is, until…

…Sophie woke up, in Mr. Hyde mode, and SCREAMED loud enough for the astronauts working on the international space station to hear. So much for bonding with my youngest daughter. So much for taking a nap. What had I done to deserve this treatment?

The worst part is that it didn’t end with her startling me out of my peaceful slumber. For the next fifteen minutes, she would not let me go near her. Every time I tried, she swatted at me as if I were a very pesky fly. Even my best “Mommy loves you” soothing voice did nothing to console her. At one point, she got off the bed. When I followed, she crawled away from me in her best impression of a soon-to-be horror movie victim, i.e. in pure terror.

I certainly have my weaknesses, mind you, and I am the first to admit that waking up to screams doesn’t rank high on my list of favorite things about parenthood. But I am not like Faye Dunaway in “Mommie Dearest.” And I don’t resemble Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” I think I’m a pretty good mom, all things considered.

And yet, the poor girl would not let me touch her. Finally, I sought emergency backup from her Daddy and he came to her rescue. I felt like chopped liver. I think that Sophie and I are spending too much time together. She’s starting to take me for granted. Could she already be turning against me at the tender age of two?

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