Bacon

Everyday, Tiny takes two naps. She also sleeps twelve hours straight every night, which is great. The only problem is that she insists on being held for her naps. At night, she allows me to put her in her crib, only occasionally protesting with a whimper. But during the day is a different story.

It wasn’t always this bad. Before my surgery in June, Tiny would nap in her crib about half the time. The other naps were spent in my arms or on the Boppy around my waist. Sure, it sucks sitting in a chair and not moving or making noise for an hour or more. But it also sucks when Tiny skips naps. Skipping naps doesn’t make her extra tired at bedtime. It doesn’t make her sleep longer than twelve hours. Skipping naps just makes Tiny insane. So as long as she was getting rest, I couldn’t complain too much. And I figured I’d work on transitioning her to her crib for all her naps.

But then my surgery happened. My mom took care of Tiny for two days while I was away, and she held her for all four naps. And then, for the next several days, my mom continued to care for Tiny while I recuperated. I nursed Tiny some, but mostly I was helpless to care for her. I mainly tried to make her laugh and soothe her when she was upset. Meanwhile, my mom kept holding Tiny for her naps. I kept telling her to try to put Tiny in the crib, and she kept right on ignoring me and holding her anyway.

Four months later, Tiny won’t stay asleep for naps unless I nurse her to sleep and then hold her or let her lie on the Boppy. She wakes up when I put her in her crib and is so upset that she ends up skipping that nap. Skipping naps leads to utter chaos. So in this one aspect, I’ve been letting the patient run the asylum. She’s still sleeping at least twelve hours a night. She’s still taking two naps. And while it sure sucks sitting for that long, at least I get a twelve hour break every night.

—-

Josh works seven days a week. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but here we are. I take care of Tiny by myself everyday. My mom visits for a few hours on Sundays, but she brings my senile grandma along. So when Mom is with Tiny, I’m babysitting Grandma. Grandma easily falls asleep on the couch, so I at least get a little break. However, she also forgets where she is and yells out for my mom. I have to stop her from barging into Tiny’s room during naptime or yelling too loudly. So it’s not like I’m getting much of a break. But, it is somewhat of a break.

Josh tries to get home from work and cleaned up by 5 so we can eat dinner as a family and whisk Tiny off to bed at 6. Then, he tries not to fall asleep for several hours before finally going to bed. Again, it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

—-

A couple months ago, a new family moved into the rental house on the corner. One morning, when I was getting ready to run an errand, I watched their two dogs crap on my sidewalk. Another neighbor was calling the dogs to her, and I had Tiny and my cousin’s kid with me, so I got into my car and left. I figured the situation was under control and that the dogs would be fine.

Turns out it wasn’t under control. One of the dogs wandered away. Later, the new neighbors hung LOST DOG signs around the neighborhood. I talked to the lady and she said she’d clean up the dog poop. I asked her the name of the dog that was missing, and she said his name was Bacon.

“Eggs came home, but Bacon ran off,” she said.

Eggs and Bacon. Bacon and Eggs. Also, the lady is rather fat.

I saw the lady a few days later and she said Bacon still wasn’t home. I apologized to her and we both went about our business.

I haven’t thought about that dog in weeks.

—-

Today, Tiny let me put her into her crib for a nap. I nursed her to sleep and then put her down. She opened her eyes for a second, but didn’t roll around or get upset. She just went right back to sleep. I sneaked out of her room, careful not to step on the noisy floorboards. I decided I would try to nap in the living room until she woke up. She’s been taking 90 minute naps, or sometimes even two hours.

It’s a funny thing to have freedom during the day. I’m not used to it. And it’s not even really freedom. It’s like being a fenced in dog. Sure, the dog can run around, dig, bark at falling leaves, and roll around in patches of sunlight. But there are limits. The cat in the yard two houses down is completely out of reach, but tantalizing nonetheless. The dog next door can run along the fence, but there will be no rough-housing or chase.

I have freedom with constraints. I can’t watch loud movies or listen to loud music. I can’t make too much noise in general, thus ruling out showering (bathroom is against Tiny’s room) and cooking (too much noise). I can’t leave. I can’t drink alcohol. But I am not trapped under a sleeping toddler.

So, I kicked back in the recliner and decided to read.

And then I heard yelling.

I checked Tiny’s baby monitor. She was still asleep, and wasn’t stirring at all.

It sounded like a lady yelling “Megan.”

“Oh no,” I thought. “Did someone’s kid wander away? Or worse, get snagged?”

And then it hit me.

Bacon. The lady was yelling for Bacon.

My first reaction was totally selfish. “If she wakes up Tiny, I swear I’m gonna…” and so on. Obviously I’m not proud of that first reaction.

My second thought was that it really sucks that this damn dog keeps getting out. I had a Houdini dog, too, and it’s not fun.

My third thought?

Right now, there’s a fat lady wandering my neighborhood calling out for “bacon.”

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