I Hate Being Up at Pre-Dawn

I really hate being up at dawn. Even worse than being up at dawn? Being up at dawn on vacation.

Tonight/this morning is the second time this week (vacation week) that Pop Culture Toddler decided to wake up at 4 a.m. The last time was two nights ago. She was up at 4:30 a.m. and didn’t go back to sleep until a little after 6. Today seems to be following a similar pattern, only it was slightly before 4 when she woke up. And we have to leave at 10 to catch our plane. I don’t see this going well.

PCT is easy enough to get to bed the first time. Even on vacation, she’s done pretty well with out modified version of her routine and fallen asleep rather easily. It’s the falling back asleep that’s the problem.

First is the unreasonable list of demands that changes every time a wish is fulfilled. “Mommy, tuck you in” is usually followed by “No, Mommy! No covers!!”. “Mommy, lay down!”, then “Mommy, stand up!”. “Water, please” is chased by either “Water in [cup that is nowhere near the room and likely dirty]!!” or “No water! No water, Mommy! No!”. “Abby, Elmo, please” comes right before “No Abby! No Elmo!” followed by Abby and Elmo being chucked across the room. Then come the various requests to blow her nose (only with a Boogie Wipe) and lather her with Aquaphor — in very specific places, and usually the same spot over and over, despite the half-inch layer that is already present.

And these demands aren’t just said loudly, they’re usually screamed – sometimes screamed and cried – and always on an endless loop with one another. Nothing makes her happy. Nothing.

Since we’re on vaca in an ocean-front condo, I have substituted the ocean white noise machine to which she always goes to sleep with the sound of the actual ocean. The problem with that tonight is that she likes to listen on the patio, and a cold front came through yesterday. It’s 40 degrees and windy. And it’s sort of hard to bundle up when my requests have been “Mommy stand up” and “No covers! No blanket!”. Seriously?! Look, kid, you’re gonna have to meet me halfway.

It’s a little after 5 now, and I’ve finally convinced her to (1) let me close the patio door, (2) allow me a blanket, and to sit down on a chair (3) put her head on my shoulder and close her eyes, and (4) stop screaming [I’m sure the octogenarians downstairs appreciate that last one]. This is real progress! If I can just manage to lull her into sleep within the next half hour, I may actually get some rest in before we’re off to Palm Beach International. I won’t hold my breath, though.

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