Margaret in the Morning.
Holy H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.
I don't really know why it all went so wrong. I can still hear her wake up routine as a baby and then new little toddler. It started out as cooing and crib side kicking. Not too long ago, I would hold Viola and sit outside Zuzu's room and listen to her "read" her favorite stories to her dolls and sing to the stuffed animals. Oh, her little voice and little imagination. They both danced out from under her door and made the morning brighter. And the singing! The hello-world-let-me-serenade-you-awake singing! It was one of my favorite parts of the day. Then one day while Viola ate breakfast with me, I heard Margaret stirring. And something was very, horribly different. There were tears, and MOMMY, I AM HUNGRY. NO, I AM NOT HUNGRY! WHERE IS MY BLANKIE? I NEED MY BLANKIE! If she knew any four letter words she would have used them and I swear to you she had a face on her like a bouncer at Russian rat race. (Okay, I don't know if Russians really race rats...but they totally did in The Saint, which starred Val Kilmer. And Val Kilmer is never wrong. Amen.)
It was terrifying.
I hoped it was a phase. Like a short term, wasn't that funny, kind of thing. We are now three months into this new development. And while it may be a phase, it is a pretty long a#& one. (Thank you, Margaret Zuzu, that has been enough and it isn't really that funny.) Not all mornings are awful, in fact, most aren't. She usually wakes up smiling and asking about BABY VIOLA HONEY BABY! But there are mornings...oh, there are mornings, where it is like I am raising an angry bear cub. An angry, tutu wearing, bear cub. Her worst wakings (sounds sinister, doesn't it?) happen when she won't eat dinner the night before. And this makes sense. Low blood sugar doesn't look good on me, either. My greatest hope for a happy day is found in getting the little (angry) bear to eat quickly and plentifully. Have you ever tried to reason with a
wild animal hungry child? It goes something like this,
Parent: Honey, your cereal is on the table.
Hungry Child, screaming, eyes rolling, gnashing of teeth: I DON'T LIKE TABLES!
Parent: Okay. It is your favorite cereal. I think you will like it.
Hungry Child, sobbing like you told her DORA! died: YOU DON'T THINK I WILL LIKE IT! YOU DON'T!
Parent: Well, I will just leave the cereal I don't think you will like on the table I know you don't like.
Hungry Child, indignant: YOU PUT MY FAVORITE CEREAL ON THE TABLE? I.DON'T.LIKE.TABLES!
Ummm. Hello, Exhausting. My name is Megan.
I know she just has to grow out of this. I know it isn't really that bad. I know it will get better.
Until then we have just started putting a bowl of cereal outside her door before she wakes up. A bowl of food, outside her door, on the floor - like she is a dog. (And yes, I just compared my child to two different animals and no, I don't think that is excessive.) If we are lucky she sits down to eat it instead of walking past it. After the fourth or fifth spoonful she starts to smile and she might even sing.
And the singing means it is going to be a good day.